ShineHard Family Raises the Bar in Connecting the Nation’s Top, Black Millennial Leaders

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As more baby boomers turn in their time sheets and sign those papers to enjoy retirement life, businesses are in need of new leaders. These new leaders that are starting to flock in our younger and much more ambitious than some of their older counterparts. 

Within the past few years, we have seen a major shift in the corporate world with more millennial leaders taking the ranks. They are an inspiration for the next generation. This is one of the main reasons behind the Shine Hard Family business—to connect the Nation’s top black millennials through a series of interviews. 

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the executive director Johnny Bailey. He chatted on the inspiration behind the brand and what is to come in the future for ShineHard Family. Take a look at the interview below.

Can you tell myself and the readers about yourself and your upbringing?

Well, I’m an only child raised by my grandmother. I traveled a lot as a kid, going from Georgia to Denver to Maryland but spent most of my childhood in Petersburg, Virginia. My dad was in the military and my mom was a free-spirited entrepreneur. Most of my family in Virginia lived within a 10-mile radius, and I would definitely call our lifestyle humble beginnings. I was always into sports, music, geography, history, and people. I didn’t really have a blueprint on how to succeed as a black boy in America but I never once thought that it was not possible for me. Being an only child I was never really able to compare myself to anyone else. I had to set standards for myself and usually foolishly high standards at that.

Can tell us about the ShineHard Family and what it specifically does?

The ShineHard Family was founded in 2014 as an interview series to shine a light on young people that I felt exemplified Black excellence. After our first season, the readers had so great reviews and suggestions on how to improve. I did my best to raise the bar and answer the call. Today we’re a nonprofit organization with a mission to recognize and connect the nation’s top black millennial leaders; Then we unify as members to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders.

What events can we look forward to coming up from the ShineHard Family?

We’ll have a number of Career Mentorship Workshops coming to Howard’s Campus this Spring, also hosting a music industry event in New York City. Hosting the Annual ShineHard Leadership Summit in the Fall and for digital learners, there’s season 4 and 5 of The ShineHard Conversation featuring the nation’s top bBack millennial leaders.

Was the recent spike in social injustices over the last 5 years a reason for the brands creation?

The ShineHard Organization was created not just for the social injustices of past 5 years but over the past 400 years. There has been numerous organizations created to fight for social injustices over the years. ShineHard has joined that fight and we’re striving for social equality, economic empowerment and Black excellence.

Whose idea was it to start the ShineHard Conversation?

The ShineHard Conversation was an idea I had while reading Success Magazine, I imagined having young, Black influencers on a platform to share their testimonies and blueprints for success. I looked around at who I knew and went for it.

Who’s responsible for the topics, questions, and booking of guests?

The ShineHard team is responsible for this as a whole. We have a selection committee that focuses on identifying and recognizing the nation’s top leaders. Once we have narrowed down our selection for the year based on The ShineHard Leadership Criteria, our Director of Talent, Alex Hill, reaches out to talent to familiarize them with the organization and setup a preliminary interview with me, the Host. Interviews are scheduled from there!

Our questions have been curated of the past four years to develop a practical blueprint for the fast-paced millennials to follow and to have an everlasting effect on our community.

Whose idea was it to send a motivational text every day to the subscribers?

The daily message is sent Monday through Friday with thought provoking quotes by our Executive Director, Johnny Bailey. The 140 characters will inspire you to action, advance your perspective, and help you start your morning off right.

Can you share with us your partners in making ideas a reality?

The ShineHard team is a huge catalyst to the success of our programs. Nicole, Tajma, Lamont, Londen, Alex, Krystal, Sope, Raphael, Kelsi. A lot of our innovation comes from our membership network, we work together to bring dope ideas and events to the world.

Do you have any advice to offer to the next successful, millennial entrepreneur?

The advice that I would give to someone is Start with WHY and keep your mission in the forefront of your work. Find a way to serve many people, cultivate meaningful relationships, and Stay consistent! Your legacy will be defined by the amount of lives you touch.

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Evan Wheeler hails from Camden, NJ. Most know him as Huey X, which is his selected born again name. It was selected by his love of Huey P Newton and Malcolm X who he follows for their beliefs and looks up to as his mentors. Huey is a well educated brother by the standards of college, as well as being a self taught activist and revolutionary through his experiences in life. He also thinks of himself as an entrepreneur being involved in so many different fields that include: poetry, writing, youth advocacy, business development, investing, and production. He is, “Always looking to advance the culture & legacy ".

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