[Passion to Purpose] Johnnie Lovett, CEO at The Fresh Connection Brand Group

Although passionate, Lovett faced one his biggest challenges while a student at Illinois State University during his Freshman year. After just two semesters he was dismissed and saw all of his dreams slowly crumbling before him. He says, “this was the lowest point of my life and discouragement began to creep in, but I stopped at nothing to turn things around. It was at that point my life changed.” He held on to that story internally until 2013 when for the first time his family sat to hear him speak as apart of TEDX Midwest’s Young Entrepreneurship Series. “That experience opened my eyes to something bigger,” Lovett tells BE Modern Man. “It let me know that graduating college was low-hanging fruit. It was not a means to an end, but a stepping-stone to something greater.”

Working vigorously on his passion, connecting with smart like-minded and open-minded people, and challenging himself to achieve more everyday is Lovett’s recipe for success. “The best way to break through the static is by not striving for recognition, but to be better every time you execute,” says Lovett. “The best work will shine through.”

Throughout history men of color have predominantly been shinning through mainstream media in the areas of sports and entertainment. Lovett says although this is great we need to expose the strides that men of color have been making in industries across the board. “It’s easy to look left and right and not see anyone around like me,” Lovett tells BE Modern Man. “I see my narrative as inspiration for someone who feels like they’ve hit rock bottom, knowing that in those moments you are truly made strong. I think if we each take a personal pledge to reach another, we can really change the landscape of our community and conversations that portray our lifestyles in a negative way.”

Continuing to push himself and help others, Lovett is focused on growing into a leading professional within the advertising industry. “To me, Being a BE Modern Man means that I am challenging convention, and changing the perception of Black men in America within my industry, and within my community.”

The BlackEnterprise.com team salutes Johnnie Lovett for taking his passion for sneakers and fashion to new levels. Partnering with major organizations and giving a voice to the youth in the process are just what being a BE Modern Man is about. We are excited to see what Johnnie Lovett aka Johnnie Fresh is about to do next!

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