By Tricia Hall
Sojourner’s Truth Reporter
Several community organizations collaborated to sponsor a virtual workshop titled, ‘Effective Entrepreneurial & Leadership Management Forum.’ The workshop was held on January 26 starting at 7:30 pm and moderated by Laycee Horn, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.
The workshop begun with official greetings, information about the sponsoring organization and the reading of each panelist’s bio. Attendees were encouraged to post questions in the virtual chat feature that the panelists could answer throughout the forum.
“Good evening. We’re so excited to have you join us tonight. It’s important to support our entrepreneurs and black businesses. Our sorority and other collaborative organizations take pride in organizing this forum. Enjoy this evening of stories,” shared Treva Jeffries, EdD, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
“We’re exciting to hear from these entrepreneurs. It’s important for us to help and support them,” explained Pattie Poston, National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club Maumee Bay Club president.
The panelists were introduced individually, answered moderated-directed and audience-submitted questions, and shared information during the event. The panelists were: Stephanie Kynard, Clyde Kynard, Timiko Kiner, Tyra Smith and Crystal Taylor.
Stephanie Kynard is founder and CEO of Kynard’s Child Development Center, a five-star rated facility which opened in 2001. The facility provides care for children ages six weeks to 13 years of age. She earned her M.Ed from Findlay University.
“I owned the center 20 years ago to develop children and strengthen families. That’s my job, to teach the children because they are our future,” explained Stephanie Kynard. She even addressed an audience question about how to deal with a challenging family. “When they don’t have the same vision for my business. We all have our own definitions of a development center and what a daycare center is too. I’m developing your child, as a whole, with the adults too. These children don’t sleep all day, they have a schedule that includes classes. If they can’t line up with my vision for my facility, after giving them all that I have within me, at that point, it’s time to ask them to leave the facility.”
Clyde Kynard, a Toledo native, is CEO and founder of Kynard Enterprise LLC with over 23 years of business marketing and sales experience.
“I started early and started sweeping up hair at the beauty salon. I would run errands for the clients while they got their hair done. I learned early that it’s important that you are consistent and treat people nice. My passion has and is still working with people. I had a lot of ideas, but always wanted to serve people. It’s important no matter what I’m doing, that I do my best. The biggest challenge being and entrepreneur is uncertainty. My life and my family’s life could be changed, so don’t let fear force you to not act. Always research new ideas, but don’t expect perfection,” shared Clyde Kynard.
Timiko Kiner, owner of A Cultivated Beauty which offers premier treatment, prevention and management programs for hair. The salon also offers nails and skin care by licensed independent contracors in a private, affordable and personalized setting.
“I’ve been a hair stylist for 24 years and decided to take a leap of faith and open my own salon. Most of the time, hair stylists just do hair, but there’s more than just standing behind the chair. I hard to learn on my own, even bumped my heard a few times. I want to encourage young hair stylists. Be passionate about your work and reach out for help. Covid did impact my business because we had to close. We couldn’t work remote or from home. However, once we were allowed to reopen, I worked everyday and then we flooded and I lost my business. But a year later, we’re back because you can’t stop no matter what happens,” explained Kiner.
Tyra Smith, a Toledo native, is president and CEO of Pathway for Successful Leadership Inc. which provides positive programming for troubled and disruptive youth.
“It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur or leader. Leadership starts with the ability to be led. In order to have 56 employees, I had to learn their jobs first. I was comfortable in the medial field, but when God speaks to you it’s time. The biggest challenge is knowing what is really for you. You have to know your steps and test your faith. If it’s from God, you’ll know. You have to push through and know that God will provide a building and provide employees,” shared Smith.
Crystal Taylor is president and CEO of Crystal Clear Communications with 20 plus years of management and marketing experience. She provides various services that refine strategies to help nonprofits and entrepreneurs scale up and grow.
“I’m keen on seeing opportunities and knowing when to stay the course and when to shift. If you’re interested in being an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be flexible and work with diverse populations. You have to know the why of your business because it’s not about the money. It’s about taking care of elderly parents or raising kids or whatever is your reason,” shared Taylor. She also addressed a audience question about dealing with challenging clients. “People have to want to learn. If we’re in a partnership and working towards a goal, we have to progress. If we’re not progressing, the partnership may not be right for me. I will help them find the best option because I’m not an employee.”
The ladies of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Beta Gamma Chapter; YWCA of Northwest Ohio; Top Ladies of Distinction; National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of Maumee Bay and Toledo; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. sponsored the workshop.
National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. was incorporated in 1923 as an educational nonprofit founded by educators desiring a sisterhood among teachers and to promote the highest ideals of the teaching profession. The local chapter, Beta Gamma was chartered in 1952 and currently under the leadership of Jacqueline Quinn.
The YWCA of Northwest Ohio serves women and children, provides support for victims of violence, breast cancer support, advocates for racial justice and supportive housing. The current president is Lisa McDuffie.
Top Ladies of Distinction Inc. was charted in 1964 to enhance and enrich the lives of youth and adults through community-based programs and projects. The local chapter is under the leadership of Mary McKinley-Reed, president.
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. was founded in 1935 as a national non-profit organization to promote and protect the interests of women business owners and professionals. The community has two clubs, Maumee Bay and Toledo Club. The Toledo Club’s signature program is the Cotillion Debutante Ball under the leadership of president Tyra Smith; Maumee Bay’s signature program is the HBCU College Tour under the leadership of president Pattie Poston.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. was founded in 1908 to cultivate and encourage high scholastic standards, promote unity and friendship among college women, study and alleviate problems concerning girls and women, and be of service to all mankind. The local chapter, Zeta Alpha Omega Chapter was chartered over 70 years ago and currently under the leadership of Treva Jeffries, EdD, president.