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Tom A. Goss

Insurance chief executive and athletic director Tom A. Goss was born on July 6, 1946 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He attended Knoxville’s Austin High School, where he was a standout football star in the 1960s. Goss went on to attend the University of Michigan and was named to the all-Big Ten team as a defensive tackle during his senior year. He graduated in 1968 with his B.S. degree in education.

Goss was first hired by Procter & Gamble in 1969. In 1970, he became a regional manager at R. J. Reynolds Industries, and was then named regional vice president for sales at Del Monte Corporation where he worked until the mid-1980s. Goss subsequently returned to Michigan as vice president of sales and marketing at Detroit's Faygo Beverages. In 1987, he moved to California and served as an executive at National Beverage Corporation until 1993, when he was named president and chief operating officer of PIA Merchandising. In March of 1997, Goss established and became managing partner/advisor of The Goss Group, Inc., a commercial insurance brokerage firm. That same year, he applied for and was hired as the first African American athletic director of the University of Michigan.

In 2000, Goss resigned from the University of Michigan and became chairman of The Goss Group, Inc. In 2001, The Goss Group, Marsh Inc. and the GMAC Insurance Group announced the establishment of a joint venture company, Goss LLC, where Goss also went on to serve as chairman.

Goss has served on numerous boards throughout his career, including the Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Tigers Baseball Advisory Board, United American Healthcare Corporation, and Omni Care Health Plan Inc. He was the former board chair of the Detroit Workforce Development Board, and has served as a trustee to the African American Experience Fund of the National Parks Service & Foundation. His awards include the 2001 University of Michigan’s Distinguished Alumni Service Award.

Goss is married to Carol Goss. They have three children: Anika, Fatima and Maloni.

Tom Goss was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 24, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.232

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/1/2014

Last Name

Goss

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Schools

Austin-East Magnet High School

University of Michigan

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Tom

Birth City, State, Country

Knoxville

HM ID

GOS03

State

Tennessee

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

7/6/1946

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Short Description

Insurance chief executive and athletic director Tom A. Goss (1946 - ) , chairman of Goss LLC and a principal at The Goss Group, Inc., was the first African American athletic director of the University of Michigan.

Employment

Procter & Gamble

R.J. Reynolds Industries

Del Monte Corporation

Faygo Beverages

National Beverage Corporation

PIA Merchandising

The Goss Group, Inc.

University of Michigan

Goss LLC

Thomas L. McLeary

Insurance executive, Chartered Life Underwriter and CEO of Endow, Incorporated, Thomas Livingston McLeary was born on September 8, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois. His mother, Edna Tubbs McLeary and all of her sisters were graduates of Rust College and his father, Thomas Jefferson McLeary, operated a dry cleaners. McLeary attended Doolittle Elementary School and graduated from Englewood High School in 1961.With the help of youth minister Clyde Miller, McLeary received an Illinois General Assembly scholarship, and earned his B.A. degree in psychology from the University of Illinois in 1965.

After graduation, McLeary joined the National Guard and enrolled in Prudential Insurance Company’s Management Training Program. McLeary began to appreciate the insurance business as he worked in the Chicago home office from 1965 to 1970. From 1970 to 1977, McLeary moved into Prudential Insurance’s Chicago Hyde Park office ins sales. Under the guidance of John Lassiter, a member of Operation Push, McLeary won the Prudential’s Agent of the Year Award in 1975 and a President’s Citation. McLeary, a Huebner Scholar attended American College and soon qualified as a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). In 1978, McLeary co-founded Endow, Incorporated as a multi-line insurance company dealing with public entities, small and large corporations and individuals of large net worth. In 1992, he formed with three others, Premier Network Service Group, the first national African American property and casualty and financial services firm.

McLeary is a past president of the Chicago Association of Life Underwriters and the Illinois Association of Life Underwriters (IALU). In 1987, McLeary was awarded the IALU’s Distinguished Service Award. A longtime member of the National Minority Business Development Council, McLeary is a member of ABLE and has also been a member of Chicago’s Million Dollar Round Table for twenty-four years. McLeary is active on numerous boards and civic committees. He also enjoys working with his wife on various projects to encourage and support young people.

McLeary was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 10, 2006.

Accession Number

A2006.155

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/10/2006

Last Name

McLeary

Maker Category
Middle Name

L.

Schools

Englewood High School

James R. Doolittle, Jr. Elementary School

University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Thomas

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MCL03

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maui, Hawaii

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

9/8/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Insurance chief executive Thomas L. McLeary (1944 - ) co-founded and served as the CEO of Endow, Incorporated, and helped form Premier Network Service Group, the first national African American property, casualty and financial services firm.

Employment

Prudential Insurance Company

Endow, Incorporated

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Thomas L. McLeary's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about his mother's teaching career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his paternal family's experiences in the South

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Thomas McLeary remembers his father's dry cleaning business

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls the decline of his father's business

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his father's later years

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Thomas L. McLeary describes how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about being an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers his father's business difficulties

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls his introduction to the insurance industry

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls his early religious activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the Church of the Good Shepherd in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers the gang activity at Englewood High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers sports players at the Big Ten Conference

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls his academic difficulties at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls his decision to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about his challenges in college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls the recruitment of black students to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers avoiding the Vietnam War draft

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls joining the Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers his promotion to sales at the Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his career at the Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Thomas L. McLeary remembers John Lassiter

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the products offered by the Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his success at the Prudential Insurance Company of America

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls forming the Endow, Inc. insurance brokerage

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his role in the National Association of Life Underwriters

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls his children's sports activities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about his clientele

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Thomas L. McLeary recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his insurance certifications

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his business strategies

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about developing an insurance program for Native American tribes

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about the future of his insurance brokerage

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his business philosophy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his hopes for the black business community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about his civic involvement

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Thomas L. McLeary describes his mentorship efforts

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Thomas L. McLeary reflects upon his commitment to community service

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Thomas L. McLeary reflects upon his career

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Thomas L. McLeary reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Thomas L. McLeary talks about his children's college education

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Thomas L. McLeary describes the importance of historically black colleges

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Thomas L. McLeary describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Thomas L. McLeary narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Thomas L. McLeary talks about his challenges in college
Thomas L. McLeary recalls forming the Endow, Inc. insurance brokerage
Transcript
It was funny about six, seven years ago, I got this call from the University of Illinois [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois]. For whatever reason, they offered back in the '60s [1960s], they offered lifetime membership into the alumni association for one hundred dollars. So I said why not you know. I had no real good feelings about the school but I said one hundred dollars why not? So I became a lifetime member of the alumni association. So for a number of years they have been calling me trying to get me, "Well you know that was a great deal but most of the people that took that one hundred dollar deal are paying the annual dues." And I said no (laughter). Got my one hundred dollars, my lifetime membership and that's it. So they sent this lady by, Larry [Larry Crowe], a nice little lady and she came by and she was reclaiming, you know graduates from the school of liberal arts and science who had not been active in years and you know a number of people gave her my name so she came by to see me and she said, "What was your most memorable experience at the University of Illinois?" And I sat there for a few minutes and I said, "I have no good memorable experiences from my four years at the University of Illinois." And I was just being honest. And that poor lady, she didn't know what to do or what to say. She--I guess nobody ever answered like that. But when I was down there you know there are places we couldn't get served on campus, we could not get our hair cut on campus, we could not go into any bar safely on campus. So it was almost total segregation at the University of Illinois when I was down there.$$This was 1961?$$Yeah. Yeah, we--the black students, the black boys had to go into Champaign [Illinois] to get their hair cut at the black barbershop and that was dangerous because the town kids did not like the university kids you know. So we had to ride our bikes in groups in to get our hair cut. And if they find--found out we had to just get up and go and the barbers were nice, they said, "You guys got about five minutes just get up and get in this--just get on out of here, we'll finish right quick do what we can do," and so it got to the point where--and didn't have money to come home. Even though you know I mean, you know my folks [Edna Tubbs Johns and Thomas J. McLeary, Jr.] didn't have money for me to take the train home. I don't know how much it cost but so once I left in September you know it was Christmas before I came back you know. Maybe every once in a while they would come get me for Thanksgiving but basically it was at least Thanksgiving before I would come home. So you got your hair cut when you left and you got your hair cut when you got back to Chicago [Illinois]. But it was rough. It was not, it was not a very good experience. I had a professor, I got a, I got a you know--I was taking this criminal justice course and I took the first exam and got like you know like all of his questions right. And he called me up and he said you know he said, "You know you did really good on this test." He said, "I'll tell you what. This is our deal," he said, "Just, it's just me," he said, "it's just personally I don't think I can ever give a black student more than a C." He said, "So I tell you what, you've got a C right now, you don't ever have to come to any of my classes. You don't have to take any exams. This will be our deal." He said, "You don't really need this course so you know it's just a credit you know to graduate." And that was, that was our deal so.$$Did you accept the deal?$$Absolutely. I had previously tried going to the administration with what I thought was discrimination. That was a worthless, worthless waste of time. I mean nobody was listening to anything. Nobody cared you know. I mean there were only a handful of us on campus at the time. Until '63 [1963] when they had this big program when they brought in a lot of black kids from Chicago and then, then you know social life changed.$And as I began building my business now, having you know being able to reach the--before I had to sell my customer the best Prudential [Prudential Life Insurance Company of America; Prudential Financial, Inc.] product, now I could sell my customer the best product regardless of where--what company it came from. And that made all the different in the world to me and so I began building my business. I formed my first corporation in 1978 because I needed an entity to contract with those other companies. I didn't wanna contract with me as an individual so I established a corporation with a friend [HistoryMaker Ann Smith]. She and I established this corporation and we, we began operating as a business. So for the first time now I'm operating as a business. Had my own secret--$$Is this Endow [Endow, Inc., Chicago, Illinois]?$$This is in Endow yeah, yeah. And Endow was first formed in--and again we went to a friend of ours who was not a, you know, not a corporate lawyer, he was just a you know a jack of all trades you know nice guy. For some reason he recommended that we established as a 501(C)(3), a tax exempt organization because our first customer under Endow was a university. They had--we had pitched them on setting up a charitable giving program where we would sell life insurance to their, to their graduates with the school as owner and beneficiary as a charitable gift to the school. So we needed a name to fit that sales strategy. So that's how Endow came about. We, we, we came up with the name Endow but he said, "Well since you're selling charitable stuff maybe you should you know be a 501(C)(3)," and we did. But it made absolutely no sense at all so we reformed in 1981 as a for-profit. So Endow actually started in '78 [1978] as a not-for-profit and then reformed in 1981 as a for-profit organization and at that point in time I had finished my year as president of the Chicago Association [Chicago Association of Life Underwriters] and I felt it just didn't make sense for me to stay you know an employee of the Prudential so I moved on and separated, had my own office, was no longer housed in the, in the agency. Had my own organization, hired my own people. And that's how I really got into the insurance business and that was the major step you know. Stepping out of the agency, you know having my own business, having to pay bills, having to hire employees, having to do all of those things. So that kind of got me, got me started.

Gregory Wayne Jones

Insurance executive Gregory Wayne Jones was born December 29, 1948 in Newark, Ohio to Newark natives, Mildred Jean Weaver Jones and Gordon Lewis Jones. One of his ancestors built the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Newark in 1841 and many were pioneers at Wilberforce University. He attended Woodside Elementary School, Central Junior High School, and graduated from Newark High School in 1967. Jones joined State Farm in 1968. In 1975, Jones earned his B.A. degree in business from Franklin University and his M.A. degree in 1981 from Hood College. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School and has earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

Following a number of promotions, Jones was appointed division manager of State Farm Insurance’s Pennsylvania Region in 1983; executive assistant to the President’s Office in 1985; deputy regional vice president in the Northern California Region in 1998; and regional vice president in the South Coast Region in 1993. He became vice president of California and president of State Farm General Company in 1998 and was appointed senior vice president in California for State Farm Mutual Insurance Companies and president and CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company in 2001. Jones is the first African American president and CEO in State Farm Insurance’s history. Jones serves on the board of directors of State Farm General Insurance Company.

Before he was 25 years old, Jones started an NAACP branch, was chairman of a $2 million community action agency, and hosted a community service radio program. He is the founder of 100 Black Men of Sonoma County, California and has served on the national board of directors of 100 Black Men. He is a chairman of the board of the Los Angeles Urban League, the California Education for Excellence Foundation, the Los Angeles Sports Council, and Operation Hope. Jones is past chairman of Junior Achievement of Southern California and is a member of the board of trustees of Franklin University and the National Urban League. Jones was a recipient of Empowerment Achievement Award in 1995; Dollars and Sense Magazine’s Corporate Trailblazer Award in 1998; and was the 2000 honoree of the Insurance Industry Charitable Fund.

Accession Number

A2005.227

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/3/2005

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Schools

Newark High School

Woodside Elementary School

Central Junior High School

Ohio State University at Newark

Franklin University

First Name

Gregory

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

JON13

Favorite Season

Summer

Sponsor

AON

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Be The Best.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

12/29/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Calamari

Short Description

Insurance chief executive Gregory Wayne Jones (1948 - ) has served State Farm Insurance Company in many capacities, including division manager, executive assistant to the President’s Office, among others. He became vice president and president of State Farm General Company in California, and was appointed as president and CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company in 2001.

Employment

State Farm

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gregory Wayne Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his maternal family's roots in Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mother's childhood and college education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones shares life lessons from his parents and grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls his uncle's reaction to a racial slur

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts childhood incidents of racial discrimination

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes housing discrimination in Newark, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his educational experiences

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls attending Trinity A.M.E. Church in Newark, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the sports he played at Newark High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his high school education and favorite teachers

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his high school and college experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls marrying his wife and the birth of his oldest son

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls pursuing a position with State Farm in Frederick, Maryland

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls being rejected by State Farm and returning to college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his mentor, State Farm executive Charles Snyder

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones details his promotions at State Farm

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones talks about his work ethic

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones recalls State Farm's attempts at diversity

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes State Farm's minority recruitment program

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his responsibilities as CEO of State Farm General Insurance Company

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the impact of State Farm's minority intern program

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes the racial climate at State Farm

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his commitment to State Farm

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his hope and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes his work with the Achievement Matters program and 100 Black Men

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gregory Wayne Jones reflects upon his life

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gregory Wayne Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts finding his great-grandfather's grave, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gregory Wayne Jones recounts finding his great-grandfather's grave, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gregory Wayne Jones describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gregory Wayne Jones narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

8$7

DATitle
Gregory Wayne Jones recalls State Farm's attempts at diversity
Gregory Wayne Jones describes his work with the Achievement Matters program and 100 Black Men
Transcript
How has the climate changed at State Farm [State Farm Mutual Insurance Company] in terms of black employees? Are there many more now than there were percentage wise (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Oh yeah, I mean, I, I give State Farm a tremendous amount of credit because State Farm just like the industry in general, and like many fortune 500 companies in general, they're ver- very conservative company. When I started at State Farm, State Farm was very conservative, there was a point in State Farm just where we wouldn't even insure black people much less hire them. That, that's a sad fact, but it, it is a fact. But I would say that, you know, State Farm, sometimes awkwardly, sometimes awkwardly but, but realize even as far back as the '60s [1960s], that we needed to, we needed to be a different kind of a company and back in the '60s [1960s], began really seeking out African Americans and that time it was primarily African Americans, you know to join the company and, and be a little more reflective of, you know, of this country. And so, State Farm in some ways was progressive and some ways awkwardly, I remember when I went back to Bloomington [Illinois], to build this minority intern program [Summer Minority Intern Program], we started a program and I was one of the three people that taught a program, it was actually developed by some other guy, two other black guys were brought on, they were, they, one came out of Rutgers University [The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey], and another came out of the University of Minnesota [Minneapolis, Minnesota], and they wanted, State Farm wanted to develop a program to sensitize all these primarily white people about the presence of black people in the organization. So we could, they created a program and three of us went all over the country, and every State Farm employee was required to take this program, every State Farm management person was required to take this program, this program is called, Managing the Minority Employee. Now, when I show people that today, they are aghast, you mean we have a program called, Managing the Minority Employee and you know, even when I go back and look at it today, you know, I, you know, I you know, I look at it with some amusement, because I remember, you know, it was, it was, an attempt to really get people to understand, you know, African Americans and their cultures different now, this would change the environment and this that and the other. I remember as an example, you know they had, they had a little glossary of terms that we gave people and it had black terms in it, you know? It'd say things like, I remember one of them saying crib dash house, (laughter) you know, so that people knew, presumably what black people are, how they're going to be talking, and things like that. And it had some quizzes in it and this, this sort of thing and it started out, the first thing we did, we'd, we'd get in front of a group of people and this was the first thing you would say, "Good morning, my name's Greg Jones [HistoryMaker Gregory Wayne Jones], and I'm a nigger." That's how it started. Now the intent of that was to get people's attention, number one and then to say, now let's analyze what I just said. And then you go into all that: why do people use this term and why, you know, why is that degrading and that, that whole kind of thing, you look back on it, now you kind of flinch, you know, like you just did. But it was State Farm's first attempt to really begin to sensitize people that this organization was going to be different.$$That kind of follows a pattern that, [HistoryMaker] Timuel Black, who interviewed, he's a historian of Chicago [Illinois], he talks about when he was in the [U.S.] Army at World War II [WWII]. There was a manual his commander was reading called, 'How to'--'How to Manage the Negro Officer' [ph.] or something like that (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) I've got the book back in my credenza, I'll show it to you, it's, it's very, it's very interesting.$Now tell us about the program, I saw it in your office, an article about Achievement Matters, is that the name of it?$$Yes.$$Yeah, okay.$$Achievement Matters is a program that State Farm [State Farm Mutual Insurance Company] and myself together helped create. Initially, back in 1995, and initially we created it to start out as kind of an awareness program to, to say to kids who were live--who were and still are to some degree living in kind of an anti-achievement culture where, you know, it's not cool to do well in school, you know it's not cool to achieve. I really felt it was necessary to have something that said to kids, achievement matters, your achievement does matter, we need for you to achieve in the classroom and outside of the classroom. So we started the program. I went to Dallas, Texas and I visited with a, a very poor school in Texas, Roosevelt High School [Franklin D. Roosevelt High School and Academy of Health Sciences, Dallas, Texas] I believe it was in Dallas, Texas and I spent the day with students there and we talked about opportunities and we talked about the need to achieve and we talked about education, why it's important. And there is a group of those students that I worked primarily with, ten students and we spent all day together. None of those students had ever, none of those students families had ever been to college, moth--many of them had not finished high school. These kids wanted to learn, they wanted to succeed and we talked about that and, you know, I'm really proud of that, that out of those ten kids, eight of them went to college, five of them that I know of have graduated from, from college, most of which, and one of 'em worked for State Farm, most of which I stay in touch with or they stay in touch, you know, with me. And so, I think, you know, it, it takes each and every one of us to kind of reach back and now one of the challenges I think we have today is finding ways to share the lessons we've learned.$$That leads right into 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]. Now you were the founder of the Northern California chapter of 100 Black Men right (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Exactly. Yes. Yes. And, again part of that interest was the same thing. It was 100 Black Men. We needed a way to reach out to African American kids who were struggling and, and w- I knew and I felt that us as business professionals had something to offer and, and I had heard about this organization because organizations started before me, 100 Black Men of America. And, and it started actually in New York [New York], a number of years ago, but I felt we needed an organization like that in Northern California because we weren't reaching our kids whose many of which are struggling in schools. So, I formed this organization, got a lot of other people interested in it and all of that and we formed the 100 Black Men with the intent of being mentors and counselors and even fathers to, you know some, some of these kids, not just male kids, male and female kids. And to help them see the opportunities and we all, we kind of adopted some kids, we adopted a whole school back there and I, I, I, the first young man I worked with na- a young man by the name of Toby Kane [ph.]. Toby came from a family, his mother was on drugs and getting ready to go to prison, his father was dead, he lived with his grandmother who was raising I think nine of her grandchildren from other of her kids who had just kind of abandoned the kids. Toby was in ninth grade he had a point zero seven grade point average, basically he was told, you know, you need to go join the [U.S.] Army and, if you can, bright kid though, I could tell that. Toby and I, I spent a lot of time with him and, you know I'm proud of him because his grades started to get better, it got to the point, he went to high school and he graduated from high school with a, with a two point three average and, and we stayed in touch and about four years ago, or it was longer than that, about seven, eight years ago, I got a call from Toby Kane that said, "Will you come to my graduation from college?" He graduated from Occidental College [Los Angeles, California] and now he's got a job working in the retail business as I recall. But again, you know it's just, it's just, there are so many kids I've found that just need somebody to take interest in them, that's all.