Blog Archives


Tyler Holloway ’23

Originally from Stone Mountain, Georgia, Tyler’s passion for entrepreneurship goes as far back as she can remember. As a student at Savannah State University, Tyler co-founded TigerCo Marketing, an initiative that took an inventor’s hot sauce to market with local stores. All of the company’s profits go toward a micro-loan program for other students at Savannah State. The overall TigerCo initiative, which was highlighted on the cover of Founder Magazine, has become a blueprint for rallying community support and joint innovation. As part of her service learning, Tyler also co-created an online marketplace for goods from student entrepreneurs across the campus. Beyond her interest in community commerce, Tyler also served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in 2021 and received a Coca-Cola United Bottling Company Internship & Scholarship in 2020.

Tyler graduated in December 2020 with a Bachelors in Business Administration and a focus on Marketing from Savannah State where she is currently completing her MBA. Tyler hopes that her one-year Peake Fellowship will accelerate her strengths in mentorship and business.

Excerpt from Tyler’s nomination to the Mary S. Peake Fellowship Selection Committee:

“It is with great pleasure that I nominate Tyler Holloway for the Peake Fellowship on behalf of Savannah State University and President Kimberly Ballard-Washington. Tyler is a passionate, determined student who has repeatedly proven to be a dedicated and reliable scholar. I have no doubt that she will be an asset to the program.”

Dr. Shalonda Mullgrav
Interim Vice President of University Advancement
Dean of the College of Business Administration
Savannah State University

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Mason Costa ’21

Mason Costa saw his Fellowship as a chance to help small & local businesses use social media and cybersecure operations to accelerate their Post-COVID recovery and reinvention. Born and raised in Dedham, Massachusetts, Mason graduated from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism, and a minor in Communications. At WVU, Mason developed a passion for creating stronger community connections through social media, video, and photography. In addition to Mason’s work behind the camera, he helped launch the on-air television program, WVU News, as an anchor and beat reporter. He used his broadcasts to share the campus experience through live broadcasts aired on the PBS station for northern West Virginia.

Mason’s understanding of social media outreach helped him promote his own services as a campus DJ for university events and local nightclubs. He also volunteered as Social Media Chair for his fraternity where he improved recruitment numbers and profiled member achievements. After graduation, Mason took a media and technology support role for mass events at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts which was interrupted by the pandemic.

Mason’s experience in journalism and new media technologies as well as his experiences working in neighborhood businesses led him to Peake Fellowship as a Research Associate prior to his selection as a Fellow. In that research role, he joined a Community Commerce Project focused on collaboration among the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges, and regional colleges. One particular focus of Mason’s work has been to support Black-owned businesses in West Virginia and Massachusetts as part of a larger project across the 50 states and five territories. Based on that experience, Mason will continue supporting those projects as he helps local businesses grow, create jobs, and strengthen each community he serves.

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Hannah London ’20

Born and raised in Hull, Massachusetts, Hannah attended University of Massachusetts Amherst where she graduated with a B.A. in Communication. Hannah worked her way through school in retail, restaurant, and day care center roles. From those experiences and looking forward, she developed a passion for helping local businesses. Coming from a tight-knit small town, Hannah sees the Fellowship as a chance to strengthen community connection across geographies and markets through outreach and engagement, ecommerce, web operations, and cybersecurity.

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Em Shank ’14

Em served as one of the first Peake Pilot Program Fellows after being nominated as a graduating college senior by two local chambers of commerce. Em’s longtime interests in social media, data analysis, local businesses, and organizational challenges, and team dynamics made the Fellowship a natural fit.

Em grew up in Northfield, Minnesota where their father ran an independent grocery store and participated actively in the local chamber. Em worked through college focused on trend analysis as a Data Support Specialist for a local insurance company. Em played varsity soccer and graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Sociology.

In 2019, Em returned to the Peake Fellowship Development Team after serving as a senior business analyst and operations management for Union Street Media, a cutting-edge provider of digital marketing services. At Union Street Media, Em specialized in business analysis and leading cross functional teams. As the Peake Fellowship Team & Venly’s Business Metrics Lead, Em supported all Peake Fellowship clients, Fellows, and Coaches to accelerate their measurable growth. Em focused on all four Peake Fellowship business tracks to improve outreach & engagement, community commerce innovation & transactions, web-based operations, and cybersecurity.

See below for a retrospective on Em’s Fellowship year and a description of the cool job that came next.

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Emily Macwilliams ’15

Born and raised in Central Massachusetts, Emily grew up in a tight knit family who inspired her when they created a small family business. Emily saw her Venly Fellowship as a chance to help local business grow by applying her passion for the area and her skills as a writer, artist, and social media expert. Emily graduated with a BA in English from Worcester State University in May 2014.

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Caroline Sun ’18

Originally from Arcadia, California, Caroline came to Boston and fell in love with her new home. She graduated from Boston University in May 2017 with a B.S. in Journalism. In addition to her studies, Caroline wrote for Boston University’s award-winning independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. She also managed social media for diverse clients from a community college district to a children’s publishing imprint at Scholastic. Caroline also used her outreach expertise to lead a record-setting college fundraising campaign for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. Now Caroline will apply her experiences to help local businesses grow and share their stories more effectively. Fluent in Mandarin, Caroline also speaks conversational Spanish.

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Tessa Tracy ’21

Tessa completed her own Fellowship in 2021 before starting as the Fellowship Program’s Coaching Design Specialist and taking on an international community-led development role with the Chain Collaborative. As the Chain Collaborative’s Program Manager reporting to the Executive Director, Tessa supports coffee growers as they design and execute sustainable development projects in their own communities and they improve the value chain as a whole from crop to cup.

Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Tessa has believed in social media’s ability to empower local businesses since first working with Venly as a Research Associate during her senior year at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Tessa continued to develop for-profit and nonprofit social media strategies for organizations that support their communities both locally and internationally. Her Spanish fluency has helped her work on best practices for local businesses as Fellowship Applied Learning Partners in over 100 Community Commerce Market Categories. Tessa graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. from Barnard College with a double major in Political Science / Spanish & Latin American Cultures. In addition to her other roles, Tessa is completing an online M.S. in Community and Organizational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin.

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Amy Sauber

Amy Sauber comes to Venly as a consultant and manager for small businesses with roots in the Carolinas and New England. She also draws on her experience as an award-winning (PEN America) writer and an educator for seaport operators. Amy loves working at the intersection of these passions to help local businesses grow. At Venly, her focus is sparking new ways for online and in-person applied learning to best serve the goals of each client and Fellow. Amy earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing from the College of Charleston, and an M.F.A. in writing from the University of New Hampshire.

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Born and raised in Stoneham, Massachusetts, Tim has been interested in local business since he first started working at a small ice cream parlor at the age of 16. Since then Tim has worked for a variety of local businesses, including interning at two startups. His experience ranges from leading social media marketing for one of the biggest Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns to assisting in donor relations and coordinating activities for colleges and students around the Fenway neighborhood of Boston. Tim graduated in 2016 from Emmanuel College with a B.A. in English Communications and Political Science, receiving a Distinction for his thesis on participation of terrorist organizations in electoral politics. Tim also spent a semester abroad at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey.

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Teonna Anderson ’16

Growing up in Everett, Massachusetts, Teonna began helping local businesses grow as her way of working through high school and then college. Teonna graduated from Suffolk University in Boston with a BS in Public Relations with a double minor in Marketing and Broadcast Journalism. During that time, she had been an applied learning and teaching role model for Peake as a young leader in the U.S. Credit Union movement.

During her second two years at Suffolk, Teonna began mentoring with longtime Peake Pilot Program Applied Learning Partner, Ron Draper, CEO of the Somerville Municipal Federal Credit Union and Board Member of the Cooperative Credit Union Association. The 5,000+ non-profit credit unions across the U.S. serve as member organizations for their depositors. In turn, the credit unions themselves are members of regional associations like the Cooperative Credit Union Association which serves credit unions across four states.

As a Marketing and Financial Education Specialist at Somerville’s Credit Union, Teonna worked with a Peake Fellow on outreach and engagement. Teonna’s role included establishment and oversight of the credit union’s website and digital marketing presence as well as implementation of press, digital strategies and campaigns that increased membership. Teonna also conducted internal trainings on new programs, promotions, policies, and procedures.

Based on her leadership at the credit union, Ron Draper nominated Teonna for the Peake Fellowship a few months after her college graduation. Teonna’s contributions led to a series of national credit union initiatives with longtime U.S. credit union executive and Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) President/CEO Ron McLean and CCUA Vice President Bonnie Doolin. Her experience laid the groundwork for Peake’s ongoing development of a nationwide strategy for credit unions to grow with the help of Networked AI & Big Data. Beyond progress with individual credit unions, Peake analytics now include over 50 benchmarks on every credit union in the U.S.

After her Fellowship, Teonna went on to leadership roles at PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and is now at global semiconductor manufacturer AMD. As AMD’s Partner Enablement Project Manager, Teonna collaborates with subject matter experts across the computer industry worldwide.

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