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Celebrating Entrepreneurship at LAEDA's Annual Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2017

Posted on 11/2/2017 by Ray Lamboy in LAEDA News

Camden, NJ- Thursday, October 19, 2017- The Latin American Economic Development Program Association, Inc. (LAEDA) celebrated their annual graduation ceremony for the EDTP class of 2017. The graduation was held at The Salvation Army Kroc Community Center in Camden, NJ. The graduating classes included the sessions from Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 of the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) and the Winter 2017 Women’s Business Academy.

In the welcoming remarks, Raymond L. Lamboy, President & CEO of LAEDA praised the students; “Each student brought along a variety of skills and talents and each one of them came to LAEDA to learn about aspects of a business and how to operate a business. Our Alumni are an important part of our family and they show so much dedication and care toward their business and LAEDA.”

Etta Denk, from Bank of America presented a check to Mr. Lamboy for one hundred thousand dollars toward LAEDA. She spoke, “We believe in LAEDA and what they do and can do and we are here to congratulate LAEDA for 30 years for building and supporting the communities and much more.”

Krista Bey, owner and operator of Elegant Lotus, was presented as LAEDA’s newest board member. She is also an EDTP alumni and addressed the group saying, “Look at each experience you had and take it as an opportunity and use it as a learning tool to teach others. Be the teacher and help others learn from your experiences.” As an entrepreneur it is important to connect, to be a teacher and a student, always learning to add knowledge and skills.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP), which started in 1990, is an intensive nine-week program that takes place three times a year. The EDTP has graduated 76 classes, helping to make a significant impact in developing South Jersey communities, but most important in the lives of hundreds of entrepreneurs to help them to start their business. As of to date, there are 1038 graduates, who have started 560 businesses and created 1,273 jobs.

Attendees heard from class representatives, elected by their fellow classmates. Judy Shappell (Owner of Boogie Eyed Creeps, LLC), representing Class 76, shared a valuable quote from one of the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program instructors, Mark Newell, Marketing, “Put a message out to have people come to you.” She expressed feeling supportedknowing the doors of LAEDA are always open.

 I was not sure what to do when it came to opening up a business, but LAEDA helped guide me as an entrepreneur and build a business plan,” Shaquana Watson- Harkness stated, representing the Winter 2017 Class.

“LAEDA is like a school that really prepares entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurial world,“ Heather Jackson (Education Consultant), Session representative of the Spring 2017 Class 78 explained. “Never underestimate the power of what you have going or the power and influence of LAEDA because it is really life changing. I know LAEDA has transformed my life in such a positive direction.”


 Jamie Shanker, LAEDA’s Women Business Center Program Manager, presented the instructor of the year award, voted on by the students, “We are grateful for our instructors who dedicate their time to teach our students the building blocks of business ownership.” This year, the students voted for LAEDA Program manager, Jamila Powell. 

“I am so appreciatve and humble toward our Entrepreneurial Development Training Program Alumni and students. I willalways be there to support you,” said Jamila Powell, EDTP Program Manager. 

Graduates received certificates and LAEDA pins as Mr. Lamboy explained, “Our LAEDA pins represent the shared experiences and knowledge and being a part of the LAEDA family.”

The graduation concluded with a celebratory networking reception.

You can find photos of the event on our Facebook Page. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2017