Our father this Friday is extra special because its my dad. In world filled with so many fatherless households, he's hand down the most amazing role model, cool father and sweet husband. For the past 6 six years, he reported directly to the Governor of Michigan as CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation in Lansing, MI. His primary job was managing billions of dollars to help get the economy booming in Michigan again by working with different organizations and firms all across the world. During his tenure, he launched a new pilot Economic Development program called Community Ventures that achieved national recognition for its effectiveness versus previous initiatives. The goal of Community Ventures was to help the structurally unemployed, those heavily reliant on government assistance, ex-convicts, disabled and more. The program was launched in Saginaw, Pontiac, Flint and Detroit with a $10 million grant from State of Michigan to try and help around 3000 people train to become self-sufficient. Currently the program has 68% retention rate one year after participants have been trained and employed by CV partner firms. This is significantly higher than virtually any other Economic Development Program in the country at the time. Now, he's working on spreading Community Ventures across the country and within Michigan to help fixed some of the most blight ridden areas.
In addition to being an amazing business mind, he's an amazing father as well. He's raised 3 boys, two of which who have college degrees and my youngest little brother will get his eventually. My parents have been married almost 30 years and love each other more with every passing day. He grew up pretty poor but very happy with 7 brothers and sisters in Flint, Michigan. He worked in the plant at Flint during the summers and played football for Saginaw Vally State University to pay his way through college where he earned an accounting degree. Also, somehow managed to serve as student body president his last year on campus. He eventually made it to Central Michigan where he attained his Master in Administration, met my mother and the rest is really history from there.
I've always thought my dad was so cool. He's been to almost every country in the world, met everybody who's actually somebody and could text people many of us just hope to meet one day lol. My dad has run various departments of organizations, he ran multimillion dollar companies before he got into Economic Development and he's even launched quasi-public institutions that could last forever with the help of government. He's the reason that me and so many other young black youth he's helped believe we can do anything we put our minds too. This is why every Friday we'll be honoring good black fathers like my father to help fix one of biggest problems facing our community. We hope these positive images will battle all the negativity we see in the media and encourage others to step up and be fathers or fatherly figures to our youth. Show your support by sharing this message and tagging good fathers of any race you know and tagging us in your photos.