Name: Tony Harris
One word that describes you: Optimistic
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
My first reaction to the news of my inclusion was “Wow!” One of my goals has been to build a company worthy of a mention in these pages some day. So I’m humbled to be in such amazing company and challenged to build that company. My thanks to Mr. Graves and the BEMM editorial team for thinking of me, much less including me on such a list. Wow!
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
My “struggles” align with so many others. One parent household, not a great student in a Baltimore school system that still struggles to educate black boys, and navigating sketchy Baltimore neighborhoods. But I was saved by a hardworking mom, radio, and then television. Radio and television took me to places I wanted to go; I just had to figure out the vocation to get me there!
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Integrity is the most important quality in my most connected relationships. Finding it in a tiny handful of people in this business has given me a career.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I’m starting work soon on a new series for Discovery ID called Scene of the Crime that I’m really excited about, and there are a couple of really cool things in the works that I can’t speak on just yet.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice to come my way, thankfully, came early. It was to be yourself and breathe.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
I would tell men who want to make a difference to listen to the small voice inside of them that’s always reminding you of what you’re good at and where your passions lie. It sounds like some Obi-Wan Kenobi stuff, but it’s saved me a lot of grief.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I try to know as much as I can about the person/team I’m meeting with, or the event I’m participating in. I talk it over with my team, then I try to keep it simple and fun.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
Every trip to the Caribbean is my best vacation. I always end up talking to elected leaders from government and the opposition, and I love quizzing them on what they’re doing to improve the lives of their people. Yeah, I’m a bit of a policy wonk.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve been all over the world with this work, but for me, I’d always travel to the Caribbean. There’s so much diversity there! The why of the question is easy, it is that I just love the people. I can’t get enough of them.
Anything else you’d like to say?
The storyteller in me wants to tell more stories of black companies connecting with the African diaspora in this country, in Europe, in the Caribbean, and beyond. That’s an explosive liberation story.
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