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Kevin Guillory, Office Coordinator for the Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (LEED) Center at UL Lafayette, BI Moody College of Business Administration, joins Discover Lafayette to discuss his career journey and putting his love of God, community, and entrepreneurship to work.
A two-time graduate of UL- Lafayette, Kevin has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master’s of Business Administration. One of his greatest gifts may be his understanding of God’s will and the importance of following his intuition when making important decisions in life.
His early career path took him from working with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship, to learning HR skills with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville TX, to working logistics for Bruce Foods, and finally to UL-Lafayette. He worked first with UL Admissions and then landed his dream job with LEED working under the helm of Dr. Geoffrey Stewart and Jonathan Shirley.
Kevin Guillory is working his dream job at the Louisiana Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (LEED) Center at UL Lafayette. Working with people on their entrepreneurial journey has taught him a great deal about himself. While he never thought he could be a risk-taker, he has come to realize that he combines his logical and analytical skills while listening to his inner wisdom and intuition when taking bold steps. “We are all risk-takers.”
In his position with LEED, Kevin coordinates the activity and logistics of the LEED Center, and in preparing grants and contracts. In this role, he has the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs, students, and community organizations.
LEED offers technical assistance to start-up companies to support job growth in Acadiana. Three regional programs (Accelerate Northside, Accelerate Evangeline and Accelerate St. Landry) have offered six-week programs providing guidance in creating business plans, obtaining loans, understanding finances, attracting customers, and staying in business.
While the Accelerator programs would typically cost $450.00, a grant from the U. S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) in Economic Adjustment Assistance funding to UL – Lafayette funds the operation, necessitating only a $25 payment by participants. Other partners have also contributed to make the program possible including LEDA, the Greater Southwest Black Chamber of Commerce, One Acadiana, the McComb Veazey coterie, the NAACP, Acadiana Workforce Solutions, the Lafayette Public Library, and the Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center among others.
For more information on LEED and the Accelerate programs, visit https://business.louisiana.edu/leed.
Kevin attributed his many mentors who have guided him in his journey, beginning with his dad who imparted his wisdom. He has had pastoral mentors, older co-workers, professors at UL-Lafayette (Dr. Geoff Stewart and Dr. Lise Anne Slatten), and Patrick LaBauve whom he partnered with while working with the 705 on the “Do Good Project.”
Community engagement in Lafayette is important to Kevin; while he, his wife, and child live here, the rest of his family is in Lake Charles. One of his proudest achievements has been partnering with librarians at Northside High School when he visited the campus and realized there were no business or leadership books in the library. By reaching out to his colleagues at UL-Lafayette Business school, Upper Lafayette Economic Development, and others, Kevin was able to present donated business books to fill this much-needed resource for young students.
Kevin served for two years as Civic Committee Chair on the Board of Directors of The705 – Young Leaders for a Better Acadiana. He serves as Secretary for New Hope Community Development of Acadiana (which provides tutoring and enrichment programs for youngsters in need at Carlton James Center) and President of the Board for The Family Connection, Inc. (a non-profit founded by Kevin and his wife, La’Toya) which works with foster youth who have aged out of the system and provides them with life skills and career guidance.
Kevin was named a Top 20 Under 40 Young Leader in Acadiana for 2017.
We thank Kevin Guillory for sharing his journey and inspirational words.