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LAEDA Celebrates its 2019 Graduates with a Night of Celebration and Networking

Posted on 11/4/2019 by EDTP Coordinator in LAEDA News
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Camden, NJ- A favorite tradition amongst staff, every October LAEDA takes the time to acknowledge its community of entrepreneurs and small business owners with an annual graduation ceremony for its cornerstone nine-week trainings, the Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) and the Women’s Business Academy. Held on Thursday, October 24th at Camden’s Salvation Army Kroc Center, the event featured 31 newly minted graduates from the Fall 2018, Winter 2019, and Spring 2019 cohorts.

In the introductory announcements, Ray Lamboy, President & CEO of LAEDA spoke, “Each individual came to LAEDA for help in bringing their talents forward to open his or her business and each individual worked so hard in the program. Tonight we want to recognize each individual’s achievement.”      

Next, Krista Bey, owner and operator of Elegant Lotus, LAEDA board member, and EDTP alumni, came to stage and shared her thoughts and experiences. “A MAP is a valuable strategy in the life of any business owner.  This means, as an entrepreneur, you need to have a Mentor, Appreciation, and Perseverance,” she emphasized.           

After Mrs. Bey’s compelling speech, the audience heard from class representatives. At the end of each cohort, participants elect a leader to represent them by giving a speech during graduation. The 2019 student representatives were LaToya Cantie of Premier Opportunities, LLC, Thomasina Washington of Sina Marie Creative Agency (SMCA), and Marlene Roberts of MARkD Beauty & Wellness, LLC. Each of these ladies used this opportunity to blow the crowd away with not only words of inspiration but also the knowledge and expertise gained through the nine-week program.           

“The greatest asset to business success is having someone walk through the journey with you. I am thankful for all the challenges as well as the guidance that LAEDA gave us,” LaToya Cantie stated.           

Thomasina Washington explained, “One priceless takeaway was that things in the business world became more clear with all the materials and tools that LAEDA provided for us. Thank you Ray (Lamboy) for creating an organization that helps entrepreneurs, like me, develop seeds for their businesses.”           

Marlene Roberts added, “LAEDA gave us not only the tools of success, but also resources and knowledge to take our businesses to the next level. LAEDA’s Entrepreneurial Development Training Program is a gem and I learned so much. This program is priceless because it allows you access to a wealth of information.”       

The gratitude expressed for instructors, LAEDA staff, and fellow classmates was met with resounding applause. Their emphasis on the community of entrepreneurs they were joining and on the importance of supporting one another was moving.

Then, Sophie Werner, Assistant Program Manager of the Women’s Business Center, thanked instructors for their support of LAEDA’s mission. “You guys are the backbone to our programs and your dedication makes everything possible,” she stated. To recognize this dedication to LAEDA’s programs/ services, students from each cohort selected an instructor who they felt has been an asset to their personal and/ or business growth. This year’s Instructor of the Year award was presented to Banking Services instructor, Gabriela Santoferraro. Also, a special Lifetime Service award was presented to Bienvenido “Ben” Calaf who has been the Insurance instructor since the inception of the EDTP program in 1990.           

Later, certificates and LAEDA pins were presented to all the graduates. During this time, Annabel Soto, LAEDA’s Office Administrator gave encouraging words to the new graduates. “Your Journey has just begun, keep it going and don’t give up and we can only help you when you let us know,” she expressed.           

In closing, President & CEO Raymond Lamboy left graduates with these words, “When things get hard, always remember your WHY! This will be the gas in your tank that will keep you going. Also remember LAEDA is here for you as much or as little as you need. Your success is our success since you are now a part of the LAEDA family.”           

The graduation concluded with a celebratory networking reception. The event was catered and photographed by LAEDA alumni, Alberta Ferebee of Aunt Berta’s Kitchen and Artemio and Teresa Acosta of Teresart Photography. Families, friends, alumni, and other supporters of LAEDA gathered together to celebrate the monumental achievement of the new LAEDA alumni.           

If you are interested in becoming a part of the LAEDA alumni network, apply online or call us at 856-338-1177 for more information. The Entrepreneurial Development Training Program (EDTP) is an intensive nine-week program that takes place two times a year. The Women’s Business Academy’s nine-week program began in 2016 and takes place one time per year. Each provides 72+ hours of training from industry professionals, business planning, and one year of technical assistance.