YEA! program manager vital in youth effort

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is proud to announce that the 2014/15 River Region YEA! Program will be led by program manager Annette Wray, along with the Chamber’s communication assistant, who will be named at a later date.

Wray will work closely with the Chamber’s communication assistant to guide the students throughout the year.

YEA! is an innovative program that transforms local middle and high school students into real entrepreneurial successes.

“Annette’s dedication to the community and deep entrepreneurial knowledge makes her a great role model for YEA! students,” says Chrystal Sylvain, principal of John L. Ory Magnet School. “Our goal is to teach students how to develop the type of entrepreneurial mind set that Annette (Wray) has taken with her throughout her tremendous and diverse career.”

Wray has served as Program Manager for the River Region Chamber YEA! Program since 2013 and brings her knowledge and experience as a telecommunications entrepreneur to the classroom.

She has owned and managed a business telephone system sales and service company with her husband since 2000 and brings her sales training and networking skills to help the students of YEA! jump start their business ideas.

Currently, Wray is employed with Cox Business as the service manager serving the New Orleans metro area, and she was awarded 2013 Impact Employee of the Year.

“We share the same passion with countless other Chambers that have adopted YEA! into their communities, and that is to teach our next generation about the value of free enterprise,” Wray said.

Throughout the year, students will work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to develop ideas and objectives, write a business plan, pitch to real investors, obtain funding, register with governmental agencies, establish e-commerce and a web presence and much more.

By the end of the class, students own and operate fully formed and functioning businesses, which may be carried on after their graduation from the program.

Wray and the Chamber’s communication assistant will facilitate the process and work closely with the YEA! instructor, who will be determined as the program gets closer to its launch date. The program managers and instructor are vital to ensuring that this year’s YEA! graduates become the next generation of successful CEOs.

Meredith Keating, River Region Chamber of Commerce communications assistant