The Model Entrepreneur: Chekesha Van Putten

Founder of, an online, nationwide job platform for the trade show and event industry

Photo by Jon Estrada

Photo by Jon Estrada

ACHIEVEMENTS Van Putten got an early start in the entertainment industry, dancing and acting professionally beginning at age 15. She formerly danced and choreographed for the Los Angeles Laker Girls, and her film credits include the first two Austin Powers movies, Last Vegas and American Beauty, for which she won a SAG Award. She moved from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 2010, “knowing that I wanted to start something entrepreneurial.”

THE BIG IDEA After working for a year as a spokesmodel, Van Putten developed the concept for, which helps match talent—dancers, actors, models, athletes, etc.—with jobs in the trade show industry. The site launched January 16. “There was no streamlined way to go about getting work,” she says. “I’m really hoping to create a vehicle for performers to promote themselves and find work without having to completely rely on an agent.”

THE NUTS AND BOLTS Talent will be able to use the site to build multimedia profiles and connect with potential employers. At the same time, agencies can find new clients to sign, while corporations will be able to browse the site and hire talent directly. Van Putten puts it this way: “ will be to the trade show and event industry what is to romance.”

HER DAY JOB Van Putten, who earned a communications degree from Howard University, teaches acting for television and film at the International Academy of Television and Film (6363 S. Pecos Rd.) You can also catch her in a recent commercial campaign for the State of Nevada.

THE END GAME “Success, for me, is helping people,” Van Putten says. “Whether it be somebody becoming a spokesmodel or a person who can pay their next bill doing something they love to do. If [my business] allows someone the freedom to pursue their dreams, then I feel like I’ve made a difference.”

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