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Recent News

Entrepreneurship 101

Owls Staff,  December 2016


Students at the Boys and Girls Club training facility in Memphis, Tennessee learned lasting lessons about starting businesses from Dominic Lawson.  As most students listened to the lecture, a few courageous participants took a more active approach to life...and it paid off!  These students experienced

simulated examples of the joys and heartbreaks that accompany successes and failures on the road to entrepreneurship.  In the end, they were at the head of the group, in a class of their own.

Owls has been invited to make Entrepreneurship 101 an ongoing feature of the business program at the Walker campus of the Boys and Girls Club.

A New Memphis

Owls Staff,  November 2016


Owls congratulates Dominic and Kenda Lawson.  We celebrated with the Fall 2016 graduating class at the New Memphis Institute.  It was a night of fun,  fancy dresses, and even more impressive kids.  The Embark graduation gala was held at the Boys and Girls Club training facility located at 903 Walker Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee.  

Graduates toured the facilities and learned about the various programs offered to inner city teens. In addition to auto mechanics, logisitcs and welding, the campus boasts an indoor garden.  The best surprise was that the culinary arts students catered the evening's event.  The food was superb!

Two Owls Embark

Owls Staff,  August 2016


We are excited to Embark on a new adventure that promises opportunities for growth and learning.  Owls LLC's own, Dominic and Kenda Lawson, were nominated and selected to be a part of New Memphis Institute’s fall 2016 cohort of Embark.    Embark promises to “find the next generation of talent and empower them to help shape our city’s future.”  We are honored that others see Owls as agents of social and economic change.


The methodology of this program is perhaps best explained by its alumni.  “Building a new Memphis is a collective effort.  Embark puts leaders together to move towards a better tomorrow.” -- Erin Johnson, Math teacher at The Soulsville Charter School.   Team members are pictured at New Memphis' M-azing Race.

Leadership and Scholarship Conference

Owls Staff,  July 2016


In partnership with Peak Performance Consulting, Owls gave 120 Sunflower County Consolidated School District students in grades 3-12 a crash course in leadership.  Male and female students were chosen from each grade level based on recommendations from educators.  Owls team members presented the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teen Leaders using fun activities and thoughtful connections to students’ local community.  The conference also featured presentations on etiquette and scholarship. 


Students were equipped with training materials with the expectation that they will become leaders in sharing life-changing knowledge with their peers.  One of the high school participants featured said, “There's so much that needs to be done, like now...we can't wait and lead later!”

Davis YMCA Awards Top 10 Adult Achievers 

Owls Staff, April 2016


Because of our work with organizations like YMCA's PETALS and Westwood High School, Owls was recognized last weekend by the Davis YMCA for its Adult Achievers of the Year who are leading the way in service to their community.  Michael Adrian Davis emceed a fun and engaging gala with notable award recipients including U.S. District Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III.  


We are honored to have Dominic Lawson and Kenda Lawson included among the list of such impressive young people.  It is our goal to continue to provide a valuable service to high-impact organizations.

Owls Wins MEMpitch

Owls Staff,  March 2016


On March 10, 2016 entrepreneur and master chocolatier Chef Phillip Ashley held his annual Entrepreneurship Master Class.  This year small business hopefuls competed in a SharkTank-style pitch competition judged by a panel of business insiders including the Memphis Grizzlies’ President of Operations, Jason Wexler.  There was stiff competition and many worthy organizations, but judges said they ultimately decided on a company with a clear and promising way forward: Owls LLC.  Judges were impressed by Owls’ ability to marry nonprofit sector altruism with private sector innovation to produce a powerful agent for social innovation.  This resonated with the EMC’s mission "to be a positive force and help in the growing entrepreneurial climate in Memphis and around the world beyond just business.”    Owls received a $5,000 prizes and a one-on-one coaching session with Jason Wexler.

YMCA Teen Summit

Owls Staff  March 2016


When Kim West, Program Director of the YMCA Teen Achievers, asked Kenda and Dominic Lawson to moderate the YMCA Teen Summit panel discussion she did not entirely expect the "energy and professionalism" they would bring.  Seen here posing for a selfie with a few of the YMCA Achievers, they navigated a complex and necessary conversation about police-teen interactions.  The moderators were prepared with well-crafted questions in addition to fielding inquiries from passionate young leaders and prompting a productive dialogue between community leaders and representatives of the police department. One panelist's advice to teens who find themselves in confrontations with the police to "just focus on making it home" has inspired our work on a community-police bridge program.  

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