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Happy MWBE Monday!

Today Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc. highlights one of our favorite, very special and affordable local resources for entrepreneurs: The Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) and their very friendly, knowledgeable team led by WEDC Chief Executive Officer Anne M. Janiak!  

WEDC opens doors to business ownership for low-to-moderate income women and minorities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.  

WEDC empowers entrepreneurs to build successful businesses by providing high quality training programs, advisory services and access to capital to generate economic growth in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Start, Strengthen, Succeed!

It seems like only yesterday , actually it was the Spring of 2005, that Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc.’s CEO Kecia Palmer-Cousins graduated along with 10 other graduates from the Ossining WEDC 60 Hour Entrepreneurial Training Program. (See the Spring 2005 Graduation Program). The WEDC program was just the right place for Kecia to receive assistance with updating her wellness and training company’s business plan. She co-founded NYC/NYS MWBE Certified Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc. with her husband Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Cousins, back in 1999, a year before they were married. 

In 2007, Kecia’s second company, MWBE/DBE Certified G&K Sweet Foods, LLC was started when she and her invited luncheon guest Gay Wheeler-Smith had a conversation immediately following WEDC’s 2007 Spring Luncheon. CEO Gay asked her to partner “50-50” with her and be the COO of their new business.  Gay and Kecia market and sell their signature “Grandma’s Momma’s Legacy "Licious Sweet Potato Pies and Mix”.   G&K Sweet Foods, LLC products also include a variety of G&K Sweet Foods, LLC’s individually packed Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Pound Cake, Brownies, etc. based on traditional recipes.  

The Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc. team absolutely looooooves WEDC. Kecia received a 2012 Lanza Enterprise Award Program (LEAP) $4,000 Equity Grant from philanthropist Patricia Lanza and Women’s Enterprise Development Center /The Acceleration Project technical assistance. Mrs. Lanza was a generous caring, visionary and philanthropic human being. Her son Louie Lanza called his mom, the “Mother Teresa of Westchester”. Mrs. Lanza and the Lanza Family Foundation gave millions of dollars over the years to WEDC and numerous non-profits and organizations.

Kecia was also the WEDC 2016 Lillian Vernon Award Recipient . This award was presented to her for her community service efforts and philanthropy by WEDC Chief Executive Officer Anne Janiak and Lillian Vernon’s son David Hochberg. (See picture.) Lilian Vernon was a trailblazing entrepreneur. She established a Mt. Vernon home-based business years ago and built it into a multi-million business. Kecia was raised in Mt. Vernon, NY not too far away from Lillian Vernon’s company’s headquarters. 

Kecia has also given back to WEDC being the keynote speaker for the 2018 Yonkers WEDC 60 Hour Entrepreneurial Training Program and volunteering over the years to review many WEDC 60 Hours Graduates business plans.

Congratulations to the WEDC Mt. Vernon Class Graduates of the 60 Hour Entrepreneurial Training Program . Much success to you on your entrepreneurial journeys!   

Special congratulations to WEDC’s Chief Executive Officer Anne M. Janiak, WEDC’s Women’s Business Center Director Persephone Zill, class instructor Jean Kristensen, CEO of Jean Kristensen Associates, LLC, amazing Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, WEDC’s Team, the other class instructors and the village of family and friends that encouraged the Mt. Vernon Class Graduates of the 60 Hour Entrepreneurial Training Program. Go for it and go grow your businesses! You can do it!

Are you ready to start and or grow your business? Visit WEDC’s website at https://wedcbiz.org . In the meanwhile, check out their latest newsletter full of valuable tools and resources to assist entrepreneurs to survive and thrive through this Covid-19 pandemic. 

WEDC Helps Your Business Thrive!!!!!!  Learn how to plan a winning strategy, grow with discipline and achieve smart business goals. Tell them that WEDC Graduate Kecia sent you! 

Show your support to WEDC!  Help WEDC to keep their tools and resources affordable to local entrepreneurs. Donate to WEDC today! https://wedcbiz.org


P. S. My headshot at the end of this newsletter near my contact information was taken at a WEDC networking event by a local woman-owned photography company. It’s one of my favorite pictures! WEDC supports women owned businesses!

Contact Kecia with questions about starting or growing your business!

Kecia Palmer-Cousins, MBA

Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc.

914.737.7237

Aero-Ba-Soul, Inc.