Cedar Valley Leadership Institute Supports 24/7 BLAC and BBEA Graduates

posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 in Grow Cedar Valley

The Cedar Valley Leadership Institute is designed to foster community awareness while developing individual leadership skills, giving leaders a broader view of civic leadership responsibilities and opportunities here in the Cedar Valley. This year's Red Team partnered with 24/7 BLAC to support the 2023 BBEA Graduates!

Local Business Owners Celebrate Completion of BBEA Program with 24/7 BLAC, Seek New Customers

April 28, 2023 – The 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium (24/7 BLAC) held graduation for the 2023 Spring Class of The Black Business & Entrepreneurship Accelerator (BBEA) Program on April 27 at the Waterloo Career Center. The event celebrated 13 business owners who completed the fourteen-week program designed to provide critical business skills, intensive financial curriculum, and sustainability support to accelerate growth and development for new and existing black-owned businesses in the Cedar Valley.

This is the sixth cohort to complete the free program, which includes financial aid, business resilience, mentorship, and scale strategies, along with networking support for black-owned businesses.

“Our goal with the Black Business Entrepreneurship Accelerator is for our graduates to find success with their businesses in the Cedar Valley,” said ReShonda Young, 24/7 BLAC’s BBEA program director. “We encourage our community to shop local and to seek out these new businesses to utilize their services and spread the word.” Names of the graduates’ businesses and services offered are as follows:

  • William L Burt, Kut Kings LLC, haircut services 
  • Darrell Caldwell Sr, D&D Construction, home repair
  • Jonathan Carter, Sweets & Teas, bubble tea and beverage bar
  • Ashley   Glover, K&K Lawncare, lawn care services
  • Renaldo Haywood, Foreign Gents, Men’s clothing and accessories
  • Toya Jefferson-Quinn, Sugar Dust Creations, event planning and coordinating
  • Venita Kirksey, Pick Up N Go, food service
  • Marketia Moore, Momma ‘Nem Soulfood and Catering, soul food catering
  • Jerra Denice Nash, Kreations by Kali, wigs and hair extensions and hair supplies
  • Tamara Pernell, Pick Up N Go (901), food service
  • Teta Toe, Daniel's and Mom Kitchen, homemade African food 
  • Audrey Wallican-Green, Doll's Boutique, clothing 
  • JaTera Wiley, Nuri Financial Group LLC, accounting services

Each business owner receives a $1500 stipend for completing the accelerator to use towards their business.

The 24/7 Black Leadership Advancement Consortium is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) dedicated to making Waterloo & Cedar Falls the place for Black Americans to live, work, and raise the next generation of thrivers. Current 24/7 BLAC board members include Sharina Sallis, Kingsley Botchway, Felica Smith-Nalls,  Kalola Roby, Keyaira Miller, Lynn LaGrone, Tavis Hall and Interim Executive Director, Madelyn Ridgeway.

Questions may be directed to Madelyn Ridgeway at or 319-830-7469. More information about 24/7 BLAC can be found at

BBEA Graduation

24/7 BLAC’s Black Business Entrepreneurship Accelerator program participants gathered for their graduation at the Waterloo Career Center on April 27. Darryl Caldwell Sr. is recognized by Kalola Roby & Sharina Sallis of 24/7 Blac, for completing the BBEA program. Darryl’s business is D&D Construction and provides home repair services.

BBEA Grads

Graduates of Cohort VI of the Black Business Entrepreneurship Accelerator program pose for a photo after the graduation ceremony.


Jonathan Carter, owner of Sweets & Teas, speaks at the BBEA graduation.


Ja Tera Wiley, owner of Nuri Financial Group, speaks at the BBEA graduation.


Marketia Moore, owner of Momma ‘Nem Soulfood and Catering, speaks at the BBEA graduation.

Red Team

Members of the CVLI Red Team set up for the BBEA graduation ceremony. L to R: Nick Pfeiffer, Jenna Flugum, Morgan Siebel, Tiffany Coffin, Gabe Wagenbach and Adijan Abdic.

Red Team 2

Members of the CVLI Red team at the BBEA graduation reception. L to R: Morgan Siebel, Jenna Flugum, Kelsey Jorgensen, Sara Sladky.