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Course graduates forging new business culture for changing world

Course graduates forging new business culture for changing world
March 12
10:00 2021

By John Railey

Logan Lash knows the old ways will not work anymore in Winston-Salem. “We used to live off tobacco and banks and Krispy Kreme, and their headquarters aren’t located in Winston-Salem anymore,” she said recently.

Lash and three cohorts are making their own new way, thanks to a program Tate Consulting of Winston-Salem has created called “Maestro, the Playbook 2.0!” a follow-up to their Playbook for Entrepreneurial Excellence class. 

Lash, Dexter Perkins, Tyler Chisolm and Dustin Sellers graduated from the original program last spring. Recently, they graduated from the new program.

The Maestro program’s sponsor, WSSU’s Center for the Study of Economic Mobility (CSEM), believes the program is suited for business veterans like Lash looking to up their game, as well as newcomers like Perkins, Chisolm and Sellers. The latter three are Winston-State University students, and their participation in the program provided real-time data on the benefits of entrepreneurial instruction for students. 

“Equipping students with the knowledge and skills associated with an entrepreneurial mindset or thinking improves their motivation to succeed in whatever pathway they choose for their future,” said CSEM Associate Director Alvin Atkinson.

CSEM also encourages entrepreneurship in the East Winston neighborhoods beyond the campus walls as demonstrated by research programs such as CSEM Fellow Charity Griffin’s YouthRise, which Chisolm helped run.

The pandemic has underscored inequities and the inefficiency of old approaches. The four-week-long Maestro program, taught in Zoom until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, teaches strategies for leadership style, career development for women, and harnessing the power in executive assessments. It emphasizes that open-mindedness and inclusion are not only right; they are also practical, needed for businesses to resolve interior problems and advance.

Dr. Antwain Goode and Andrea Goode lead Tate Consulting and created the classes. “Our graduates understand the costs associated with conflict management and engagement. This means that they have strategies to remove destructive thoughts and how to reframe team conversations,” Antwain Goode said. “This cohort clearly demonstrated that they have a roadmap to apply these concepts as they develop their companies and continue to grow educationally.”

Andrea Goode said, “We wanted to create a design that improves small business scalability. A key component was understanding emotional intelligence. Kindness can be a catalyst to help strengthen organizational culture. We know that culture often is formed below the surface, with unwritten laws. These entrepreneurs have the tools to onboard self-reflective middle managers who are open-minded from the beginning.”

Lash, a Winston-Salem native and graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, rose up through the marketing ranks in respected companies before forming her own business, StepUP Your Game, LLC, which prepares HBCU students for careers in the service industry.

Perkins, Sellers and Chisolm are balancing the business start-up game with applying to graduate schools. Chisolm, a senior from Henderson majoring in psychology, has started Life Shop, LLC, a pop-up shop that will provide resources and techniques for people dealing with mental and physical health problems. He wants to pursue a master’s in public health and, one day, a doctorate. 

Perkins, a senior from Kannapolis majoring in exercise science, wants to become a doctor of internal medicine. His company, Better Health Research, will teach good health practices to the community, including healthier eating plans. Sellers is starting a medical research lab company.

Sellers, a senior from Anson County majoring in exercise physiology, wants to become a physiatrist. His business, the Mad Scientist Research Lab, mentors and will assist and develop future leaders.  

They all value what they have learned in the Maestro program.

“To share with others what we’ve learned at such an influential moment, such an influential time, is important,” Sellers said. “We are grabbing the tiger by the tail.”

John Railey, raileyjb@nullgmail.com, is the writer-in-residence for CSEM, www.wssu.edu/csem.

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