Welcome, Reginald, to the Launch Dayton team!

July 19, 2022

We are thrilled to introduce Reginald Henderson, Parallax’s newest project manager, to the Launch Dayton team.

Reginald will be filling KeAnna Daniels’ role and taking over management of Early Risers Academy and the Launch Dayton Mentor Network.

We are so excited to welcome Reginald to the team, and to introduce him to all of you! We sat down with him last week to learn more about his journey here and his goals in the role. Our conversation has been lightly edited for clarity.

Tell us about yourself!

I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. After graduating high school, I earned the McIntosh Leadership Award which landed me at the University of Dayton where I studied business administration. The award also sponsored an internship with the City of Dayton, and I found my place in Planning and Community Development. While working toward my master’s degree at UD, I started my own organization, Elevation Collaborative, which focused on community development initiatives and events for young professionals. Before Parallax, I managed my mother’s pest control business, Ladybug Services. Overall, I’m just a man committed to growth, love, and integrity.

What drew you to this role?

I felt called to this role. I had been on the job hunt for a while because I knew I needed a new challenge and experience. However, I was having trouble finding a situation where I believed I could be authentically me, have an impact on the communities I care for, and continue my professional development. I had watched Ke in this role and how she flourished in this space, but I never really considered taking on her role. That was until she told me the position was opening as she was gearing up for her return to St. Louis. After, I read the job description I knew my skillset, experience, and interests matched well with needs and implications the of the position. I was confident in my ability to add value to Dayton’s entrepreneurial community and put my application in within days.

What are you looking forward to most in this new gig?

I anticipate engaging with the community through economics. I’ve done so politically and socially, but I look forward to stretching myself through this lens. It is much different than working inside a business as I did with Ladybug Services because I can now see the landscape of business activity which drives Dayton’s economy.

I also look forward to helping entrepreneurs and business owners achieve their personal and professional goals. The programs Launch Dayton and other resource providers offer seek to benefit marginalized and underrepresented groups, and I’m enthusiastic about being amongst the dynamic people leading this work. This is a great opportunity to learn, lead, and serve.

Has anything jumped out to you in your first week on the job?

I learned there is much work to do in this space. With folks starting businesses almost daily, there is a large pool of entrepreneurs and businessowners to connect with to ensure they are supported, knowledgeable of resources, and have the tools and power to thrive.

Who are you off the clock?

I love to explore! Whether through reading, traveling, conversations with folks, I just enjoy acquiring new skills, information, and relationships. I’m into all sorts of hobbies. Right now I’m learning bass guitar, picking up tennis, and have a motorcycle coming. I come from playing sports — basketball, track, golf. I love music and food in all its forms. I own several very health plants and looking to add more to the collection! I’m intrigued by design, period, but have a specific love for interiors, architecture, fashion, and experiential.

What are a few of your favorite local spots?

I consider myself a foodie, so I’m constantly exploring new restaurants. Some of my favorites are El Meson, Nanyea, Thai Table, Canal St. Deli. I love Barrel House, Toxic, and Members Only 937 for drinks. Wholly Grounds for top-tier coffee. Brim for my hat needs!

What are you reading or listening to now?

I’m reading “Startup Communities” by Brad Feld and “Salvation” by bell hooks. My musical interests are expansive, but you may catch me listening to Khruangbin, Smino, Griselda, etc.

What inspires you about Dayton?

Dayton is space that, with a solid effort from some organized people, could be transformed. There is this little pond, big fish scenario going on that opens the door for anyone willing to find a niche and lay the groundwork to make an impact.

Dayton has such a rich history and foundation to be built upon, but I think we have yet to fully recognize our value and utilize it as our competitive advantage. The Gem City is the land of funk music, birthplace of aviation, home of first internationally known Black writer, Paul Laurence Dunbar. There is so much to be inspired by, but what keeps me here is fervor to create a history as significant as those who helped refine this jewel.

Connect with Reginald and Early Risers Academy here, or Reginald and the Launch Dayton Mentor Network here.