Tanzye Hill: From Educator To Community Changing Advocate

As a Nashville transplant, Tanzye Hill was first drawn to “Music City” by the calling of education. Teaching wasn’t just a job for Tanzye; it was a way to nurture her community. During her decade in the Metro Nashville Public School system, she saw her role as an extension of the families she served, going beyond the classroom to organize events and advocate for her students’ needs. However, the birth of her niece would change Tanzye’s life forever. Witnessing her sister’s birth experience, Tanzye was exposed to the harsh reality that birth wasn’t universally understood by women, and worse it can be marred by microaggressions and discrimination. As she stepped in to advocate for her sister, Tanzye felt a growing frustration with the medical team who seemed hesitant to support and listen. This would be the moment that ignited a fire within Tanzye, as she realized countless women were likely facing similar challenges during their maternal journey. Fueled by a new determination to make a change, she was ready to become an advocate for a positive, empowered birthing experience for all. The transition from educator to birth worker felt natural, but Tanzye’s vision extended beyond providing individual support. Becoming a doula solidified her belief in the importance of community and collaboration for sustainable birth work. This realization led her to Operation Hope in 2020. It was there that she was first introduced to NBIC. As a first-generation entrepreneur, Tanzye lacked the financial know-how to turn her passion for birth work into a reality. However, NBIC’s Foundations program provided the roadmap she needed, equipping her with financial literacy and invaluable connections. Mentors like Herman Hicks of First Horizon offered financial guidance, while Autumn “Ace” Copeland, owner of Quartz and Clay, became a key partner in Birth Manifesta’s digital presence. These connections, fostered by NBIC, continue to be instrumental in the organization’s success. NBIC’s impact extends far beyond Tanzye’s individual journey. Their supportive community has inspired Tanzye to create an encouraging space for the birthing community. In 2024, Birth Manifesta launched a comprehensive program featuring a 3-day intensive doula training followed by an apprenticeship, with a unique trip to Alabama to learn from the “Mothers of Gynecology.” And Tanzye’s vision doesn’t stop there. A Certified Professional Midwife program is in the works, which will foster a collaborative care team for empowering mothers, birth workers, and doulas. Tanzye’s success is a story of dedication, community building, and transformation. Whether you’re a birth professional, parent-to-be, or simply an advocate for informed consent, Birth Manifesta welcomes you. Do you have a calling you feel passionate about, but don’t know where to start? Take NBIC’s Biz Quiz today and uncover your true potential today.

Determined to make a difference, Larry dove headfirst into community service upon his release. He spearheaded annual Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas coat drives. He also penned a thought-provoking book, “What’s Your Excuse?” This powerful work challenged readers to take responsibility for their potential. Larry shared his story of how he transformed his prison experience into a springboard for financial success – saving up a staggering $100,000 in just 5 years!

With his savings, passion, and newfound vision intact, Larry transformed himself from a hustler into a businessman. In 2021, he launched The Refuse Engineers, a junk removal company serving both commercial and residential clients. Larry was overwhelmed by the new challenges that come with business ownership. “All of it was more like a new language for me because you know, I have always kind of been a hustler, but I didn’t know the business language or the rules in relation to owning and operating a business,” he explained. A friend at The Equity Alliance recommended Larry to NBIC and he applied to the next Framework cohort.

After finishing the program, his hunger for knowledge led him to conquer both Groundwork and E-Myth programs as part of NBIC’s Mighty Oak pathway. These programs were instrumental, equipping him with the essential business acumen he craved. From bookkeeping and entrepreneurial skills to a supportive network brimming with educational opportunities, NBIC provided the perfect platform for Larry to take The Refuse Engineers to the next level. Now armed with a solid foundation, Larry was primed to strategically pivot his business.

NBIC wasn’t just about acquiring knowledge. NBIC staff helped Larry cultivate relationships, offering networking events and opportunities that fostered his growth. “NBIC taught me the power of networking. They had me going to events, going to places where I was around like-minded people and that was very important and I have utilized that and I’ve seen the benefits of utilizing it first hand,” Larry said. Of course, the path of an entrepreneur is rarely smooth. The business faced challenges such as high dumping fees and the competitive nature of the construction industry. Larry pushed forward and remained resilient. He continually sought new opportunities to grow his business, knowledge, and make a lasting impact on his community.

You can often find Larry empowering others in situations similar to his. “I go inside of prisons and talk and speak to individuals about my past and hopefully allow my past to help them out and just give them some insight on not making poor choices and also overcoming major obstacles and coming out and being successful. I don’t want them to allow one bad day of their lives to become their reality.”

Larry now shares the knowledge acquired from NBIC to fellow ex-convicts who aspire to establish their own businesses. Recognizing the transformative impact of the NBIC programs he engaged in, he seeks to motivate individuals with similar backgrounds. Larry expresses gratitude towards the NBIC instructors for their belief in him and their assistance in realizing his goals. Larry Turnley’s remarkable journey from adversity to entrepreneurship underscores the importance of grit, community support, and the belief that one’s past does not dictate their future. He continues to share his narrative and insights in an effort to serve as an inspiration for others.

Larry’s journey sheds light on the transformative power and potential of NBIC in helping individuals rewrite their stories and build a path to a brighter future. If you’re tired of making excuses and ready to move your business forward, take our Biz Quiz to begin the first step on your Mighty Oak journey to success.

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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.