Embarking on a journey from a love for fashion to a distinguished educator, Dr. Pamala Brown-Grinion's story is one of passion, perseverance, and transformation. With a career spanning thirty years, Dr. Pamala has not only excelled in the fashion industry but has also become a beacon of inspiration in the realm of personal and professional development.
From Runway to Classroom: Dr. Pamala's affair with fashion began in middle school, where her innate sense of style and flair caught the attention of many. Excelling as a model in high school fashion shows, she seamlessly transitioned from the runway to the classroom, driven by a desire to share her expertise with those aspiring to make a mark in the fashion industry.
Totally “You-nique” Academy: In response to the growing demand for her training, Dr. Pamala founded the Totally “You-nique” Academy. This academy goes beyond the traditional modeling and fashion show production training, offering a comprehensive suite of personal and professional development programs. As a Keynote Speaker, Dr. Pamala imparts coaching and transformational strategies, covering a wide array of topics such as job-readiness, etiquette, re-entry life skills, confidence building, rites of passage, college prep, corporate onboarding, time management, crisis management, and money management.
The Polished Professional: Dr. Pamala is not just an educator but a polished executive level professional. Known for her meticulousness, ethics, and passion for meeting benchmarks, she thrives in challenging environments. Her ability to navigate high-functioning environments and engage with stakeholders at all levels makes her the go-to person for impactful presentations.
Educational Milestones: In August 2023, Dr. Pamala achieved a significant milestone by earning her Doctor of Education (EdD) from St. John Fisher University. Complementing her academic achievements, she holds certifications in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from USF Corporate and International Social Graces from the British School of Excellence.
Community Impact and Institute of Excellence: Dr. Pamala's influence extends far beyond academia. Having secured contracts with Debutante organizations, nonprofits, corporate executives, MBA students, and minority scholars, she is set to open The Totally “You”-nique Institute of Excellence Training Center in January 2024. This institute will specialize in academic enrichment, etiquette, financial literacy, reentry programs, social-emotional learning, workforce development, and personal development, showcasing Dr. Pamala's commitment to holistic education.
Dr. Pamala shares her experience working with the SUNY Brockport Small Business Development Center, “Chloe Anderson through SBDC has guided me to networking sources that my business can service and positively impact our community and many enterprises”.
Dr. Pamala Brown-Grinion's journey from the glamour of fashion to the noble realm of education is a testament to her resilience and commitment to making a difference. As she continues to inspire and empower, her upcoming Institute of Excellence is sure to leave an indelible mark on the educational landscape. Dr. Pamala is not just one to look out for; she is the one to hire for a transformative educational experience.
Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable. This is the case for 37-year-old Latisha McKellar, originally from Bronx, NY. Throughout her professional career of 15 years in accounting and customer service, Latisha decided to establish her tax firm with her mom as a silent partner in 2019. With the assistance from a business advisor within the Small Business Development Center, Latisha and her mom were able to launch the business. Latisha quickly realized a limitation in her potential growth due to not having her CPA certification. She decided to change gears and head back to school to pursue a degree in higher education.
Latisha decided to further her education at SUNY Brockport within the School of Business Management, while raising her four children. When a student work study position became available at the Small Business Development Center within SUNY Brockport, Latisha knew this would be opportunity for her to give back by serving within the Center. She applies her expertise and fosters growth and management of the Small Business Development Center’s social media presence as well as connects with Small Business Development Center clients in sharing their success stories on a media platform. Latisha’s diverse background enriches the SUNY Brockport community as well as the small business community by offering a perspective steeped in resilience, adaptability, and an unwavering pursuit of educational opportunities amid adversity.
This CPA credential and her pursuit for high education stands as a pivotal milestone in the advancement of her career goals, equipping her with the knowledge, credibility, and leadership acumen necessary to thrive in the competitive realm of accounting and finance. As Latisha embarks on this transformative journey, she is beyond prepared to confront challenges, broaden her horizons, and emerge as a more skilled, accomplished, and impactful professional.
Entrepreneurial journeys often start with a spark, a dream that propels individuals toward a vision of owning a business. For 27-year-old Daniel Sykes, this dream took root during his tenure at a local pizza and sub delivery shop in Victor, NY. Working there for two years, he realized his potential to venture into a similar business, but with a twist - owning it.
The pivotal moment came when an opportunity arose to acquire a Pizza and Sub Shop in East Bloomfield, NY. Dan, drawing on his experience and skills gained in managing a pizza delivery shop, decided to take the leap. His confidence in running a pizzeria spurred him to make an offer for the establishment, contingent upon securing the necessary financing.
Navigating the intricacies of business loans, Dan approached his local bank, hoping to materialize his ownership dream. However, the reality of securing the needed finances seemed like a daunting mountain to climb. Advised by the lender, Dan turned to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for expert guidance and assistance in realizing his aspirations.
Upon consulting with Certified Business Advisor, Gina Mangiamele, Dan uncovered a treasure trove of resources available at the SBDC. Together, they delved into business plan development, utilizing tools like the business model canvas and strategic marketing methodologies. Employing Entreskills for crafting the business plan, Dan tapped into valuable insights from sources like IBISWorld through the Research Network, fortifying his plans with market research data.
Collaboratively, Dan and his advisor meticulously prepared a comprehensive loan package, incorporating essential elements like a list of assumptions, sources and uses, and financial projections vital for his bank submission.
As the pieces fell into place and the finishing touches were applied to Sykes Pizzeria, the local community buzzed with anticipation for its reopening. Dan expressed profound gratitude to Gina, acknowledging her instrumental role in the realization of his dream business. "I couldn't have done it without you, Gina. Thank you," he emphasized, highlighting the pivotal support he received.
With his steadfast determination and the guidance from the SBDC, Dan is set to unveil Sykes Pizzeria in late October, marking the culmination of his entrepreneurial journey and the beginning of a new chapter as a business owner.
In essence, Daniel Sykes' story epitomizes how entrepreneurial visions, coupled with determination and the right support, can transform dreams into reality, igniting local communities with new possibilities and flavors. Daniel Sykes's Journey, showcases the importance of vision, perseverance, and leveraging resources for entrepreneurial success.
Orest Ravlyk, Owner and Operator of Lexington Diesel began his business in 2017 and leased a 2,500 square foot building where he started a diesel mechanic repair shop with himself and 1 mechanic. Orest has owned Lexington Diesel for 7 years, but has grown up in the diesel repair years industry and knew this was his dream. His ambition and goals were to grow the business when the pandemic hit in 2020. The halt of the economy and drop in demand for repairs eventually put Orest into a position where he knew he had to take on additional revenue stream.
In 2022, Oreset had the foresight to see that transportation of freight had been on a steady incline since the pandemic restrictions. It provided him an opportunity to purchase 4 trucks and 5 trailers at a reasonable price. He also added 4 contract employees and began hauling general freight between the northeast, southeast and Midwest states. Orest knew that this would be profitable as he did not have to outsource the maintenance and repairs of his own fleet.
At this time, Orest realized he was running out of space in his current lease and in the was of other tenants. This is when Orest made the decision to purchase his own 8,050 square foot building with an additional 4,500 square parking lot. Orest went to a local bank for a commercial loan for the building and was sked for 3 years of projections, list of assumptions and a balance sheet. Orest had no experiences or certified personal accountant to assist him with these tasks.
He was referred by the local bank to Kristine Rudgers of the Brockport SBDC. Kristine immediately began the task of the SBDC Research Network pull in industry reports, while having Orest provide current income statements. The task of projecting his numbers for the next 3 years, along with the other required tasks submitted to the bank in August. Orest secured a commercial loan and with a move in date of September 1st. The expansion of the business allows Orest to hire 2 new mechanics, 2 office manager, and a part-time bookkeeper.
“I was referred to the SBDC by Canadaigua National Bank and you were always there answering questions and providing guidance when it came to working on my business. I want to continue our relationship and will keep you updates when we make changes.” Orest said.
After witnessing her daughter endure a distressing burning sensation from a prescription cream meant to treat eczema, Chloe was determined to find a better solution. Armed with research and a drive to make a difference, she began crafting her own whipped shea butter, which proved to be incredibly effective in alleviating the condition.
Inspired by the positive results, Chloe's entrepreneurial spirit soared, leading her to experiment further by infusing her products with delightful essential oils and scents, such as cherry, lavender, almond, island guava, and chocolate. As time passed, her dedication to well-being and natural remedies led her to become a Certified Herbalist and a compassionate natural Doula.
Formerly known as 'Chloe's Creations,' the whipped shea butter business faced a critical branding challenge. While the products were well-received locally, she realized the name lacked uniqueness and national appeal. 'Chloe's Creations' was too common and didn't set her apart in the competitive market. Inspired by daughters love for butterflies, which also symbolizes transformation, Chloe made the exciting decision to rebrand the company with the help from the Small Business Development Center. The guidance received lead to creating a new logo, product packaging, and product labels to showcase the ingredients and shelve life. With the new identity, she aimed to create a national presence to attract a wider audience, while staying true to the essence of the mission and values of the business.
Today, Chloe’s business is a well-recognized wellness brand called, ‘Nubian Nurturance.’ She offers an array of all-natural products and services that promote holistic well-being. Her whipped shea body butter is a luxurious treat for the skin, while her herbal consultations and yoni steams cater to personalized self-care needs.
One of the standout aspects of Nubian Nurturance is her Doula services, which goes above and beyond to support expectant mothers during their transformative journey. From individualized assessments to specialized support, such as African belly binding and postpartum care, Chloe ensures the utmost comfort and well-being for both the mother and baby. Furthermore, Chloe also offers food and herbal assessments and cooking services, showcasing a dedication to enhancing the quality of life for her clients. With a vision to expand to a birthing center in the future, Nubian Nurturance’s potential for growth is a beacon of wellness and empowerment, leaving a positive mark on the lives of many.
Located at Women of Color New York, 539 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620, Nubian Nurturance is part of a remarkable collaboration of ten Women & Black Owned Businesses under one umbrella. This empowering alliance amplifies their impact on the community and emphasizes their commitment to uplifting and celebrating diversity.
Her journey from a concerned mother to a successful business owner and holistic wellness expert to passionate SBDC Brockport business advisor, Chloe showcases the power of passion, perseverance, and genuine care for others. Her commitment to nurturing well-being shines through in every aspect of her business and during business advisement, making her an inspiration to both her clients and fellow entrepreneurs alike.
“My goal is not just about achieving success for myself; it's about uplifting others. I believe that by sharing my knowledge, experiences, and insights, we can together foster a nurturing environment and empower each other to reach our full potential and beyond."
After experiencing an all-in-one café and beer shop in Binghamton, New York, Gabe McNaughton, and Sean McSherry decided this was the perfect idea to launch in Fairport, NY. Together the two leveraged their efforts into this business concept to launch their start-up business; Junction361, a cafe with light pastry, coffee cafe and beer/wine service. They are located in the village of Fairport, New York. The clients were referred to the SBDC by Martha Malone of the Fairport office of Community and Economic development. Junction361 is organized as a Limited Liability Company in New York State.
The clients had three specific inquiries: 1) How to write a business plan, 2) What resources are available at the SBDC and 3) What financing options are available for start-up businesses. The clients had never attempted a commercial loan before and needed the assistance of the SBDC to prepare the clients and assist with every step of start-up.
Senior Business Advisor Gina Mangiamele provided assistance with the completion of the business plan, reviewed the details of the inception balance sheet, 36months of projections, and assisted in preparing a comprehensive loan package. Gina provided the client with important marketing research from the Research Network and collected Census Bureau data for the client by zip code for marketing analysis. All services provided resulted in an approved loan and launch.
These efforts concluded with the clients opening at 24 North Main Street, Fairport, NY, nestled next to the Erie Canal. The establishment serves coffee and espresso any time of day along with 40+ rotating craft beers.