Season 2 of Small Business, Big Heart highlights the stories of Truist clients who are uniquely impacting their communities.
Episode 1: Beach Emergency Assistance Ministry
Lori Richards is the Executive Director of Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM), which provides rent and utility assistance to families who are at immediate risk of eviction, ultimately to prevent homelessness in the beaches area of Jacksonville, Florida. BEAM, which was founded in 1985, also supports their community through its food assistance and case management programs, funding the non-profit’s efforts in part through sales from their own local thrift stores.
Episode 2: A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center
Kimberly Shaw founded A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center more than 20 years ago when she realized her son, who has SC disease, a form of sickle cell anemia, wasn’t receiving the proper care at his childcare center.
With two locations in Southeast Raleigh, serving economically and educationally disadvantaged families of North Carolina, Kimberly’s focus is to provide high-quality child care to families regardless of their economic status. To help combat food insecurity, the center offers homemade meals and even has a garden to help generate fresh ingredients and prides itself in outdoor learning, helping to get kids moving at an early age.
Episode 3: ADAPT
ADAPT, which stands for Athletic Development and Performance Training, is a wellness center in Miami, Florida focused on enhancing the community’s quality of life. While ADAPT offers memberships, co-founders Scott Grondin & Jorge Sanchez created ADAPT Foundation, offering training scholarships to kids who otherwise may not be able to afford their programming. The foundation’s mission is to engage, educate, and empower local youth with the skills they need for life-long personal growth, even offering internship programs to local college students.
Episode 4: The Market at Cedar Point
Mary and Jeff Miller run The Market at Cedar Point in Cedar Point, North Carolina, supporting local farmers and small businesses. The couple allows their vendors to attend the market at no charge with the goal of building a better community through commerce. After their own personal struggles with the loss of their daughter in 2012, Mary and Jeff started a scholarship program called Hannah’s Hope, helping to enrich children’s lives in their community by paying for extracurricular activities.
Episode 5: Zarzour’s Cafe
Joe “Dixie” Fuller and his wife, Shannon Lawson, manage Zarzour’s Café, a family business with more than a 100-year legacy. Dixie and Shannon pride themselves on not only creating a sense of community in their restaurant, but also finding unique ways to support their Chattanooga, Tennessee community. Dixie’s grandfather, who loved baseball, used Zarzour’s as a drop-off location for people to donate equipment to the community, and Dixie and Shannon have carried on this legacy by letting Zarzour’s serve as a drop-off location for local homeless shelters.
Episode 6: Favori Gift Boutique and Path of Grace
Eddie Mansfield is the managing director of Path of Grace, a faith-based women’s recovery program for alcohol addiction in Destin, Florida. A former addict himself, Eddie is driven by helping women recover from their addictions and reunite with their families, which is why he also provides career opportunities in his boutiques for women who have completed the Path of Grace program. Path of Grace not only helps women with recovery, but also builds homes where mothers and their children can reunite and have a fresh start.
Episode 7: Barberitos
Timm Philips left his job as a CPA of more than 20 years to start a Barberitos franchise, opening the burrito restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. While Timm often gives back to his community, donating to local schools and charities, he prioritizes developing and caring for his employees in a way that encourages them to take unique care of their customers.
Episode 8: Integrity Family Healthcare
Dr. Michelle Legall is a family physician with a humble background, inspired to go into healthcare by her mother, who’s a nurse. After experiencing an abusive marriage in medical school with a husband who didn’t support her education, Dr. Legall became passionate about inspiring young girls to go into healthcare and started her own practice in Humble, Texas. She’s spent time volunteering at a local shelter, offering free clinics to women and giving them not only needed healthcare, but an environment where they can feel comfortable and safe to move on with their lives.
Episode 9: Southeastern Beauty Academy
Jeanetta Thornbury opened her own beauty school in 2012, helping to create career opportunities in the small community of Paintsville, Kentucky. Beyond just educating her students on the trade and running a business, Jeanetta helps them develop the life skills and confidence they need to be successful. In addition to her mentorship, Jeanetta offers free haircuts to veterans with the philosophy that taking care of your community is a key component of small business success.
Episode 10: Shirlington Employment & Education Center
The Shirlington Employment and Education Center (SEEC), based in Arlington, Virginia, assists immigrants to find employment, by assisting them with translation services when needed and to obtain a reasonable wage from willing employers. Executive Director of the non-profit organization, Andres Tobar, has not only a background in education, but also first-hand experience, as his parents emigrated from Mexico to the U.S. to work as farm laborers.
Episode 11: I Believe in Me, Inc.
I Believe in Me, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Frederick, Maryland that provides growth and development resources to youth through its after-school program. Aje Hill founded the organization in 2016 after being incarcerated for decades, wanting to give youth the skills and confidence they need for a successful future. I Believe in Me, Inc. offers mentorship, character development, and volunteer engagement opportunities, among a host of other resources, with the goal of inspiring and challenging kids through mental, physical, and social activities.
Episode 12: S.U.C.C.E.S.Services
In high school, Kelly Sewell helped care for a family friend who had a daughter with a disability, which is when she realized her passion. Since then, Kelly has opened her own organization in Vincent, Ohio that provides support to people with disabilities so they can live a full, prosperous life.
Episode 13: Maria Rosario Agency
Maria Rosario, who formerly worked in social services, started her own insurance agency in 2018 in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Maria’s passion isn’t as much about selling insurance as it is helping customers understand policies and benefits to properly protect their assets. She goes above and beyond not only to better educate the community, but continuously gives back through acts of kindness.
Episode 14: Dish Works
Mary Bigham started as a food blogger 15 years ago and has been tracking food content trends ever since. She now runs a food content studio, Dish Works, which creates food and drink photography, videos and recipes, and other content for global food brands and publications. Mary has since turned the food blog that started her career into a non-profit called PA Eats, which celebrates Pennsylvania food culture while simultaneously fighting local food insecurity.