Women's History Month Spotlight
Updated: Mar 22
Kelisha Garrett is the owner of Gen-X, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in business development, outreach and utilization of small minority businesses. With over 25 years of experience servicing medical, finance, procurement, management, government and non-profit business sectors, Gen-X Consulting Group is the industry leader in implementation strategy design, supplier diversity program creation, regulatory compliance reporting and business development.
Garett runs not one, but two impactful businesses. Inspired by the interest in being a resource to local chambers, she and David St. Etienne founded the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. LCCF is the only organization in existence to develop and provide resources to aide chambers impacting their region. The uniqueness of this setup is that it serves as a technical resource for chamber development. Unlike traditional chambers of commerce, LCCF does not have members. Instead, they have partners or sponsors, to fund local chambers. They serve as a resource to 7 chambers—three in operation and the other 4 undergoing reconstruction or in early stages of development.
Do you feel like being a woman made for challenging beginnings? Do you face gender related challenges today?
I have not personally faced any challenging dealing with being a woman. However, I have faced challenges with diversity.
What keeps you going—your why?
My motivation is mostly based on everything we need to be successful is in existence, and the barrier to being successful is lack of awareness of what needs to be done. I’m motivated by providing information to allow others to be successful.
What practices do you implement to ensure you get the most of your day?
I was taught by a wise gentleman to prioritize what is on my list. Things that are second are not important.
How long has your business served your community and how do you pour back into the community?
Gen-X launched in 2009 and have worked with clients off and on, and went back to full time in 2016. Pouring back to the community with Gen-X looks like mentorship and volunteering with people in positions that oversee issues and policies that impact minority business.
LCCF was founded in November 2018, so roughly two and-a-half years. It is a community-based organization, as it provides minorities access to opportunities and capital to support their businesses.
What advice can you give to women looking to start a business?
Write down exactly what you want to do and who you want to impact. You can have a guideline and accountability with what it is that you want to bring into fruition.
If you could mentor your younger self, what would you tell her?
If I could mentor my younger self, I would tell her to take time to celebrate success. It is a goal of mine that I am actively working toward.