SUbscriber Login | NEW SUBSCRIPTION  

YEA! program continues in second segment

  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ad_flash_adapi() expected to be a reference, value given in /var/www/vhosts/ on line 497.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy, an innovative program that guides students through the process of starting their own real business, recently announced the instructor, business mentors and sponsors for their second segment.

“Once the students get the ball rolling on their ideas, YEA! pairs up each business with an appropriate business mentor,” Ivana Flowers, communication and special events coordinator with the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “This person helps the students to better understand their concept, write a business plan, identify their target audience and provide all around support.”

The mentors of the first YEA! Lincoln class are Andy Halbrook, Edward Jones financial advisor; Sonja Burris, former retail business owner; Lori Seacrist, of Petite Paws Pet Hotel; David Cole, a certified public attendant; Ben Malone, of Polaris of Ruston; Kathy Crowder, of Crowder Concepts; and Josh Shirley, of Raising Cane’s.

“In addition to the mentors, the students hear from local business people according to their specialties,” she said.

For lesson nine, legal services for small business legal structures, YEA! participants heard from Alana Belton who has nearly 20 years of experience as an attorney, including eight years as city attorney and prosecutor for the city of Ruston.

Chris Barr of Barr and Woodard, and David Cole, certified public accountant brought their expertise to the students during lesson 10 on financial items to consider when starting a small business and the different facets of business including budgeting, financing and taxes while also touching on the role of an accountant and what students should know about accounting services, Flowers said.

The second of three segments of the YEA! began on Jan. 21. when segment two instructor, Judi Null, took the reins.

“Judi has over 20 years of experience managing high profile programs, across a variety of industries and roles,” Flowers said. “Prior to relocating to Ruston from Washington, D.C., Judi worked in both government and private sector businesses.”

Following 9/11, Null was recruited by the Department of Homeland Security where she established training and quality control programs, developed business solutions and designed and executed risk mitigation studies, pilots, processes, programs and strategies.

“As a subcontractor to Lockheed Martin, she created federal training curriculum and assisted the transition of TSA from private to federal,” Flowers said. “Before moving to D.C., Judi was the director of the Minnesota Criminal Justice Resource Center.”

In this capacity, Null provided training and consultation to law enforcement, probation and correction systems around the state, she said.

“In addition to developing the first sustained training program for the Minnesota Sheriff’s Department, Judi provided ongoing training academies, designed and executed objective standards-based programs resulting from passed legislation, supported agency transition processes, designed and executed hiring/promotional assessment centers and conducted independent staffing analysis, policy and procedure development, and strategic planning,” Flower said.

Null’s work in these industries has included recruitment and selection, executive coaching, and cross-cultural/cross-functional group and team development, Flowers said.

“As a result of her first-hand experience, Null has acquired expertise regarding the impact of human dynamics on organizational effectiveness, corporate and individual performance, and growth and transformation,” she said. “Throughout her career, Judi has been the recipient of numerous awards and appreciation/merit certificates for her many accomplishments.”

Since moving to Ruston, Null has embraced the community through her volunteer involvement in numerous groups and associations including the Woman’s Department Club, the Ruston Garden Club, The Health Hut, Ruston Newcomer’s and Friends and Rotary and is a graduate of Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Lincoln program, she said.

“She also successfully designed and executed a $1 million workforce grant program for Louisiana Tech University to provide free training and job placement assistance to Louisiana residents,” Flowers said. “Currently, Judi and her husband Randy, a Chamber Board member, are co-principals of Cogent Solutions, LLC, where they provide corporate business consultation and are in the process of establishing a new business, Ruston Artisans, LLC.”

Bookmark and Share