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Larson Ashford ‘24

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Larson grew up inspired by entrepreneurs in his family. Larson’s father founded a local tea shop specializing in imported blends that cultivated Larson’s own passion for small business and logistics. The shop gave Larson a chance to help his dad innovate every day across all parts of the operation where he also assumed the role of Ashford Tea Company’s Social Media Manager.

Larson went on to study logistics at Savannah State University as a student athlete. College honed his ability to multitask as a President’s Academic List student and Co-Captain of the Men’s Basketball Team. Larson was recognized for his role in boosting Savannah State’s enrollment with a 1st Place Marketing Group Project Award, and his Savannah State Tigers became the Men’s Basketball SIAC Conference Champion.

Professionally, Larson served as a Communications & Clinical Outreach Linkages Manager for the city’s Healthy Savannah project.

Larson earned a Bachelors in International Business and Logistics graduating Magna Cum Laude from Savannah State University in 2021. He is a May 2023 Savannah State Masters in Business candidate and is finishing his last year playing NCAA Division II basketball. Larson views his Peake Fellowship as a way to strengthen community business ecosystems by geography and industry at the same time that he strengthens his data analytics skills.

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

“It is with great enthusiasm and excitement that I nominate W. Larson Ashford for the Peake Fellowship on behalf of Savannah State University and President Kimberly Ballard-Washington. Larson is an outstanding person with passion, energy, and determination to excel as a scholar at Savannah State University.”

Horace Broadnax
Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Savannah State University

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Born in Bemidji, Minnesota and enrolled in the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Elias had a unique
childhood. Growing up in and around reservations led Elias to different perspectives on life. He
grew up in a rich Ojibwe environment and that directly translates to his strong work-ethic and
intense energy to help others.

Elias founded an apparel business called Real Nish during fourth grade to promote indigenous pride and cultural awareness. (Nish is short for Anishinabe which means the people in Ojibwe.) Elias later converted Real Nish into an online apparel store with personalized graphic designs during COVID. During his free time, Elias also is working on app development for a future startup.

Elias is a current undergraduate at Dartmouth College on the pre-med track. His major is
undeclared but he has a burning desire to learn and an insatiable curiosity. Elias sees the Peake
Fellowship as an opportunity to use his time to help others through local businesses.

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Tyler Holloway ’23

In 2023, Tyler completed her one-year Peake Fellowship after successfully supporting small business upskilling across Outreach & Engagement, Community Commerce, Operations, and Cybersecurity best practices. She now serves as the Peake Fellowship Joint Innovation Coordinator where she coaches Fellows and Navigators on their ongoing progress and supports the Peake Fellowship’s range of applied learning and teaching initiatives.

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 is a graduate of Savannah State University where she earned a Bachelors in Business Administration in December 2020 and an MBA in May 2022. Tyler is currently an evening graduate student in Cyberpsychology at Norfolk State University.

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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