1st & Main
CRC Academy enrolls cohorts every quarter. Our cohorts are named for the year in which they enrolled (1st) and the industries they represent (Main). The street names from Columbia, S.C. are general cohorts: made up of consultants from various and diverse industries.
Shennice Cleckley is CEO/Founder of Smart Cookie Coaching, children's book author and sought after motivational speaker. As a business strategist, she helps new and aspiring entrepreneurs clarify their purpose, build action plans, and grow their business. She is an award winning baker whose business was featured by Google’s “Grow with Google” program highlighting how she successfully transitioned her brick and mortar bakery
to a completely online business model by using YouTube and online tools. Shennice co-hosts the entrepreneurial radio show and podcast Start Something Columbia on 100.7FM The Point.
A sought after keynote and multimedia personality, Shennice has appeared on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and CNBC including casting on the first season of CNBC’s West Texas Investor’s Club. After 16 years in the baking industry, Shennice put down her apron full-time and became an official Grow with Google partner. She combines her love for entrepreneurship with gift of process design to help her clients organize their ideas and tasks.
Shennice earned her B.A. in Political Science and Public Affairs from Columbia College (SC). Before full time entrepreneurship, Shennice held positions as Business Process Associate, Grassroots Lobbyist/Advocate and Policy Director of the SC Legislative Black Caucus. She is a board member for The SC Whitmore School and member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is an active member and women's ministry leader at Mount Horeb United Methodist Church. Shennice and her husband LeBrian live in Lexington SC and together they have 4 kids, 1 granddaughter, beloved dog Coco.
Adrienne Craighead is committed to helping business owners and future entrepreneurs achieve greater financial success through smarter sales and marketing strategies. She approaches her work through her personal lens of putting PEOPLE and RELATIONSHIPS first. Her life mission is to teach others how forming and growing strong relationships will enrich their lives both personally and professionally.
She built her organization on the principle that if you GIVE a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day; but if you TEACH a man to fish, you’ll feed him for a lifetime. Because of this belief, she works side-by-side with clients to craft solid sales and marketing strategies that begin with healthy mindsets and end with the processes and tools that facilitate each effort.
She is a proud product of a military family (her father was a helicopter pilot for the US Marines and retired from a life of service to our country as a Lieutenant Colonel.)
Her mother shared her father’s interest in aviation and became one of our nation’s first flight attendants for the now-defunct Eastern Airlines. Even her only sibling, an older brother, took to the skies and makes a living as a pilot for American Airlines today. She credits the family’s frequent moves in the military with her ability to make new friends easily and her insatiable appetite for seeing new places, learning new things and meeting new people.
Adrienne paid her way through college by winning an assortment of merit-based scholarships and finished school Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Honors College at the University of South Carolina in Advertising and Public Relations. She is also a proud former recipient of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship where she spent a year in New Zealand earning her Masters degree in Communications at the University of Auckland and traveling the country, visiting Rotary clubs all over the North and South Islands, teaching the “Kiwis” about life in the Carolinas. When she isn’t chasing down opportunity, she can be found hanging with her two teenage daughters Caroline and Brenna and their two rescue dogs Lady and Callie.
carrie rachel dean
Carrie Rachel Dean is a consultant providing event planning, community & public relations, and volunteer management services for a wide variety of clients in the non-profit arena. A South Carolina native, Carrie Rachel moved to New York City upon graduation from Clemson and spent five years working with Native American Tribes across the country, assisting them with community relations and event-based marketing.
After the September 11thattacks on the World Trade Center, the company she worked for was forced to close its New York offices and she spent the next several months volunteering at the World Trade Center site for the Red Cross. Once clean-up was complete and her services no longer needed, Carrie Rachel began taking short-term event-planning jobs with the many 9/11 Family groups that formed after the attacks. Ultimately, she formed CRD Consulting and expanded her service to non-profit organizations other than those related to 9/11. Her client list includes GLAAD, East Harlem Tutorial Program, Helen Keller International and Literacy Inc.
Carrie Rachel is also a talented performer and enjoys showcasing her skills in a variety of settings, from singing the National Anthem for Mets baseball games to her web series, The Residuals, and cabarets.
A proud second-generation Clemson Tiger, she co-founded the New York City/Tri-State Clemson Club and can always be found - dressed head-to-toe in orange and purple - on Autumn Saturdays cheering on her National Champion football team.
Vanessa Mota is a Bilingual business consultant and CEO of Mota Enterprises LLC. For ten years, Mota Enterprises has had as its mission connecting and crosslinking the Anglo and Latino business markets in the Greater Columbia, S.C. metropolitan area.
Vanessa’s primary goal is to promote cultural awareness and cross linking with other ethnic cultures. She is an advisor for the Mayor's Minority Business
Council in which she represents Latino businesses in order to connect them with the City of Columbia and has twice presented Cross Linking Markets at the City of Columbia’s Office of Business Opportunities Annual Small Business Week event. The City of Columbia recognized her as the 2019 Business Spotlight honoree and she was featured nationally by the SBA for her work bringing cultures together. Vanessa is an advisor for the international affairs for the FBI and Director of SC Latina project, an organization that teaches young Latinos how to embrace their two cultures through Ambassadorship. As a graduate trainer for NxLevel for business owners and entrepreneurs, Vanessa leads training sessions through various local entities and has published multiple articles in the Latino statewide newspaper.
Vanessa is the president of Empresarios 101, a Latino networking group, and has served the Columbia International Festival as backstage coordinator helping keep the peace and organize over 85 represented countries. As corporate relations coordinator, Vanessa connects Anglo corporations to the Festival. Vanessa serves on the Board of Directors for East Point Academy and as a Bilingual consultant for the Wes Columbia Metro Rotary Club. She has been interviewed and spotlighted by the Latinos Statewide newspaper, Prospanica newsletter, and Exposure Magazine. She also serves on the Francis Marion University advisory board.
Vanessa was born in Chicago Illinois. God has blessed her with a wonderful supportive husband and two beautiful daughters.
Kristen Tiede is a healthcare technology professional with a decade of experience deploying remote healthcare monitoring solutions. A skilled customer relations specialist and Project Management Professional, Kristen’s core skills are in executing complex technology projects in the healthcare space. She is passionate about preventative care and making healthcare accessible to rural patients through technology.
As an early lead and principal at Trapollo, Kristen designed the start-up’s operations including the intricate processes needed to manage hardware inventory, issue product, and train healthcare practitioners and patients. Kristen organized a nationwide network of hardware installers and designed the returned merchandise processes for multiple vendor products. She built a call center operation to run each unique program and designed custom-fit solutions for providers like Mayo Clinic and Aetna.
Kristen’s deep industry knowledge led Trapollo to the forefront of remote health monitoring and she has been a workshop presenter, lead instructor, and featured speaker at several industry events. Kristen’s start-up experience came full circle as she oversaw the acquisition of Trapollo by Cox Communications. As liaison to the new regime, Kristen mapped and communicated Trapollo’s infrastructure, prepared employees for change, and worked with new leadership to ensure a smooth transition from start-up to corporate governance.
Kristen earned her BA at George Mason University and is a recent transplant to South Carolina. She resides in Greenville with her two dogs, Duke and Atia. She’s a live music aficionado, a dedicated football fan of the Clemson Tigers and Philadelphia Eagles, and enjoys travel, learning new technology, and spending time with family.