Meet Charles Archer, CEO of the Thrive Network
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

What is your profession? Social Entrepreneur & CEO of the THRIVE Network

What is your age? 43 years old.

I have contributed to my industry by: Fighting on behalf of those underserved in the African American community for the past 20 years.

As the CEO of the THRIVE Network, a social services agency that provides services and programs to those in need, Charles A. Archer, Esq. works tirelessly to lead by action; not by position. “I think what makes me truly unique is that I’m a theorist and practitioner, who understands the significance of providing services while making an impact and difference in the lives of others,” he tells BE Modern Man.

Under Archer’s leadership, the agency has delivered services and programs that have touched over 1,000 individuals throughout the five boroughs of New York City and New Jersey. Programs range from community outreach, child education, and full-time residential programs for social rehabilitation, behavioral health services, employment and family support programs. Most recently, the agency helped an individual who required residential support 24 hours a day, move into his own apartment where he lives independently.

Though African American representation in leadership roles are not as recognized and acknowledged, specifically within the human services sector, Archer is at the forefront of social entrepreneurship—aiding in the design of effective services for individuals with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities.

When it comes to making an impact, Archer makes it clear, “I’m not looking for my impact within the community. I’m allowing my influence and impact to find me. My life work is about how it connects with others. I’m not seeking to tally how many things I do or have my name plastered across a building. Impact should only be measured by other people. In the case of The THRIVE Network, my focus is about the lives it touches. We’ve provided services to people who might not otherwise have been able to receive them on their own.”

Archer’s best career advice for people looking to find meaningful work: “Every Be Modern Man has wanted to be more than just a CEO. All generations should consider what decisions they have to make, and own, in order to be successful. Ambition is either a blessing or a curse. If you are ambitious without any action, it’s wasted energy. The blessing is taking your ambition and doing something with it. Don’t avoid the pitfalls, jump right in and FAIL! The greatest advancements have come from the greatest failures.”

“The best way to learn is to seek advice from others; find mentors, those who’ve done it before,” he continues. “And more importantly, let your experience speak for itself. Create a proven track record and find a way to create a bridge between your story, your passion, and experience.”

Finally, Archer wishes more successful people would discuss their failures with others because there lies the teaching moment and lesson. “In fourth grade, I was held back a year, while all my friends were moving up to fifth grade; that changed my life. Through this experience, I learned about failure and how to overcome hardships. As a result, I proved to myself that this was only a minor setback. As an adult, I had to take the bar exam 3 times before passing. It was a blow to my intelligence and my reputation. And that demoralizing experience took me back to my fourth-grade failure. My narrative exposes others to an understanding that your self-imposed limitations, social and economic challenges, and personal and professional failures are nothing but a pitfall, stumbling block, or temporary barrier to accomplishment, success, and personal fulfillment.”

Beyond Archer’s successful career as a change agent and social crusader, he’s most proud of his highly anticipated PhD. from Walden University and the fact that he’s visited over 45 countries, which inspired his international art collection. “I’ve learned life’s most valuable lessons from my travel experiences. Despite our cultural differences, we all desire the same thing for ourselves and our loved ones, and we even face the same challenges.”

As a man on a mission to help others become more independent, productive and included members of the community, Archer believes the BE Modern Man platform is an opportunity to share the importance of the THRIVE Network on a much larger scale. “It is necessary for telling our stories because the African American community is still concerned about inclusion, especially as it pertains to the Academy Awards. Diversity is not a trending topic and should always be discussed. As long as businesses feel the need to have a diversity officer, training program or retreat, there continues to be a concrete need to tell the challenges, failures and successes in our stories.”

The BlackEnterprise.com team salutes Charles A. Archer for his leadership and commitment to providing services and programs for a population that is often overlooked.

It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.

 

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