The Frederick County Office of Economic Development (OED) announces the graduation of the Class of 2018 Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders on Friday, September 28, 2018. The program was established in 2017 by OED as way to help grow minority business leaders through resources, networking and business education that inspires future leaders.
The eight-month long program included classes on a variety of business topics related to business needs such as, leadership traits, funding sources, marketing, hiring issues, making connections in the community and more. Seventeen applicants were selected based on their resume and interest in leadership in Frederick County. “This class represented a great mix of backgrounds and occupations,” said OED Director Helen Propheter. “They all brought with them a passion for Frederick County. We are pleased to recognize their great potential as strong business leaders.”
Ayana Dunlap, a Class of 2018 graduate said, “Prior to starting this class, my mom would always encourage me to start my own business; however, I felt that I wasn’t ready between my existing work and personal life. She said, “It wasn’t until this class that I was able to look at things a little bit differently. I am proud to say that during this experience, I have registered my business and am on my way to launching before the end of 2018.”
Graduate and business owner Marielle Avila said, “Taking the classes was one of the best investments I made in myself in 2018. Not only did I hear from a great variety of local business owners, experts and organizations, I also met a lot of great people.” Wil X. Graham, another 2018 graduate and business owner echoed similar sentiments about the program. “It was definitely worth taking the class and I am a better person for taking it. I wish it were longer. Time seemed to move too quickly,” he said.
During the graduation ceremony, County Executive Jan H. Gardner spoke of the importance of having great future leaders in Frederick County that represent all types of the County’s growing population. Wil X. Graham was voted class valedictorian by the class members and also gave a speech on leadership.
The 2018 Class of Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders are:
- Marielle Avila – MOA Financial Solutions, Inc
- Twanda Bailey – Bailey Massage & Wellness
- Kelly Chapin – Chapin Office Services & Solutions
- Ayana Dunlap – Springwood Hospitality
- Kenyarta Frailing – Salon Champu’
- Jennifer Barker Frey – Frederick County Government
- Jennifer Gauthier – Lead4Life, Inc
- Wil X. Graham – SpeedPro Frederick
- Liang Guo – Intrasen, LLC
- Julie Hanson – Inner-Evolution Counseling-Coaching, LLC
- Walter Hood – Hood College
- Thomas Houze – Independent Consultant
- Maisha Lewis-Caesar – Transforming the Pieces, LLC
- Jay Mason – Verita Real Estate, LLC
- Chloe Scott – Mount Saint Mary’s University
- Ivana Shuck – Hood College
- Timika Thrasher – Thrasher’s Cleaning Service
For more information about the Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders program or to apply for the 2019 class, please contact Sherman Coleman, OED Business Development Specialist at 301-600-2137 or visit www.discoverfrederickmd.com/mbv