Jennifer Gamble is a Chicago native who has called Nashville home since graduating from Fisk University. She is a non-profit executive turned entrepreneur and founder of Nelson PR + Communications (her maiden name is Nelson, in case you are as inquisitive as we are:). She is paving her own path in corporate communications and we are excited to share her client story.

What inspired you to start your business?

I was working as the CEO for Prevent Blindness TN, raising funds, hiring staff, managing an annual budget of $400K, you name it. During this time, it hit me that I was essentially learning how to run my own business and I officially launched Nelson PR + Communications in 2012. Launching my firm allowed me to get back into my passion of promoting programs and brand building for public entities. Working with clients like the TSU Athletics Department on a daily basis continues to be a rewarding part of my journey.

Nashville is being called the “It” city…. Why are you loving Nashville for your business? 

As an entrepreneur that believes family comes first, I could not see raising my children anywhere else. Nashville is where I began my collegiate journey, met my husband (a TSU grad, go Tigers!) and developed expertise in driving real results for corporations and non-profits. This city provides a nurturing home for small businesses and has city leaders that recognize, appreciate and support a thriving local business economy.

What was the biggest aha moment you have experienced during your business journey?

Discovering my niche in helping government and public organizations. Many times, public organizations do not have the resources, time and/or see the importance of building a strong brand presence. I am able to provide a cost effective way for them to build, manage and grow their organization in order for them to devote more time to their civic and mission driven work.

Why has NBIC been the best option for you and your business? 

I love the use of my convenient and functional office space, beneficial business development services and information that I receive along with the opportunity to network and establish peer-to-peer relationships with other small business owners. NBIC was actual pivotal in helping me develop my accounting system. This was one area I needed help in and of course, as a small business I could not go out and hire an accounting firm initially. Having the opportunity to gain this insight through NBIC was priceless and has helped in the sustainability of my company.

Name a barrier you faced during your business journey and how did you make it work for your good?

Of course, there are societal perceptions in being a minority, women-owned business. However, I never try to avoid it, but instead, utilize it as a positive. I take pride in my uniqueness and the different perspectives that I bring to a client relationship that may not be found in general market agencies. I can reach broader audiences. I can create tailored strategies that advance public awareness and diverse community outreach. I can add value and drive the results my clients needs.  My goal is to always meet my position and identity head on. I go out there and focus on #winning; there is no time for hiding.

“I go out there and focus on #winning; there is no time for hiding.”

 

Is there one business resource or tip you would give to NBIC readers just starting out in their business? 

I would tell any entrepreneur to make sure they are taking advantage of the local business resources provided in their city. Nashville has a lot of great organizations such as NBIC, the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center that offer free and membership style services to help in growing your business. There is a learning curve for many new business owners and you just don’t know what you don’t know.  Seeking out resources, networking and attending informational meetings is a good way to shorten the learning curve and avoid making crucial beginner mistakes.

 

Lastly, what can Music City expect from your company in 2017?

I am a part of the NBIC’s current Mentor Protege and Emerging Contractors program and will actively be pursuing federal contracts along with local government opportunities this year. Receiving a federal contract would be next level for my business and I am looking forward to making that happen in 2017.

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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.