Secret to a Successful Side Hustle

Secret to a Successful Side Hustle Thursday, January 30, 2020 5:30pm-7:00pm Lamar University Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce


Join your fellow LU Alumni and other Southeast Texas professionals to get great tips on successfully managing a side hustle on Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 5:30pm in the Executive Event Center, Wayne A. Reaud Building, first floor. The Reaud Building is located at 985 Jim Gilligan Way, Beaumont, TX 77705, on the corner of Jim Gilligan Way and Rolfe Christopher.

Networking reception will begin at 5:30pm in the foyer,  and panel discussion will begin at 6:00pm in the Executive Event Center. Brandon Gouthier '96 will be available to take professional headshot photos before and after the presentation. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to network, learn some interesting strategies on managing a side business from local business professionals who are doing this successfully, and take a professional headshot photo to spruce up your social media profiles or company website.

Panelists include:

  • Katie (Whitney) Celli '08, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Medical Center of Southeast Texas
  • Natasha Garrett, Chief Executive Officer, G&G Enterprises Construction Corp.
  • Jevonne Pollard, Constable, Jefferson County Precinct 1
  • Nikki Relford, Owner, Niklem Kids Academy
  • Roy West '83, Owner, Roy West Team

Moderator: Brenna Smith, Director of Business Development, G&G Enterprises Construction Corp.

Advance registration and payment is required by Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 5pm.

Registration fee is only $7 per person and includes beverages, hors d'oeuvres, presentation, and headshot photos. Age 21 and up only. Seating is limited. Digital copies of the headshot photos taken at the event will be emailed to the registrant within two weeks after the event.

This event is a partnership of Lamar University and the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, presented by the Lamar University Office of Alumni Affairs and Southeast Texas Young Professionals Organization, Lamar University Center for Career and Professional Development, Lamar University MBA Program, and Leadership Beaumont Alumni.

Event Schedule

  • Networking Reception and Headshot Photos  5:30pm-6:00pm
  • Secret to a Successful Side Hustle Panel  6:00pm-6:45pm
  • Networking and Headshot Photos  6:45pm-7:00pm


Katie Celli

Katie (Whitney) Celli '08

Katie serves as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for The Medical Center of Southeast Texas and the Steward Medical Group. She is in charge of steering the strategic marketing initiatives, communications, public relations, and referral development for the 224-bed full service hospital in Port Arthur, the Beaumont campus, and the over 70 provider medical group serving the Southeast Texas area. Katie is a 2008 graduate of Lamar University. 

Growing up in a musical family, Katie was constantly surrounded by vocalists and musicians. By the time she was in elementary school, she was going to concerts where her mother would open for artists such as Vince Gill, John Anderson, and Steve Warner. By middle school, she frequently spent time with her mother's friends in Nashville such as Johnny Cash and various headlining song writers. Katie began singing very early on, and by her twenties she was performing in multiple bands such as Katie Whitney and the Draw, Still Cruisin', and 3CG. For the past 17 years, she has been the lead vocalist in bands playing all over Texas and Louisiana, and has opened for artists such as Aaron Watson, Easton Corbin, The Bellamy Brothers, Tracy Byrd, Stoney Larue, Bree Bagwell, Cory Morrow and Barbara Lynn.

Natasha Garrett

Natasha Garrett

Natasha Garrett is CEO of G&G Enterprises Construction Corp and a new franchise owner for BNI TX Greater Golden Triangle. Both companies serve the 5 county area: Chambers, Hardin, Jefferson, Liberty, and Orange. She earned a BS in Agriculture Education from Texas A&M University in 2001 and has been a resident of Southeast Texas for over 15 years. Natasha is past president of the Rotary Club of Orange, serves on the Cattle Baron's Ball Sponsorship Committee for the American Cancer Society, is an active member of BNI All Stars Chapter, serves in the AGC of Southeast Texas, serves on multiple committees with the Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the board of the Southeast Texas Nonprofit Development Center. Natasha is also a 2018 graduate of Leadership Beaumont.

Jevonne Pollard

Jevonne Pollard

Jevonne Pollard is the Constable for Jefferson County Precinct 1 and owner of Carte Blanche Concierge. She was born in New Orleans, LA and moved to Beaumont in 1989 with her family. She is a 1997 graduate of West Brook High School, completed two years as a business major at Lamar University, and graduated from Lamar Institute of Technology's police academy in 2001 at the top of her class. She began her career in law enforcement with the Beaumont Police Department in 2001. 

Jevonne quickly learned that most every "cop" had a side hustle so she and her husband Lance went into the concierge business. After an offer from Lance's classmate to help with a "celebrity" who came to town, Jevonne quickly saw the potential in transitioning from concierge to car service. In 2013, Jevonne and Lance began the car service side of their original company Carte Blanche Concierge. After two years of working the new venture on weekends and evenings, in 2015, the car service extension became the most profitable of the business.

Nikki Relford

Nikki Relford

Nikki Relford is the Owner of Niklem Kids Academy and also owns NB Tax Service and Once Upon A Dream. Nikki is a 2002 graduate of Central High School. At age 16, Nikki became pregnant and ended up working as an assistant manager of Dollar Tree and Target while she finished up high school and cared for her child. After high school, she worked in various management positions and moved to Lexington, KY in 2006 to start a career as an operations manager at the University of Kentucky Hospital. After two years, she moved back to Texas and soon gave birth to twins, becoming a mother of three. She was recruited by Crothall in Beaumont for an operations manager position which she held for a year before resigning to begin her own insurance business UR Insured. Realizing her passion was working with children, she started planning for a change in career. In 2012, she put together a business plan for a childcare center. Without funds and other resources needed, she decided to start small and work from home. Within a year, the childcare center had outgrown the space in her home so she needed to expand. She found a location that would owner finance and had the grand opening of her childcare center in July 2013. She married Lemuel Relford in August 2014 who also had 3 children of his own, the couple later had one child together, and they also decided to foster four children, making their family a total of eleven children.

In 2015, Nikki started working on a non-profit organization to provide childcare for teen parents. In September 2016, she became CEO of Once Upon A Dream which provides emergency assistance to teen parents. She and her husband opened their second location of Niklem Academy in the summer of 2017.

Roy West

Roy West '83

Roy West is the Owner of Roy West Team, a mortgage business. He is a lifelong resident of Beaumont. He graduated from Lamar University in 1983 with a BS degree in Sociology and went on to SMU to complete an MBA. He worked as a police officer for the City of Houston in 1980s, and before he went into the mortgage business, he was an owner of a security guard and security alarm company. Roy has over 35 years of experience as a business owner and working for the public. In addition to the mortgage business, he has been hosting "The Roy West Show", a weekly one hour radio show since 2009. The show has won multiple awards and is heard locally on News Talk 560 KLVI, the largest AM radio station in Southeast Texas. Roy is active at his church and serves on several local community and charitable board of directors.