Dr. Rea Waldon with Executive Business Accelerator (EBA) business owners. Photos provided

Works with Collective Empowerment Group and African American Chamber

By Erica Garrett

Program Manager

Executive Business Accelerator

We are excited to welcome and introduce you to the Executive Business Accelerator (EBA) 2022 business participants. The Executive Business Accelerator Program is in collaboration with the African American Chamber of Commerce and Collective Empowerment Group.

This 6-month business course is for established business owners, who understand that there is always more to learn in order that they may take their business to the next level.

We are grateful for our Title Sponsor, Royce Sutton of Fifth Third Bank, who shared, “As a proud sponsor of the Executive Business Accelerator, Fifth Third Bank stands beside every business owner who blazes the entrepreneurship trail through the EBA program. Continuing the ownership legacy passed on by ancestors, who refused to be denied in their quest for economic mobility is an inspiration for our community and an investment in future generations.’’

David Choate of Revolution Dance Theatre is grateful to be a part of the EBA cohort

Thank you so much to Royce and Fifth Third Bank as they not only support this program with funding, but they are also very involved and believe in the success and vision behind the program.

“We also would like to welcome this year’s new Sponsor Ray Gargano of Artswave, who added, “As the engine that drives the arts in the Greater Cincinnati Region, ArtsWave is excited to be able to have the arts sector in the Executive Business Accelerator program. So often, arts organizations are not included in the small business category—but they are just that. The arts employee our people, create economic vitality, and bring unique activities to our neighborhoods. And this opportunity to support artistic small businesses led by leaders of color is exactly the right step in moving our entire community forward.”

Additionally, we’d like to recognize, African American Chamber President Eric Kearney, CEG President Dr. Paul Booth Jr, Dr. Rea Waldon, our instructor for the program and Program Manager Erica Garrett. Many thanks to Deborah Davis, MBAC Director at the African American Chamber who introduced us to Interise, the host company for the EBA program and facilitated bringing them to Cincinnati. 

Epiphany Davis, of Have an Epiphany, practicing her Elevator Pitch with the participants

The Executive Business Accelerator Program has been a huge benefit for the African American Chamber.

Eric Kearney, President and CEO of the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce, said, “EBA has been wonderful for the AACC on several levels: we are able to offer the great work of Interise, we have a strong partnership with CEG, and we have seen the positive transformation of Entrepreneurs.”

CEG’s President Dr. Paul Booth Jr. took a moment to express his excitement with us about the program. “The Executive Business Accelerator is one of the premier initiatives of CEG to prepare and propel business owners for significant growth. We are excited about this year’s EBA. We received record applications this year and are ecstatic about the caliber of this year’s cohort. This demonstrates the significant value that EBA has to the small business owners.” EBA also has a multitude of Guest Experts who come from all over our great city to engage with this program by pouring their knowledge base into our business owners. The Guest Experts enhance this program even more by sharing and networking throughout the majority of our sessions.”

Fred Harrison of Fresh Coat Painters of Anderson and Loveland, practicing his Elevator Pitch in front of the participants

“We know that as an entrepreneur, businesses are the tangible result of an idea that are believed to hold promise.  With that, most business owners set out to design an action plan that would take their business from where they began to where they wanted to go. Along the way, maybe things got a little bumpy or business owners desire new ways to create areas of growth. This is exactly what the EBA program provides, a safe place to help business owners navigate their business with the support of our dynamic EBA Facilitator Dr. Rea Waldon and various Guest Experts who pour their knowledge base into our business owners to help them complete a 3-year Business Growth Plan. This program allows our participants to take a hard look and make an honest appraisal of their business plan in order to put them back on the road and along the vision they have set for themselves.

To share a little bit about the journey of our current business owners, each participant submitted an application that was reviewed by our program committee. The majority of business owners who were invited to interview had to meet particular requirements for the program. During the interview process, we quickly noticed how special this class was. They each have such a desire and drive to be the best and dream to make an even bigger impact on our community and beyond. Upon their first session the connection between participants was powerful, and we look forward to working with such a resilient group of business owners.

We are fortunate to offer the Executive Business Accelerator program here in Cincinnati.  We represent the only cohort that is connected to any African American Chamber within Interise, our host company’s network. EBA is glad to contributes to inclusive economic development through the national research on the growth of established small businesses and its award-winning business development program. As companies grow through EBA programs such as ours, they contribute to local job creation and build community wealth.

Program Manager Erica Garrett (far left) with EBA business owners

Interise companies historically create new jobs at five times the rate of the private sector, and are responsible for the creation of over 30,000 new jobs. We are connected with government agencies, anchor institutions, and business associations that offer the StreetWise MBA program in 80 cities nationwide.   

Strategic Growth Partners include the Gates Foundation, Kauffman Foundation, the TD Bank Foundation, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Prudential Foundation.

Welcome these members of EBA Cohort 2022. We look forward to working with you this year.

Oswald Baker, CEO of Half Price Roof, David Choate, CEO of Revolution Dance Theatre, Epiphany Davis, CEO of Have an Epiphany, Theresa Gordon, CEO of Sugar Loft Events2, Fred Harrison, CEO of Fresh Coat Painters of Loveland and Anderson, Caroletta James, CEO of ECO Health Care, Crystal Render, CEO of Magnificent Morsels Catering, James Stocks, CEO of DJX Construction, Toilynn O’Neal Turner, CEO of Robert O’Neal Multicultural Arts Center (ROMAC), Joyce Browning Walton, CEO of Allstate Browning Agency.

Instructor Dr. Rea Waldon with Minority Business Accelerator Director Deborah Davis and Greg Parker, both of the African American Chamber, meeting the participants for the first time

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *