Wheeler Appointed Regional Director of MBAC at YBI

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Tanisha Wheeler has been appointed regional director for the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Youngstown Business Incubator. 

“I am honored and privileged to continue moving the MBAC forward as regional director,” Wheeler said in a news release. “It has been my pleasure to serve as a business counselor for MBAC since 2021, and we have made major strides to educate and elevate entrepreneurs in Mahoning Valley, as well as other counties in our region. This next step was the best move for me to continue the work we started.”

Wheeler previously served as one of MBAC’s business counselors and has spent the past two years providing technical assistance to small, minority and socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. Her role included providing professional consulting, access to capital and assistance in obtaining contract opportunities for clients.

“Tanisha is one of the brightest young talents in our community,” said Barb Ewing, CEO of the YBI. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to watch her continue to grow professionally in this role.”

Before coming to the YBI, Wheeler was the program coordinator at Inspiring Minds for one year before being named its program director in 2018. Her responsibilities included ensuring students’ academic success – largely focusing on literacy during the summer months – and community collaboration with Project LIT through the Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County. She assisted more than 50 students with academic gains, leadership and personal development and entrepreneurial endeavors, successfully launching two youth-led businesses in 2020.

The organization received local and national recognition, including being featured on NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” for its Inspiring America segment in 2020.

Wheeler, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University in 2017 and a Master of Business Administration in Leadership in 2022, owns Birthright Consulting, an educational consulting company in Youngstown, which works to close the gap between families and educators.

She currently serves on the advisory committee for Choffin Career & Technical Center and the board of directors for the Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership, Gateways to Better Living and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.

In May, MBAC was designated as a Tier 2 agency by the Ohio Department of Development’s Minority Business Development Division. As a Tier 2 agency, MBAC will focus on certification, funding and contracts for existing business. Previously, as a Tier 1 agency, MBAC provided help for startup businesses.

Stephanie Gilchrist, former regional director of MBAC and YBI’s Women and Youth Entrepreneurship Programs, believes the transition will increase the influence of minority businesses in the community.

“My vision is to see that all minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-friendly businesses will add to their communities and build economic wealth,” Gilchrist said. “I am confident that the new regional director, Tanisha Wheeler, will allow us to witness greater impact.”

Pictured at top: Tanisha Wheeler, the new regional director for the Minority Business Assistance Center at the Youngstown Business Incubator.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.