Obama Brands Ryan As GOP "Ideological Leader"
President Barack Obama, attending campaign fundraisers Sunday in Chicago, tagged Mitt Romney's newly picked vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan as the...
- Moving from ambition to meaning
- (Cake and Comfort)
Often when starting on the entrepreneurial journey, visions of huge success loom large. It can be heady to think of the possibilities of owning your own business, when there are stories all around of folks who went from nothing to multiple millions with one idea. The vision of huge success is one thing, but creating it is entirely another.
As anyone who has ventured on this path will tell you, it is not for the faint of heart. Customers, suppliers and contracts come and go, trends change, recessions and market crashes re-arrange the landscape for financing...often as the famous movie line said; you better "fasten your seat belts, for it's going to be a bumpy ride". That's entrepreneurship...and it can be a Shark Tank. Yet we keep going, pressing on, working to build the big dream, to make that vision a reality.
But sometimes as I've gone along this ride, moments happen that make meaning more important than ambition. That happened again this week when our ComfortCake HUGS Foundation hosted 20 students from Urban Prep Academy at our offices as part of their Discovering Our City Initiative. This initiative engages businesses and organizations to introduce students to parts of Chicago and career opportunities that they may not have ever been exposed to. I'm proud that this is the second year we've hosted them.
To me, there is nothing more meaningful than to see lights of interest come on in the eyes of positive, young people. To get their curiosity flowing about possibilities, to add to their menu of options, to field their excellent questions while sharing stories of what it takes to complete an education, start a business, and give back to others...it was priceless. We all know that the images portrayed of our youth is much more negative than positive. Yet, there is positivity all around us, and we can all do something with our youth to let them know we care about them and about their future, because it is our collective future.
I think it is important to let young folks see us doing what we do as entrepreneurs, whether times are good or times are hard. Let them see that as the old African proverb says, "To stumble is not to fall, but to move forward faster". I made those young men promise me that as long as they could look up they would get up as they go through this life. And being with them, sharing with them gave such meaning to my soul. This is what matters more than ambition to me. I could have had them stay all day because of the hope they engendered in me.
What can we all do? As our city copes with such astonishing violence and a mindset of hopelessness, we can reach out to our youth. It doesn't always take a program or a foundation. Sometimes it just takes a moment. When you see youth engaging in something positive, stop and let them know it's appreciated. When you see something needing correction, don't be afraid to correct with a loving touch or tone. For example, this week my cable was out, and the young technician who came to fix it was on time, which was terrific. But he came to the door with the straw from his soft drink hanging from his mouth, and started trying to go through his analysis with it hanging there! Now, I wasn't his momma, but I just had to stop and let him know that while I was glad he was on time, that straw was not building my confidence that he knew his stuff. I said it directly but with a smile...and he promptly got the point, trashed the straw and ended up doing a great job. It felt wonderful to then give him high marks when a survey call came later. Who knows, perhaps he will think about the impression he leaves when on future service calls, and the good survey marks will encourage him to succeed.
So, each one can reach one. In a store, on the street, look young folks in the eye. Say Hello...Smile... Engage...say "you're doing a great job!" We used to do that in our communities all the time to build each other up. You know, but for the grace of God go all of us...your son or daughter could be the one needing encouragement from a stranger one day. If we find ways to pay it forward - both small and large - then moving from ambition to meaning will become easier, and life can become sweeter for us all.
- WVON Inaugural Party
- (Nikki and the City)
If you thought for one second the Voice of the Negro wasn’t going to celebrate the major historical moment of #MLKObamaDay, then you were wrong. Dead wrong. This past Monday I attended radio station WVON 1690's inaugural party, held at The Grand Ballroom on 63rd Cottage Grove.Founded in 1926, WVON is a talk-radio station that caters to an African American audience. I listen to the Matt McGill Show almost every morning. WVON discusses issues relevant to the Black community, locally and globally.The average twenty-something probably doesn’t listen to WVON, so it didn’t shock me to find an older audience at the party. It didn’t bother me a bit, because those who know me, know at times I can have an old soul. Let me tell you guys, The Grand Ballroom is absolutely gorgeous. It’s definitely one of the South Side’s hidden gems. I’m hoping the community takes advantage of what they have to offer.WVON definitely rolled out the red carpet for us, literally. There was red carpet leading into the entrance. The security was tight! At one point I questioned if President Obama was going to make a quick appearance, because the security was so on point. The finger foods were consistently flowing, and guests had the choice of having an “Obama Mama” or “Lady O” cocktail. If you preferred not to consume alcohol, the “Sasha & Malia” drink was available as well. Isn’t that cute?!?A live band serenaded us, and every now and then the DJ played a song that would get us out of our seat. And since we’re in Chicago you know the type of dancing that occurred: stepping. Needless to say, we ate, we drank, and we were merry.
- Jason Gilmore: "Turning on the Juice"
- (Sherry Clayton Works)
After eight years on the road as a technology consultant with Accenture, I decided to take a management position with Chicago Public Schools in 2008. Being in my home city everyday made it apparent that I had developed very few personal and professional relationships in Chicago. A valued mentor recommended that I expand my network and actively engage people on a deeper level. This interview series is the result of that exercise in self-development. In this part of my personal and professional journey, I will share the stories of the insightful, inspiring, talented and accomplished Chicagoans I meet along the way.
The inaugural profile of The Personal and the Professional features Jason Gilmore. Jason and I met in the fall of 2012 at a strategic planning session for the Chicago Chapter of the National Urban Fellows. He immediately captured my attention with his poise and presence but I quickly realized that he was a man of insight and substance as well. During the meeting, Jason was quick to contribute insights, ask questions and offer assistance. I immediately added him to my list of people to know. Jason was kind enough to answer some probing questions this past December. An extended version of this interview can be found on my blog at http://sherryclaytonworks.wordpress.com/executive-interviews/
• Home Town: Detroit, MI
• Personal Moto: Have a vision and be demanding.
• Words of Wisdom: Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
• Currently Reading: It Worked For Me by Colin Powell
• Last Vacation Location: Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic
• Currently listening to: good Kid m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar
• Favorite Past time: Running – ran Detroit marathon this year
• Supported Charities: Charity Water, Oceana, PAWS Chicago
• Alma Mater: University of Michigan
• Nickname: I was called "Juice" until I was 12 because I could "turn on the juice" and run really fast.
• Guilty Pleasure: Reality TV
• Biggest Wish: To race the Boston Marathon
• Favorite Sports Team: Detroit Tigers, Lions, and Pistons
• Favorite T.V Show: Game of Thrones
Stylish, enigmatic and intelligent, Jason Gilmore creates quite an impression. He moved from Detroit to Chicago in October of 2010 where he is currently employed as Manager of Foundation & Government Grants for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago. The majority of his time is divided between identifying and prioritizing activities to engage donors, managing and engaging with a portfolio of donors, and guiding cultivation and solicitation strategies for donors.
The only members of Jason's family in Chicago are his wife and his extended Greek family of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. His wife works for a national consulting firm which promoted her to a senior level position based in Chicago. At the time, Jason was working as a Chief Compliance Officer & Academic Grant Writer for Covenant House Academies in Detroit.
Eventually, Jason would like to return to Detroit and contribute to the resurgence of the city. The motto of Detroit is "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus" which translates into "We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes". Jason believes he has a duty to try to embody that hope and contribute to the resurrection. This is no surprise. Afterall, he has always been interested in offering service to others.
In addition to being actively involved in the Association for Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter where he recently completed a fellowship, Jason is seeking to volunteer with a well-established and effective mentoring program geared towards young black men. His own uncle provided a vigilant and well structured guidance which helped him become the man he is today. All young men should be as fortunate.
Jason X. Gilmore | Manager of Foundation & Government Grants
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago
115 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60654
Direct: (312) 640-2185TTY: (312) 640-2102
Thanks for reading and I hoped you enjoyed learning more about the personal and professional sides of Jason Gilmore. Expect to see a new profile soon and be sure to follow this blog so that you will receive the latest updates, interviews and articles.
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