Participating Companies & Speakers

Students who participate in the 2020 Business Empowerment Academy will have the opportunity to meet members of the Rollins College of Business faculty and staff as well as business leaders from the Chattanooga area.

Previous Participating Companies


About BlueCross BlueShield of TN:

"As the state's largest health insurer, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is in a unique position to be an advocate for our members, ensuring they have access to quality care, and supporting and empowering them to lead healthier lives. And at the heart of our work is service."

About CO.LAB

"The Company Lab (CO.LAB) is a nonprofit startup accelerator that supports entrepreneurial growth in southeast Tennessee. We work with companies ranging from street-corner mom and pop shops to tech startups scaling into major markets. We also wake up every morning thinking about how to create a more robust and dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region."

About Elliott Davis:

"Offering a wide range of accounting, tax, assurance and consulting solutions, we take a dynamic approach to serving our clients - combining deep technical knowledge with applied forward-thinking experience."

About Tennessee American Water:

"Our customers are our number one priority, and we are proud to deliver clean, safe, reliable and affordable water services. In Tennessee we serve about 390,000 people. To ensure your water is of the highest quality, we strictly follow regulations that are set by local authorities as well as federal standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). Water is an integral part of life, and we take great pride in taking care of it."

Previous Speakers

Marcus Cade-Johnson, First Tennessee

First Tennessee, part of the First Horizon National Corporation family of companies, is focused on providing superior financial service every day through a network of locations statewide and around the region.

Wayne Collins, United Way of Greater Chattanooga

"We look beyond temporary fixes to attack the root problems affecting the greater Chattanooga area. It's work, yes, but it's also our mission. It's our calling. We envision our community where children are born into stable families and supportive environments, start school ready to learn and graduate prepared for college, work, and life. When our people can be at their best, our community can be at its best. That's good for everyone!"

Felicia Jackson, CPRWrap

Felicia Jackson, the inventor and owner of CPR Wrap, has experienced the trauma of cardiac arrest firsthand. She was certified in CPR but froze when her toddler son stopped breathing in the back seat of her car. Thanks to the quick actions of her husband, their son survived, but Felicia learned a valuable lesson and walked away with a new mission.

Even people experienced in CPR can forget their training in stressful situations. CPR Wrap makes it possible for anyone to effectively perform CPR at a moment's notice. With over 20 years of medical experience in acute inpatient rehab, outpatient care and home health care, Felicia is applying her knowledge to make performing CPR less intimidating and accessible to everyone.

Ken Jones, EPB

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power, Fi Speed Internet, Fi TV, and Fi Phone services in pursuit of its mission, which is to promote economic development and enhance quality of life for its customers. Today EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses across a 600-square mile area that includes Chattanooga, most of Hamilton County, and parts of the surrounding counties in both Tennessee and Georgia.

Jessica Oliva-Calderin, Calderin & Oliva Attorneys

Jessica L. Oliva-Calderin has represented numerous individuals in visa matters, adjustment of status, naturalization, and litigated disputes involving removal matters all over the country. She has represented defendants nationwide in immigration matters in a wide range of areas, including immigration criminal defense, inadmissibility and removability findings, and waiver practice.

Jessica received her Juris Doctor from Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad College of Law. While in law school, Jessica belonged to and was published in the law school's International Law Journal. She also holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami.

Amna Shah, AHS Consulting

AHS Consulting Inc. is a Global IT and Consulting Solutions provider head-quartered in the Atlanta-Chattanooga area.

Gina Soltau, LAUNCH Chattanooga

"As our country reinvents itself, new businesses are being born every day and support structures are key to the viability of these businesses. LAUNCH offers business training, support, and affordable resources to entrepreneurs who are underrepresented in our city, empowering them to create sustainable, successful businesses allowing their families and communities to thrive."

Participating Faculty

Dr. Navid Aghakhani, Data Analytics

Dr. Richard Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor

Dr. Gail Dawson, Human Resources Management

Dr. Joy Lin, Marketing

Dr. Nishani Vincent, Accounting

Dr. Kathleen Wheatley, Management