Speaker Date Topic
Sheena Allen Feb 27, 2018
Entrepeneur, Author & Financial Advisor
Entrepeneur, Author & Financial Advisor

Sheena Allen was born in Terry, MS and is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where she received a degree in Psychology (B.S.) and Film (B.A.). In 2011, Sheena started her first company, Sheena Allen Apps, and bootstrapped the media tech company to millions of downloads. While back home in Mississippi in late 2015, Sheena took notice of how people were still very much into using predatory financial services, such as payday lenders. This led her to start her second startup, CapWay. CapWay, a fintech company that increases the financial health of the underserved and uncertain, is Sheena’s first social impact venture.

Sheena has traveled around the world and spoke on subjects such as owning a successful tech company as a non-technical founder and diversity in tech at numerous universities, including Yale and Harvard, and numerous conferences, including The Lean Startup Conference and Tech808. She has been featured in various publications, including Forbes.com, BlackEnter-prise.com, and EBONY Magazine. In late 2016, Sheena made her premiere in She Started It, a documentary film that follows five women around on their startup journey. In early 2017, she released her first print book, The Starting Guide, a three-part book that talks about her journey, a guide for those interested in app development but not sure where to start, and business 101 tips.

Mitchell Williams Mar 06, 2018
Southeast MS Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Southeast MS Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Prior to being hired with FCA, Mitchell worked at WDAM-TV for 27 years, serving as sports director for 20 of those years. While at WDAM, the sports department was cited by the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters for excellence on 40 different occasions including Best Sportscast in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009.

The creator of the award-winning SportsJournal, Mitchell helped WDAM provide coverage for over 15,000 different sporting events during his tenure. A cheerleader for young people and a former recreational sports coach, Mitchell has hosted a retreat for leaders of his area's football teams every spring for over a decade. Beginning in 2012, FCA, along with a number of community sponsors, host a similar retreat for the female leaders of high school campuses in the Pine Belt. He attended North Forrest and Southern Miss, where he lettered every year in cross country, indoor, and outdoor track. He was enshrined in the USM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He and his wife, Shelia, are the parents of four boys. They are members of Grace Temple Church.

Derek Eady Mar 13, 2018
MS Small Business Development Center

To provide services and support that will enable the state of Mississippi to become the leading environment for small business success in the nation.

http://www.mssbdc.org/

Don Strange, Jr. Mar 27, 2018
Former DEA Special Agent and Chief of MS Bureau of Narcotics
Former DEA Special Agent and Chief of MS Bureau of Narcotics

Strange (on left) shown here escorting ousted Harvard psychology professor and then fugitive, Dr. Timothy Leary, back to jail in 1973.

Chad Newell Apr 03, 2018
Area Development Partnership
Area Development Partnership

Chad Newell serves as President of the Area Development Partnership (ADP) in Hattiesburg, MS, a position he has held since December 2009. The ADP is the regional chamber of commerce and economic development organization for Greater Hattiesburg, serving Forrest, Lamar, and Perry counties.

Chad has worked in the private, public, and private non-profit sectors for more than two decades in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. He has led teams in facilitating projects that resulted in the investment of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs created across the Southeastern United States.

Chad is keenly focused on servanthood leadership, hiring right fit talent, and creating an intentional corporate culture that drives results. He serves on numerous boards and advisory councils locally and around the nation and is an active leader at Venture Church in Hattiesburg.

Chad, a native Mississippian, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Mississippi State University and earned a Master’s degree in Economic Development from The University of Southern Mississippi. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for 24 years and have two sons, Garrett and Brooks, and one daughter, Jordan.