About Strategic Exceptions

Driving Results through People and Processes

Strategic Exceptions Professional Consulting, Inc. is an education and training company that utilizes effective and efficient strategies to support corporations, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals. We are also the parent company of Illinois MBDA Business Center and Lewis Simmons Foundation.

We help our clients grow by providing the following services: professional development and leadership workshops and trainings, business strategy development, and nonprofit strategy and grant writing.

Two women strategizing with post-it notes on a glass wall

Get to Know Our Founder, Terrie Simmons

CEO, Strategic Exceptions
President, IL MBDA Business Center

Strategic business consultant Terrie Simmons

Terrie is a strategic innovator, national award-winning empowerment speaker, serial entrepreneur, author, civic leader, and connector who helps underserved persons build wealth and chart successful professional, personal, and business paths.

She mentors over 30 women throughout the country and reaches men and women, worldwide, through her social media platforms and her empowerment show “Terrie Talks Tea.”

With over 30 years of building success in corporate and business environments, Terrie is the owner and CEO of Strategic Exceptions Professional Consulting, Inc. (SEPCI), a nationally certified Woman Owned Business and Minority Business Enterprise, and the President of the Illinois Minority Business Development Agency (IL MBDA) Business Center.

Notable Awards

  • Business Ledger Entrepreneurial Excellence Award for Support to Entrepreneurs, Daily Harald
  • Wintrust Act of Kindness Award, Aurora Bank and Trust
  • Status of Women Award 2020, Top Ladies of Distinction

Memberships

  • Women Entrepreneurs Secrets of Success (WESOS)
  • Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce (QCAACC)
  • Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce (ILBCC)

Meet Melodie Simmons

Director of Programs, The Lewis Simmons Foundation
Program Manager/Executive Assistant, IL MBDA Business Center

Melodie is an entrepreneur, mom of two teenagers, and business professional. Her first job was at a retail store where she was hired to be a cashier but within a week, she was creating floor displays for each department.

That love of business, fashion, and creativity led her to start her online shoe business, Adouci. Launching Adouci.com was a dream come true. Fashion has always been at the forefront of Melodie’s upbringing.

Melodie spent over 15 years in customer service in the utility and insurance industry.

Melodie is the Director of Programs for The Lewis Simmons Foundation. She is responsible for facilitating and orchestrating the Job Readiness program that partners with Correctional Facilities in Illinois, as well as community events throughout the year.

The Strategic Exceptions Story

Terrie Simmons SMB-Network 9

Strategic Exceptions Professional Consulting Inc. (SEPCI) is an education and training company that utilizes effective and efficient strategies to support corporations, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals. We are also the parent company of the Illinois MBDA Business Center and the Lewis Simmons Foundation.

We support corporations, small businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals through professional development and leadership workshops and trainings, business strategy development, and nonprofit strategy and grant writing.

In 2014, our CEO, Terrie Simmons, along with 3 other community leaders and business owners met with the CEO of WBDC Chicago and agreed on a plan to create a program to serve women and minority business owners in Aurora, IL.

Out of this collaboration, the Small Business Administration (SBA) awarded 1 of 2 grants for the SCALE up program to Aurora. The program’s success resulted in a second grant from the SBA the next year to create a Women’s Business Center in Aurora, IL. The program was created and executed by then corporate leader and External Affairs Manager, Terrie Simmons, as a pilot by Commonwealth Edison’s CEO creating a model of community and corporate social partnership.

After leaving corporate America in 2017, Terrie proved that she is well-versed in strategies for enhancing growth, expansion, and capacity building of businesses; and has proven results from dealing with the specific issues facing business enterprises.

As a WBC Director, Terrie helped businesses secure over $5M in capital and helped more than 500 clients annually! She also managed and had stewardship of over $2M in grant funding and has helped to launch 30 Business Start-ups.

She ran the center until 2020 when she became full time as the owner of SEPCI. The WBDC Chicago hired SEPCI in 2020 to run the WBC Cares Act program until April 31, 2021. During those 10 months, Terrie served over 275 clients, helped create almost 200 jobs and secured access to $300,000.00 in capital.

Strategic Exceptions now serves minority businesses through strategic business consulting (business strategy and coaching, workforce development training, process documentation and capability statements), grant writing and guidance to become minority business certified.

Since inception, SEPCI has partnered with Local, Federal and State Government organizations such as Kane County Sheriff’s Office, Minority Business Development Agency and Downtown Wheaton Association. We now work daily with our business partners such as Women’s Business Development Center Aurora, WoodForest National Bank Foundry, Aurora University, Small Business Accounting Services Aurora, Talented Tenth Social Services and Nicor Gas.

Group of people at entrepreneurial event at Woodforest Bank with Terrie Simmons in the middle.