Name: Zach Rinkins
Profession: Author, Speaker, and Journalist
One Word That Describes You: Curious
What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?
Black Enterprise is my favorite magazine. I value the brand, its founder, and associated content and events. It is an honor to be formally recognized by and connect with an intrepid tradition totally committed toward advancing, educating, and empowering our people.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
At points in my career, I served as a university administrator, a juvenile crime diversion program manager, and a volunteer for a youth entrepreneurship program. All of these entities serve underrepresented and underserved populations. Colleges and community and faith-based organizations hire me to help them close the achievement gap and increase retention rates. I deliver content during orientations, Black Male Achievement sessions, career fairs, etc.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I love looking at the challenges people contend with and challenging myself to create content with solutions. Then, I identify experts, data, and solutions that will help them overcome a challenge or accomplish a goal.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
Scripture reminds us that, “In all thy getting, get understanding.” As a communicator, I help people understand issues, circumstances, and challenges. I pray they use that understanding to empower themselves. Dr. Stephen Covey challenged us to seek to understand before being understood. I spread understanding.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Energy, connection, and honesty.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I just released my book, I Am College Material! Your Guide to Unlimited College, Career, and Life Success (Australia Publishing). The book is aimed at giving current and prospective college students a competitive advantage during their college experience. Too many of us are graduating from college with massive debt and transitioning into low-paying jobs. This resource is designed to reverse that trend. I also write for publications aimed at empowering the Black community within the business sector and diversity/inclusion space. Lastly, I volunteer with my church and various community initiatives.
Photo Credit: Demetrius L. Smith, II
What is the best advice you ever received?
During an interview, Dr. Ben Carson once told me that the person who has the most to do with your success is you.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
You are worthy and you have something to contribute. A few of us may believe that we have not achieved enough to contribute and serve others. Several studies reveal a massive backlog of Black boys needing male mentors. Our desire and willingness to serve qualify us to make a difference.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I conduct research to find out how my desired goal aligns with their priorities. After I get comfortable with the research, I create mental talking points about how I can help them advance their goals. I also identify people in my network that may know the people in the meeting. I dress appropriately, relax, and bring my authentic self to the meeting and/or event.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
Nearly 80% of my vacations are on or very close to an ocean. My wife and I love to sit and vibe on the beach. We really like and enjoy each other. I always read, listen to music, converse, and swim. I love to swim.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I am open to virtually anywhere with a beach.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I want to do my part to ensure that future generations don’t contend with the challenges that beset past generations.
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.