Meet the Bearded Businessmen for #BeardsANDBusiness

Beards and Business is created in partnership with The Connect 757 and Virginia Beard Festival to bring information to black men on how to successfully grow a business, network with other black professionals, and the motivation to go after your dreams of entrepreneurship.

Our dynamic panel will discuss how to develop, brand, and grow your business.

Lawrence Gholson II

Lawrence A. Gholson II is a certified team building facilitator, demonstrational life-coach, and speaker. With an urban approach Lawrence provides mentorship and coaching to small business owners, contract professionals and teams through his company YOU FACTOR COACHING

He brings over twenty years’ experience in professional and personal development, diversity training, and

organizational strategy. Specializing in creative partnerships and synergizing winning teams he challenges you to maximize every teachable moment in order to achieve your goals and ultimately discover your better self. He calls it discovery of your YOU Factor!

Terence Latham

Terence Latham is a Hampton Roads native born and raised in Chesapeake. Terence has  dreamed of being an entrepreneur since he was a child and he and his wife now own 5 small businesses in the 757. Terence has a passion for entrepreneurship and seeing others grow.  The goal is to own 100 small businesses by investing and partnering with other entrepreneurs to help them achieve their dreams. 

Brenten Sims

Brenten is not only a Youth Director in Chesapeake, but also serves as a leader in media. With an extensive background in serving young people and creating great content, his only hope is to continue extending love and experience. His passion for people and creative spirit have joined forces, so he is steadily thinking of new ways to serve the world around him. With experience in higher education, counseling, content creation, and entrepreneurship, Brenten has always felt the need to answer the call on his life. While all of these positions may seem a bit different, each role has helped him to understand and serve each person he’s privileged to know.

De’Geon Briggs

De’Geon Briggs is a Strayer University graduate. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a concentration in Finance.  He is also the owner of a State Farm Agency that rests in the heart of Hampton, VA. The mission of his office is to help clients succeed with money.  He works diligently in efforts to close the wealth gap that exists between the African-American community and others.  He holds licenses as an Investment Adviser, Mortgage Loan Officer, and Life Insurance Agent amongst others.  He resides in Smithfield with Ashley, his wife of 10 years. 

Lavar Reynolds

Lavar Reynolds is the CEO and Co-Owner of Universal Mental Health Services, LLC. UMHS has office locations in Newport News, VA, Richmond, VA and Annapolis, MD. Lavar is responsible for all aspects of business development and operations, which includes planning, identifying, negotiating and directing all aspects of business strategies, operational policies, objectives, initiatives and ensuring the integrity of the organization and fidelity of its mission. Lavar is responsible for identifying any specialties or resources needed in order to grow the company and will develop the short and long range plans for the organization.

Lavar earned a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from Liberty University in Human Services: Specialization in Marriage and Family Counseling. Lavar is a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, Certified Sex-Offender Treatment Provider in Virginia and Master Addiction Counselor. Lavar is also a Certified Addictions Counselor II in the State of Georgia. 

Aaron Davis

Aaron Davis is a Music Artist, Entrepreneur, Investor, Navy Veteran, and Owner of Urban Astronauts, a company specializing in Music, Marketing Coaching, and Creative Development ( He is also Co-Owner of the Daze of Summer Fashion Show in Hampton Roads. A native of Houston, TX, he developed a love for music and creativity at a young age, and was asked to join the Nationally Reknown Houston Boys Choir. After this, he went to Pearland Dawson High School in Texas where he earned all-district honors in athletics, and accepted a Congretional nomination to attend the United States Naval academy in 2010. During his tenure at the Naval Academy, Aaron was a 3-year Varsity letterman on the Navy Midshipmen Football Team, and comissioned as a United States Naval Officer in 2015. Upon comissioning, Aaron continued his love for Music, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship in the Hampton Roads area. In 2016, he founded Urban Astronauts, a Company focused on Music, Creativity, Fashion, and cultivating Elite Creative Entrepreneurs into their full potential.

Since it’s Founding, Urban Astronauts has been involved in Entrepreneurial Coaching, Music Production, Creative Direction, Fashion Show Development,  Marketing Strategy Creation and other Creative Endevours. In the month of April, Aaron also produced his in-studio Album, “First Day in Paradise”, which has thousands of streams, and has been considered for placements in TV/FILM since it’s release.

Aaron attributes his work ethic, arduos drive, and leadership skills to his time in the Naval Services. He dedicates his participation in Marketing and Entreprenurial Coaching to Creatives and Business Owners who put their customers above themselves. He believes that talented Creatives should always have a large platform to share their energy with the world. Aaron is expanding Urban Astronauts to group Coaching sessions, and is also working on 2021 album release.

Register for Beards & Business to grab your [VIRTUAL] seat today!

Published by Verlaine Quinniey

Verlaine is the Founder & CEO for The Connect 757. She is on a mission to connect Black Professionals so we can #getconnected & #stayconnected. Email:

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