This is part of a series of profiles showcasing the talented entrepreneurs of NCRC’s DC Women’s Business Center. Griffin LLC is a women-owned business started by Chris Garrard in April 2020 that provides emergency management, community resilience training and consulting services.
What inspired you to start your business?
I founded Griffin following an experience of discrimination for a medical condition. We used that unfortunate event to build a company centered around improving resilience for people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations and helping first responders and emergency managers develop the skills to prevent discrimination themselves – especially in times of crisis.
How has DCWBC helped you through your journey?
DCWBC has provided a tremendous amount of support through counseling, webinars and resources on our client portal. We have also greatly benefited from attending the various events and connecting with other women-owned small businesses. Finally, DCWBC’s close collaboration with DC Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD) on joint events and resources has also been very helpful to Griffin.
What advice would you give other women who want to start their own business?
Remember to take care of yourself! Starting a business from the ground up is incredibly rewarding, but also very stressful. Find time to disconnect and rest when you need it – even if you don’t think you “deserve it” (you do!). Celebrate your wins, both big and small. Seek help from all corners of your network, even from folks who are outside your focus areas. Be humble and learn as much as you can from those who came before you.
Please include any additional information you will like to share about your business.
Griffin is the sole provider for a one-of-a-kind, audience-customized training which offers hands-on handling training and demonstrations with working service dogs for first responders. Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs During Response Operations teaches responders how to prevent discrimination and utilize service dogs to support their important public safety missions. Training participants report improved understanding of legal considerations and learn proper techniques for interacting with this population during emergency calls. Griffin Team members have been featured as thought leaders across a range of forums. We have twice conducted highly-successful breakout sessions at the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Annual Conference. Our presentation, Trans/Humanity: Body Autonomy and Homeland Security was a standout session at the 2022 Mazzoni Center Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference. We also hold webinars and events on inclusive community resilience.
Social media for Griffin LLC: