Born: 1947, Memphis, TN.
Mother: Unmarried daughter of Mississippi sharecroppers. No high school.
Life: Poverty with no career aspirations.
High School: Booker T. Washington, downtown Memphis, TN., graduated 1965.
No resources for college.
My mother's goal - Just graduate, get a good government job, stay off drugs and out of jail.
Senior Year Intervention: Home Room Teacher, said I was "college material" and, despite no resources or family support, I believed her!
College: Lemoyne-Owen College, with 2-yr academic scholarship, graduated 1969 with a B.S in Sociology & Economics.
Graduate School: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.) Graduate School of Business, 1971, Corporation Finance. MBA
First Job: Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Executive Assistant to Odell Horton, then President of Lemoyne-Owen College.
Thirteen years later: President/CEO of Gateway National Bank, St. Louis, MO. (35 years old)
Later Career Milestones in Atlanta: Creator/Director, $12 million entrepreneurial development loan fund; Founder, Right Step Capital Development, Regulation D 504 private offering consulting firm (exempt securities up to $1 million for small businesses.
In 2001, I went into early retirement at the urging of my 92-year-old sick father who had no one else to care for him. I became his full-time caregiver.
Years later as a volunteer for Bell Community Services, I became aware of some significant challenges facing our public education system. So, after my mother and father passed, I decided to develop an encore career. My mind ran back to that high school teacher whose intervention, when I was an at-risk youth, was the turning point in my life.