Dear NOLA, Thank you #Katrina10

August 29th, 2015 in News

Dear NOLA, Thank you.

They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.
– Mexican Proverb

Ten years ago today, marks the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. With massive flooding from the failure of our city’s levees unleashed what would become the worst “natural disaster” of our time on US soil. Over 1,500 of our neighbors died during or after the floodwater took the city.

I started writing this article a few weeks ago and never finished. I stopped and started maybe half a dozen times as I deleted and back spaced my words out of existence. Nothing I typed seemed to give justice to what I felt. Not then and still not now.

There is no doubt that Katrina was life changing to everyone in New Orleans and across the Gulf region. There is also no doubt how the events that took shape in the aftermath of the storm would forever change our lives and leave a mark on the world.


August 29th, 2015 in News

Reblog from Inc Magazine

Forget motivation. Stop demotivating.

by Sevetri Wilson, CEO of Solid Ground Innovations

I am a very “straight to the point” person, and I’ve learned the hard way that this can really hurt morale.

Constant criticism, without an environment that praises great work, leads to employees becoming demotivated because they feel like they can never be ‘good enough.’ In a study that surveyed 1.2 million employees at primarily Fortune 1000 companies, they found that employees often don’t need motivation. It is constant critique without recognition that causes them to be demotivated.

When I give constructive criticism, I always emphasize that I believe in the person and their work. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have hired them. I make it a point to let my team members know that I’m fully aware of their capabilities, and I won’t accept anything less. I try to transform the conversation’s energy into something constructive by reminding them of what I loved about their other more successful projects and work. Whether that’s creativity, attention to detail, or content, it’s important to get people to dig deep down and pull out the work that made me hire them in the first place.

Entrepreneur Magazine: 10 Leaders Share the Habits That Help Them Be Freakishly Productive

August 29th, 2015 in News

Reblobbed from Entrepreneur Magazine

contribution by Sevetri M Wilson

Similar to Bill Gates, I focus more on my calendar for managing my priorities than my to-do list.

I time block my entire day hour by-hour on my calendar. Most people make the mistake of only time blocking their meetings and phone calls. I also time block my planning, time off, key daily priorities, emails that need longer replies and social media (so it doesn’t creep in other times).

Time blocking works best if you don’t allow the constant barrage of daily interruptions to ruin it. Studies show that the drop in one’s productivity is especially drastic if you’re doing complex tasks. So I let my team members know not to interrupt me by closing my office door, and I have my assistant answer unscheduled phone calls.

— Sevetri Wilson, CEO of Solid Ground Innovations

Starbucks Got IT All Wrong: Why ‘Race Together’ Was Doomed for failure

March 30th, 2015 in News

A few weeks ago everyone was in a frenzy over a very “bold” statement that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz created to stir up conversation around the topic of race in its coffee stores. The criticism was swift as loyal customers proclaimed they had no interest in discussing race relations over their morning cup of joe.


Then most recently Schultz announced that the largest coffee store chain in the world would “stop putting the words ‘Race Together’ on their cups.


Have you ever seen a conversation around race between people who were backed into it? Well, I have, and I have also seen the look on people’s faces as they scan the room for the closest exit.


Have you ever seen someone speak on race that had absolutely no clue about the racial climate in their city, not to mention their country? I’m sure if you have, you were standing there either biting your tongue, or wanting to pull your hair out.



March 9th, 2015 in News

Blog by Sevetri M Wilson

Last month I shared with my social media friends that I had embarked on a journey to read at least one business book per month in 2015. I received over forty emails and direct messages from people asking me to share my list.

Over the past few years I have intentionally incorporated daily habits of highly successful business people from across the world into my own daily routines. We’ve all heard the saying that Reading Is Fundamental, but I’ve learned for business owners it is much more than just that. In fact, reading is an imperative, and at many times, missed opportunity to grow your own skill sets and learn from the lessons of other leaders.

Below you will find my reading list broken down month by month.

I hope you can add one or two to your own repertoire. Be sure to drop me a line on twitter or tag me on IG with what you are reading @sevetriwilson . Also, if you have any other suggestions please share those as well. #SGIREADS2015

January 2015

 Scaling Up

By Verne Harnish

(Note: This is the follow up book to Mastering Rockerfeller Habits. I suggest reading “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” first as this book is a follow up to the decade old classic)

February 2015

Our Iceberg is Melting

By John Kotter

Leading Change

By John Kotter

(Read in order listed)

March 2015

Business Model Generation

By Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur

BlockBusters: Hit-Making, Risk-Taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment

By Anita Elberse

(thanks Michael for sending me this one. Way to #Payitforward)

April 2015

The Lean Startup

By Eric Ries

 May 2015

War and Peace

By Leo Tolstoy

June 2015

The Five Temptations of a CEO

By Patrick Lencioni

July 2015

Good To Great

By Jim Collins

August 2015

The E-Myth

By Michael Gerber

September 2015

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

By Rick Hanson

October 2015

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

By Nassim Nicholas Taleb

November 2015

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

By Patrick Lencioni

December 2015

The Power of Full Engagement

By Jim Loehr

The Pursuit of Knowledge

March 8th, 2015 in News

Wow!  On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to work with some of the most diverse and innovative minds in our state. Most of us are like candles; we burn so that others may have light.
Last week I had the chance to speak to three different groups and met even more brilliant minds. On Monday, I guest-lectured at my alma mater, LSU, to a graduate-level Strategic Communications class. In this very room, I could once again feel all the energy that a collegiate class brings; I could sense the hopes and dreams that I once felt when I stood in their shoes. I could once again feel the burning desire and eagerness to take on the world and show it what I had to offer; to be an asset to the media and communications world. From my current position, I knew that their journey was just beginning.
On Wednesday, I spent my time in Shreveport speaking with a fortune 200 companies’ sales and marketing team as they flew in from across the U.S. for their annual team conference. My workshop topic was: “Championing Diversity and Inclusion; Leading Innovation” and what it means to foster the continuous growth of a company that promotes and engages all three.  
Finally, on Thursday I kicked off part one in a marketing series of four, that our company, Solid Ground Innovations, is leading for the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) to educate small businesses in South Louisiana on how to make marketing strategies work for them.
What appears to be three completely different groups, all share one common theme: the pursuit of knowledge.
Whether it’s life after graduate school, figuring out how you innovate in a crowded market or leading brand and marketing development efforts for small businesses, we are all searching for knowledge and the spark that will ultimately get us to our endless goals.
Yet, I was curious to know what motivated each of them and I want to pose the same question to you. What motivates you? Why do you seek knowledge? What keeps you up at night? Moreover, what makes you get up and do whatever it is you do over and over again, day after day? What drives you? I urge everyone to explore your “WHY.”
If you opened this email and if you have read this far, I would like you to do one more thing.
Take the time to watch the video I have embedded in this email, Beats Reloadeda short 3-minute video.  If it does not move you, I apologize for wasting your 3 minutes. Yet, if it does, share it with someone who is in need of inspiration or motivation. Share it with your teams, your kids, your friends, your mentors or mentees. Share it because it might be right on time for someone who is seeking a reminder of their “why.”
As always, thank you for allowing me to share with you the experiences that my platform has afforded me.  Until next time… Do well, be great.
– Sevetri

Internship Alert: The Lincoln Theater

September 26th, 2013 in Jobs

theater banner

The Lincoln Theater

Internship Opportunities


The historic Lincoln Theater, originally built in 1950, is undergoing significant reconstruction to restore the Baton Rouge monument to its original state. To ensure the success of the restoration, as well as the daily operations of the building, the theater is seeking interns. The Lincoln Theater internship program is designed to give students a broad exposure to the organization and provide real-world experiences through working on purposeful projects and tasks under the guidance of experienced professionals.



Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program. Internships are unpaid, however course credit is available and encouraged. Interns will work 10-20 hours/week.

The ideal intern is professional, highly motivated, and looking to effectively contribute to a fast- paced environment. The candidate must be organized; detail- oriented, and demonstrate excellent written and verbal communication skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Office is necessary, as well as fluency with social media. Graphic design experience is a plus.

Internships are offered in many areas of the theater’s operations for students majoring or concentrating in Theater, Mass Communication, Graphic Design, History, and Art History.

Theater Intern:

Theater interns will assist in theater management at the Lincoln Theater with performance-related activities including but not limited to: general theatre operations; customer service; patron and member service support; preparation of performance reports.

Communications Intern:

Communication interns will work in all facets of communication including media and public relations, marketing, brand development, event planning, donor relations, office operations, and social media. The student must demonstrate the ability to undertake public relations writing assignments, have an understanding of basic media relation skills, ability to interact professionally with clients, and possess a high comfort level with social media platforms.

Graphic Design Intern:

The graphic design intern will work closely with the communications department to assist in the development of a promotional campaign to help raise awareness of the Lincoln Theater. The intern must demonstrate the ability to develop clear and engaging graphic communication for print and web. The student should be proficient in Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop or other design applications.

History and Art History Intern:

History interns will work throughout the theater on a variety of projects. They will work to effectively showcase the rich history housed in the local monument through research and the development of in-house and web content.

Please send resume and cover letter to For more information please e-mail or call 225.330.4924.

Job Alert: Sales and Marketing Coordinator

September 24th, 2013 in Jobs


Employment Opportunity

Sales & Marketing Coordinator (Part Time) 

Solid Ground Innovations seeks a Sales & Marketing Coordinator responsible for developing initiatives that support execution of marketing and sales strategies. The position demands strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills and will offer a stimulating work environment. Applicant must be out going, self-motivated and enjoy working in the community.

Position Description

The Sales & Marketing Coordinator will lead in the strategy and execution of key marketing initiatives including creative development, client recruitment, and account management for the purpose of increasing sales and clientele. The Sales & Marketing Coordinator will work closely with clients, the Director of Development and Director of Operations to ensure a successful integrated campaign execution.

Essential Duties:

– Execute annual sales and marketing plans that will meet or exceed internal goals by working collaboratively to design print, web and media advertising, collateral materials, direct mail and promotional pieces

– Must be capable of gaining an in-depth knowledge of services offered in order to develop and facilitate sales & marketing objectives

– Identify high value potential clients/business opportunities and establish relationships that are mutually beneficial

-Develop proposals based on client needs

-Review proposals with key staff

-Submit and follow up on proposals in a timely manner

-Engage, inspire and galvanize the organization around the brand vision, position and strategies

– Participate in brand strategy discussions and clearly define target market

-Conduct analysis and periodical reviews of the brand to enhance the brand’s equity and marketplace performance

Knowledge, Competencies, and Skills

We are seeking a candidate with strong writing and interpersonal skills, who will enjoy working in a fast- paced environment with multiple shifting priorities. The ideal candidate will be self-confident, self- motivated, personable and possess capability to execute deliverables without supervision.

–  Ability to clearly and effectively conceptualize, plan, communicate and execute ideas

–  Excellent interpersonal skills
–  Close attention to detail
–  Demonstrated sales experience
–  Commitment to meet deadlinesQualifications

Associate’s degree is required. Bachelor’s degree preferred. Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator experience a plus. Coursework emphasis in business/marketing is strongly preferred. Sales & Marketing experience in a related capacity is ideal.

20 hours per week w/potential for growth

Please submit a current resume and cover letter describing suitability for the position, as well as motivations for applying & portfolio of completed ad design work (if applicable) to or to:

Sevetri M. Wilson
Solid Ground Innovations 227 Florida Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70801

For any questions, please call 225-330-4924 or email,

Zimmerman verdict stirs up a pot of racism, classism and debate on American justice

July 15th, 2013 in News

I woke up yesterday morning with a very heavy heart. Yes, we know Trayvon isn’t the only victim of unjust laws, and we know that our judicial system is not entirely free of classism and racism. We know this, yet what are we doing to stop it?  Unfortunately, it is the victims of these injustices that are the least well educated on the subject.

I thought about how I would feel if it had been my brother or one of my little cousins; about how devastating a loss it would be to me and my family. I couldn’t imagine.

It made me recall my own encounters with racism growing up in the small, rural area of Hammond, La. I went to predominately white schools; and by “predominately” I mean there were maybe three or four black students in the entire school.  Placed there by my mother who felt that for her children to ever get a chance in this world, we had to be infused into white culture, we had to know how to survive in a white world. So, she infused in us with an education of black empowerment; however, because we lived in Hammond we were unable to attend predominately black schools.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that at school my brother and I were victims of racism every day. And let me tell you, the racial slurs were really creative. We were always on the defensive because we knew it wasn’t right. Yet, when we told our teachers or the authorities about it no action was ever taken against the children responsible. The culture of racism in the schools we attended seemed to be an accepted part of the system. Classism and racism are apart of our judicial system. No one argues this.


Lessons from An Entrepreneurship Maven

June 24th, 2013 in News

I was going to write this post a few weeks ago, but decided to wait. I was inspired after hearing Karen Kerrigan speak at a business luncheon in Baton Rouge, LA. She’s the CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, and listening to her that day got me thinking. I started taking notes and realized there were far too many topics for one post, so I’ve decided to make this a four-part series. This post (part one) will give an overview of the speech Ms. Kerrigan made at the luncheon, and the next three will cover the related topics: Women Entrepreneurs: Why don’t we think BIG, The Entrepreneur vs.  the Job Creator, and Lifestyle of the Broke and Hopeless: What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur.

Part One: Lessons From An Entrepreneuraship Maven

My father was a businessman, and I remember even at a young age being fascinated by his work. Although I was very young when he passed away, I feel as though I inherited from him an innate business sense.  Thus, it’s no wonder I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I’ve wanted to run my own business for as long as I can remember.

Sometimes I hear older, established businesspeople or career people talk about ‘entrepreneurs’ like the term itself is a joke. Maybe the perception has changed some now, but previously it was perceived as the new “it” word young people used to describe themselves when they were unemployed, and didn’t know what to do with their lives. Career-minded people don’t know how to react to someone whose plan is to try out as many jobs and “ideas” as it takes to find one that fits, with little concern for money. Maybe that’s part of the problem that older businesspeople have, it’s a “cool generational thing” that’s only temporary.

I go back and forth over whether to call myself an entrepreneur or not… maybe ‘businesswoman’ is more accurate? I feel like I’m very much both and maybe they are one in the same though I’m tending more and more toward ‘entrepreneur’. It fits my generation and me much better.

Getting back on track here… I was invited to hear Karen Kerrigan speak at a luncheon, and was truly inspired by her words. I am an entrepreneur! Not only that, but a woman and minority entrepreneur too, and that is something to be proud of!

As she reviewed the latest statistics from the employment industry, I was not surprised to learn that: