Three entrepreneurs in St. Charles Parish 
chosen for unique Shell business accelerator

Christopher Switzer, Tishia Boldene and Kyle Nugent.

Three entrepreneurs in St. Charles Parish have been selected to take part in the Shell LiveWIRE program, which works as a business accelerator by giving those who take part free access to knowledge, skills, networks and resources that can help their businesses thrive.

Shell LiveWIRE supports businesses demonstrating attributes such as innovation, energy solutions, value chain integration and economic diversification.

Craig Jacomine, owner of Craig’s Electrical and Generator Service, graduated from the pilot program last year.

“The support I received regarding aid, mentorship and resources played a critical role in helping me overcome obstacles, take advantage of opportunities and achieve significant milestones,” Jacomine said.

Topics covered in the program help business owners manage their money, grow their sales strategy, manage their team and market their business. This year’s program will expand to eight sessions to dive deeper into managing money and marketing, Becky Cooper, US Corporate Relations Advisor for Shell, said.

Out of the 25 local entrepreneurs selected for this year’s program, the three from St. Charles Parish are Christopher Switzer, Kyle Nugent and Tishia Boldene.

Switzer is the owner of Bayou Trimlight, which provides permanent, holiday lighting that lasts year-round for residential and commercial properties

“Our track is color matched to your home’s soffit, secured, and barely visible during the day and bright at night,” Swtizer said. “We stand apart from the rest by offering a lifetime warranty to our customers and have also done the trees at Monsanto Park, for The Cajun Ninja, and for the actor, John Malcovich.”

Switzer was born and raised in Luling, but now lives in Bayou Gauche. He graduated from Hahnville High School and is a deputy with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, which is his full-time job.

He’s excited about taking part in the Shell LiveWIRE program and getting into the “nitty gritty” of owning a small business.

“I am hoping this program will not only showcase the hard work of each of the participants but give us all the confidence needed to continue on the road to success,” he said. “While each person offers something a little different, I hope to focus on marketing in my area and the important ways to be seen from different sources.”

Nugent serves as the founder and CEO of A Cut Above Lawn & Landscaping. He started the company in 2020 and began to grow it before his business was affected by Hurricane Ida.

“After Hurricane Ida we were offering more of a cleanup-based business where we were cleaning up shingles and debris from our clients’ yards,” Nugent said. “After regaining power and a little bit of a sense of normalcy, we returned to mowing lawns. Today our business is focused primarily on lawn care, with a little bit of light garden maintenance. I would say that we are about 85 percent residential and 15 percent commercial.”

Nugent, who moved to St. Charles Parish in 2016 in order to provide a better life for his children, enjoys learning new aspects of business and the struggles that come along with it.

“At first I thought because I was able to mow lawns and clean garden beds that I had what it takes to own a business,” he said. “I very quickly learned that doing the work is the easier part of business and actually owning and running a business is a lot harder than most would believe.”

He’s hoping Shell LiveWIRE provides a deeper insight into the financial side of his business along with showing him how to recruit and retain employees who want the best for both themselves and the community.

Boldene co-owns Squeeze Fresh LLC with her daughter, Kaylee Davis.

Davis, a ninth grader, developed a passion for nutrition and wellness due to her brother’s rare epilepsy diagnosis and her own digestive issues. These challenges inspired her to create fresh-pressed juices that not only tasted delicious but also provided essential nutrients to optimize brain function and support digestion – benefits noticed by Davis and her brother’s doctors.

Boldene, a financial management expert with over two decades of experience, manages Squeezy Fresh’s operational success and strategic growth, allowing her daughter to focus on recipe creation, graphic design, and social media management.

Boldene said she is looking forward to meeting other entrepreneurs that share the same common interests and gaining knowledge on the many different aspects of being a business owner while creating long-lasting relationships with both the instructors and other business owners.