Name: Christopher I. Brown
Profession: Cannabis Consultant
One word that describes you: Resilient
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It means that I am a man who is being recognized for my characteristics as an individual. I feel extremely humbled given that I am selected among many other men in this country.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
As a BEMM, my goal is to serve as a mentor to all young men, especially black males. I believe that it is imperative for black young men to see other men with whom they can identify make it in this world. When I have the opportunity to work with black males at community service events, I use this as a chance to extend myself and reach out.
What are some ways that you have turned struggle into success?
Being a 36-old-black male, I have had my fair share of struggles, but they have made me the person that I am today. Being elected as the first African American and the youngest mayor for the city of Hawthorne was a significant moment in my life but it did not come easy. Against all adversities it took hard work, determination, and a lot of sacrifice to achieve such a position and I am very grateful for that experience. After serving two years, I lost my re-election but this did not stop me from finding ways to help others. This lost catapulted me to a different place in life. It allowed me to use the strong connections that I have made by becoming a consultant for cannabis. From this, I developed a nonprofit organization called Houz Vets that will grant me the opportunity to provide housing to homeless veterans. So, I have learned that with every struggle comes an opportunity to do something greater if I just wait patiently.
What is your Extraordinary Impact?
I normally make an impact by using my own life experiences to show people that you can do and become whatever you want in life as long as you are willing to put in the hard work.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I look at whether or not people are trustworthy. I believe that sometimes all you have is a person’s word and by this alone you should be able to make a judgment call if they are a trustworthy person. Given that I have different business ventures, it is extremely important that I can rely on the person’s word that I am conducting business with.
What are some immediate projects that you are working on?
I am working on a variety of projects at the moment. The projects are broken up into two categories which are: my business ventures regarding consulting for cannabis and my nonprofit organization.
What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to always look for the positives even in the most awful situations.
What is some advice that you have for other men who want to make a difference?
My advice is that if there is something that you want to do in life then just do it!
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I make sure to do all my research and to learn as much as I can about the company and/or person that I am meeting with.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
My goal is to take a vacation every three months with my wife and every six months with our children. Our most recent family vacation was a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and it was one of my best trips because it allowed me to take our children, my father, my mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. It was memorable for several reasons: my wife just beat breast cancer, my father had never stayed on a resort and he is 73 years old, and it was our 3-year-old daughter’s first plane ride. I value being able to spend time with my family.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It would be Italy. I would visit Rome to see the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Then, I would visit Venice for the museums and the food. Italy’s culture is rich with architecture, food, museums, and history, and I would love to experience that.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for selecting me as one of Black Enterprise’s Modern Men of Distinction for 2017.
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 first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.