New leaders join RICE enhancing Black entrepreneurship

"Leaders Enhancing Entrepreneurship"

RICE (Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs), global advocates for Black entrepreneurship, are welcoming new faces. On March 28, 2024, Shawn M. Graham and Monica Delores Hooks joined the team as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Experience Officer respectively.

Monica Delores Hooks has a robust history in entrepreneurial administration. Notably, her work with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) brought about significant job creation and capital inflow. Monica is a woman of vision, and her journey in pioneering large-scale entrepreneurship projects has been marked by a unique blend of foresight and precision. Her leadership skills and her deep understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem contribute to her success.

Shawn M. Graham brings her experience in finance, strategy, and community mobilisation from the National Black MBA Association, Inc. (NBMBAA). Her time there has groomed her capabilities in fine-tuning financial systems and strategizing growth plans.

Strengthening RICE: Enhancing Black entrepreneurship

At RICE, her expertise will fortify the financial and operational systems. Shawn’s knack for community mobilization enables her to forge influential connections – a boon for RICE. Her know-how is sure to augment RICE’s capacity.

James “Jay” Bailey, President, and CEO of RICE, lauded Monica and Shawn’s arrival as a notable turning point. He underscored Monica’s knack for strategic planning and Shawn’s notable leadership skills, stating that both will contribute enormously to the organization’s advancement. Bailey expressed optimism about this novel chapter and voiced confidence in Monica and Shawn’s ability to exceed expectations.

As a business accelerator, RICE has been paramount in driving economic growth in the community. By empowering Black entrepreneurs, and through innovative programs and mentorship, RICE provides precious resources and opportunities. RICE has successfully obliterated obstacles, boosted business development, and improved the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Black community. This unwavering commitment has propelled not just individual growth but uplifted regional economic stability and prosperity. It’s more than business, it’s about creating a diverse and thriving economy.

More about RICE and their initiatives can be discovered on their official website. Stay updated with them on social media @RICEAtlanta and @RussellCenterAtlanta.