Empowering People
& Revitalizing the Community

LAEDA- A Word From Our Alumni During This Pandemic

Posted on 6/29/2020 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News

COVID-19 has impacted our lives in all areas and during this pandemic we had a chance to ask some of our alumna from our LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) how they are using their talents and resources, what is their motivation to keep on going, if they have any advice to offer to others and how our program, resources and tools helped them during this time.

(1) How can you use your talents and resources to be of greatest value to others?

Barbara Hall- Bryant and Crystal Lewis, owners and CEO of I Say Yes Salon & Spa: The one thing that we did was to make sure that we stayed connected to our community (clients, social media family and business partners) and listened to what their pain points are and what kept them up at night. In the position of being a Beauty Expert, Crystal solved their problems by sharing her talent and resources to help them with hair care and skin care questions along with giving them some natural remedies that they could use while the industry was shut down. We made ourselves available through phone calls, Skype, zoom and posting content on social media.

Rashaun Scudder, owner and CEO of Infinite Catering: Whatever talents that you may have and or resources share them with people, this day and time everyone needs a helping hand. If you provide a service or know of someone that can help someone then surely do it. You will be an asset to your community and neighbors.

Mike Masif, owner and CEO of HD Records/LITE SEDUCTIONS/UR MAG: I do believe that I can help provide much guidance and motivation to others just by showing how far I reached in life by applying my talent and fighting to reach my goals.

(2) What is your motivation on a daily basis? Any advice you have for business owners (possibly in your own field)?

Barbara Hall- Bryant and Crystal Lewis, owners and CEO of I Say Yes Salon & Spa: Never give up and remember your WHY. We used the time to Re-Brand, ordered books on leadership, branding, personal and business growth. We both took advantage of all of the free online webinars, zoom and certifications classes that our industry was offering. Both of us are happy to say that we have some new products that we will be launching and a big announcement that is going to take us to the next level in our business and we have not taken the time to sit and be still. Moreover, we even created a Vision Board together.

Rashaun Scudder, owner and CEO of Infinite Catering: My daily motivation is knowing that God woke me up to see another day, another day to get it right and to encourage my kids to be better. For my fellow, chefs, caterers, people in the culinary field in general know that it is going to be all right. Let us figure out a way in which we can re-invent our businesses for these times. Get on different platforms and utilize your gifts and talents to teach others.

Mike Masif, owner and CEO of HD Records/LITE SEDUCTIONS/UR MAG: LAEDA helped ship and shape my business goals in a way that I can use to simply move my company forward successfully. I run an advertisement company and as much as it seems to be very hard work the resources and knowledge I learned at LAEDA and my entrepreneurship experiences helps me to keep on going forward and adding to my successes. The only advice I can give to others is to keep that eye on the ball; meaning reach your potential and run with it to the max and gain respect and love from your clients, which will help build trust.

(3) Are the resources and or tools LAEDA gave you helpful during this time?

Barbara Hall- Bryant and Crystal Lewis, owners and CEO of I Say Yes Salon & Spa: Yes, I always tell people that it is God and LAEDA that our business is so successful. We always go back to our business plan, which is your bible for your business. We had phone meetings with some of the staff while we were closed for advice and what resources were available to us during the pandemic. LAEDA always has our Alumni’s back, even while during a crisis. The one thing that they instill in our class was to have a strong bank, accountant, business insurance and a good lawyer. I am sad to say that a lot of our industry salons did not survive and will not be reopening because they did not have a seat in LAEDA’s Free Classes.

Rashaun Scudder, owner and CEO of Infinite Catering: LAEDA gave me the tools to be successful; they have created a platform with tons of information to build your business. Now, it is on you to decide if you are going to execute the tools given to be successful.

Mike Masif, owner and CEO of HD Records/LITE SEDUCTIONS/UR MAG: Be family first with clients and put their needs in your life to really help them grow and you will grow together and be successful in anything you do in business....


LAEDA is available remotely through email, phone, and/ or video conferencing. Please call us at (856) 338-1177 or visit our website at www.laeda.com to learn more about our programs, services, and small business resources.

The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is a free, nine-week business skills training course offered in Camden, NJ in the Spring and Fall each year. Qualified entrepreneurs receive 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance. Apply online at www.laeda.com.