Meet the Future Minority Business Leaders Class of 2018: Timika, Thomas and Marielle

The Frederick County Future Minority Business Leaders is an 8-month leadership program in an effort to bring minority businesses together to expand growth opportunities through resources, networking and business education that inspires innovative leaders. The 2018 class includes 17 members who will be highlighted individually throughout the program.

Meet Timika Thrasher, Owner of Thrasher’s Cleaning Service. Her motto is lead by example, from which she learned from her later mother to whom she credits as her favorite leader. "She showed me what sacrifice means and she led by example," said Timika. "It's not about what you do tomorrow but what you do today. Don't give if you are worried about receiving because it doesn't always happen. Give because it's the right thing to do."

Timika says that knowing you always have something new to learn from everyone is what leadership means to her. "Having people come to you for advice, but also knowing when to ask questions makes you a better leader," she added.

Thomas Houze is currently changing careers and enrolled in an MBA program with a concentration in project management as well as another program to be certified as a clinical trials manager.

Thomas credits Nelson Mandela as his favorite leader because "He understood that to lead one must first come to terms with one's own past. He was born into apartheid SA, but became much greater than the life that he was born into in Africa."

When asked what leadership means to Thomas, he replied with a quote from the first African-American Captain of Cadets at West Point whose answer was, "Definitely giving when there is not a foreseeable benefit - or beneficial outcome to yourself," and to that I would add "being a good listener, hearing out the other person and earnestly trying to see and consider all prospective before coming to a conclusion".

Marielle Avila of MOA Financial Solutions, LLC is a bookkeeper who also does taxes and retirement planning for individuals and small businesses in Frederick.

Marielle's favorite leader is her grandmother. "That lady is fierce", she said. "She walked away from a very difficult and abusive husband and moved to a new country at the age of 53 with a 7 year old me in tow. Since then, she’s brought over her 2 daughters, raised 3 granddaughters and, at 82, she’s not showing any signs of stopping her hustle. She kicked breast cancer’s butt last year. And she consistently reminds me that I have choices and that I’m never stuck."

When asked what leadership means to her, she said it means leading by example. Marielle stated this of true leaders: "Don’t tell me all the ways that you’re a leader and how hard your struggle was getting to the top. Keep on leading while you reach back to help someone else climb the ladder."

To learn more about the program, please visit or call the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058.