Member Spotlight- Taneya Higginbotham, Project Manager of ‘The RealiTea ProjecT’ Finds Her Voice

“Hello everyone, I’m Taneya Higginbotham and welcome to the RealiTea ProjecT, where our mission is to discuss racial injustice and racial inequity, to stimulate righteous actions and transform communities.” Taneya’s conversational piece highlighting her and her guests experience, is now available on Facebook @TheRealiTeaProjecT.

Taneya is one of the newest members at Elevate in Mattoon, Il. With a non-profit business background, Taneya is finding her voice on ‘The RealiTea ProjecT.’ Inspired by personal experience and knowing others have experienced obstacles similar to hers, Taneya decided it was time to take a stand and begin her video series. 

Taneya Higginbotham, Project Manager and Host of 'The RealiTea ProjecT'

As described by Taneya, ‘The RealiTea Project’ “is looking to stimulate positive conversation amongst community members relating to racism and racial injustice in Coles County.” 

When asked about obstacles she has faced, Taneya says personally she has experienced microaggressions in the workplace and other pressure related to being a woman of color. 

As the Project Manager of ‘The RealiTea ProjecT’, Taneya’s first guest have been Ed Dowd of The Mattoon Chamber of Commerce and Terrance Taylor of Tat., Inc. View these conversations by visiting ‘The RealiTea ProjecT on Facebook.’ ‘The RealiTea Project’ strives to enable all people in Coles County to inspire change in the workplace and beyond by stimulating conversations and inspiring others. 

‘The RealiTea ProjecT’ is consistently looking for new guest to visit the show and share their perspectives. Individuals interested in joining ‘The RealiTea ProjecT’ project may do so by contacting Taneya by phone at 217-508-6031, email: therealiteaproject@gmail.com, or by writing a letter to PO Box 253 Toledo, Illinois. 

The team at Elevate recognizes and encourages the need for conversations like the ones Taneya is having to occur. We strive to continue working towards providing a space and community equipped to create a more equitable future for people of every race and background.

As always, follow Elevate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates on who is using our center and what events the team is hosting!

Celebration of Innovation & Growth Event-How is Elevate Benefitting Community Members?

Mattoon, IL- Five recent members of Elevate, were recognized Thursday, January 28, 2021, for their achievements in entrepreneurship. Amy Patrick, Evie Rudibaugh, Katie Haifley, Keegan O’Connell, and Latonya Davies were recognized at the first-ever ‘Elevate Celebration of Innovation & Growth.’

Those in attendance at this event included new entrepreneurs and their families, local business professionals, and others in the Elevate community. As a not-for-profit organization, Elevate most values its members’ success and those who ultimately go into business for themselves.

New Business Owners Celebrating with Family & Community

With assistance from the center, Keegan O’Connell (pictured left) has utilized the KIVA Crowdsourcing Loan Program via the centers’ partnership with LISC Rural. This loan will enable his business, Buzzed & Board Media LLC., to expand further.

Latonya Davies (pictured left) has reached new clients for her LLC. All For Them – Latonya’s Pet Care Services since becoming an Elevate member.

Evie Rudibaugh registered her business, Peace of Mind Home Services LLC, with the team’s help at Elevate. Evie initially found inspiration for her home care services business during her Class E participation, a high school entrepreneurship class that teaches students about starting a business. Elevate has recently become the home of Classe-E, the course which inspired Evie to become a business owner.

Not pictured members Amy Patrick and Katie Haifley have also graduated from various Elevate programs and look to succeed in their ventures. Amy was the first graduate of Elevates’ 6 Step Program and is now operating her own life & wellness education organization online. Katie Haifley was the first Elevate member to graduate from ‘The Elevate-Lake Land College Initiative’ program, a partnership between Elevate and Lake Land College. Lake Land College has graciously provided 15 tuition waivers to full members of Elevate. This partnership between Lake Land College and Elevate allows aspiring entrepreneurs to receive the knowledge necessary to start their venture without accruing a significant financial burden.

Elevate looks to the future and is excited for the chance to provide equitable opportunities and success for all. Our center hopes to encourage, connect and grow small and startup businesses in the region by creating a mixed-use, co-working space that provides resources and opportunities to empower success.

Thinking of become an entrepreneur yourself? Start by sending us a message and scheduling a tour!

Member Spotlight – Elevate Member Katie Haifley Graduates Lake Land College Business Development Program

Sixty-two percent of Americans dream of being their own boss, according to a 2018 Vistaprint Study. Despite such high interest in being self-employed, few people make good on these dreams. A handful of perceived obstacles often stand in the way of new entrepreneurs; many are unsure how to manage a new venture’s finances, while others are not as willing to put in the time required to get a new business off the ground. However, lack of know-how is perhaps the most significant barrier of entry between any American and the dream of owning a business.

 

Here at Elevate, our mission is to encourage new businesses’ innovation while connecting existing organizations with resources to grow. Entrepreneur Katie Haifley is the first Elevate member to utilize ‘The Elevate Lake Land College Initiative’, a key element to the programs offered here at Elevate. The Lake Land College initiative is “designed to provide students with the background to launch and then effectively manage a growing business enterprise successfully.”

 

Katie says she developed a solid base of business know-how from  Lake Land College courses in marketing, accounting, legal, and others relating to entrepreneurship. Her interest in business started when she was young. She enjoys the opportunity to be her own boss, accesses her creativity, and get paid to do something she loves.

 

When asked how she would encourage potential members of the program to join, Katie remarked, “Go for it, use Elevate because they can help you answer questions you didn’t even know you had!” Utilizing ‘The Lake Land College Initiative’ allows Katie to overcome the ‘know-how’ obstacle present in entrepreneurship while also bypassing any financial concern associated with gaining the knowledge to become self-employed.

 

Through the ‘Lake Land College Initiative’, Full Members of Elevate are eligible for a 27-credit hour business development certificate tuition waiver through Lake Land College. 15 tuition waivers are made available to Elevate on an annual bases, 5 of which are reserved for graduates of the Class-E Program.

 

Contact Elevate today or schedule a tour and see if you could be the next member of Elevate to receive a tuition-free business development certificate through Lake Land College.

 

Contact Us for More Information

 

Class-E is, “an entrepreneurial development class that aims to educate Coles County high school juniors and seniors.” Click Here to Find Out More!

Member Spotlight- Keegan O’Connell Experiences Growth At Elevate

Anyone who keeps up to date with Elevate on Facebook or has joined our newsletter knows who Keegan O’Connell is. 

 

A few months back, we posted a story about our new broadcasting room and highlighted the services Keegan is bringing to our center. On our Facebook feed, we have often shared Keegan’s progress while he was raising funding to grow his business. What most of our readers may not know is the success Keegan has had in his own business venture.

 

Buzzed & Board Media LLC. is the first business to graduate the Elevate 6-Step Accelerator Program. Additionally, Buzzed & Board is receiving a $5,000 KIVA loan in order to expand its business venture. Since beginning services at Elevate, Keegan O’Connell (Owner of Buzzed & Board), has gained a greater understanding of how to establish

Buzzed & Board Owner Keegan O’Connell and Elevate Director Carlos Ortegabusiness venture. Buzzed & Board Media LLC. is the first business to graduate the Elevate 6 -Step Accelerator Program. 

his business in the Mattoon area. Keegan says the most valuable aspect of joining Elevate is, “the feeling that regardless of what happens, I am surrounded by like-minded people who can shape my next step towards success.” This sense of community is the focal point of what we do here at Elevate.

 

Keegan first heard of our center through a discussion with a peer. He was intrigued by our services provided by LISC Rural and the Accenture Learning Program. After utilizing these services, Keegan was able to work with business mentors and coaches who are giving him the inspiration and confidence needed to continue growing. Be on the lookout for a webinar hosted by Keegan which will soon be available on our website and social media! 

 

The team at Elevate looks forward to the growth of Buzzed & Board Media LLC. and helping other entrepreneurs. Hundreds of individuals in the Coles County Area have the potential to become a successful business owner such as Keegan. 

 

Schedule a tour today and see what Elevate has to offer!

Team Spotlight – Evelynna Rudibaugh, Business Owner

Evelynna Rudibraugh
Peace of Mind Home Services
Owner
Elevate CCIC, Inc.
Team Member

 

Evelynna is a 2020 graduate of ClassE, a Coles County Highschool Entrepreneurship Class which has found a new home at Elevate. As a focus of the course, students develop a business idea and apply it to the real world. This is where Evelynna found her inspiration for Peace of Mind Home Services.

 

After joining the Elevate team, Evelynna began to use our resources for her own business. In November of 2020, Peace of Mind Home Services registered with the state of Illinois to form an official LLC. Peace of Mind Home Services primarily functions to watch homes, pets and plants while their owners are out of town.

 

 Evelynna, a senior at Charleston High School, says she plans to maintain the business through her college experience at Lake Land College in Mattoon.

 

Going out of town this holiday season?
Book Peace of Mind Home Services.