We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Bessix, MBA, ABD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risk has helped me to remain confident, remove fears or self-doubt, and be resilient. Often, people over-think decisions and situations and this can paralyze action. While I believe you should be aware of all risks involved in any decision, you should not allow the risks to limit your ability to achieve your goals. Eleven years ago, I took a risk and leap of faith to start my company and haven’t looked back. I now work and live with purpose.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’ve been in business for 11 years now and it has certainly been a journey. I’m blessed that our company continues to make such an impact in our community. edOpp Solutions LLC partners with organizations to attract, hire, train, certify and retain a high performing workforce. edOpp provides customized Workplace Learning solutions, HR and Management consulting services, interactive Digital Learning, and industry-recognized Workforce Development programs to reskill and upskill people. I’m proud that our learning experiences touch the lives of so many in Houston and across America from the GED/ESL adult to the single mother on unemployment benefits to the ex-offender looking for a second chance. Our students also include recent college graduates, managers trying to collaborate with their teams in this new virtual environment, and executive leaders seeking to navigate their organization in this dynamic world. The need to help so many including the millions unemployed to gain new skills is critical during this pandemic. We are the company in which people of all walks of life can gain transformational educational opportunities (edOpp) to achieve their best potential.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston has so many great spots to enjoy for anyone visiting the area. Prior to the pandemic, my friends and I would start with great food at the Breakfast Club, then visit the museum district to view the awesome exhibits at MFAH and HMNS, and attend a play at the Hobby Center or Ensemble Theater. We got to experience Houston’s diverse culture by enjoying spicy Jamaican food at Cool Runnings or authentic Honduran Caribbean food at Las Hamacas. We’ll catch a comedy show at Improv or enjoy a concert at the Toyota Center or Warehouse Live. To top it all off, my friends will relax at the Houstonian spa, enjoy some great wine, and kick it with my sorors of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The entrepreneurial journey is both rewarding and challenging. As your company grows, it becomes a little harder to have people in your corner that your trust. That’s why I’m happy for the support and encouragement of my VP of Strategic Partnerships, Pat Butler. He is my rock to weather any storm the company faces and he is a reassuring voice that I can conquer any challenge. He is truly supportive in the efforts to grow and scale the company and sacrifices as much as I do. In addition, I couldn’t do anything without my core team, Learning Facilitators, Performance Coaches, and UH HRD interns who assure we deliver high-quality, results-oriented learning experiences for our client partners. #TeamEdOpp is dedicated to transforming lives. Externally, I have a good network of friends and mentors. I appreciate the support from April Day, President of WBEA Houston. Not only does April support the mission of my company, but she supports my personal endeavor to graduate with my PhD next year. Over the years, I have come to value my annual lunches with my mentor, Beth Shapiro, who recently retired as VP of SCORE. Beth is truly a champion for Houston’s small businesses. I’ll always shout-out one of the best business development programs, Captial One Getting Down to Business Program, for helping to launch edOpp onto the scene. There are so many people who have touched my life in some way either with giving a nugget of advice, providing an opportunity, connecting me to someone in their network, or just answering my call when I need some help. Thank you all! Lastly but certainly not least is my foundation – my family. Being a CEO, mom, and doctoral student while working remotely from home and helping my 2nd-grade daughter go to school online, can feel like a juggling act. However, it takes a village to make everything possible. A big shout-out to my mom, my sister Ashley, and my daughter Baylee! My family keeps me grounded, has my back, and fills in the gaps to keep everything running smoothly.
edOpp Solutions, Amy Shipley, Creative Director