Name: Ronny Oppong
Profession: Creative Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator for Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs
One Word That Describes You: Experience
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
Being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction is an honor. It means that someone believes in and trusts that the work that I am doing is exemplary as a young black man in today’s society.
What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?
Two years ago my friends and I reinstated the Columbus Chapter of the National Urban League Young Professionals. I served as vice president and assisted in the support for the Columbus Urban League and their respective initiatives, promoted the overall mission of the Columbus Urban League and a comprehensive orientation to the National Urban League movement for young professionals in the Columbus community.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
An example of struggle to success for me would have to be my ability to pursue a full scholarship to college knowing that the circumstances of my upbringing would not allow my family to support me financially in pursuing higher education.
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
I believe my extraordinary impact is the everlasting impressions I leave on people after interacting with them. Every time I connect with someone I make sure they leave with an understanding of who I am and how we are connected. I put 100% into everything that I do and I believe in the power of relationship and networks, so I make sure every unique interaction I have with someone is genuine and memorable.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
Important qualities to look for in relationships with others are the ability to push and question my thoughts. These relationships should be purposeful and reciprocal. I look for honesty. I want those around me to keep it real and be a voice of reason. I look for qualities of a leader, an organized individual.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Currently I am supporting The Columbus Urban League Young Professionals plan the 2018 National Urban League Conference in Columbus, Ohio.
What is the best advice you ever received?
I won’t say it’s the best advice because I have been given many sound words over the years but “Dream with your eyes open” was something that June Ambrose said to me and it stuck to me. I constantly put myself in place to see what it is I want to achieve and work hard for it. I see that it is an attainable, constant reminder.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
You have to get comfortable with not caring about what others will say and just move forward with your dreams and goals.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I start out with a simple prayer. I say “Lord thank you for this moment I have never encountered. Allow every interaction be filled with you and may people see what you see in me.” This gets me focused and ready to take on anything.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
I see myself as a global citizen and I love to travel and learn about culture across the nation and the world. I normally take a trip with friends and then stay where the locals stay to immerse myself into the culture.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A few months ago I would have said New York City, but now that I am in the city, my dream location may be Ghana. It’s the land of my parents and I haven’t been there in a long time. I would love to start some business ventures there and provide opportunities for the family to have some funds.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Last words would be that I wish that more black males would invest in one another. Think mentally, spiritually, and financially. We do so much on our own because we’ve been trained to think asking for help is weak. But together we are stronger, and by speaking out and asking for help, you save so many males from diving into themselves thinking something is wrong with them.
I am a creative in the fashion industry and I embrace it. I use whatever platform given to me to show other young men of color that men can do anything and most importantly young black men are doing great things and the world. And like my tagline says, stay on brand, have some style, and always jet set.
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.