Success can be all about connecting with the right people.

The Accelerator is led by Chief Executive Officer Darrin Redus, along with a core team of senior business advisors, and an extended team of coaches and subject matter experts that are engaged as part of a customized set of business solutions and growth strategies for each client engagement.

Darrin Redus

Chief Executive Officer

A national thought leader for inclusive entrepreneurship and growing larger-scale diverse businesses, Darrin is a seasoned business executive and successful entrepreneur. Prior to his work at the Chamber, Darrin served as President and CEO for MainStreet Inclusion Advisors, a national consulting firm developing diverse technology-based businesses and networks.

CURTIS HOLLIS

Chief Operating Officer

In this role, Curtis is responsible for enhancing the internal organizational processes and infrastructure that will allow the Minority Business Accelerator to continue to grow and fulfill its mission. Curtis brings 29 years of senior executive banking experience in operational effectiveness, product development, revenue generation, credit risk, and strategy development. Curtis is a graduate of Tennessee State University with a degree in Business Administration. He is also a University of Washington graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS).

Laura Sandstrom, ASA

Managing Director, Investments & Client Engagement

Laura brings over 20 years of valuation consulting to the team; she has worked at both Big4 consulting firms and boutique valuation firms. In that capacity, she worked with a variety of clients ranging from small start-ups to large multinational conglomerates, assisting them in the valuation of their businesses for purposes of meeting GAAP requirements. Laura left valuation consulting to join the corporate world with Paycor in Corporate Development; she helped to bring SaaS metrics to monthly board reports and created a robust competitive intelligence library comparing pre-IPO stats of competitors. She also partnered with product teams and created complex models for them before entering into a long-term partnership agreement. Laura then transitioned to Belcan as Senior Director of Finance. She managed all M&A activities, from LOI through to full integration, including financial due diligence, deal modeling, synergy tracking, non-IT integration, reporting unit changes and annual goodwill impairment testing. She also managed the weekly global cash consolidation and forecast, managed the credit department, and produced various monthly KPIs.  Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Xavier University and majored in Finance and Marketing. She obtained a Mini MBA from Miami University and holds an active license as an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) with the American Society of Appraisers in Business Valuation. Laura also serves as a Silent Board Member at Connetic Ventures.

Destini Brodi

Investment Associate

Destini Brodi supports the investment team as a Senior Associate at the Minority Business Accelerator leveraging her background in philanthropy management, entrepreneurship, impact investing, private equity, and venture capital. Destini’s passion for entrepreneurship and place-based investing began when she co-founded Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Prestige (LEAP)—a non-profit designed to improve economic wealth within St. Lawrence County, NY by teaching students how to create opportunities within their community. She went on to later served as an advocate and fundraising advisor for the Girl Rising Foundation, a student ambassador for UN Women, an expert advisor for Pacific Community Ventures (PCV), as well as a member of Women Invested in Sustainable Economies (WISE), VentureNext, BLCK VC, and Women in VC. Destini’s prior roles include previously working as a summer analyst with The Carlyle Group, a senior investment banking analyst at Siebert Williams Shank, an associate at Rev1 Ventures, and Bridges Impact Foundation. She holds a BBA in Finance from The College of William & Mary.

Thomas Fernandez

Senior Business Advisor

Thomas received his B.S. in Industrial Management from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, he served at Procter & Gamble in purchasing, human resources and acquisitions and divestitures in the U.S. and the U.K. Thomas started then sold two franchise businesses. He co-founded the Last Mile Food Rescue and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE) and serves on the boards of the Last Mile Food Rescue, SASE, and City Gospel Mission.

Asia Davis

Executive Assistant

Asia works closely with the CEO, COO and the team providing administrative and executive support. She serves as the primary contact for internal and external communications for all client relations, goal setters, and portfolio firms. Asia assists with the coordination of various activities, meetings, and events. Asia has served various teams throughout her time with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber including the Office of the President, Leadership Center, and Membership. She brings exemplary executive support to her team. Asia is a loving wife and mother of five. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and working alongside her husband Tracey in ministry.