President | Business Coach
Nicole founded Grand Innovation in 2016 to expand the success of LifeLine’s entrepreneurial training and business coaching in partnership with Detroit nonprofit loan funds and community foundations. Over the past decade, she has coached thousands of Detroit entrepreneurs to business success. Prior to LifeLine, Nicole was the first African American woman in the United States to own a Tuffy Auto Center and this experience as a young single-mom inspired her to provide a lifeline to minority and women entrepreneurs
Returning Citizens Project Director | Business Coach and Instructor
Ezra’s no-nonsense approach inspires returning citizens to create self-sufficiency plans for re-entry. He has developed a strong working partnership with the MI Department of Corrections Lawton parole center and educated over 1,000 newly released returning citizens on the benefits, opportunities and resources for self-employment as a pathway for self-sufficiency. Ezra has trained over 100 returning citizens through engaging 3-hour workshops hosted weekly at Lawton. The real-life self accountability factor has played a significant role in the reduction of recidivism in the Lawton office. Additionally, his “Family First” approach with returning citizens has become a program within a program, helping men understand their role as a contributing member of their family and their community.
Director of Training | Business Coach and Instructor
Carla has strong experience in management, business principles, curriculum development and coaching ethics as it relates to entrepreneurial ventures. She is knowledgeable in corporate and entrepreneurial practices and has served as a consultant to businesses in various industries from health & beauty to restaurants. Carla is responsible for ensuring all instructors implement the course curriculum to meet the needs and interests of the students involved, as well as the interests of the sponsoring institutions.
Manager of Operations | Business Coach and Instructor
Lashawna is an entrepreneur with an educational background in the healthcare sciences and extensive experience in human resource management. A native Detroiter, she represents the organization at the New Economy Initiative (NEI) worktables where she is also co-chair for the Neighborhood Business Initiative (NBI) “Collaboration” Committee. Lashawna is responsible for the day to day operations as well as organizing and attending community events that promote entrepreneurship and establish potential client relationships. She also connects with other professional services that will help to enhance the learning experience and ensure client’s get access to additional resources they need to be successful.