DBT40 Honoree: Louise Cummings-Lewis
Attorney & Community Advocate
Endless Discoveries LLC (Hockessin)
Tell us about Endless Discoveries. I created Endless Discoveries LLC following the line-of-duty death of my husband, Delaware State Trooper Corp. Steven Ballard in 2017) to allow me flexibility to manage various community investment opportunities. I am self-employed and provide consulting and fundraising services to the Delaware community. My services are provided through managing community funds such as the Ballard Community Fund & Supporting Kidds Fund through the Delaware Community Foundation. I also created and manage Ballard’s Reading Buddies in partnership with the United Way of Delaware to help foster a love of reading in first and second graders.
Why should you be chosen for DBT 40? I care deeply about the State of Delaware, its community growth and sustainability and the people who live here. Business is not always about the financial bottom line, it is about understanding and empowering people in our community where we live, work and play. Our businesses are only as strong as the people we invest in and that is why I have committed my work to serving our children and our nonprofits that provide important services to our state. I want people to be healthy and productive members of society and give back to Delaware by being properly educated and staying in the State to support our businesses and grow our communities.
Professional accomplishments: I earned a dual bachelor’s degree in psychology and Spanish from Georgetown University and a juris doctorate from Howard University School of Law. I was appointed to Kaye Scholer’s Diversity Committee my first year as an attorney. I was instrumental in creating the first minority-owned talent agency joint-venture between Butch Lewis Productions and IMG Worldwide. I served as a member of the NBCU Diversity Council for the Cable Entertainment Group. In 2014, I received the BESLA (Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association) Achiever Award. I was a member of Comcast’s Pro Bono Committee and led quarterly cable legal pro bono events including Wills for Heroes and Birth Certificate Clinics for the Homeless Advocates Project. I received the Legal Services Recognition Award in 2016 from the Homeless Advocates Project. I was also awarded the inaugural Comcast Pro Bono Champion Award. In 2017, I was appointed by Gov. John Carney as chair of the Delaware Women’s Workforce Council. Ballard’s Reading Buddies Received the Volunteer of the Year Award from The United Way of Delaware in 2019.
Leadership examples: I recently led the effort to save the Supporting Kidds program, which did not have enough resources to continue individual counseling for children who are grieving the loss of a loved one. I asked the CEO of Children and Families First what I could do to get the children back in counseling as soon as possible. They needed $50,000. In just four weeks I assembled an amazing team of volunteers, we worked together on an event that raised enough money to revive the program. To me, leadership is energizing people for a common goal. I set a pretty high goal but we all worked together, galvanized the community, used our resources, social media and TV and Radio media to draw attention. When something needs to get done, I am ready to jump all in and make change. Personally, I made a leadership gift to Tower Hill School to break ground on the outdoor experiential classroom and I also sought out others to match my gift to make the vision a reality.
Favorite book?“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
What did you want to be when you grew up?A child psychologist.
What’s your next big goal? To write a book.
Go-to song:“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield.
First job?I worked at an animal hospital.
Family and education: I am a widow, whose husband, Stephen, was a Delaware State Trooper killed in the line of duty in 2017. I have a 7-year-old daughter Abigail and my mother Sharon lives with us here in Delaware. I have bachelor’s degrees in psychology and Spanish from Georgetown University and a JD from Howard University School of Law.