A lot of people believe in the saying more money, more problems, but Wayne Ricks has found that more money is more jobs in the business world. Ricks is a Senior Business Consultant at the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at Southeastern Louisiana University. He’s not just any consultant though. He’s the State Star, for the second time in his 10-year career.
The State Star is an award recognized by America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) that highlights a person who is an exemplary performer, makes a significant contribution to his or her state and shows a strong commitment to small business.
In Ricks’ ten years, he’s been able to garner around $173 million and create 601 jobs for the Hammond and Northshore area business economy. In the last fiscal year alone, he helped local businesses rake in over $26 million in capital and created 104 new jobs for the region.
“I’ve known about Wayne’s positive impact on the LSBDC network from when I was a Center Director,” LSBDC State Director Rande Kessler said. “His recognition as State Star is really more than just as ‘this year’s winner.’ Wayne has been a winner for our network for many, many years. I am privileged to work with such a respected business professional and impressed by his consistent and significant contributions.”
SLU President John L. Crain echoed Kessler and said Ricks has consistently performed at the top level for the LSBDC.
“His personal attention to clients’ needs have successfully resulted in the creation of numerous jobs and significant capitalization for businesses and entrepreneurs in the area,” Crain said. “As a member of Southeastern’s award winning team at the LSBDC, named the best in the nation earlier this year, he meets high expectations, and being named a State Star for the second time attests to that.”
William Joubert, Director of the LSBDC at SLU summed it up when he said:
“In my 20-plus years of business consulting, I can honestly say Wayne Ricks is the best SBDC consultant I have ever met and we are lucky to have him.”
Ricks said it’s nice to be recognized for the hard work “we put in.”
“We as a center do a lot and work hard to help the business community,” Ricks said.
Since January 2005, Ricks has been instrumental within the LSBDC working with startup and existing business owners, as well as local economic development organizations, all for the purpose of facilitating growth in the Northshore area.
His areas of focus are consulting clients on an individual basis, assisting clients in creating financial projections, and industry research.
“Sometimes success is measured in wealth retention, by helping someone see that the business idea will not work can save someone’s house or avoid bankruptcy.”
“I find when I’m hard on them like that and these become the one who do really well,” Ricks said. “I beat up the ideas and let them respond because the business world is not fair or easy. When you fail, you fail.”
“When they are done with me they are ready because I really stress test them and their business to see how they handle it,” Ricks said.
Seeing people pursue and bring his and her dreams become a reality is really satisfying to Ricks. He said it’s really nice seeing the owners’ success and go to ribbon cuttings.
“Seeing them succeed is my motivation,” Ricks said. “Because I know if they make it through my boot camp they are prepared for business.”
Ricks takes great pride in working on projects such as a longtime waitress deciding to open her own restaurant and succeeding and being a major part of the Hammond Square Mall redevelopment project.