December 10, 2021 8:14am
First Cohort Graduates from GLI’s Minority Business Accelerator
Louisville, Ky. (December 10, 2021) – Last night, 12 Louisville minority business owners and leaders were honored in a ceremony at Simmons College of Kentucky for completing GLI’s inaugural Power to Prosper Minority Business Accelerator. The graduation was attended by high-profile business leaders and members of GLI’s Board of Directors, and featured a keynote address from Tawana Bain, Founder of TBain & Co., remarks from the GLI leadership team, and individual recognition of each participant. The 12 graduates include:
- Kristy Bartlett, Founder and CEO, Option To Success Inc.
- Carl Brown II, CEO, Manns Moving & Delivery
- Chelsea Ellis-Hogan, Co-Owner and CEO, Jim Reynolds Asphalt Contractor
- Pamela M. Haines, CEO, Sweet Peaches
- Maria Mackey, Founder and CEO, Mackey Printing Services
- Mechelle Porter, Owner and CEO, M3 Events
- Joseph Scott, CEO, Joash Construction
- Angelina Strickland, CEO, Strickland, Cox & Associates Primary Care Center
- Shelby Throneburg, CEO, Eagle Steel & Metal Products
- Teresa Walker, Owner and CEO, New Leaf Clinic
- Don Weobong, CEO, eLeaP
- Lameca Yankey, Founder, CEO and Head Director, Vivid Imaginations Child Care Center LLC
“Graduating from the Power to Prosper program is a tremendous accomplishment and underscores these 12 individual’s commitments to growing their business in Greater Louisville,” said Dana Johnson, GLI’s senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion. “Not only did each participant attend regular sessions, they also contributed significant time after business hours to crafting their own growth plan and putting lessons from each module into practice. I could not be prouder of this cohort, and I am delighted to see how their businesses flourish in the months and years ahead.”
The inaugural cohort began in April and took participants through 12 intensive sessions across four modules that covered high-level business skills and provided them with curriculum to take their business to the next level. Skills covered included business and strategic assessment, finances, marketing and sales, and human resources.
Over the eight-month program, GLI has also connected participants with its investors by facilitating introductions and hosting gatherings with members of the Board of Directors to help participants grow their professional networks. The program concluded with participants pitching their growth plans and services to a panel of regional business leaders, with the intent of assisting in securing future contracts with those companies and helping them scale.
“Participating in the Power to Prosper Accelerator has changed the trajectory of my business. I am on track to exceed my numbers from last year by over two thousand percent and have several major new contracts in the works,” said Carl Brown, CEO of Mann’s Moving and Delivery. “The hands-on learning and resources provided in the program have been invaluable, and I encourage any minority business owner who is serious about growing their business to participate when they have the opportunity.”
To launch Power to Prosper, GLI partnered with national consulting firm, Interise, to craft the framework and curriculum of the program. Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’™ uses a peer-learning method and brings in industry experts and business peers to provide insights, strategies, motivation, and accountability. At the end of the program, participants walked away with a vetted individualized three-year Strategic Growth Action Plan™ outlining the action steps required to achieve their business goals.
Criteria for the program included a minimum $200,000 in annual revenue, at least one employee, and the ability to commit the required time to the program. The program is a $15,000 value but is provided free of charge to participants.
The program was coordinated by GLI’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Department, Johnson and Eric Jordan, diversity and inclusion strategies manager, and was instructed by local businessman and President and CEO of F5 Enterprises, Miguel Hampton. Plans to begin the second cohort are underway and applications will open on February 1, 2022.