The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

The Honorable Ertharin Cousin

Foreign ambassador, food service executive, and public affairs director Ertharin Cousin was born in 1957, in Chicago, Illinois. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1979, and went on to receive her J.D. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1982. In 1993, Cousin moved to Washington D.C. and began working as the deputy chief of staff for the Democratic National Committee. In 1994, she began serving as the U.S. State Department’s liaison to the White House, in which capacity she received a Meritorious Service Award.

In 1996, Cousin stopped her work for the State Department in order to run the Illinois portion of President Bill Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore’s reelection campaign and in 1997, Cousin was appointed to the board for International Food and Agricultural Development and began serving as vice president for government and community Affairs for Jewel Food Stores. Two years later, when Albertsons Foods bought Jewel, Cousin began serving as group vice president of public affairs for Albertsons and was later promoted to senior vice president of public affairs. In 2002, Cousin joined the board of directors for food bank and food relief distribution nonprofit Feeding America and in 2004, she became its executive vice president and chief operating officer. In this capacity, she led food relief efforts during Hurricane Katrina which helped to deliver over 62 million pounds of food to the devastated Gulf Coast of the U.S.

In 2006, Cousin left Feeding America to found and serve as president of the Polk Street Group, a public affairs consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. After serving in that capacity for three years, Cousin left the company in the hands of her son, Maurice Cousin, in order to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment as U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome, Italy. During her time with the U.N. agencies, she has worked to help set up several new country-led aid programs and has also worked to bring food relief to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, after the massive earthquake there in 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.099

Sex

Female

Interview Date

7/30/2010

Last Name

Cousin

Maker Category
Schools

Lane Technical College Prep High School

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Georgia School of Law

Presentation School

St. Louise de Marillac School

First Name

Ertharin

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

COU04

Favorite Season

Summer, Winter

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Keep Moving Forward.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/12/1957

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweets

Short Description

Food service executive and foreign ambassador The Honorable Ertharin Cousin (1957 - ) served as a chief executive of several corporations, worked extensively with food relief charities like Feeding America and continued to promote food equity in her role as the U.S. ambassador to the UN agencies for food and agriculture.

Employment

Jewel Food Stores

United States Government

Albertsons Foods

Feeding America

Polk Street Group

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:1764,34:3528,68:4284,79:12264,206:12768,214:19766,235:20312,243:21170,254:21872,263:22808,276:23432,285:23900,333:24914,350:25694,363:30900,406:31350,412:31710,417:32160,426:32610,432:33600,443:34140,450:34950,467:35580,475:39302,495:39734,503:41174,534:41462,539:41966,548:43406,584:43982,594:44270,599:44774,608:48383,641:54840,731:55320,740:56340,810:56880,822:57120,827:57420,833:59520,880:60600,909:64884,966:68931,1065:69215,1070:76031,1231:76386,1237:76954,1252:77948,1269:79155,1303:80433,1316:81640,1343:88569,1416:89596,1433:89912,1439:90860,1458:92361,1475:96548,1574:96943,1580:104132,1716:104764,1725:105633,1739:116536,1837:117274,1851:118668,1880:119406,1891:125393,1947:125758,1953:126488,1959:128094,1989:128459,1995:129919,2028:131014,2050:131525,2062:131817,2067:132474,2078:134883,2132:135394,2140:138606,2191:139117,2199:139847,2217:145594,2242:147214,2266:154867,2381:156682,2401:158013,2414:161530,2430:161940,2436:163826,2468:164154,2473:164482,2478:167680,2551:176782,2694:180190,2747:180758,2757:181042,2762:183527,2822:184734,2839:193150,2922:193570,2929:193850,2934:194690,2948:195180,2957:201423,3078:203562,3170:204183,3182:204597,3190:207267,3203:208424,3229:210204,3257:210827,3266:213764,3306:214298,3313:214832,3321:216345,3336:216879,3343:217947,3356:222308,3445:229962,3604:241330,3704$0,0:2555,61:10512,400:10877,406:14892,489:20729,532:21021,537:24817,619:25620,631:26934,650:27299,656:30219,702:30584,708:43422,873:44358,894:51377,984:58540,1034:64304,1114:64734,1121:66540,1214:66884,1219:72130,1286:78770,1302:91409,1451:94391,1505:94746,1511:95740,1528:98640,1540:99290,1546:104750,1608:129420,1906:132536,1958:133274,1968:133602,1975:134586,1994:135324,2005:137374,2038:137866,2045:139424,2072:146174,2214:146666,2222:148142,2246:157830,2358:158694,2366:173077,2510:188238,2741:195280,2804:201620,2873:203420,2901:207920,2976:208370,2982:209000,2991:217516,3062:218572,3081:232902,3308:235048,3370:236010,3394:242720,3466
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Ertharin Cousin's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the changes in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her early activism

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her influences at the Presentation School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her family's conversion to Catholicism

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her experiences at Albert Grannis Lane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her relationship with her sister

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about attending college as a single mother

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her early exposure to civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her decision to attend the University of Georgia School of Law in Athens, Georgia

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her activism during law school

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working for E. Duke McNeil

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her work at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her campaign for the commissionership of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the death of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Neil Hartigan's gubernatorial campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her involvement in Illinois politics in the late 1980s

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls volunteering for William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's first presidential campaign

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls serving as the White House liaison to the U.S. Department of State Department, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls serving as the White House liaison to the U.S. Department of State, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her involvement in President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's reelection campaign

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls directing President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton's reelection campaign in Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her vice presidency of government and community affairs at Jewel Food Stores

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her start in the field of food security

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her tenure as the COO of America's Second Harvest

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the hunger relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers the hunger relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers founding the Polk Street Group, LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers working on Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ertharin Cousin remembers President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin recalls her appointment as a U.S. ambassador

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin talks about her U.S. ambassadorship to the United Nations agencies in Rome, Italy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the World Food Programme's work in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes how she would like to be remembered and her advice to young people

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Ertharin Cousin reflects upon her legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$4

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
The Honorable Ertharin Cousin describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
The Honorable Ertharin Cousin remembers her campaign for the commissionership of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Transcript
Did you have other memories about growing up, what were the kind of smells and sounds of your--$$Growing up we grew up where (laughter) it, it's, it's it was a great, as I said a great block to grow up on, lots of kids. When I was in grammar school, we attended Presentation Catholic school [Presentation School, Chicago, Illinois] which was at the corner of my block. So we, we you lived in, in a three block area from the candy store, two blocks away to the, the grammar school. It was the kind of block where the watermelon man came down the street in the summertime. The ice cream man came down the street in the summertime. If my sister were sitting here she'd say, "Tell him about Nana." Nana as I told you Nana was my father's mother [Carolyn Brown Harris (ph.)] who my father [Julius Cousin] was able to buy this house because he bought it with, with the help of my grandmother who lived on the first floor, we lived upstairs. My grandmother was this person who was an entrepreneur she owned, as I say, she owned restaurants, she owned bars, and she made early entrepreneurs out of all of us. She, we'd go to the candy store she'd say, "You don't need to go to the candy store; you need to sell the candy." So she would take us to the warehouse and we would buy boxes of candy and sold candy on our porch. And so if you sold enough candy, then you could eat it (laughter). And so we had the porch that had all the kids, because it was the candy house, and anybody he grew up in, in inner city neighborhoods can tell you about the candy house. It was the place that you went and you had a nickel and you got you know ten pieces of candy, 'cause they were two for a penny. And so that's one of my earliest memories as a child is being you know nine, ten, eleven years old outside selling candy on our porch. And had, always having money for the ice cream man, because we sold the candy. So it was, it was very much though the place where children gathered, and, and I think about it now, they did that very purposefully. It was also having four girls away that they kept us right there that they could see us, because everybody came to us. And so they knew all of our friends because they were always on our porch, and they knew where we were because we were on the porch selling candy or we were standing in front of the porch jumping rope. And it was the kind of block where everybody on that block knew whose children, who belonged to whom. They knew where you were supposed to be. And they knew if your parents weren't at home that you weren't supposed to be someplace and you knew they knew. And you knew that before your parents' first--their foot would hit the first step they would tell if you (laughter) weren't where you were supposed to be. So it was very easy for us to stay on that porch because we knew we had lots of prying eyes if we didn't. The interesting thing for me though during this period was if this was during the Civil Rights Movement in the City of, of Chicago [Illinois], as well just as it was in the South. And if you remember this was the period that Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to the City of Chicago, and came to the West Side. I remember Martin Luther King giving a speech on top of the hot dog stand, two blocks from my house, and the entire neighborhood going out to see him speak. I remember the, the fire hydrants being on and shutting the fire hydrants 'cause out, we didn't have pools, neighborhood pools so you'd turn the fire hydrant on in the summertime. But turning the fire hydrant off and nobody complaining about it, because you went to see Martin Luther King speak on, on, on the corner.$Now we're at '87 [1987].$$Um-hm. Um-hm.$$And you're involved with the black women's bar association [Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago].$$Um-hm. Who are you working for at this time, you're still the Water Reclamation--$$I'm still at the Water Reclamation District [Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago], but then I decided I should run for commissioner of the Water Reclamation District because it wasn't being run well. And why wouldn't I run for commissioner and then we could change it? Same thing how do we continue to change things? But at that period of time, the Water Reclamation District was an at large election. Was a low ballot, no visibility at large election that you had to win countywide, and the top three won. Shows how naive I was though, because, but we actually ran the best yuppie buppie campaign that the city had ever seen. Because at this point, I'm what twenty-nine years old, about '87 [1987] yeah that's about right. Yeah I was born in '57 [1957] yeah, so we were, I ran. We had bus stop signs, "L" [elevated train] stop signs-- that was when I learned that bus stop signs and "L" stop signs do not vote. And so you can have lots of bus stop signs and "L" stop signs does not when your, mean you gonna win an election. Also because it was a low visibility office and I was not the Democratic nominee, the Democratic chosen candidate there. There were twelve people on the ballot; I was not the Democratic candidate, but their party candidate on the ballot. It means that I got beat terribly in all of the white wards around the county, but I won, I came in you, as I said it was they, the top three win. And I came in first, second or third in all the lakefront wards and all the African American wards in the city. So what it did was it made the Democratic Party take notice, and they were like oh my god, you know this is somebody who is actually smart and has put together something here. Because we did put together a coalition of, of young activists whites from the international, I- independent voters association of Illinois [Independent Voters of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization]. IVI IPO on the North Side, as well as from Buffy [ph.] on the South Side of the City of Chicago [Illinois], and the churches on the West Side on the City of Chicago. And so after I lost, I went and got another job at the, the ethics board of the city, but--$$Now year was it, was this election?$$The election was an off year election, so it's probably '87 [1987].$$Okay.$$Yeah, it's probably '87 [1987]. Okay, I feel like I should have my resume in front of me so I can make sure all of my years are absolutely correct. So don't hold me to the exact year here. It was, in, so and because it was an off year election, then I was at the, ethics board of the city [Board of Ethics]. I was working at the ethics board when Neil Hartigan decided that he was gonna run for governor. And so the party came and asked me to serve on his campaign as deputy campaign manager, but they first went, when I first went to work for the Illinois attorney general's office, and was volunteer on the campaign. And so I served as the West Side regional director for the Illinois attorney general's office. And opened the first office for them in Austin [Chicago, Illinois] on Pulaski [Road] and, and Washington [Boulevard], serving the West Side of the City of Chicago, and the near west suburbs.

Nathaniel R. Goldston, III

Founder of Gourmet Services, Inc., Nathaniel Russell Goldston, III was born on October 20, 1938, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Nathaniel and Mary Elizabeth Goldston. Goldston’s mother worked in food service in the public school system and his father at the local hotels and restaurants. Goldston received his B.S. degree in business administration with a concentration in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Denver in 1962.

Goldston worked at a food service company for ten years after graduating from college; he held positions such as district manager, regional vice president, and senior vice president. After being denied a promotion to chief executive officer due to racial discrimination, Goldston left in 1974 to start his own business, Gourmet Services, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. Gourmet Services, Inc. grew to include contracts at six black colleges and employ 300 individuals; in its first year, the company generated $2.3 million in revenues. In 1976, Goldston met former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, who encouraged him to move Gourmet Services, Inc. to Atlanta. The business continued to grow after relocating, and eventually Gourmet Services, Inc. became the nation’s largest African American-owned food service management companies, boasting 2,500 employees; it was ranked fourteenth among the nation’s top 50 food service companies.

In 1986, Goldston founded the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America along with twenty-one other local businessmen and civic leaders. In 1989, Goldston became the 100 Black Men of America’s second national president. Gourmet Services, Inc. has donated millions of dollars in scholarships to students attending historically black colleges and universities; Goldston also established the Mary E. Goldston Foundation to provide scholarships to deserving African American students.

Goldston passed away on July 4, 2017.

Accession Number

A2007.112

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/26/2007 |and| 2/25/2008

Last Name

Goldston

Maker Category
Middle Name

R.

Schools

Kellom Elementary School

Omaha Central High School

University of Denver

Doane University

First Name

Nathaniel

Birth City, State, Country

Omaha

HM ID

GOL02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Nebraska

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cape Town, South Africa

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

10/20/1938

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo

Death Date

7/4/2017

Short Description

Food service executive and food service entrepreneur Nathaniel R. Goldston, III (1938 - 2017 ) was the founder of Gourmet Services, Inc. and the Atlanta Chapter of 100 Black Men of America.

Employment

Union Pacific Railroad

Allied Chemical Corporation

Dillon Hotel Company

Catering Management, Incorporated

Gourmet Services, Inc

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:744,7:1209,13:1581,18:3906,45:4371,51:11253,167:17682,231:18114,236:21246,274:22974,326:23406,331:30485,418:30841,423:34045,472:35202,491:38584,559:44670,618:44998,629:45982,645:46966,659:47868,675:53140,731:53679,739:53987,744:55835,771:56297,778:56605,783:57298,797:57683,803:58376,813:59608,834:61148,859:61533,865:62072,878:63150,895:63689,903:64228,911:64536,916:67847,984:68617,996:74330,1023:74750,1030:84998,1188:86174,1211:89702,1272:90374,1283:92426,1292:93162,1302:95830,1335:98314,1375:102522,1469:102862,1475:104562,1505:106262,1560:114125,1663:114869,1672:117548,1697:117940,1702:118430,1708:118822,1713:119998,1728:122252,1763:122938,1771:129602,1884:130974,1916:152070,2192:152700,2200:153240,2208:159090,2308:160350,2331:170206,2524:171422,2600:172258,2612:173778,2636:174234,2643:174994,2655:175602,2664:176362,2675:177654,2695:178262,2704:179022,2715:184620,2752:184920,2757:185745,2773:186420,2785:186795,2791:187245,2798:193157,2870:194123,2902:194951,2925:195503,2934:197558,2950:200180,2988:201076,2997:204056,3024:207125,3057:207590,3063:208520,3082:209078,3090:220140,3241:220484,3246:221430,3258:222032,3267:223870,3274$0,0:819,17:1183,22:8190,179:22372,348:26850,392:27270,399:30000,456:30630,468:31120,476:45144,671:46362,692:47406,723:50886,826:60760,939:61680,954:62232,961:66556,1048:68304,1072:70420,1140:80448,1256:81456,1269:85325,1310:86960,1339:88206,1348:96562,1455:98082,1485:99070,1507:99526,1514:100438,1531:100970,1539:101350,1549:101730,1555:102034,1560:102490,1569:102946,1576:103782,1590:105226,1625:105758,1634:111466,1662:112229,1670:121308,1807:121604,1812:122196,1823:124120,1860:127678,1905:132364,1962:136802,2058:137112,2064:139767,2098:140222,2104:142679,2149:143225,2156:143680,2193:144499,2204:153476,2295:160046,2410:171712,2556:172180,2563:172648,2570:175490,2590:178346,2657:179186,2672:179606,2678:182294,2787:182966,2799:183302,2808:183806,2815:189120,2843:189528,2848:193608,2936:194526,2946:196872,2973:197280,2978:197892,2985:199014,3004:203736,3018:204392,3028:204966,3037:206114,3062:206852,3073:207590,3086:217975,3290:218885,3314:219210,3320:219535,3326:220055,3336:223390,3349:224245,3364:225765,3383:226715,3424:230040,3461:235170,3557:242418,3598:243408,3632:248208,3703:250676,3722:252104,3745:252376,3750:257858,3879:260308,3899:260564,3904:261332,3923:263796,3939:265743,3986:266156,3994:268760,4009:269100,4036:274030,4098:278654,4206:279130,4215:279946,4231:280218,4236:281034,4254:286530,4285:289550,4331:290876,4359:292280,4431:298093,4479:302319,4541:302691,4546:307317,4577:310610,4625:311210,4633:311710,4639:312510,4648:313210,4656:313710,4662:314410,4674:315210,4686:315710,4691:316410,4699:317110,4707:317610,4713:325980,4810:326260,4815:326540,4820:327240,4833:327800,4843:332844,4888:339830,4972
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel R. Goldston, III's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his mother's parenting

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his father's parenting

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers working for his father

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family's food service professions

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his neighbors in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers Kellom Grade School in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers the winters in Omaha, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers moving to a residential neighborhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family's catering business

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers playing golf

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early personality

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Omaha Central High School in Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Doane College in Crete, Nebraska

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls working as a chair car porter

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls paying tuition at the University of Denver

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the University of Denver in Colorado

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the civil rights activity at the University of Denver

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the Pi Lambda Phi Fraternity

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes food service education

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his early employment

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers the Vietnam War draft

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls studying at the University of Denver College of Law

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his early contracts at Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his family

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his work with the Aramark Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Slating of Nathaniel R. Goldston, III's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his college education

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about the food service industry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls joining Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his position at Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about food service in universities

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers leaving Catering Management, Incorporated

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls partnering with his previous clients

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls moving to Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls starting Gourmet Services, Inc. in Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the employees of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls changes in his business strategy

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about his business innovations

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the board of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about Gourmet Services Inc.'s catering

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his hotel business

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his business challenges

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III lists the top food service industry companies

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his plans for the future of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his collaboration with Aramark Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls working with Eastern Air Lines

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III talks about the young leadership of Gourmet Services, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls founding 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the members of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls fundraising for Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the contribution of Dillard Munford

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls the fundraising events for Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the changes in Project Success

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes creation of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls his presidency of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes his initiatives as president of 100 Black Men of America, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III describes the successes of 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III reflects upon his life

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III shares his advice to aspiring businesspeople

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Nathaniel R. Goldston, III narrates his photographs

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Nathaniel R. Goldston, III remembers leaving Catering Management, Incorporated
Nathaniel R. Goldston, III recalls founding 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
Transcript
So you build this business up for six years, until about 1970. Is that right?$$Nineteen--nine- I, I built the Catering Management [Catering Management, Incorporated] business. I, I, I stuck with it 'til 1974, right.$$So tell me, what happens in 1974 that makes you decide that it's time to go (laughter)?$$(Laughter) It was very interesting. I was, I was still with Catering Management, but Catering Management had been sold, and it'd been sold to a major conglomerate company in, in New York. And if you remember the, the early '60s [1960s] and, and the early '70s [1970s], they didn't have a lot of faith in the fact that, that an African American can, could run that, that business. So when Catering Management sold, I was brought into Columbia, Missouri, as the senior vice president and chief operating officer. But it was always understood that I would never be the president of the company because they were in a search mode for, for president of the company. I ran the company for almost, I guess it was two years, from 1972 to 1974, with interim managers coming in--come--presidents coming. They'd come in, and they, they couldn't figure it out, and they couldn't do the business. And yet and still, I'd turn--once I turn the reins over to the them, I'd have to go back and start all over again, to the point that it became rather frustrating. And, and my wife [Darlene Goldston] said to me, "You know, you run these people's--this biz- business for these people. You don't need these people for you, for, to run the business. You can see that you run the business. You know how to run--you ought to run your own business." I said, "You're probably right." So they had one more sale, when they sold--the company that, that, that bought my company sold to Aramark [Aramark Corporation]. Then it was ARA Services. And I knew I didn't want to get into that big company and getting into all of that. It just wasn't my style. I wasn't gonna move to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], and I wasn't gonna--and you know, what was my job gonna be? And I basically just decided I'll just start on my--I mean I just woke up one morning and flew to Atlanta [Georgia], and had a, a meeting with an attorney in Atlanta, and told him I wanted to--what, what, what is my, my legal obligations to this company, and how can I start my own business? That lawyer was Prentiss Yancey [Prentiss Q. Yancey, Jr.], who had graduated from Villanova [Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania] and graduated from Emory law school [Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, Georgia]. And, and he was responsible ultimately for, for the merger between the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association. And Prentiss is, was a very bright guy. He knew how to bring things together. And he told me, he said, he said, "Well, let me look at your contract." And I looked at the contract. "You have a contract with, with food service management. You don't have a contract with ARA. So, if you were still an employee of, of, of the other company, you would have an obligation. But since you quit, you have no obligations to anybody." He said, "Now you gotta figure out how to go get your business." And it's a, a very interesting story in itself.$Let's talk about your involvement with the 100 Black Men [100 Black Men of America, Inc.]. So let's start from the beginning.$$Well, it was a (laughter), it's a very interesting story. Back in the, in the mid-'80s [1980s], we operated a food service for the Harlem State Office Building [Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building] in, in New York [New York]. And one of my, one of the people that, or one of the, the organizations that we regularly served on a monthly basis was the 100 Black Men of New York [100 Black Men, Inc. of New York]. And they met in our building, and we would, and we would serve them dinner in the evenings. And I just happened to be around and asked the president, who was Roscoe, Dr. Roscoe Brown [HistoryMaker Roscoe C. Brown], if I could just kind of listen into the meeting. "Y'all, this is a secret meeting or something?" "No, no, no, no, sit down." And they were--I listen to them. They were planning their annual fundraiser for scholarships that they gave to, to kids in Harlem [New York, New York], basically, going to any college that they wanted to. And, and it was a nice, it was great, great kind of a program. And on my way back to Atlanta [Georgia], I thought about it. I said you know, there's no organization like that in Atlanta that basically, you know. And it was during the time, in those '80s [1980s], black males had a, they had a, a horrible rap. I mean it was, I mean we were known as people that, that ran off and left our families and people that went to the grocery store and never came back for twenty years and all that kind of stuff. And we didn't have the greatest reputation. And I thought about it, and I said you know, there ought to be, we ought to be able to put one of those groups together in the City of Atlanta. And I came back to my secretary, who was Monica Douglas at that time, and I told her. She said, "Yeah, maybe, I don't know." She said, "I, I don't know." She said, "But you're right: there is nothing, you know, there is nothing here in Atlanta that even comes close to that." We didn't have a black chamber. We didn't have a--we had the Black United Front [National Black United Front], which came close to doing something like that. So at any rate, I decided I would, I would call a few guys and invite them to dinner at the Mansion Restaurant [Atlanta, Georgia]. It ended up there was twenty-five or thirty of us showed up. And I talked to them about, you know, the group in, that I'd encountered in New York. And they were actually founded to combat police brutality in Harlem back in the, in the '50s [1950s] and the '60s [1960s]. That's how they got their group together. You know, they called it 100 Black Men [100 Black Men, Inc.; 100 Black Men of America, Inc.], and they worked with the police department and the mayor to stop some of the police brutality that was going on. And, and I said we need that kind of a community organization here, and the guys agreed with it. So we sat down and as a result of that, we decided we had to try to figure out what we were going to do. What can we do to impact the, the community in the City of Atlanta? And of course, one of those guys was in the superintendent of schools. He said, "I'll tell you what you can do. You can help some, keep some of these young people in school." He said, "You can help us, you know, basically give them some kind of a hope, some mind of a reason for staying in school and going on with life instead of dropping out. Our dropout rate is somewhere around 45 percent, 50 percent." And we said well, that makes sense. So what, what, what could we do? He said, "Well, I'll tell you what: he says I got a school. The worst school I got is Archer High School [S.H. Archer High School, Atlanta, Georgia] up at Perry Homes [Atlanta, Georgia] in the projects up there. And if we can figure out a way to help those kids through school and make certain that they went on to college and had a college education," he said, "We could do it like that guy did up in New York, that Eugene Lang." He said, "We challenge them. If they come through our program, and they do everything we say, that at the end of there, when you graduate, we'll make certain that your college tuition is paid for." Everybody, the room went silent. And then of course the, the accountants came up there. "How much would that cost?" "We don't know how much it would cost." "Well, don't you think we need to find out first?" So we went back. And the next meeting they came back, and when the accountants came up and gave their report, said, "You would have to raise anywhere between three hundred and fifty and a half million dollars every year." You've got to be kidding me. That's what it's gonna cost. Now if you get out there and make that promise, you better be able to deliver. And so we thought long and hard about it. And I was kind of the leader of the group, since I was the convener.