Tuesday, December 1, 2015
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH - On Thursday, November 19th, eighteen business owners graduated from the fall 2015 Kauffman Foundation FastTrac Entrepreneurial Training Program. The award winning program is offered through the St. John Business Training Center and is housed at the South Central Louisiana (SCL) Technical College, River Parishes Campus.
President Natalie Robottom and Council Member Lucien Gauff joined Torri Buckles, Economic Development Director, Carmen Sunda Director of Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC), Wayne Aucoin, Business Continuity Consultant and John Matthews Louisiana Economic Development (LED) Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Services for the graduation ceremony. Robottom provided opening remarks to congratulate graduates on their success, “St. John’s people have great ideas and talent, and we want you to be successful when opening a business. This program provides sound financial business practices and with it being located in Reserve, it is available and accessible for our community. Don’t let it end today. Resources are available here anytime.”
Two Kauffman FastTrac graduates, Robin Bailey and H. Paul Green, spoke on behalf of the 2015 graduating class. Robin Bailey, owner of Bailey Ice Delights, described her experience in the program as “engaging, purposeful, and fun. It gave her the tools to implement a business and run it successfully.” Paul Green’s goal was to bring aviation to St. John. With his experience in the Navy and at FedEx, he started Green’s Aircraft Maintenance. Following the presentation of certificates, graduates, family and friends networked and socialized over a meal provided by local caterer and 2014 FastTrac graduate, Avis’ Kitchen.
FastTrac is a nationally recognized and award winning entrepreneurial training program developed by the Kauffman Foundation, a recognized leader in entrepreneurship. The program includes ten sessions of approximately 40-50 hours of training over ten weeks. Each session includes facilitated activities and group discussions on multiple business topics; a guest speaker related to each topic; networking; coaching sessions; and wrap up and action steps. Carmen Sunda, Director of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center reminded the FastTrac graduates to celebrate their accomplishment, but that their journey to sustainable business growth was just beginning. “The SBDC will be with you on that journey with the services and resources needed to assist you and your business to continue your success.”
Throughout the program, participants are provided assistance with business plans, business and financial skills and tools with strategies for immediate implementation. Participants are eligible to apply for funding assistance and business loans and have access to a program workbook and online FastTrac toolkit for life.
All sessions were led by Wayne Aucoin with assistance from Jimmy Nguyen. The program is funded in part through a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with St. John the Baptist Parish Economic Development, Louisiana Economic Development-Small and Emerging Business Development (SEBD) Program, Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC), and the South Central Louisiana Technical College, River Parishes Campus (SCL). Class participants were only responsible for $100 of the program fee. “We welcome 18 St. John the Baptist business owners to the elite group of Fast Trac graduates and we applaud their efforts to contribute to the St. John business community,” said Torri Buckles.
The Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region as well as the Economic Development Department will also provide follow-up assistance to help business owners on their path forward. “This program is the result when vision meets the needs of the people. We are committed to bringing resources to this Parish in an effort to provide a level playing field,” said Matthews. In closing Matthews left the graduates with a quote that motivates them to continue to be relevant, “If you do today what you did yesterday, you will be out of business tomorrow.”
Please visit the website calendar at www.sjbparish.com to view information on upcoming Economic Development Workshops. Applications for the Spring 2016 FastTrac session will be accepted in April. For more information or to apply, please contact the St. John Parish Business Training Center at 985-479-1247 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall 2015 Graduates
Christie Anderson, Happy head and Hair
Lesa Anderson, L & S Catering, LLC
Robin Bailey, Bailey Ice Delights
Tishia Boldene, Falling Waters Trucking
Jessica Buchanan, Pizazz by Jessica B
Maria Burke, Pro Promotions Plus
Delano Burton, OTR Vision, Inc.
Dana Douglas, Adela, Academic Center for Educational Success
H. Paul Green, Green’s Aircraft Maintenance
Glenda B. Johnson, Eat and Live Vibrantly, LLC
Darrell Mathieu, Nu Flow Louisiana, LLC
Dawn Moton, A Taste of Heaven Catering & Bakery
Gaynelle Perrilloux, Simply Coding
Shirah Ray, David Lee’s Boutique, LLC
Christopher Rideaux, Advance City Pressure Washing, LLC
Lisa Rogers, Designed 2 Design, LLC
Rachel Stewart, Stewart’s School of Performing Arts, LLC
LaRhonda Wilson, LaRhonda Gaines Wilson’s Music