BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.
BE MODERN MAN JEROME BROWN
Name: Jerome Brown
Profession: Global Asset Management at Wells Fargo and Vice President of the Young Mavens
One Word that Describes you: Vessel
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
This is truly a surprise and humbling honor! I’ve always been raised to work unto God and not to man, however being appreciated by your peers gives me a sense that my labor isn’t going in vain. This distinct honor is truly a blessing and one that I dedicate to every other person in need of inspiration and motivation. Also, those in pursuit of finding their purpose that God has designed for them. A platform such as Black Enterprise will allow many more to be reached.
What are some examples of how you have turned struggle into success?
I often tell people this story on how I eventually got to Charlotte, North Carolina. I wanted to be “the first” to accomplish a lot of things in my family, so I set my sights on doing so. I ultimately became the first male in my family to get an athletic scholarship to college, graduate, and graduate with my master’s degree. Even in the midst of all of those “accolades,” I found myself unemployed nine months after graduation. I had applied to 267 (yes, 267) jobs and was rejected from each. I thank God that I have a supportive family, who believes in the hands of God, who told me my horizons were opulent and to trust God’s timing. Long story short, looking back on it, I realize that I was not ready to be elevated and I had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. Five years later, I find myself in Charlotte (which was where I wanted to move to after college), with everything my heart desires. I had to trust God’s perfect timing and allow Him to redeem the time I felt I lost out on.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Pureness of heart. In every aspect of your life, you want to align yourself with others who naturally want to bring peace and ease to your life and have no ulterior motives. I believe all other characteristics can be altered or compromised, but if someone genuinely has your best interest at heart, hold on and build with them.
What are some of the immediate projects you are working on?
I am in the process of writing a book, Life From All Angles. I have been putting a lot of thought into this and have been applying a lot of life experiences, with wisdom gained, then applying it to my WordPad. I’m also a part of an amazing non-profit by the name of the Young Mavens Society, which is an initiative to improve the pipeline of
underrepresented minorities pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. There are some very innovative minds within that group.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
“You aren’t alone and success isn’t limited to a few. Knowing other like-minded individuals, and their personal stories, offers a measure of knowledge. Achievement does not have barriers… See your race as an attribute, be humble and be yourself. Laugh at failures and smirk at victories.” –Reginald Browne
What advice do you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Stealing a line from [NBA player] Joel Embiid, “Trust the process.” You are at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Besides aligning myself with the great men of the Young Mavens Society, I also volunteer every Tuesday at Charlotte’s local crisis center. I usually try not to have an agenda with me, because things often come up and alter your plans. I usually go in and share a level of transparency that they can relate to. Whatever questions they might have, I’ll answer as honestly as possible. I make it known that I am no different from them. All it takes is one day for their lives to change, if they wholeheartedly believe it will. I thrive off of calling myself a servant-leader!
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
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