BRAC Drive Minority Business Accelerator powered by ExxonMobil Graduates 2024 Cohort

Baton Rouge, La. (June 14, 2024) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) yesterday concluded its second year of the Drive Minority Business Accelerator powered by ExxonMobil (Drive), graduating 11 participants that collectively represent approximately $26.3 million in annual revenue. 

Drive powered by ExxonMobil is an annual program designed for minority small business owners who want to take their business to the next level within the Capital Region. Using Interise’s StreetWise ‘MBA’ curriculum, the program provides minority business owners with the knowledge, resources, and networks necessary for their businesses to scale, including tools to advance their business operations, financial management, marketing and sales, human resources, business strategy development, access to capital, and contract development. 

Graduates of the 2024 cohort include: 

  • Paola Alvarado, CORE Boiler & Mechanical Services      
  • Ross Armstrong, 4th FLR Creative Agency  
  • LaMiesa Bonton, Bonton Associates     
  • Kellen Francis, CodeGig    
  • Wendy Green Daniels, Beechwood Residential    
  • Kodi Guillory, Sustainable Design Solutions  
  • Sherilyn Hayward, Leroy’s LipSmack’n Lemonade  
  • Quinlan Motley, 1-800 Radiator & AC           
  • Derrick Smith, Luxury Lawn & Landscape    
  • Renita W. Thomas, In Loving Arms Pediatric Day HealthCare      
  • Achilles Williams, Caerus Advisors 

Applications for the 2025 cohort will open in September. Preferred characteristics of applicants include being minority-owned with a minimum of $500,000 in annual revenue within the last five years and at least three full-time employees. Participants will be selected by an advisory council, and the program will begin in January 2025.  

To learn more about Drive powered by ExxonMobil, interested individuals can visit brac.org/drive. Questions regarding the program can be directed to BRAC’s Manager of Economic Inclusion Davorio Stevenson at davorio@brac.org. 

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber  

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is a regional economic development organization with a bias for action. BRAC seeks to push Baton Rouge beyond the status quo, unleash its potential, and support a vibrant business community that believes the finish line does not exist. BRAC seeks to accelerate economic opportunity in the Baton Rouge Area, for everyone, through BRING IT! Baton Rouge, its five-year, regional strategic plan. Learn more about BRAC at brac.org

About ExxonMobil 

ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy and petrochemical companies, creates solutions that improve quality of life and meet society’s evolving needs. 

The corporation’s primary businesses – Upstream, Product Solutions and Low Carbon Solutions – provide products that enable modern life, including energy, chemicals, lubricants, and lower-emissions technologies. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading portfolio of resources, and is one of the largest integrated fuels, lubricants and chemical companies in the world. 

About Interise 

Interise builds an inclusive economy through small business development, supporting the growth of minority-owned small businesses and small businesses located in low- and moderate-income communities. Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’™ uses a peer-learning method to provide business owners with the knowledge, know-how, and networks necessary to grow and scale. As Interise companies grow, they contribute to local job creation and build community wealth. Interise companies historically create new jobs at 5x the rate of the private sector, and are responsible for the creation of over 30,000 new jobs. Interise partners with government agencies, anchor institutions, and business associations to make locally branded StreetWise ‘MBA’™ programs available in 75+ cities, nationwide. Strategic Growth Partners include the Kauffman Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, and the Prudential Foundation. More information can be found at interise.org, @StreetWise_MBA and facebook.com/Interise.  ###

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