Greenville Chamber Announces 22 Participants in it's 2017 Minority Business Accelerator

Published Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Greenville Chamber kicked off its 2017 Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program with 22 new and sustaining participants on January 17, 2017. MBA participants represent minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses, as well as businesses that operate in low to moderate income communities throughout Upstate South Carolina.

MBA participants are embarking on a journey over the next year that includes in-depth sessions on business and strategic assessment, balancing cash flow and bottom line, marketing and sales, and resources for growth. They will be part of CEO mentoring groups and deliver 3 Year Strategic Growth Action Plan presentations to business experts and peers.

Erwin Carter, President and CEO of Newbold Services, will chair the MBA Advisory Leadership Council, and Toby Stansell, CEO of Acumen IT, will serve as Instructor and Facilitator for the MBA curriculum in 2017.

In addition to welcoming the new class for 2017, January 17th marked the culmination of the inaugural MBA class where participants were congratulated and many awards were presented to high achievers and MBA partners. Since its inception in 2013, the Greenville Chamber’s MBA has served 33 firms, seen over $9.8 million in contracts awarded, and has created approximately 140 jobs.


Inaugural Class PARTICIPANT Award Winners

The Accelerate Award was presented to Ava Smith with Flat Fee Recruiting for having a continuous positive impact on the Upstate community, ranging from job creation, community service and financial contributions aimed at resolving social issues.  Smith’s firm’s mission is centered on positively impacting the community, and its business model is driven by a double bottom-line (economic and social profit). Her coach through the MBA program was Todd Davidson with Nexsen Pruet.

The Leadership Award was presented to Rich Hagins with US&S, Inc. for exemplifying leadership in and outside of the MBA program.  Hagins consistently set an effective model for others to follow, and did not hesitate to contribute valuable insights to staff, partners and peers. His coach through the MBA program was Mia Lloyd-Sullivan with Fluor.

The Community Impact Award was presented to Carlo White with WH Trucking for having a continuous positive impact on the Upstate community, ranging from job creation, community service and financial contributions aimed at resolving social issues. WH Trucking’s mission is centered on positively impacting the community, and its business model is driven by a double bottom-line (economic and social profit). Rich Hagins with US&S, Inc. was White’s coach through the MBA program.

The Advocacy Award was presented to Robert Chandler with IG Global, LLC for consistently serving as an advocate to the MBA program and its stakeholders.  Chandler has effectively promoted the program, as well as his peers in the program.  This has resulted in numerous opportunities being made accessible to all program stakeholders. Dominque Milton with CVMSDC was his coach through the MBA program.

The Partnership Award was presented to Jeff and Emily Alfonso, owners of Alfonso Interpreting and Transporting, LLC, for consistently seeking and participating in partnership opportunities aimed at growing their own businesses, as well as that of their peers.  The Alfonso team effectively demonstrated their ability and commitment to building strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships. Carlos Quintero with Sales Effectiveness, Inc. coached them through the MBA program.

The Excellence Award was presented to James Jordon with JCC Construction, LLC for exemplifying excellence in all that he does, and consistently exceeding the expectations of the MBA program. Jordon proved to be highly coachable, an effective leader, a program advocate and promoter of strategic partnerships among his peers. In addition, JCC consistently demonstrated a strong and positive impact on the Upstate of South Carolina.  Rich Hagins with US&S, Inc. was his coach through the MBA program.


Inaugural Class Partner Award Winners

The Champion Award was presented to the MBA program’s greatest champion, Toby Stansell, CEO of Acumen IT. Stansell has unselfishly given his time, energy and resources to the successfully building and sustaining the MBA program.  Through his many supporting roles as Facilitator, Coach, Advisor and MBA Advisory Group Chair, Stansell has played a critical role in the success of the program.

The Coaches Award was presented to Erwin Carter, CEO of Newbold Services, for consistently exceeding the program’s expectations for coaches. Carter has effectively worked with multiple MBA participants and engaged in all required and extra-curricular program activities. His insights and ideas as Coach and Advisor have significantly helped to advance the MBA program. 

The Corporate Partner Award was presented to Louise Connell, Supplier Diversity Manager for BMW Manufacturing, for consistent support for the program and its stakeholders. By unselfishly lending resources, time, ideas and opportunities, BMW and Connell in particular as Coach, Advisor and Sponsor, have proven to be integral to the sustainability of the MBA program.

The MBA Partner Award was presented to David Willis with NuLevel Strategic Solutions, LLC. As Coach, Advisor and Lead Program Consultant, Willis has consistently supported the program and its stakeholders by going above and beyond to help create the program and help it achieve a critical level of maturity.  Willis continues to be a key factor in the success of the MBA program not just a consultant partner, but an extension of the MBA team.

2017 MBA PARTICIPANTS

Looking ahead to 2017, below are the 22 participants chosen for the MBA program’s second class after an intense acceptance process.

Name

Company

Status

James Richard

AAA Care

Active

Jeff Alfonso

Alfonso Interpreting

Active

Sergio Burnside

Allstar Meats

Active

Delores Lewis Watkins

Cornerstone Salon and Spa

Active

Jeannette Houchens

HIT Services

Active

Robert Chandler

IG Global

Active

James White

James White Enterprise

Active

Shawn Jefferson

Karidan Logistics

Active

Tammy Johnson

High Spirits Hospitality

Active

Simon McClain

M&T Technologies

Active

Lindsey Holder

Organic Tan

Active

Amy Pecoraro

PECULIAR, LLC

Active

Brenda Ligon

Precept Staffing Inc.

Active

Tracy Ware

Primary Choice

Active

William Wilson

SC Solar Energy

Active

JoAnne LaBounty

Spartanburg Meat Processing Co.

Active

David Mitchell

Talent Solutions

Active

Anita Garrett

The Weathers Group

Active

Kenzie Biggins

Uniquely Virtual

Active

James Bennett

Upstate Home Care Solutions

Active

James Jordon

JCC

Sustaining*

Carlo White

WH Trucking

Sustaining*

Luis Rodriguez

Wrap & Roll Graphics

Sustaining*


* In addition to Active 2017 participants, three Sustaining members from the inaugural MBA class were chosen to continue their engagement and remain connected to the program with limited access to the program curriculum.

About the Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator Program
The Greenville Chamber’s Minority Business Accelerator (MBA) program actively seeks to improve the capacity of minority owned firms by increasing recognition of the value of minority businesses as suppliers, strategic partners, and, ultimately, as effective engines for job growth, economic development and wealth creation. The program prepares high potential minority-owned businesses for accelerated growth and expansion through business development services, mentoring, targeted training, access to large corporations for partnership opportunities and custom roadmap to sustainable growth. MBA helps business owners overcome growth barriers and creates access to new opportunities for ethnic diverse businesses, connecting them with the right resources and results-driven strategies to fuel their growth and build capacity.

Since its inception in 2013, the Greenville Chamber’s MBA has served 33 firms, seen over $9.8 million in contracts awarded, and has created approximately 140 jobs.

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