LAKAY CORNELL I Founder and CEO
Every personality test LaKay has ever done has had the same result - she is a community builder by nature. She is fiercely committed to passionate people creating successful small businesses and legacies. And with over fifteen years of experience helping run, launch, and manage companies, she is able to see both the big picture of what the Space will be and the necessary steps to get there.
Never one to shy away from research, she has used her background in law and finance to come up with a business model that satisfies her goal of building community and small business, but also means the Space can operate in the black within two years and provide a monetary return on investment in three.
LaKay is also a master-connector. She created her first networking group at 25 and has been creating community in everything she does ever since. In 2012, she helped create the Abery Collective - a group for local women entrepreneurs which met monthly for 6 years. From this group, partnerships have formed, projects have launched, and deep friendships have been created. She is frequently the person you call when you need something for your business because she always knows someone you should call. She is truly at her most content when she is getting paid to help other people create a life and business they love.
Raising the money to open the Space is also about having fervent optimism and faith in yourself. LaKay has been doing the impossible since she was in her 20’s. She was the first single mom to graduate from Boston College Law School and was recognized as one of Boston’s Wonder Women. Ten years later she launched her own successful business and finance consulting practice during an economic downturn and was named one of Entrepreneur Night’s 40 under 40. She currently runs a consulting practice, Champagne Hippies, which seeks to spread the word about values-based business (what it is + why it matters + who has one + how you can too).
In addition to LaKay’s energy and dream, the Space is being created with the mentoring, support and guidance of the following advisors:
AARON JOHNSON I Strategic Advisor, Technical & Wellness
AJ is the owner of a successful local tech company which provides local businesses with the cutting edge tech options and support they need. He is also one of the owners of DRiV Fitness and is passionate about increasing the health and wellness of St. Augustine.
KATE MITCHELL I Strategic Advisor, Real Estate & Rentals
Kate has worked in real estate, house-flipping, design, and staging for over 20 years. A serial entrepreneur herself, she previously ran one of the most successful yoga studios/schools in St. Augustine. She has the super power of combining wellness and beauty in everything she does.
STEPHANIE MCFEE I Strategic Advisor, Fundraising & Investments
Steph uses the experience of her years in corporate and non-profit executive positions to run a coaching practice that helps women find and maximize the connections they need to launch or grow their businesses. She is also on the board of the newly launched Women’s Council through the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce.
PAULA ATHANS I Strategic Advisor, Design & Function
Paula is a retired art teacher and local artist. She is committed to using the ambiance of a space to create the energy you want to encourage.