Laura Severson is a volunteer at Elevate. Her role includes managing the front desk and providing general assistance in the development of the center. She has an entrepreneurial background through her family’s ownership of restaurants and hotels.
Outside of Elevate, Laura is a gerontologist at the LifeSpan Center. She has received degrees from both Southern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University. Laura enjoys giving her time to Elevate because it provides her the opportunity to give back to her community and serve.
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.
Faisal Tariq Elevate CCIC, Inc. Operations Director
Faisal Tariq is the newest staff member at Elevate after coming onboard in October. He has a plethora of experience in retail management including time at DSW and Coach. In his 11 years at DSW, Faisal started as a sales associate before eventually working his way to the position of Store Manager at multiple Chicago locations.
In 2009 Faisal moved to Mattoon with his family and began working to acquire his undergraduate degree at Eastern Illinois University and taking on the role of stay at home father to his two sons, Aydin and Lethan. After graduation he became a store manager at Coach in Tuscola, where he would stay for 5 years and guided the store to two regional awards for customer service. Faisal looks to apply his vast experience in business acumen, operations and leadership in order to support continuous growth in the Coles County Region through Elevate.
Faisal is also pursuing a graduate degree in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at EIU. He hopes that his role at the center will provide the, “ability to create a difference within the community where members can grow and develop as people while also giving back to their community.”
Dallas Jones Elevate CCIC, Inc, Marketing Director
Dallas Jones is the Marketing Director at Elevate. His responsibilities include writing articles for our website, managing social media, organizing events and anything else related to sharing our resources with as many people as we can.
Dallas was initially hired as an intern in February of 2020. When he took the position, the center was under construction and looking to develop itself within the Coles County community. He says he has been proud to see Elevate grow from an idea to a resource.
Once the center transitioned from construction to operation, Dallas was offered an official role with the organization. When asked about his time working in the center he says, “I am grateful for the opportunity to work in an organization that truly benefits people in the place I live.” Elevate looks to continue benefiting entrepreneurs in the Coles Country Area for years to come.
“What’s the first thing you do after you get in your car and buckle your seatbelt?” This was the question posed by Keegan O’Connell, owner of Buzzed & Board LLC, when speaking of the next generation of media. The daily routine for millions of people is the key in ignition, seat belt clicked and finally before shifting out of park many connect to Bluetooth and pick the perfect podcast or tunes before even leaving their driveway.
With platforms like Spotify paying more than $100 million dollars, according to Forbes, purely for the licensing rights to the ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ and a billion dollars in advertisement revenue set to be pumped into podcast yearly, it is clear that media titans see the value of this modern sort of long form communication.
Elevate would like to thank the Mattoon Public Library for providing us with the equipment needed for our podcast room. This would not have been possible with out Director of the Library’s commitment to the progress of the community. Elevate is grateful for the partnerships that we have forged for our community, for the economic development in our area and region.
Mr. O’Connell sees the potential podcast hold not only for purely entertainment purposes, but for business owners who are looking to get the word out about their venture. He says we have the ability to reach, “pretty much anyone and everyone”, through using podcast.
Elevate is excited for the possibilities now made possible through Keegan and his media experience. He will be available in our center to put together a podcasting element, “that allows future business owners and entrepreneurs another vehicle of communication, that reaches out to a national and global level.”
In conversation with Keegan, his passion for what he does is very easy to find. He looks to be an innovator in creating new avenues for content creators such as himself to capitalize on their success and is determined to use his skills in order to give a voice to many others with varying expertise that wish to share their dreams with listeners particular to their unique niche.