What Do You Plan To Do As President And CEO Of The GCMCC?
I started with the Gulf Coast African American Chamber of Commerce as Executive Director in August 2017. During my first year with the chamber, it was determined that we needed to re-brand.
On October 1st, 2018, we officially opened the new Gulf Coast Minority Chamber of Commerce.
I have been the President/CEO of the chamber for the past 3 years. My current goals are to re-introduce the chamber to our community through “Getting Back to the Basics.”
Who Are You And Why Do You Do What You Do?
I was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. I went to Catholic High School and then graduated from UWF with a Management Information Systems degree in 1991. I then spent 22 years working in IT management in Tampa. I returned to Pensacola in 2013 and switched my career to non-profit leadership with the goal of having a positive impact on our community. I have been happily married to my beautiful wife, Harriett, for 28 years and have three children: Steven, Brianna, and Kendra.
As a leader, I am motivated to help create economic equality within our community. The basic premise is that ALL people should be treated fairly. As I network with various groups, I have gained additional insight into areas where improvements are needed. Economic equality has a massive impact on areas such as education, health, politics, and crime.
My involvement in Achieve Escambia, the Equality Project Alliance, the Mental Health Task Force, and the Baptist Community Advisory Council has allowed me the opportunity to meet a wide variety of leaders across numerous sectors of our environment. My goals have been to listen, understand, and gather various viewpoints. Once the information is obtained, I can present it to the community. The requests to share this knowledge are my motivation to educate our community on disparities and brainstorm areas where we can dedicate resources. My motivation is to have a positive impact on society by serving as a role model and leading others to challenge injustices.
What Is Your Passion And Vision For The Growth And Development Of Minority Entrepreneurship In Our Community?
My passion for the growth and development of minority entrepreneurship stems from the concept of creating more generational wealth. Numerous studies have determined that the best way to elevate our society is for our current generation to become more successful, which in turn will make life better for the next generation.
As new businesses are created and grow, they will:
1. Increase the number of employees.
2. Use passive income to purchase more services or goods.
3. Invest more in savings or stocks.
4. Provide more opportunities to the rest of our community. This will result in families investing more resources in their children through better education and skills. It will allow the parents to leave more resources to the next generation and bypass many of the challenges that their previous generation has encountered.
What Is Your Historical Influence?
From a historical perspective, I am influenced by the actions of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was killed the same year that I was born, and segregation ended only four short years before my birth. Significant strides have been made since these events took place, but improvements are still needed. MLK Jr. influenced me with his handling of inequality through peaceful actions. In the face of violence, injustice, and personal threats, he remained steadfast in addressing the challenges of ending inequalities.
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