u s small business administration




Release Date: January 13,



Release Number: R02-23



Contact: megyn.rodriguez@sba.gov

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Alabama District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration presents: The 2022 Alabama T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Graduates

Alabama cohorts, Birmingham and Mobile, complete program with outstanding performances

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The SBA initiative, Emerging Leaders created in 2008, was revamped this past year and rebranded to T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimaged, where “T.H.R.I.V.E.” stands for Train, Rise, Innovate, Venture, and Elevate. Similar to years prior, T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined is an executive-level training series intended to give ambitious small business leaders a challenging opportunity to accelerate their growth through targeted training led by motivating leaders in small business development. Revamped features included a hybrid in-person/online learning module, a professional coach per cohort, peer mentoring, and experienced subject matter experts all with the purpose of creating of a three-year strategic growth business plan as a final project.


The 2022 Birmingham Cohort was named one of ten Top Performing Cohorts in all fifty states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The Birmingham Cohort included the following graduates by alphabetical order:


Andre Williams of MADD Studios, LLC., located in Selma, AL; Chuck Jones of Process Valve & Instruments, located in Birmingham, AL; Elicia Jacob of Healing Waters Wellness Center & Spa, located in Birmingham, AL; Joshua Dean of Precision HomeCrafters, LLC., located in Birmingham, AL; Kishia Saffold of Kiddie Care Learning Center, located in Dothan, AL; Lisa Stone of Imagehawk, Inc., located in Huntsville, AL; Michael Nation of Besszells, located in Center Point, AL; Miranda Frost of LogiCore Corporation, located in Huntsville, AL; Stephen Hanna of Onyx Aerospace, located in Huntsville, AL; Susan Ellis of Maids in America, located in Tuscaloosa, AL; and Tanya Wallace of All 4-1 Inclusive Leadership, located in Birmingham, AL.


The 2022 Mobile Cohort was selected as one of twenty-one cohorts to earn an honorary District Office Award in all fifty states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. The Mobile Cohort included the following graduates by alphabetical order:


Altug Basaran of Ship Architects, Inc., located in Daphne, AL; Amanda Edwards of Poplar Home Waterproofing, located in Mobile, AL; Derek Lang of The L Connection, Inc., located in Mobile, AL; Julie Comer of The Plot Shop, located in Daphne, AL; LaMarcus Thomas of Restored Foundation, LLC., located in Mobile, AL; Magnesh Patel of Vishram International Services, located in Enterprise, AL; Marcia Smith of HGC Apparel, located in Wilmington, DE; Susan George of Lush Garden Event, located in Mobile, AL; Tina Poiroux of the South West Mobile Chamber of Commerce, located in Mobile, AL.


On December 20, 2022, during the SBA T.H.R.I.V.E. Virtual Graduation, Cohort Coach at-Large and Mobile Coach, Dr. Jevonnah Ellison, stated “Over the last six months we’ve had a chance to build relationships together, we’ve gone over several modules together, many office hours, we’ve showed up to CEO discussion groups all over the country and many of us are even going into business together. Not a single one of us has done this alone, we’ve all gone through it together as a team, unit, and even though we are from every part of the country, we finish strong together…we stand strong, united as a vibrant and thriving alumni who can’t wait to get together in-person set to do even greater things in the future.” See the video link to view the entire SBA T.H.R.I.V.E. Virtual Graduation.


Alabama District Director, Thomas Todt stated that “SBA’s Emerging Leaders programs, in its varied formats and versions, has been hugely successful in helping entrepreneurs lift their businesses to the next level. I congratulate this year’s graduates for going the distance, and I encourage them to find an eligible candidate for next year’s cohort.”


The Reimagined design removes the one-size-fits-all model in exchange for engagement, problem-solving, and peer-to-peer interaction within the cohorts. The new format promotes an ecosystem of business connections among business peers, government leaders, and the financial community. As a result, T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined helps build sustainable and scalable businesses that promote economic development within their communities and the U.S. overall.


Since its inception, SBA’s Emerging Leaders has trained over 5,000 small business owners, creating over 11,000 jobs, generating nearly $1 billion in new financing, and securing over $4 billion in government contracts. Please visit T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined for eligibility requirements, registration, and training locations. The 2023 applications are forthcoming.

This SBA’s initiative is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any business or other person or entity.  All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.