Morenike Murphy: Overcoming Obstacles With Purpose and Passion

Meet Morenike Murphy, CEO and founder of The Center of Hope for Behavioral Health. In 2020, shortly before the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morenike opened the doors to the Center of Hope for Behavioral Health. The center was only open for about a month when Nashville was hit with devastating tornadoes. Instead of letting the stress and uncertainty of the situation get the best of her, Morenike worked on her business in the NBIC Foundations class. This allowed her to have a support system to lean on, which was the key to helping her weather the storm filled with accountability and encouragement.

Testimonies of Morenike’s resilience are evident throughout the office, starting with the inspirational sign that reads “The World Needs Who You Were Made To Be.” This statement is a reflection of Morenike’s personal story of overcoming obstacles to fulfill her purpose and passion. Morenike tells us, “Navigating the mental health system in TN is especially challenging, even for those with knowledge and experience.” As a veteran in the field, backed by over 24 years of experience, Morenike saw her opportunity to change the mental health system in TN.

But even with over 2 decades of knowledge, Morenike wasn’t prepared for the exasperation that comes along with turning an idea into a successful business. Confiding in her trusted mentor, Derek Young, she was advised to enroll into NBIC’s Foundations program, which she did. Almost instantly, Morenike learned one of her very 1st lessons; How to Pivot. Since COVID-19 struck right when The Center was in its infant stage, Morenike was facing tests and trials that typically do not come this early in a business’s lifecycle. She reminisces about when she first joined the program stating, “I will admit, I thought it was not going to be helpful. I had the knowledge, I knew I had the experience. I thought, ‘a business plan’? Ok, I can do a business plan myself! [But] the first class, [and] the second class really humbled me. It really humbled me! I needed to set my ego aside and recognize that I did not have the skills that I thought I had, which specifically were skills needed to be able to develop a business plan.” In fact, Morenike still uses her same business plan today, observing the tweaks in her development from when she first started until now.

With her business plan as her superpower, Morenike was ready to take the mental health field by storm. Within 3 years, she has grown from a small two-room clinic into her own building and nearly a dozen employees. Not only that, proper planning and execution created opportunities for Morenike to expand. The Center of Hope for Behavioral Health now offers not only individual and couple counseling services, but also an office of children, adolescents, and families, community based services, an anxiety camp, and two housing programs, Matthew’s House and Peter’s House.

Morenike attributes a lot of her success to NBIC. “Getting connected with NBIC was probably hands-down the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me. It helped to slow me down and held me accountable.” She testifies to the fact even once you graduate the program, NBIC will still be there to offer additional support and tools. She reflects on a moment in her business journey in which she needed extra support. “I have had what I call ‘red-alert’ moments [where] I’m very overwhelmed, [and] didn’t know which direction to take.” She states, “NBIC, in terms of support as a graduate from one of their programs, has been incredibly helpful. I was able to reach out to NBIC and talk it through and immediately develop a plan on how to move forward.”

When it comes to laying the foundation for your business, Morenike believes the greatest gift that you can have is accountability. “It is very overwhelming and you don’t know what you don’t know,” which is why she reiterates NBIC is not for everyone. “I think you look at your why. You look at the passion you have for the business you want to start. You look at the level of burden you are willing to bear in order to get your business off the ground. I think that if you are not able to put your ego on a shelf and be open to receive feedback, hear from the experts, and accept their knowledge is true, then NBIC may not be the program for you.”

For those that are ready to embark on their own business growth journey, take NBIC’s Biz Quiz to begin your very own Mighty Oak success story today.

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Abigail DaSilva
Abigail DaSilva is the marketing coordinator at NBIC, channeling her passion and creativity to support the organization’s mission of leveling the playing field for entrepreneurs. A proud graduate of Tennessee State University, Abigail holds a degree in design, which fuels her artistic sensibilities and impeccable eye for aesthetics. Before joining NBIC, Abigail embarked on her own entrepreneurial journey alongside her brother, where she spearheaded the sales and marketing efforts of their own venture. This experience honed her skills in strategic promotion, customer engagement, and marketing media. Abigail has played a crucial role in the company, transforming their media marketing strategies, specifically towards a more video-driven approach. Recognizing the power of visual storytelling, she has created compelling content and innovative campaigns that have amplified NBIC’s reach and engagement, strengthening their online presence and impact. Outside of her professional endeavors, Abigail is an avid art buff, frequently visiting museums and exploring immersive experiences that combine technology and creativity. She also has a deep love for travel, shopping, and anything that allows her to utilize her creative mind. With her unwavering commitment and broad range of experience, Abigail is a valuable asset to NBIC. She remains eager to push boundaries, elevate engagement, and empower entrepreneurs through her exceptional marketing expertise.
Anne-Marie Tanner
Anne-Marie Tanner is the Programs Coordinator at NBIC. With a Master’s degree in strategic marketing from Midway University and a Bachelor’s degree in design from University of Kentucky, she brings a unique blend of business experience and creativity to her work. Prior to joining NBIC in March of 2023, Anne-Marie worked as a small business and startup consultant, where she gained valuable experience in guiding entrepreneurs through the challenges and opportunities of launching and growing their businesses. Her expertise in strategic planning and her ability to quickly grasp new concepts makes her a strong asset to the NBIC team. As the Programs Coordinator at NBIC, Anne-Marie manages multiple components, including Foundations, E-Myth, Framework, and Groundwork. Anne-Marie values collaboration and strives to align her work with the vision and expectations of her colleagues. Beyond her professional career, Anne-Marie has a wide range of hobbies and passions. She is an accomplished Olympic weight-lifter. Additionally, with her husband, she started a medical clinic in Martin, TN, a brewery and events center in Paris, TN, and an airbnb property. Their goal is not only to build successful businesses, but also to provide economic stability and job opportunities to as many people as possible. With her extensive background in business, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her commitment to personal growth, Anne-Marie Tanner is an extremely valuable asset to NBIC. Her diverse skill set and positive mindset make her a catalyst for success, both for herself and the new businesses she assists.
Saturnie Antoine
Saturnie Antoine has been a part of NBIC since November 2021, serving as the R.I.S.E. UP Program Manager. She holds a Bachelor’s degree and has obtained a professional certification in coaching skills. With a diverse background in corporate work spanning over 15 years, Saturnie has worked in various sectors. As the R.I.S.E. UP Program Manager, Saturnie oversees the entire program. Her responsibilities include structuring the curriculum, sourcing speakers, and organizing the launch campaign. Additionally, Saturnie provides personalized professional coaching to the program participants, offering guidance and support to help them scale their businesses to $1 million plus level. Since the commencement of the program in March 2023, under Saturnie’s leadership, R.I.S.E. UP has witnessed numerous accomplishments and successes. Additionally, the program’s focus on emotional intelligence has helped participants navigate internal challenges and overcome obstacles inhibiting their growth. Outside of work, Saturnie values personal time spent with her family and loved ones. Her true passion lies in her role as a professional coach, where she finds fulfillment in assisting women on their journey towards personal and professional growth. Saturnie’s commitment to her clients and her extensive experience, coupled with her excellent coaching skills, allows her to provide comprehensive support to program participants, enabling them to achieve their goals and reach new heights. Under Saturnie’s leadership, the R.I.S.E. UP Program continues to flourish and make a lasting impact on the lives of female entrepreneurs.
Leroy Cunningham
Leroy Cunningham currently occupies the role of Community and Capacity Building Manager at NBIC. He holds a major degree in Business Administration from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, along with minor degrees in Accounting and Economics. Leroy’s prior engagement with business development consulting brings great strength to the NBIC team. He has worked at three of the largest market capitalization companies in the world – Emerson Electric, General Electric, and Berkshire Hathaway. In his current role as the Community and Capacity Building Manager at NBIC, Leroy wears many hats. One of his primary objectives at NBIC is to increase the number of small minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses qualified to undertake contracts from prime contractors and government entities. By fostering relationships with community partners and engaging with prime contractors and government entities, Leroy works tirelessly to bridge the gap and provide opportunities for these businesses to flourish. Additionally, Leroy dedicates his time to consulting with business owners, providing them with valuable insights and guidance. By helping businesses at their current stage and empowering them to reach their goals, Leroy greatly contributes to the growth and success of NBIC’s clients. Outside of work, Leroy indulges in his love for reading, sports, and travel. With his vast knowledge, dedication, and passion for community empowerment, Leroy is committed to making a meaningful impact at NBIC. His wealth of certifications and global business experience lends a unique perspective and expertise to NBIC’s initiatives, which will undoubtedly drive the organization forward.
Octavia Wilson-Simmons
Octavia Wilson-Simmons is the Special Project Coordinator at NBIC. With a background as a tank storage broker, Octavia acted as a vital liaison between storage terminals and cargo owners, facilitating contracts for the transportation and storage of products. Prior to NBIC, she also worked as a chemical operator at a chemical company, further enhancing her expertise in the industry. Joining NBIC in early 2022, Octavia initially served as an assistant to Angela before transitioning to her current position as a Special Project Coordinator. In this role, Octavia plays a crucial part in various projects, including MNAA and Elevate 615. She also provides invaluable support to the team, assisting with grants and streamlining processes to ensure efficient collaboration and coordination. Outside of her professional endeavors, Octavia is extremely family-oriented and cherishes family outings and spending quality time with her loved ones. Octavia is also a dedicated DIY enthusiast and seeks to immerse herself in various projects. Octavia embraces the opportunity to collaborate with the NBIC team, support Angela, and contribute to the company’s mission. Having witnessed the growth of businesses firsthand gives Octavia special insight into the entrepreneurial world and the hard work that goes into operating and expanding your business. With her extensive background in the oil industry and her unwavering dedication to assisting others, Octavia continues to make a positive impact within NBIC, among her peers, and within the entrepreneurial community as a whole.