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Robert F. Smith

Investment chief executive Robert Frederick Smith was born on December 1, 1962 in Denver, Colorado to educators Dr. William Robert Smith and Dr. Sylvia Myrna Smith. Smith attended Carson Elementary School and Gove Jr. High School in Denver. He then graduated from Denver East High School in 1981 and Cornell University with his B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1986. He worked as an engineer for Air Products and Chemicals, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and Kraft General Foods. Smith was the principal inventor on two United States and two European patents. Smith received his M.B.A. degree with a concentration in finance and marketing from Columbia Business School in 1994.

After business school, Smith joined Goldman Sachs in mergers and acquisitions department in New York and then moved to San Francisco in 1997 to initiate Goldman Sachs’ merger and acquisition efforts there. As co-head of Enterprise Systems and Storage, he oversaw $50 billion in merger and acquisition activity with the following companies: Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, eBay and Yahoo. Smith left Goldman Sachs in 2000 to found his own company, Vista Equity Partners LLC. In 2015, the HEC-Dow Jones Private Equity Performance Ranking named Vista Equity Partners LLC as one of the industry’s top performers.

Smith was a member of the Leadership Circle for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and an active supporter of the organization Children’s Opportunities for Music Participation. He was also Chairman of the Board of the Robert F. Kennedy Center, a member of the Cornell Engineering College Council, a trustee at Columbia Business School, trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs in San Francisco, and a board member of Carnegie Hall. Smith also received honorary doctorates from American University and Huston-Tillotson University.

Smith received the Reginald F. Lewis Achievement Award, the Ripple of Hope Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation, the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Investment Companies, and the Columbia University BBSA Distinguished Alumni Award. Smith, a well known philanthropist, donated $30 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and $50 million to Cornell University.

Smith and his wife, Hope Dworaczyk, have one son, Hendrix Robert Smith, and he has three children, Zoe Suzanne Smith, Eliana Frederick Smith and Maximos Robert Smith, from a prior marriage.

Robert F. Smith was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 10, 2015.

Accession Number

A2015.002

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/10/2015

Last Name

Smith

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Frederick

Schools

Carson Elementary School

Gove Junior High School

East High School

Cornell University

Columbia University

First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Denver

HM ID

SMI32

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Colorado

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home in Colorado

Favorite Quote

You Are Enough As You Are, Discover The Joys Of Figuring Things Out, Love Is What Matters

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/1/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Gumbo, Peach Cobbler, Mexican Food

Short Description

Investment chief executive Robert F. Smith (1962 - ) was the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Vista Equity Partners LLC, and founder of Project Realize.

Employment

Air Products and Chemicals

The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company

Kraft General Foods

Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Vista Equity Partners, LLC

Fund II Foundation

Project Realize

Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert F. Smith's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about his paternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith talks about his father's childhood in Lincoln Hills, Colorado, the first resort community founded by African Americans in 1922

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith talks about his maternal family ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith describes his parents' belief in uplifting the African American community through education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith describes his mother's upbringing in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith talks about his father's experience growing up in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert F. Smith describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert F. Smith talks briefly about his older brother

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert F. Smith describes a number of his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert F. Smith remembers becoming aware of racism

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Robert F. Smith describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his neighborhood in East Denver, Colorado, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith talks about his and his brother's golf ball business

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith remembers the Civil Rights Movement and murder of his uncle

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith describes the sights, sounds and smells of his neighborhood in East Denver, Colorado pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith describes his personality as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith explains what influenced his interest in business and talks about his childhood entrepreneurial ventures

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith describes his older brother

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith explains how he got an internship at Bell Labs Development Company

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith describes his experience as an intern at Bell Labs

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith explains how his time at Bell Labs inspired the idea of having a software and technology-based business of his own

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Robert Smith describes his experience at Harrington Kindergarten and being bused to Carson Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith describes his experience at Carson Elementary School, Columbine Elementary School, and University Park Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith talks about his experience at Gove Junior High School in Denver, Colorado

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about the student body demographic and racist microaggressions in middle and high school

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith describes his childhood summers

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith talks about socioeconomic inequalities between Denver's black and white demographics

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith talks about the Minority Introduction to Engineering program for high school students at Cornell University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith talks about the college application process and choosing Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith talks about the Committee on Special education Projects [COSEP] pre-freshman program at Cornell University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith talks about pledging Alpha Phi Alpha

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith talks about black Greek life at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith talks about his experience in the engineering school at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about winning the Procter and Gamble Technical Excellence Award and interning at the Rocky Flats plant

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith describes the chemical engineering curriculum at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith talks about graduating from Cornell University and working for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith describes his experience in the Squadron program at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith talks about his tenure at Air Products and Chemicals Inc. developing food packaging and preservation products

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith talks about mechanical engineering, product development, and his patented inventions at Goodyear and Kraft General Foods

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith talks about developing microprocessor controlled coffee brewing equipment

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Robert F. Smith talks about his tenure at Kraft General Foods

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Robert F. Smith talks briefly about the death of his father

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith talks about getting into the J.D. MBA program at Columbia University in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith describes meeting John Utendahl and transitioning into investment banking

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith explains why he went to Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith talks about developing the "real-life training program" for the mergers and acquisitions department at Goldman Sachs

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith talks briefly about working at Kraft General Foods between semesters of graduate school

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith lists figures in the mergers and acquisitions department at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith describes working on hostile takeover deals

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith describes the role emotional intelligence plays in the investment banking

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith lists the African American partners at Goldman Sachs in the 1990s

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert F. Smith talks about his relationship with Gene Sykes and developing an M&A department in technology for Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, California

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Robert F. Smith talks about creating the first Goldman Sachs mergers and acquisitions department in technology in San Francisco, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Robert F. Smith talks briefly about research analyst and HistoryMaker Charles Phillips

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Robert F. Smith talks about creating the first Goldman Sachs mergers and acquisitions department in technology in San Francisco, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith describes the competitive environment at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith describes his introduction to Universal Computer Systems

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith describes advising Universal Computer Systems and founding his investment firm, Vista Equity Partners, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith describes advising Universal Computer Systems and founding his investment firm, Vista Equity Partners, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith explains how Vista Equity Partners survived the market crash

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith talks about profit potential in the enterprise software market

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith describes the Vista Equity Partners client selection process

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith talks about racial and ethnic diversity in investment banking and at Vista Equity Partners

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about Vista Equity's first fund

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith describes the pay structure for partners at Vista Equity Partners

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith describes the Vista Equity Partners business model

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith revisits mistakes he made in Vista Equity's first decade

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith talks about aggregating Ventyx and MDSI to build the world's largest independent utility software company

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith talks about Vista Equity's investment in Aspect Call Center Software Solutions

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith talks about the use of learning management systems in hiring processes, and investing in learning management systems software

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith talks about his client Sunquest, an enterprise software company in hospital lab systems

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith talks about the 2012 Misys and Turaz merger

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about the protection of Vista Equity's intellectual property and standard operating procedures

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith talks about innovation in the enterprise software market

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith explains surviving the economic crashes in 2008 and 2009

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith talks about competitors in the enterprise software market

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith describes his plan to establish permanent capital for Vista Equity Partners to grow the company

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith talks about using data processing aptitude testing to evaluate potential hires

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Robert F. Smith talks about raising money from state pension funds for Vista Equity Partners

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Robert F. Smith talks about purchasing and expanding the Lincoln Hills resort community in Colorado, and community programming at the property, pt.1

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Robert F. Smith describes the history of the Lincoln Hills African-American resort community in Colorado

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Robert F. Smith talks about purchasing and expanding the Lincoln Hills resort community in Colorado, and community programming at the property, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Robert F. Smith talks about his family

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Robert F. Smith explains free-market philanthropy and talks about his free consulting business, Project Realize

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Robert F. Smith talks about race relations in contemporary American society

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Robert F. Smith considers his legacy

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Robert F. Smith considers the legacy of his generation and contemporary human rights issues

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Robert F. Smith considers his hopes and concerns for the future African American demographic

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$7

DAStory

14$7

DATitle
Robert F. Smith describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his neighborhood in East Denver, Colorado, pt. 1
Robert F. Smith talks about aggregating Ventyx and MDSI to build the world's largest independent utility software company
Transcript
So can you, can we go back to that, that neighborhood? Now, you lived there how long?$$Until I pretty much graduated from high school [Denver East High School, Denver, Colorado].$$Okay, okay, so you--so can you describe the neighborhood? You've talked about some--(simultaneous)--$$Sure.$$--sights, but can you--I'd like to know even the sights--I wanna know about the neighborhood, but I also want to know the sights, smells and sounds that remind you of growing up?$$Sure, I lived, we lived on the corner of 26th and Cook [Denver, Colorado]. And it was across the street from City Park Golf Course, which is why all my friends play golf, I think (laughter). And that's why I started one of my first businesses collecting and selling golf balls because they'd hit them into our yard, and I'd polish them up and go back out there and resell them back to the golfers, and, you know, make a good, good living that way as a young boy. I lived across the street from Gary Rose [ph.] who was one of our, you know, state representatives, and next door to George Brown [ph.] who was the first black Lieutenant Governor in the State of Colorado. We had a Pullman porter who lived in our neighborhood, you know, Mr. Moore [ph.]. Then, Miss Buzby [ph.] lived down the street from us. I'm not quite sure what she did now that I'm thinking about it. But then, we had a couple who were dentists, and another family who was a contractor. My best friend, his dad was a, you know, a general contractor. We had a real estate agent, you know, a guy ran, owned his own real estate company, Dave Smith who was a big real estate company in the area. So it was, it was a true middle-class, American neighborhood that was, you know, 98 percent African American growing up. Our neighborhood was filled with lots of kids, like all neighborhoods were then. And, you know, you kinda had little block, block-by-block type loyalties, but as you grew up and you had the ability to go and meet more kids, you figured out they're pretty much like you and then you have races in the streets which was always a lot of fun. And you'd get together, and you'd have a football game over on the golf course in the evening, and, you know, it'd be twelve on twelve as substitutes. I mean it was that many kids (laughter) running around, which was actually pretty neat. And then the sights and sounds. Growing up in Colorado, it was always, you know, hey, it's a beautiful state, and you get, you know, decent and, you know, variable weather. So, you know, sometimes in October you'd have a two-foot snowstorm or in May, you'd have a three-foot snowstorm. Or sometimes in December, the sky would be blue, and it's 78 degrees. And that was one of the joys of being here. One thing about Colorado, it's always had blue skies. You get the snow, but then it'd clear up. And so it was a very happy, feeling place. You got a lot of sunshine. You had an opportunity to go out and, you know, we would ride our bikes during the summers all day. You know, you'd get on the bike. You would leave in the morning, and pack a sandwich, and, you know, and, and go. And, you know, I'm surprised our parents let us do that. I don't know if they knew we were doing that. We'd just get on bikes and just ride, and, you know, just you had to be home before the street lights were on, right. We had neighborhood stores, and I remember there was one store, he used to crack me up, Mr. McGee [ph.]. He'd make the best hamburgers, but he'd go down and he'd sell golf balls and earn some money and you'd go down to his store, and his hamburgers were like $0.50 cents. And you'd go in and say, "All right, Mr. McGee, I'd like a hamburger.". And, you know, you sit down at the counter, and then he'd give you--he'd say, it's $0.50 cents. You give him $0.50 cents, and he'd give you a dime. Then you had to go to the store, which was down the block, and go get a quarter pound of meat (laughter) hamburger. And then you'd bring it back to him. (Laughter) And then he'd make a hamburger for you, right. (Laughter) And, and you'd sit there and watch him cook that up. So that was actually a lot of, that was kind of funny. It's one of the stories I tell my kids. That was a guy who really understood "just-in-time inventory" management systems for sure.$I wanna talk about some of your most significant deals.$$Okay, I think one of the most significant, Aspect's [Aspect Software, Inc.] one, is an interesting one. Ventyx [Energy, LLC] is an interesting one. There's a bunch of 'em, but I, you know, in terms of--you know, one of the reasons I like Ventyx, it tells a very interesting narrative. Ventyx, we ultimately sold to ABB [Group], made about five times our money on it.$$So, you bought it at what?$$No, so that's why it's interesting.$$Okay.$$So the first piece of that was a company called MBSI which was a publicly-traded company in Toronto [Canada] on the Toronto Stock Exchange, actually based in Western Canada. And it basically was software that's used in the utility systems business. So you know when the power pole goes down, somebody has to say, well, what guys on what trucks have the right materials to go get to that power pole and fix it. Okay, so it's a services type business, but software. We bought that company, okay, took it private for $46 million. And then there was a publicly-traded company in the U.S. called (NDES?). (NDES?) actually had a different sort (unclear) when it's long, you call it, you know, long cycle and short cycle. Short cycle is stuff that happens in a day. Long cycle is, you know, the, you know, your cable guy, you know, you book it three days later. He's gonna come between the hours of noon and four o'clock. I'm not responsible if he came at five o'clocl, but, you know (laughter), that sort of stuff. But also, in terms of maintenance and for utilities, okay. So maintenance and so if you have a utility, you got generating assets. You now have to perform maintenance on 'em. Sometimes you gotta change out the pump or the capacitor or whatever. Well, how do you actually have those--there has to be systems. You gotta lock this out first, turn this left, do this before you do this, and then you have to go backward in order to get it back up and running. Well, that works, you know, any time you're doing maintenance, you should have those sort of steps for safety reasons and doing it right. So they had that kind of software. So we merged those two. Then we added another couple of, one piece out of Siemens [AG], and another couple of add-on acquisitions. So over the course of four years, basically, we put five companies together, okay. Now, why this is significant because doing that we actually aggregated and built the largest independent utility software company in the world. And we took a company that was basically break even, losing money to doing, you know, 25 [percent] going to 40 [percent], going to 50 percent EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization] margins. And it was run by, so that one of our first deals was a company called SourceNet [Solutions], and the two founders and principals of that business, once we sold that company, we made 2.6 times our money, we had then run Ventyx. Over that four-year period of time, created a business that we then sold to ABB for $1.2 billion. It made basically a billion dollars in profit. Those two principals--this is why this is interesting, Vince Burkett who was a CEO back at SourceNet, became the CEO there, and Bret Bolin, who was the CFO at SourceNet became CFO there. Vince is now a operating partner at Vista and Bret has managed five companies for us and now is on the board of the sixth and will likely come back as an operating partner later. That's an excellent story. And it's not just the story of how we put these businesses together but also invested in these managers, and also built this VCG engine below to help, you know, do the construction, but also out of that we have about six managers who came out of their tutelage who now run other companies of ours. That's how that market, or that's how our model works. And that's how we get leverage in our model. So while not our highest returning deal at five times cash-on-cash, not a bad one, top in the world, okay, it demonstrates what Vista's about, operational improvement, excellence in execution, development of talent, high returns and an expansion of our network.

Frederick Terrell

Investment banker Frederick O. Terrell was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1952. He was raised in La Puente, California. Terrell graduated with his B.A. degree from La Verne University in 1976; after graduation, he was selected by the Coro Foundation for its public affairs fellowship program for 1977. Terrell attended Occidental College, where he earned his M.A. degree in urban studies before enrolling in the Yale School of Management, where he received his M.B.A. in 1982.

Prior to rejoining Credit Suisse in June 2010, Terrell was managing partner and chief executive officer of Provender Capital Group, LLC, a private equity investment and advisory firm based in New York and focused on investments in financial services, consumer and retail products, business services and media. Prior to founding Provender in 1998, Terrell was a managing director with Credit Suisse First Boston, where he began his career as an associate in 1983. In addition to serving as head of the Mortgage Finance department, he gained broad interdisciplinary experience at senior levels within investment banking and fixed income.

Terrell is a former member of the board of directors for the New York Life Insurance Company, where he served as chairman of the Investment Committee and as a member of both the Compensation and Operations committees. He is also a former member of the board of directors of Wellchoice prior to its sale to Wellpoint in 2005, and Carver Bancorp, Inc. where he served as chairman of the board. He is currently a member of the University Council of Yale University, and is a member of the board of advisors of the Yale School of Management, at which he gave the commencement address in 2002. Terrell is a past chairman of the board of the Coro New York Leadership Center, a national leadership training institute. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Partnership for the City of New York, New York City Investment Fund and Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York. In 2011, Terrell was re-named as one of Black Enterprise magazine’s “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street,” and in 2012 named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America” by Savoy magazine.

Frederick O. Terrell was interviewed for The HistoryMakers on July 14, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.189

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/13/2013

Last Name

Terrell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

O.

Schools

Occidental College

California Elementary School

La Puente High School

Yale School of Organization and Management

University of California, Los Angeles

First Name

Frederick

Birth City, State, Country

Hamtramck

HM ID

TER07

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

California

Favorite Quote

I Get It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/29/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cream Corn

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Frederick Terrell (1954 - ) was instrumental in the development of collateralized mortgage obligations at the First Boston Corporation. He went on to serve as the CEO of the Provender Capital Group LLC.

Employment

Credit Suisse Group AG

Provender Capital Group, LLC

First Boston Corporation

United States Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission

International Brotherhood of Teamsters

President James Earl Carter Jr., Administration

Los Angeles City Council

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:240,10:880,20:5920,157:7840,189:8160,194:8640,201:14240,263:16160,292:17040,313:17920,325:18400,332:30175,437:30978,450:31489,458:34190,502:34628,509:35212,519:35723,528:36672,548:39665,643:48338,703:50410,739:52926,785:53666,796:63530,1006:63842,1011:65714,1050:68160,1069:69810,1096:70734,1113:71790,1134:73242,1149:74892,1224:77070,1288:77928,1305:83680,1386:83920,1391:84640,1405:85120,1415:85420,1421:85840,1437:86320,1446:89370,1459:90000,1470:91960,1504:92520,1513:93010,1522:93570,1531:93990,1538:94270,1543:96370,1597:98890,1657:107302,1708:107995,1720:109444,1756:110011,1767:113539,1832:114106,1843:114547,1851:119250,1873:122754,1941:123119,1947:123411,1952:123849,1959:124141,1964:125017,1979:125382,1985:126331,2004:130430,2027:135063,2112:135477,2119:136926,2154:138444,2200:139617,2223:140514,2250:141135,2260:141756,2271:147866,2315:152399,2355:156720,2368:159460,2421:163219,2469:163633,2476:164047,2483:164530,2491:164944,2498:165427,2506:165841,2513:175363,2726:175777,2733:176122,2739:180044,2751:180660,2759:181804,2774:182244,2780:182860,2789:183740,2799:189666,2867:191326,2898:192156,2910:195144,2998:195725,3007:200534,3063:200877,3071:202830,3093:204160,3124:208334,3166:208602,3171:209138,3183:212086,3253:212555,3261:213024,3269:213493,3277:217379,3370:217848,3378:218384,3391:224000,3437:224438,3446:228234,3527:228526,3533:231373,3597:233271,3637:242505,3765:243030,3773:243630,3784:244980,3814:245430,3821:249690,3867$0,0:880,12:1200,17:22501,336:23425,356:39264,617:39540,622:40920,655:41265,661:41541,666:41817,671:42369,683:44922,725:47130,769:48303,800:48786,808:52236,861:62166,1117:67248,1190:69294,1249:85922,1421:86498,1432:87778,1455:88482,1477:88738,1482:92706,1569:93090,1576:93474,1583:93986,1592:104224,1702:104632,1710:105584,1731:106196,1740:108576,1826:109188,1836:109596,1844:110004,1851:110548,1860:116958,1918:117253,1924:123037,2030:123402,2036:125738,2079:129548,2128:130340,2141:131852,2166:132140,2171:132428,2176:137070,2229:140260,2254:140980,2265:141700,2275:142020,2280:152486,2375:153102,2383:156285,2403:158776,2432:162660,2472:168752,2537:169082,2543:169874,2559:170600,2571:174098,2658:174560,2671:177662,2793:181172,2798:184968,2837:189864,2940:190512,2950:192672,3015:196776,3104:211880,3327:212288,3334:214328,3375:218472,3421:221512,3475:224552,3538:225236,3558:232237,3642:232572,3648:233711,3682:239741,3806:240277,3816:242844,3828:247668,3951:260233,4251:262880,4301
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Frederick Terrell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about his mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell recalls lessons from his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell talks about his parents' marriage

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell recalls his family's frequent moves

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers the effects of white flight in La Puente, California

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls his experiences of police brutality in La Puente, California

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell remembers his family's political discussions

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls his family's road trips to the South

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell remembers lessons from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell talks about his high school band

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell talks about his schooling in La Puente, California, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell talks about his schooling in La Puente, California, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers La Puente High School in La Puente, California

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about the influence of the Black Power movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers being diagnosed with scoliosis

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell talks about his brother, Emmett Terrell, Jr., pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell talks about his brother Emmett Terrell, Jr., pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell remembers his father's death, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell remembers his father's death, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers La Verne College in La Verne, California

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls his internship in the City of West Covina, California

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes his experiences of discrimination in the City of West Covina, California

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls his fellowship from Coro Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell remembers working for Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers working for President Jimmy Carter's administration

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell recalls lessons from his time in politics

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell recalls his admission to the Yale School of Organization and Management in New Haven, Connecticut

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell remembers his summer internship at the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell recalls meeting the CEO of the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell describes how he came to work at the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers the invention of interest rate swaps

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about the first African Americans on Wall Street

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers the savings and loan crisis

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell describes his work in the First Boston Corporation's Federal Finance Group

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Frederick Terrell talks about the merger of Credit Suisse and the First Boston Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell talks about his team's revenue at Credit Suisse Group AG

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell remembers marrying Jonelle Procope

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his upbringing

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell remembers his wedding

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about African American social organizations

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers integrating the Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale, New York

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell remembers being overlooked for partner at Credit Suisse First Boston, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Frederick Terrell remembers being overlooked for partner at Credit Suisse First Boston, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Frederick Terrell remembers inventing the shifting interest mechanism

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell recalls his decision to leave Credit Suisse First Boston

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell talks about starting his own investment banking firm, Provender Capital Group, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell talks about his early investments at Provender Capital Group, LLC

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell recalls returning to Credit Suisse

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell talks about his board memberships

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell remembers becoming vice chairman of Credit Suisse

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his life

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Frederick Terrell talks about his family

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Frederick Terrell shares his advice to future generations, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Frederick Terrell shares his advice to future generations, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Frederick Terrell describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon the legacy of his generation

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Frederick Terrell reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

8$9

DATitle
Frederick Terrell describes his role in the invention of collateralized mortgage obligations, pt. 1
Frederick Terrell remembers inventing the shifting interest mechanism
Transcript
I want to provide a little conte- or help you, help--I want you (simultaneous)-$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, please.$$--to help me provide some context so, really, while you had decided not to go into public finance and in many ways the work that you are doing with the federal government relied on your, there are some interesting things because, you know, investment banking if I'm, you know the silk stocking, whatever, were really a lot of business and private transactions, but that sort of unlocked the public sector in terms of Wall Street, seeing that there is real money to be (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) I think that's right. I think that and the emergence of the mortgage market. See, you're also seeing the emergence of a big, powerful mortgage market which we now know is incredibly powerful and--$$But why did it happen then and not before?$$I think it happened, well, Fannie Mae [Federal National Mortgage Association] and Freddie Mac [Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation] used bankers. They were a big force because they were the major conduits for securitization. They were buying loans and selling on loans and securities and First Boston [First Boston Corporation, New York, New York] was one of the major innovators; ourselves and Salomon [Salomon Brothers]. We were the two big firms, Lew Ranieri [Lewis Ranieri] and Larry Fink [Laurence D. Fink]. So we had that reputation as being the smart guys around the mortgage industry and Fannie and Freddie are sort of quasi-public, although they are publicly traded they really are sort of, you know, they're sort of neither fish or fowl, right? They're sort of government entity but they trade like they have stock, right? So, to be involved in that was sort of an intersection of public and private. When you work on Fannie or Freddie Mac, you are in the public and private domain in many ways. What, you know, I worked in interest rate swaps and remember I said about some things turn something new, don't have and want into something new, you now have, through the synthetic thing--I've been lucky in my career. I've worked in two things like that. Interest rate swaps do that, securitization does the same thing. It turns a loan that does this into a loan that does different things and investors want, it's, so it's really a very sophisticated, very analytically driven business and with the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation] you were taking all that technology and applying it to a public sector problem around private sector companies that have gotten in trouble, but now they're backed by the federal government, so the federal government's problem.$$But, how are you making money, because you said there was money to be made--$$We were making money because the federal government had taken over all these bad banks, bad S and Ls [savings and loan]. They now own the loans, so when a big S and L goes out of business in L.A. [Los Angeles, California] or in Chicago [Illinois], the government seizes and they close it down. They own the loans. They're on the government's balance sheet, but they don't want the loans. They want the money so they have to sell the loans.$$So they sell the--$$Loans to.$$--back loans, but they sell them to whom?$$They sell it to private sector, private investors.$$And so, are you structuring a deal?$$I'm structuring those deals.$$Deals for the private sector. So, what percentage do you make off those deals?$$Well, it depends on the deal and how complicated it is, but we make a spread between, you know, what we buy it for. We first have to buy the loans and then we have to sell them. We buy them for one dollar and we sell them for, you know, or I should say if the loans are worth a dollar we buy them for eighty cents. We end up selling them for a dollar; you know, we make the spread between the two, and we're getting paid a fee.$So now, the fact that in ninety--so the next year is '94 [1994], right?$$(Nods head).$$And does the, the alliance, the strategic alliance with reinsur- that has nothing to do with you, okay. But it says that you pioneered an esoteric finance focus. Has that happened? See some of my chronology is--$$No, it's okay. I did a couple of deals. I did a tax lien deal for New Jersey. I did some stuff in securitization, which was kind of interesting. I did something pretty special for the RTC [Resolution Trust Corporation]. We did a lot of very esoteric, really brave new world stuff in securitization. We really were innovators, doing stuff that had never been done before that became commonplace.$$Okay.$$But it's, you know what, it's so in the weeds of, it's so technical that--$$But, can you explain just once during this interview, one technical thing that you--$$You really wanna hear--$$I do, because--$$Okay.$$Let's say this is business school student, you know, an M.B.A. student, someone out of Yale [Yale School of Management, New Haven, Connecticut], or whatever, who was interested in the history of that, wouldn't that be of interest to them?$$Uh, well, I'll tell you one because it came up the other day when I was talking to the woman I did it for, because she was in a different position then and she was reminding me of it. And I said, when the RTC was selling, you know when loans were originated around the country, if you borrow money, you can borrow with different indices; I mean, it can be a fixed rate loan, but it can also be a loan that floats around treasury bills, it can float around, revolve around LIBOR, London Interbank Offered Rate, it can be something called a cost of funds loan, which is around a district of the Federal Home Loan Bank [Federal Home Loan Bank System], but there are different ways of paying floating interest that adjusts. Well, now the government owns all these loans and there are all these different indices. This is really in the weeds, but you asked for it. All these different indices and these loans that pay different ways, now I wanna take all those loans together and create a common security that they support. But I can't, because they're all paying at different times. So, we designed a mechanism that allowed the RTC to combine very disperse, very diverse pools of loans that have very different payment mechanisms into one package and sell them as one security to the market place around one index, and we did it by setting up a separate floating pool that would make up for the differences between the rate on the security and the rate on the collateral; you know, I mean it's that kind of stuff. Now Saundra [Saundra Williams Cornwell], I was talking to today about it, she was telling me, remarking god, that that idea allowed the federal government to sell billions. It was a breakthrough idea because once they did that, because the problem they had is that they were requiring bad S and Ls [savings and loan] from all over the country, who had loans for that region that they liked to do, some this index, some that index, now the government owns them all. Now I want to sell them. I can't sell them unless I have a common thing to sell them around. I've got to turn them into something that's more homogenous. We figured out a way to create more homogeneity around something that's completely heterogeneous, and that was pretty remarkable. That was pretty good stuff. Now, that's commonplace. I was looking in the paper the other day about a deal that's come to market and they describe something called shifting interests, you know, which was a thing that we helped design around here around deals I worked on. There was a lot of innovation then, and I wasn't the only guy, but I was leading a team that was coming up with it and explaining it at the highest levels in government, how these deals were working, so it was pretty hot stuff. You know, at that time, you know, you know not unlike Ray [HistoryMaker Raymond J. McGuire] and the M and A [mergers and acquisitions] business or Bill [HistoryMaker William M. Lewis, Jr.] and the M and A, in the mortgage business, you know, I really had my act together and we were doing really big, the biggest transactions were and the most sophisticated ones.

Terry Jones

Founder of Syncom, Inc., Terry L. Jones graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut with his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering. At Trinity, Jones founded the school’s first black student organization. Upon completing college, Jones worked as an electrical engineer for Westinghouse Aerospace and Litton Industries. He later returned to school where he earned his M.S. degree in computer science and biomedical engineering from George Washington University. In 1972, Jones obtained his M.B.A from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and became the co-founder and vice president of Kiambere Savings and Loan in Nairobi, Kenya. During his time in Nairobi Kenya he served as lecturer at the University of Nairobi. In 1977, he returned to the United States to join Syncom Inc. as Vice President.

Over the years Syncom has been responsible for investments made in companies such as Black Entertainment Television (BET), Radio One, TV One, Buenavision Inc. and the District Cable Incorporated. In 1990, Jones became the President of Syndicated Communications, Inc. and Syncom Capital Corporation. He has served as Vice Chairman and Executive Officer of Citi Group Global Investment Management and Citi Group Asset Management. In 1993, he was the Vice President of Finance and Planning Chief Financial Officer of TIAA-CREF. Since then he has worked as Vice Chairman and Executive Officer at Citi Group Global Investment Management and Citi Group Asset Management. He has also worked as the director of Cyber Digital Inc., Iridium Communications and Fox Entertainment Group.

Jones has served as a member of the board of Directors for a number of Syncom Portfolio companies and other corporations such as Weather Decisions Inc., V-me Media, Delta Capital Corporation and the Southern African Enterprise Development Fund. He has also served on the board of directors for Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, Phillip Morris Companies, Inc. and the Howard University Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation Institute. He has joined the board of trustees for Cornell University and Spelman College. He is the recipient of the New America Alliance Award of Excellence.

Accession Number

A2012.064

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/13/2012

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Trinity College

George Washington University

Harvard University

Central Academy of Excellence

First Name

Terry

HM ID

JON28

Favorite Season

Summer

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Jamaica

Favorite Quote

The Struggle Continues.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

1/23/1947

Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Favorite Food

Popcorn

Short Description

Business chief executive Terry Jones (1947 - ) Founder, Terry Jones has invested in the development of industry-leading companies, such as BET, Radio One, and Iridium Satellite.

Employment

Westinghouse Corporation

Kiambere Savings and Loan in Nairobi

University of Nairobi

Syncom

Litton Industries

Goddard Space Flight Center

The Booker T. Washington Foundation

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:3101,106:18335,251:20425,281:25850,313:26394,318:32380,382:34128,413:34508,419:34812,424:37396,488:38840,510:45300,681:45756,688:46592,701:48872,740:49936,767:62730,811:63679,824:68205,963:68643,970:70030,990:71709,1068:74118,1091:78850,1108:79205,1114:85098,1274:85950,1287:86589,1298:90370,1323:91540,1337:92710,1353:93700,1367:94330,1380:94780,1390:97840,1438:98560,1456:100270,1479:103920,1485:107808,1581:108888,1604:111912,1713:112992,1736:113496,1744:113928,1752:114360,1759:114648,1771:115296,1785:120576,1806:122094,1821:131764,1967:132100,1973:132520,1992:137770,2041:139518,2071:140530,2091:147232,2187:147911,2211:152373,2297:153343,2320:153731,2333:160602,2392:162870,2431:163206,2436:166410,2465:168020,2507:169840,2550:170190,2568:171030,2586:171520,2594:173550,2649:174320,2665:175790,2695:177400,2723:182585,2779:184721,2818:185077,2823:185878,2834:186857,2852:188940,2859$0,0:3128,58:5816,97:10988,209:25710,325:26475,335:27325,356:28430,439:29620,449:30640,469:31150,482:40934,636:42266,664:42562,669:47535,755:52676,831:53646,842:54034,847:54616,858:55489,872:58108,915:60630,974:63055,1011:71630,1088:72820,1116:75270,1180:75690,1187:76600,1208:77230,1218:78770,1261:84313,1313:85236,1333:85520,1338:87450,1348:90145,1409:91223,1426:91608,1432:91993,1438:93533,1467:94534,1482:94919,1488:96228,1499:97229,1513:97922,1524:101378,1538:102754,1559:103098,1564:108774,1652:109376,1660:115224,1773:116256,1790:116600,1799:118406,1828:135780,2084:143330,2153:143735,2159:144788,2177:145679,2191:148109,2248:152580,2372:157131,2423:157423,2428:158007,2447:158299,2452:161820,2484
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Terry Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Terry Jones lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Terry Jones describes his mother's childhood in Hiawatha, Kansas

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about his paternal family history, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about his paternal family history, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Terry Jones describes race relations in Kansas versus race relations in Missouri

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Terry Jones describes his father's childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Terry Jones describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Terry Jones describes his parent's personalities and considers which parent he takes after the most

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Terry Jones lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Terry Jones describes his earliest childhood memories in Hiawatha, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Terry Jones explains his family's migration to Omaha, Nebraska and back into Hiawatha, Kansas, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Terry Jones describes the sights, sounds, and smells of Hiawatha, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Terry Jones describes his childhood community in Hiawatha, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Terry Jones describes his experience in Hiawatha Elementary School in Hiawatha, Kansas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about the impact of the Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education on Kansas City schools

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Terry Jones explains his family's migration to Omaha, Nebraska and back into Hiawatha, Kansas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Terry Jones talks about developing an early interest in engineering

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Terry Jones talks about playing the clarinet

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Terry Jones explains why he chose to be an engineer

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Terry Jones describes his extracurricular activities at Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Terry Jones describes his childhood mentors

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about influential teachers at Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri, including Dr. Jeremiah Cameron

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Terry Jones describes his summer jobs growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Terry Jones talks about the African American business community in Kansas City, Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Terry Jones explains what inspired him to become an engineer

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about applying to college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Terry Jones talks about East Coast elite academic culture

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Terry Jones describes his experience as an undergraduate student at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Terry Jones describes his experience as an undergraduate student at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about the Trinity College black student organization, the Trinity Coalition of Blacks (T.C.B.)

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about his involvement in campus protests at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Terry Jones talks about his involvement in protests at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about national political unrest in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about his post-graduation jobs in engineering

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about applying to Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about the curriculum and faculty at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about the African American Student Union alumni weekends at Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities in Kenya after graduating from Harvard Business School

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Terry Jones describes his experience in Kenya

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Terry Jones describes meeting his wife, Marcella Jones

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Terry Jones describes planning a family and long-term goals with his wife

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about his return from Kenya to Washington, D.C.

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about his work with the Booker T. Washington foundation and the Federal Communications Commission tax certificate program for minorities

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Terry Jones explains venture capitalism

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about venture capital available to African American entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Terry Jones explains HistoryMaker Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr.'s departure from the Urban National Corporation

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about the Federal Communications Commission's Minority Tax Certificate Program

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Terry Jones describes connecting with HistoryMaker Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr. and accepting a job at Syncom Venture Partners

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Terry Jones explains why he was interested in media entrepreneurship and Syncom Venture Partners

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Terry Jones talks about Radio One and HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about how he contributed to the success of HistoryMaker Cathy Hughes' station, Radio One

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about investing in BET, Black Entertainment Television

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about investing in Latino and African American telecommunications companies

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Terry Jones talks about encouraging cities to diversify cable television ownership

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about the success of cable in inner city neighborhoods

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about Syncom Venture Partners' financing of WorldSpace, Inc., pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about Syncom Venture Partners' financing of WorldSpace, Inc., pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Terry Jones talks about the sale of WorldSpace, Inc.'s rights to XM satellite radio, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about the sale of WorldSpace, Inc.'s rights to XM satellite radio, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about the economic component of the movement for racial justice

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about the success of black businessmen Robert L. Johnson and Reginald F. Lewis

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Terry Jones talks about the Glass-Steagall Act

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about the Iridium Satellite Company's technology and flaws in its original business plan

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about the purchase of Iridium Satellite LLC from Motorola

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Terry Jones describes making Iridium Satellite into a successful company

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Terry Jones talks about the success of TV One

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Terry Jones talks about investing in NuvoTV

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about how the internet has affected media and communications

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Terry Jones describes the impact of the economic crash of 2008 on venture capitalism

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Terry Jones talks about people of color becoming the majority in the United States population

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Terry Jones considers the profitability in media platforms for communities of color

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Terry Jones talks about the low number of minority entrepreneurs financed by Silicon Valley venture capitals

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Terry Jones talks about the Federal Communications Commission's auctioning off of portions of the broadband spectrum

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Terry Jones talks about the budget priorities of the federal government

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Terry Jones describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Terry Jones reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Terry Jones talks about his three daughters

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Terry Jones talks about his volunteer activities

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Terry Jones considers what he might have done differently

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Terry Jones talks about his recreational activities

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Terry Jones describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$6

DAStory

9$6

DATitle
Terry Jones talks about developing an early interest in engineering
Terry Jones describes connecting with HistoryMaker Herbert P. Wilkins, Sr. and accepting a job at Syncom Venture Partners
Transcript
Now you got keenly involved in science, now, you know, so this is, you know--how, who got you involved in science early? I mean how, or how did you, what, what drew you into science.$$Well, again, I, I always felt I was relatively balanced. I liked science. I liked art. But I think as I did things as a kid, like building things, and got, I remember getting an Erector set for Christmas one year because I'd shown this interest in it, in that kind of stuff. And I don't know if you remember Erector sets back in the day, but they used to be these beams, little beams, little aluminum beams, and screws, and bolts, and little motor you can--(unclear)--and, but you had to put things together and make a drawbridge or a this, or make a that. And so I used to do that, and I used get a lot of--what is it? People would congratulate or--I'm trying to think of the word--but you know, when people sort of pat you on the head and say that's really good; that's really good; that's really great; look at this; look at, look at what he did there. And all those kind, that was, that kind of feedback affects young people. It certainly affected me. I said hmm, this is something I'm--people think I'm good at. And you know (laughter), and I'd get, you know, praise for it because I, I growing up physically, I didn't get accolades for physical things because I was thin, and at that time short, and I just didn't have the, the genes to jump high and run fast like a lot of the other guys did. I mean I liked sports, and I did 'em, but I wasn't, I wasn't a winner. I wasn't the fastest. I wasn't the strongest.$$But you were a year behind the other--$$And I was, and I was--$$--students there.$$--and I was a year sort of, at least several months, behind most of the people in any class I was in. So, where I got my support and, and you know, sort of, you know, co, co--what do you call it--kudos, was, you know, people say oh, gee, look at he did this; he made that; he's, you know, is good at that, you know. And so you sort of, you sort of gravitate towards the things that you get rewarded and congratulated for. So that tended to be, you know, in engine, engineering kind of stuff, you know, little science stuff, little projects, math. And 'cause that didn't, didn't matter how many muscles you had or how high you can jump, you can do that. And so I wanted, being a seeker of adulation, decided to (laughter) to do that stuff and, and you know, was encouraged to do it as more, and the more encouragement it got and the same was with music. The more, more I played and studied music, the better I got, the more people say oh, isn't that great, the more it made me want to do it more and distinguish myself more. So, you know, it was just seeking approval. And seeking, you know, that really kind of help direct the course of, of, of things.$So Syncom [Venture Partners] was created in '78 [1978] as well, right?$$It did what?$$Syncom was also created in '78 [1978], right?$$Seventy-seven [1977].$$Seventy-seven [1977], okay. It's just on the eve of this F.C.C. [Federal Communications Commission]--$$Yeah.$$--rule, okay, all right. Okay, and, and Syncom hired you basically from Booker T. Wash, Washington [Booker T. Washington Foundation], right?$$Right.$$Right. How, how did that come about? I mean how, when did you first meet Herb Wilkins [HM Herbert P. Wilkins Sr.], and how did this happen?$$Herb had a--Herb was in Harvard Business School [Boston, Massachusetts] as well. And one, some of his best friends, one of his best friends, a guy named Len Fuller [Leonard Fuller]--and Len be another guy to interview (laughter)--Len offered me a job. He worked for a consulting firm here. And when I was in business school he offered a summer job to work with them. I didn't take it. I took the real estate thing, mortgage banking job, for the summer. And then when I came out of school and I went to Africa, Len was in Africa, in Nairobi [Kenya], just vacationing. And he and I hooked up together, and we just became friends. And he was impressed with what he thought I could do, and I was impressed with him. And he and Herb happened to be classmates and real good friends. When I took the job with Booker T. Washington Foundation, we were, as I said, doing cable television. We were getting franchises for cable television opportunities around the country. And when the job opening here came up in '78 [1978] at Syncom, I said, "I'm interested in getting, transitioning into venture capital, and Herb Wilkins is the guy." And so Len told me, he said, "Well, I know Herbert. He's one of my best friends. Let me tell him about you. Let me write him about you," blah, blah, blah. And so he kind of said, "Herb, you really need to talk to this guy," blah, blah. So I applied and talked with Herb, and we, he finally felt comfortable enough to hire me, so I became the vice president. But that's how that happened. That's how I came to Syncom. It was sort of I was in the cable area. Syncom was created to do cable and other broadcasting things. They needed a vice president. Herb with the Harvard Business School. I went to Harvard Business School. Len Fuller went to Harvard Business School. We knew each other. You should talk with each other, talked with each other, and ultimately came over.

Gwendolyn Smith Iloani

Investment Executive Gwendolyn Smith Iloani was born in Jamaica. Iloani came to the United States with her family at the age of six. Her family moved to Brooklyn, New York. Iloani received her B.A. degree in sociology from Colgate University and her M.B.A. from the University of Hartford.

Iloani worked in a variety of insurance and financial firms before founding her own investment company. Iloani began her career as a math analyst at New York Life in the late 1970s and then moved to Connecticut Mutual as a management trainee. In 1980, Iloani moved to Aetna, Inc. where she worked for fifteen years. Iloani worked in the investment department as an investment analyst and ultimately rose to the level of a managing director at a very rapid pace. In 1994, she persuaded senior executives at Aetna to invest $2.5 million in Smith Whiley, the Hartford, Connecticut investment firm she founded and owns. After two years, Iloani bought out Aetna’s interest and Smith Whiley is now owned by Iloani. Iloani is the chairwoman, president and CEO of Smith Whiley & Company, a private equity firm that specializes in providing mezzanine debt and private equity for management buyouts, recapitalizations, acquisitions and growth capital. Smith Whiley is among the largest black-owned private equity firm, and has managed in excess of $600 million. Iloani directs the firm’s investment advisory and asset management business, and the investment and portfolio management activities.

In 2000, Iloani's younger sister Jaleith died of leukemia at age thirty-six and left her three children to Iloani, who now makes time for all the demands of motherhood. In addition, Iloani has a long history of civic involvement with a wide variety of organizations and has received numerous community service and business leadership awards. Iloani is a board member of the NAACP Special Contributions Fund and The Crisis magazine. She was named one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street” and one of the “50 Most Powerful Black Women in Business” by Black Enterprise Magazine. Iloani is a Trustee of the University of Connecticut Foundation and after serving nine years on the Board of Trustees for Colgate University, she is currently an Emeritus Trustee.

Gwendolyn Smith Iloani was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.009

Sex

Female

Interview Date

4/29/2010

Last Name

Iloani

Maker Category
Middle Name

Smith

Schools

Colgate University

University Of Hartford

International High School At Prospect Heights

P.S. 182

P.S. 299, Thomas Warren Field School

Speakers Bureau

Organizations

First Name

Gwendolyn

HM ID

SMI22

Favorite Season

Fall

Favorite Vacation Destination

Cruises

Favorite Quote

The Only Helping Hand You Have Is The One At The End Of Your Arm.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Birth Date

11/19/1955

Speakers Bureau Region City

Hartford

Country

Jamaica

Favorite Food

Goat (Curried)

Short Description

Investment executive Gwendolyn Smith Iloani (1955 - ) was the founder, chairwoman, president and CEO of Smith Whiley and Company, the nation's fourth-largest black-owned private equity firm.

Employment

Smith Whiley and Company

Aetna, Inc.

Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co.

New York Life Insurance Co.

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1326,21:4072,67:10771,246:11079,251:11387,256:12311,274:15468,339:16623,361:24294,416:25092,421:38715,658:39237,666:40890,697:41934,713:43587,737:44544,752:51840,875:52200,880:53550,900:54450,910:55080,922:55890,932:60480,1018:61560,1033:62280,1043:62910,1053:63630,1062:65250,1086:69360,1112:70205,1135:70790,1146:73390,1202:75340,1228:76965,1275:78330,1300:78980,1314:79305,1320:84575,1406:84965,1413:86135,1443:87890,1493:93415,1648:93805,1656:94845,1673:107565,1868:108003,1876:108295,1881:108733,1888:109828,1907:110923,1944:113186,1993:113697,2002:129041,2210:129563,2217:131825,2265:132260,2271:132608,2276:133043,2282:133478,2288:134348,2305:134696,2310:135305,2318:141730,2391:144796,2466:146621,2516:147205,2525:147716,2561:148081,2567:149249,2609:153732,2656:154152,2662:154992,2668:155412,2674:156420,2702:156840,2709:159948,2757:160788,2771:161208,2777:161796,2785:173038,2956:173418,2962:173798,2968:184200,3114:184600,3120:185080,3127:189220,3166$0,0:3610,81:8861,170:9306,176:11442,210:11887,216:12332,222:20068,312:20572,320:20932,326:21940,356:22300,363:22948,373:24892,405:25180,410:25756,420:26404,430:27052,441:27700,451:31289,465:32534,486:32949,492:35024,523:35439,529:35854,535:36518,547:39672,601:40336,610:43324,642:44154,653:44569,659:46561,696:47474,709:51209,820:60434,899:60944,905:70940,1069:85084,1253:85494,1259:86150,1270:86724,1278:87052,1283:92594,1313:94518,1356:94814,1361:96368,1386:102436,1540:103102,1551:103398,1570:105174,1605:114840,1703:115965,1725:116265,1730:116790,1741:117465,1752:117990,1761:119340,1785:120165,1797:120915,1811:125076,1838:125604,1847:126264,1863:127914,1908:128244,1914:128772,1923:129234,1931:130224,1958:130818,1971:131280,1980:137577,2062:139920,2101:140346,2108:141695,2146:142050,2152:144890,2205:146807,2251:147091,2256:147801,2268:148511,2280:149150,2292:149434,2297:156670,2366
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gwendolyn Smith Iloani's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her mother's upbringing

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her family's migration to New York City

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani remembers the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani remembers her parents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her early awareness of divisions in the African American community

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Smith Ilonai recalls her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her early career aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani remembers her family's entrepreneurialism

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her experiences at Prospect Heights High School in Brooklyn, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls her decision to attend Colgate University in Hamilton, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her academic experiences at Colgate University

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls working for the Aetna Life and Casualty Company

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her start as an investment analyst

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls the Aetna Life and Casualty Company's investment in BET

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes the early business model of BET

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about black business ownership

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani remembers her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about the challenges of her marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls the founding of her investment firm

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes the origins of Smith Whiley and Company's name

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her investment strategy

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her investment clients and specialty

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her business partners

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her success at Smith Whiley and Company

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes the challenges of entrepreneurship

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani talks about her nephews

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her charitable board memberships

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani reflects upon her concerns for the University of Connecticut and Colgate University

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls her interest in establishing an office in South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani reflects upon her life, legacy and how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gwendolyn Smith Iloani narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

3$1

DATitle
Gwendolyn Smith Iloani remembers her family's entrepreneurialism
Gwendolyn Smith Iloani recalls the Aetna Life and Casualty Company's investment in BET
Transcript
Sometimes, you know, they had individuals, you know, positioned as role models in those, you know, for different things. I just wondered that--it should be--to go into business in those days it seems like there would be somebody--$$But I didn't know what business meant. I just knew I couldn't be a doctor. So I knew I had--it had to be business but I had no clue as to what that would entail.$$Okay. Were any of your relatives entrepreneurs?$$No.$$That's interesting that I think, you know, a lot of pe- people see Jamaicans and, and people from Barbados as- as entrepreneurs?$$As entrepreneurs. Now my dad [Woodrow Smith], you know, he--we started out with my house, and then he bought like five, six other houses. So you can say that he had an entrepreneurial spirit--$$Yes he did (laughter).$$--and a lot of my relatives did the same thing. But when you think of a true entrepreneur who is running a company and employing people, they didn't go that route, but they knew how to build wealth. And just about every aunt and uncle did that, own multiple homes and in my--in our case, when you have eight children that--that we became the demolition crew (laughter). So we would go in, get the houses ready, when people would move out we would go--like I became a, a excellent painter by the time I was in tenth grade [at Prospect Heights High School, Brooklyn, New York]. I loved to paint and my father taught me to paint. I didn't love to paint before he taught--but I could paint houses, do ceilings, walls, fixtures.$$So you didn't have all free time to ride your bike, you, you did have to do some--$$Well as I got older we began to take on responsibilities like that. So my job was painting. So I would paint the stoops, like in Brooklyn [New York], you know, everybody has a stoop. I'd go paint the stoop, paint all the, the, the metal fencing and then go into houses that we owned when people moved out or if we had little projects to do. He wouldn't hire painters, he'd have the kids, so it was me and my--one of my brothers we'd go in and do painting.$$Okay, now I have neglected to ask you the names of all your brothers and sister, so and, and where you fall in the order so, so?$$My oldest brother is, is Wendell [Wendell Smith] and he's about five years older than me. Then I have another brother Ivanhoe [Ivanhoe Smith], who you met, and he's about--almost two years older than me, and then I--then it's me. Then I have a sister named Princess. She's actually named that--her name is Princess Grace [Princess Smith Sally], she's named after Princess Grace [Grace Kelly], and I have an aunt whose name is Princess Grace, and she's about three years younger than me. And then I have twin brothers--a brother and a sister, and they are four years younger than me. And then I have a sister, Jaleith [Jaleith Smith]--well the twins are Patrick [Patrick Smith] and Yvonne [Yvonne Smith], then I have a sister Jaleith who is se- seven years younger, and then I have the baby brother, his name is Arthur, Whiley Arthur Smith [Arthur Smith] and he's ten years younger than me. So I'm the third oldest child and the oldest girl.$$Okay, okay.$Do you remember where you left off, you wanna pick up from there?$$I think I was talking about--oh you're ready (laughter) okay.$$Yeah, we're rolling, yeah.$$So I worked doing analysis in the utility group for about three years and then I wanted to learn a different sector. So I requested to be moved into the banking group where I would be investing in banks, insurance companies. I was doing solvent risk analysis, basically looking at different countries and investing in, in, in these countries. And I did that for about three years. And then I moved over to run the media group. I became a managing director and I was investing in radio, TV, cable companies, any kind of entertainment companies on behalf of Aetna [Aetna Life and Casualty Company; Aetna, Inc., Hartford, Connecticut]. And I made a very good investment in BET [Black Entertainment Television] at the time. We were their first institutional investor (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) So this is--this is what 19?$$Nineteen eighty-eight [1988], '89 [1989]. I invested in BET in '88 [1988] and invested fifteen million [dollars] of Aetna's money--I think it was ten million of Aetna's money in BET, and ended up owning a part of BET--so Aetna owned a part of BET. And then two years later, the company went public.$$Now how did BET, for instance, convince you to invest in them?$$What happened was, I was at a cable show in Dallas [Texas] and I met Bob Johnson [Robert L. Johnson]. He was checking into the hotel, we were staying at the ho- the same hotel and we started to talk. And he said that he had been to every bank and every venture firm and private equity firm in the D.C. [Washington, D.C.], Virginia, and Maryland markets trying to get this money. He needed the money to purchase a satellite--a transponder which is on a satellite and--which would transmit signals through cable headends and ultimately through either fiber optic or coaxial cable down the street into your home so when you turn on your TV you'd get a picture, you'd get the BET show. And the transponder that he had had reached the end of its useful life and he wondered whether or not I would consider such of a transaction. I said I don't know what a transponder is, I don't understand the risk involved in launching a satellite. What happens if you launch it and it goes off course, it's a lot of money.

Barry Williams

Barry Williams was born on July 21, 1944, and raised by his parents, Otis and Ilza Williams, in a racially diverse community in Mt. Vernon, New York. His parents, both college graduates, instilled strong values of education, hard work, and family in their three children. Williams attended Grimes Elementary School as a young child. He graduated from George Washington Junior High, and later went to high school at a small boarding school in New England.

In 1962, Williams entered Harvard University. While there, he was elected class marshall and played college basketball. Williams received his B.A. degree in 1966 from Harvard University. He then won a fellowship through Corning Glass that allowed him to travel around the world for fourteen months. Williams traveled through Europe, Latin America, and Africa. In 1968, Williams returned to Harvard to study law and business. In 1971, he received his J.D. degree and M.B.A. degrees jointly from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School.

Upon graduating, Williams moved to San Francisco where he worked at the international management consulting firm of McKinsey and Company until 1979. Harvard University awarded Williams the Harvard Medal in 1979 for his outstanding service in business and the community, and at Harvard University. Between 1979 and 1986, Williams worked as managing principal at Bechtel Group. In 1987, he founded Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc., a real estate and private equity investment and consulting firm.

Since 1990, Williams has served on the board of directors of Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He has served on the board of PG&E Corporation since 1996, and is also a member of the board for CH2M HILL; Simpson Manufacturing Company; Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company; SLM (Sallie Mae) Corporation; and the RH Donnellet Corporation. He has taught classes in entrepreneurship at the graduate business school of the University of California, Berkeley. During his six year term on the National Park Foundation board, Williams co-founded the African American Experience Fund. The objective of the fund is to raise money to support the National Park Foundation’s African American parks and historic sites. He has also served as a U.S. delegate for the Conference on National Parks in Durbin, South Africa. In 2000, Williams became interim president and CEO of the American Management Association, the largest national provider of seminars, and a senior mediator for the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS).

Williams lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Accession Number

A2005.240

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/11/2005

Last Name

Williams

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lawson

Schools

Harvard University

P.S. 68

Grimes School

Westminster School

Harvard Law School

First Name

Barry

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

WIL29

Favorite Season

Summer

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

7/21/1944

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bay Area/San Francisco

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Investment chief executive Barry Williams (1944 - ) is the founder of Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc., a real estate and private equity investment and consulting firm. He co-founded the African American Experience Fund for the National Park Foundation, and serves as a director of the PG&E Corporation.

Employment

McKinsey and Company

Bechtel

Williams Pacific Ventures

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Barry Williams' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Barry Williams lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Barry Williams talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Barry Williams describes what he knows about his ancestry

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Barry Williams remembers his childhood babysitter

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Barry Williams describes his childhood household

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Barry Williams talks about his aunts

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Barry Williams describes his brothers

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Barry Williams describes his family's emphasis on education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls his childhood neighborhood in Mount Vernon, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes the sights of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his childhood education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Barry Williams recalls his middle school years

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Barry Williams describes significant teachers in his life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Barry Williams remembers his childhood activities and aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Barry Williams recalls his experience of church

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Barry Williams talks about his values

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Barry Williams recalls games from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Barry Williams remembers attending Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Barry Williams remembers his sophomore year at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls how the Civil Rights Movement influenced him

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his extracurricular activity at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Barry Williams recalls playing basketball against his friend Bill Bradley

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Barry Williams recalls influential figures at Harvard University

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Barry Williams recalls travelling the world for fourteen months

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Barry Williams recalls becoming interested in business at Harvard Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Barry Williams talks about his interest in China

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Barry Williams describes his job at McKinsey and Company

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes working at Bechtel Group, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Barry Williams remembers a difficult period in his life

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Barry Williams describes Williams Pacific Ventures, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Barry Williams recalls a fire in Oakland, California

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Barry Williams remembers losing his home in a fire in Oakland

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Barry Williams describes where he lived after the Oakland fire

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Barry Williams talks about his businesses

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Barry Williams recalls working with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his business interests and black entrepreneurship

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Barry Williams recalls serving as interim CEO of American Management Association

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Barry Williams remembers receiving a Harvard Medal

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Barry Williams describes his interest in reading and theater

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Barry Williams remembers joining the National Park Foundation board

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his work with the African American Experience Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Barry Williams describes fundraising for the African American Experience Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Barry Williams describes his goals

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Barry Williams describes his hobbies

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes his reading list

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Barry Williams talks about traveling

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Barry Williams talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Barry Williams talks about his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Barry Williams recalls hosting an inaugural family reunion

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Barry Williams recalls dating his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his proposal to his wife, Lalita Tademy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Barry Williams reflects upon the importance of history

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Barry Williams recalls being part of The Board at Bechtel Group, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Barry Williams recalls contributing to Winston Tubman's Liberian presidential campaign

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Barry Williams talks about his hero, Nelson Mandela

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Barry Williams describes philanthropic work he intends to do

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Barry Williams describes his future plans

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Barry Williams reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Barry Williams describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Barry Williams reflects upon his values

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Barry Williams reflects upon his family

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Barry Williams describes his hopes for his children

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Barry Williams describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Barry Williams narrates his photographs, pt. 3

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

4$10

DATitle
Barry Williams recalls working with Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services
Barry Williams describes his work with the African American Experience Fund
Transcript
I found it very interesting: you are a senior mediator with JAMS.$$I spent about seven or eight years with JAMS.$$Could you first tell us what JAMS is (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) JAMS stand for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services. So an alternative to the court system is to take something to mediation slash arbitration and that's where you voluntarily go and try and seek a solution amongst the parties. Now there is a technical difference between mediation and arbitration. Mediation is where the mediator tries to get you together but he can't force a decision. Arbitration is where the judge comes to a decision which you have to abide by. But again I have this dual education, law and business, and I've always had this sense that I want to do something with my law. I spent three years and paid a lot of money to go to law school [Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts] and a member of the bar and I had this theory that if the goal of the process of mediation or arbitration is to settle. I thought a lot of times it's probably, you're settling on a business basis, you're making business decisions on whether you want to settle now or pursue the case. So I approached what is--what was and what is the most outstanding mediation arbitration firm JAMS and said, "I'd like to be a mediator. I'm not a retired judge," that's the J in JAMS, "but I'd like to do some joint mediations and I'd like to really see if I could help settle cases by identifying the business considerations and how they interface with a solution." So I did that for many years jointly with a very good friend of mine and significant person at JAMS, Judge Danny Weinstein [Daniel Weinstein], and Danny was wonderful because the first couple of days he said, "This is a friend of mine who is sitting in," and then I was his assistant and then I was his co mediator (laughter) and Danny gave me all the opportunity in the world. I developed a specialty of complex business litigation where multi parties, multi issues and the area I very much liked was the environmental area and I eventually became a trustee or the trustee of an environmental site where I was not the mediator, I was in charge of cleaning up the site. I had the litigation, the insurance, the technical side and what have you. So for those reasons I had to leave JAMS because I was full time on a site. But I came across a lot of interesting cases when I was at JAMS. One of the cases [Pigford v. Glickman] that I spent a lot of time, more than a year on, was the settlement with the federal loan home board [Farmers Home Administration] and the black farmers of the South where the black farmers had won a class action showing discrimination for years within this government agency in dispensing of loan funds, and so then we had to divvy up the money that had been put together as damages. And we adjudicated many, many cases, and I did a lot of the individual cases, but we had many people doing that. The thought was that there might be about twelve thousand black farmers. I think we adjudicated more than twenty-eight thousand cases and there was a recent case saying that there were plenty more black farmers who either didn't have legal representation or what have you. So we had many people adjudicating these suits. And so I was with a panel of three other people: a former California state supreme court [Supreme Court of California] justice; a law professor; and the dean of a local law school. And we tried to put together a quality control program so that there was some consistency in the rendering of decisions. But I'm very proud of that case, and the opportunity through JAMS to work on a case like that.$And you were telling us about the National Park--$$Well, I fell in love with the National Park Foundation. The National Park Foundation is a federally chartered foundation. It's the only federally chartered foundation in that space which raises money, private money, for the national parks and over the last couple of years we've been averaging raising $50 million a year for the National Park. This is very important because the government principally is the principal source of money for our national parks. But money tends to go to maintenance and capital projects, not to education, not to outreach, and one of our goals is to make sure there's lots of interpretive material so parks are not only where you go see a bear. You know, we have this wonderful collection of American history in our parks. They are an educational institution but you need the interpretive material to go with, and then you need the outreach programs to make sure kids and diverse people come to our parks. Well, I happen to be in a meeting where we were putting together a program to fund the Civil War sites, and between the state parks and the national parks we've got about 80 percent of the Civil War embodied in our parks. I thought it was a great project, but it's not what I came to spend three days to--it's not my principal cause. Well, interesting enough a young black woman came up to me her name is Falona Heidelberg. I remember that 'cause she had called me and I had meant to answer the call but when you get a call from somebody named Falona Heidelberg you wouldn't suspect she was a young black woman who really had something she wanted to talk to you about. She asked me to make a long story short how I felt about the conversation 'cause she said there were seventeen national parks which principally deal with African American themes and because they are small parks, new parks, because they don't have bears and wolves they're not the attraction, they don't get the funding. So we had just allocated a couple of hundred thousand dollars for Civil War, I went back in there and said, "Well how about a program for these seventeen parks?" And she raised her hand and said, "I'd like to work with Director Williams [HistoryMaker Barry Williams] on this," and we looked at each and said, "We expect the same allocation for the national parks" and the group said yes. We started the African American Experience Fund. Our goal is to raise money for those seventeen national parks and historic sites, eighteen if you include the Underground Railroad because quite frankly I couldn't name them all, they're not household names. You would know about the Martin Luther King center [Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, Georgia]. You might know about the Tuskegee Airmen site [Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee, Alabama], you wouldn't know about Nicodemus [Nicodemus National Historic Site, Nicodemus, Kansas], you wouldn't know about Cane River [Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Natchitoches, Louisiana], you wouldn't know about Maggie Walker [Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, Richmond, Virginia], you wouldn't know about Frederick Douglass site [Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Washington, D.C.]. Frederick Douglass is my favorite site.$$Why?$$A black man who went to the White House [Washington, D.C.] in the early 1920s who had a ten thousand volume book collection and a bottle of 1890 Chateau Montagne wine in his house and had a mansion in Anacostia Washington, D.C. which is a slum now as people call it that's where his mansion was. And this has to be reserved, and one of goals is to get the books out of storage into a working collection. But there are lots of these stories that we need to tell African Americans, that we need to tell Americans, that we need to tell children. And one of the interesting discussions I've had was--I can't even remember the name of the picture, but I've always been impressed with Jewish people and how they tell their story and I said, "What's the difference between the Jewish experience and the African American experience?" I don't know if these are the principal differences but the differences that resonated with me is that when you look at the Jewish story and how they've told the story it's not only a story of survival, it's a story of triumph. And I believe if we characterized what we've done, which is an equal story not just of survival but of triumph, it would mean a lot. The other thing Jewish people do is they teach their kids and so that's my focus in this African American Experience Fund to teach the kids.

Dr. Kneeland Youngblood

Physician, businessman, and presidential appointee Dr. Kneeland Youngblood, was born in Galena Park, Texas, on December 13, 1955. At the age of fourteen, Youngblood was working as a page on the floor of the Texas State Legislature; after graduating from high school, he attended Princeton University, earning his B.A. degree in political science in 1978. While at Princeton, Youngblood spent time studying abroad, attending both Warnborough College in Oxford, England, and the University of Stockholm in Sweden from 1976 to 1977. In 1978, only a few months shy of his graduation, Youngblood took part in a sit-in at Nassau Hall with two hundred other students to protest Princeton’s investments in South African businesses, risking the threat of expulsion. Youngblood and the other students were not expelled, and in the autumn of 1978, he began attending the University of Texas Health Science Center, from which he earned his M.D. in 1982. During his studies at the University of Texas, Youngblood traveled to Egypt, where he studied at the Cairo University Medical School.

After earning his M.D., Youngblood moved to New York City, where he held a surgical internship with Columbia University for a year; in 1983, he moved and began his two-year residency in emergency medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. After completing his residency, Youngblood returned to Texas, taking a position as an emergency physician at the Medical Center of Plano, a Dallas suburb. Youngblood remained in Plano until he left the medical profession in 1997, at which time he co-founded and became the managing partner of Pharos Capital Group, LLC., a private equity firm that invests in technology, business services, and health care companies, and manages more than $200 million in investments.

In 1993, Youngblood was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the board of directors of the United States Enrichment Corporation, a government-owned corporation that provided nuclear fuel to countries hoping to utilize nuclear power. Youngblood remained at the United States Enrichment Corporation until 1998, at one point traveling with a delegation to South Africa, where he met with both F.W. DeKlerk and Nelson Mandela. Youngblood's time in South Africa prompted him to write an essay entitled From Sit-In to Soweto, detailing his experiences as a young man protesting South African policies dealing with working with the country. During his tenure with the Clinton Administration, Youngblood was also a part of First Lady Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Task Force.

Youngblood served on the board of directors of numerous corporations and organizations, including the Teacher Retirement System of the State of Texas, an $85 billion pension fund, and the boards of AMR Investments; Starwood Hotels & Lodging, Incorporated; Burger King, Incorporated; and The Gap, Incorporated. Youngblood also served as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Accession Number

A2004.219

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/28/2004

Last Name

Youngblood

Maker Category
Schools

Princeton University

University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center

First Name

Kneeland

Birth City, State, Country

Galena Park

HM ID

YOU03

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Petersburg, Russia

Favorite Quote

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

12/13/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Dallas

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Investment executive and emergency physician Dr. Kneeland Youngblood (1955 - ) worked as an emergency physician in the Dallas area before leaving the medical profession to co-found and become the managing partner of Pharos Capital Group, LLC. In addition to his activities with Pharos Capital Group, Youngblood was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the board of directors of the United States Enrichment Corporation, served as a part of First Lady Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Task Force, and sat on the boards of directors of numerous corporations and organizations.

Employment

Texas House of Representatives

Columbia University

Emory University School of Medicine

Medical Center of Plano

Pharos Capital Group, LLC.

White House

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:6254,59:8056,89:12104,181:26710,391:29491,432:32526,450:32814,455:33966,484:35766,508:39222,580:39726,589:40302,599:41310,630:41958,640:51174,880:55278,984:55638,990:73960,1179:75235,1200:76595,1222:84330,1424:84840,1431:96439,1623:106374,1825:108453,1916:111764,1988:112226,1995:117942,2071:118434,2083:118762,2088:119992,2100:128438,2246:134290,2303:139109,2424:140926,2495:141242,2500:150959,2721:157606,2771:158932,2805:159556,2815:161506,2868:165404,2916:165860,2921:179660,3099$0,0:7800,105:8280,111:9048,121:18980,279:22290,345:24040,369:35616,561:36056,570:52944,809:53736,819:58032,863:64988,1021:65876,1053:67208,1075:69280,1118:71278,1184:79122,1389:79418,1394:79714,1399:86493,1446:88152,1498:93603,1690:94077,1697:99363,1747:109164,1921:111990,1928
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dr. Kneeland Youngblood's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his maternal family's medical careers

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his maternal family's musical connections

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his parents meeting

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood speaks on his father's family and the tradition of hard work

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood describes his childhood neighborhood of Galena Park, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recalls the sights, sounds, and smells of growing up in Galena Park, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his early exposure to government and international affairs

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recalls attending Fidelity Elementary School in Galena Park, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his childhood hobbies

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood his experience in the newly integrated Galena Middle School in Galena Park, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers on his time as a page in the Texas Legislature

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood reflects on his experience in Greece in 1972

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his time at Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his time at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his political activism at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his political activism at Princeton University, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers deciding between a legal or medical career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers entering the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recalls his trip to Egypt in 1981

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recalls attending Christmas Mass at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel in 1981

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recounts his experience as an African American traveling in Egypt

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his career in emergency medicine

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood outlines his transition from medicine to political fundraising

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers his successful fundraiser for U.S. Senator Bill Bradley

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood explains how his political fundraising led to Texas Governor Ann Richards appointing him to her tax policy committee

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers how his time in government prompted his business career

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood explains the challenges facing black-owned businesses

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about serving on the board of directors for the United States Enrichment Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood remembers becoming a board member for American Airlines in Dallas, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood recalls his time on the board of directors of Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about the African American community's lack of access to capital

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood explains the risks and payoffs of private equity

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood describes a business venture he hopes will benefit the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood explains the basics of private equity investing

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dr. Kneegood Youngblood talks about how to succeed in private equity investing

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood speaks about the opportunities for young African Americans in business

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his wife, Dr. Sharon Youngblood, and their children

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his parents' support for his success

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about his interest in supporting political candidates

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood offers advice for those considering a career in finance

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dr. Kneeland Youngblood narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Dr. Kneeland Youngblood outlines his transition from medicine to political fundraising
Dr. Kneeland Youngblood talks about serving on the board of directors for the United States Enrichment Corporation
Transcript
So you were an emergency physician through nineteen what?$$Nineteen eighty-six [1986] to around 1996.$$Okay all right so that's a (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Approximately ten years.$$All right, but you didn't stay, you didn't plan to stay in medicine and you didn't.$$Well I was actually pretty happy you know I was you know married, I have six kids and was on way to you know the big house, the mortgage the you know all the things that, that most professionals get into. But again I got involved in politics 'cause I wanted to give back to the community and I found that very few people of color had been involved in the financial side of politics. And I wanted to make a difference politically and so I focused on the finance part of it. Started with a guy named Bill Bradley who was then a senator out of New Jersey was running for re-election, got to know them, him through a Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey] alumni, organization and said look, I'd like to raise money for you. And if you tell that any politician they're like please sign me up, and so I had the good fortune of hosting for him a fund raiser here in Texas around 1986 and '87 [1987], which was enormously successful and--$$Now Bill Bradley he was a basketball star at Princeton, star in the NBA [National Basketball Association] with the [New York] Knicks and also I mean as a senator from New Jersey, he seemed like a, a pretty strong candidate for the presidency at one point, right?$$Yes, and that was in part precisely the reason why I supported him and, and my colleagues supported him, in that it was an investment in the future. One wanted to get involved and number two wanted to be involved with people who were sensitive. And he was in the middle of the road guy, very thoughtful guy, we knew he had a sensitivity for some of the issues, we had, sort of within the African American community, but, but in the broader American community, and someone who was respected having been a Rhodes Scholar, having been captain of the [1964 Summer] Olympic[s] [Tokyo, Japan] team, won a gold medal, NBA, All-Star, won World Championship twice, again United States senator. This is a guy who had you know broad network of lots of accomplishments and still was very progressive in terms of his thinking. So myself, group of friends we starting raising money for him here originally in Texas, that was very successful. Then you know others raised money for him in Chicago [Illinois], [HistoryMaker] John Rogers [Jr.] having come down, come down to the event we did in, in Dallas [Texas], he then did for him in Chicago. Friends we did for him in New York and again, he became very good friends, he's godfather for one of my kids. But along the way then Ann Richards called said look you're raising all this money for some guy for New Jersey, I wanna run for governor of Texas, will you help me? And Ann Richards is a very charming woman, and, and very savvy, I sat down, met with her and how could I say no. So, you, know I signed up to help her and began to raise money for her to run for governor.$I'd been very successful in fundraising politically and I knew that if I set my mind to it, I also could raise money for myself and for businesses that I was interested in terms of private equity. So I knew you know a couple things I needed to do, I needed to do improve my own personal expertise in business and number two put together a good team of people. On the personal side, again I've been involved in politics and so the president, the United States president, [President William Jefferson] Bill Clinton and the U.S. Senate confirmed me to go on the board of directors of a company we formed in 1993 to supply low-level uranium to utilities around the world, called the United States Enrichment Corporation [Bethesda, Maryland]. Why I wanted to do that was for the experience of being involved in corporate boards and you know being engaged in a very important transaction. We formed this company in 1993 supplied low-level uranium, to utilities around the world. We put together 80 percent of the domestic market, 40 percent of the world market; negotiated to purchase the nuclear weapons grade uranium from the former Soviet Union [Russia] to de-enrich it, sell it to utilities. And then we took it public, we've had $2 billion (unclear) offer so that experience that capital marks experience was very important to my own maturity in terms of business. And yet there are only five people on the board of directors, the original board was a guy named [William] Bill Rainer who was chairman of the board, founded a company by the name of Greenwich Capital [Markets, Inc.], Margaret [H.] Greene was the highest ranking woman at BellSouth [Corporation], Greta [Joy] Dicus who became chairman of [U.S.] Nuclear Regulatory Commission, myself and a guy by the name of Frank Zarb who was former energy secretary [sic.], but also former CEO of Smith Barney, and also former CEO of NASDAQ, so some very important people.

Richmond McCoy

Prominent real estate executive Richmond McCoy was born to a large family in 1954, in upstate New York, and grew up in a rural area where his parents owned a dairy farm. His father also owned several apartment buildings in Harlem, and young Richmond often accompanied him to collect rent, sewing the seeds of his interest in real estate early on. When he was a teenager, McCoy's father died suddenly leaving his mother and his siblings to fend for themselves. After graduating from high school, McCoy left for the West Coast where he sold encyclopedias.

After returning to New York and pursuing sales and other opportunities, McCoy decided to pursue a career in commercial real estate obtaining his license in 1979. In 1984, McCoy embarked on his first entrepreneurial venture when he became one of the founding partners of Richard Sykes & Partners. There, McCoy widened his base of knowledge by doing transactions throughout the United States. In 1991, seeing a possible niche, McCoy set up his own firm, the R.M.C. Group, to provide corporate real estate services to major companies that wanted to work with minority-owned enterprises. By 1993, McCoy's business had expanded and he created the McCoy Realty Group, to provide asset management services to pension funds and large financial institutions such as Pitney-Bowes, Chase Manhattan Bank and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the world's largest privately managed pension fund.

By the mid-1990s McCoy saw a growing need for real estate and institutional asset management in African American communities and the not-for-profit sector. He attempted to fulfill these needs with the founding of UrbanAmerica. As President and chief executive officer, McCoy has seen UrbanAmerica grow tremendously. Some of its projects have included shopping malls in Florida, medical offices in Las Vegas, and police precincts in Maryland.

McCoy is a rising star in black business today having been profiled by Fortune, U.S. News & World Report, Black Enterprise, Time and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, he is the recipient of numerous awards and an honorary degree.

Accession Number

A2001.047

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

3/9/2001

Last Name

McCoy

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Beekman Elementary School

LaGrange Middle School

Arlington High School

Fordham University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Richmond

Birth City, State, Country

Peekskill

HM ID

MCC01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

How do you like me now?

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/27/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Corn

Short Description

Real estate entrepreneur Richmond McCoy (1954 - ) is the founder, president and CEO of UrbanAmerica. The company works in real estate and institutional asset management in African American communities and the not-for-profit sector. Some of its projects have included shopping malls in Florida, medical offices in Las Vegas, and police precincts in Maryland.

Employment

Collier Encyclopedias

Pro-Line

CB Richard Ellis

Richard Sykes & Partners

McCoy Realty Group

UrbanAmerica LP

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richmond McCoy interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richmond McCoy's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richmond McCoy discusses his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richmond McCoy discusses his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richmond McCoy explains how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richmond McCoy lists his siblings and explains his father's choice to move out of the city

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richmond McCoy recalls growing up on a farm in upstate New York

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richmond McCoy shares childhood memories of racism at school

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Richmond McCoy recalls his elementary school years

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Richmond McCoy discusses his father's terminal illness and its effect on the family

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richmond McCoy considers race matters

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richmond McCoy discusses his father's death when he was thirteen

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richmond McCoy remembers father figures in his life after his own father's death

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richmond McCoy describes his interests as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richmond McCoy talks about his middle and high schools, with a tiny black minority

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richmond McCoy meets with success selling encylopedias after high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Richmond McCoy shares lessons in motivation and marketing from his first job in sales

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Richmond McCoy recalls his experience living in Canada

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Richmond McCoy discusses the road to a career in real estate

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Richmond McCoy describes his real estate endeavors

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richmond McCoy discusses the evolution of his business platform and his work for faith-based not-for-profit organizations

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richmond McCoy recounts an instance of racism in the business world

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richmond McCoy discusses the development of his company, UrbanAmerica, L.P.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richmond McCoy considers the success of UrbanAmerica, L.P.

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richmond McCoy discusses factors that contributed to his success

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richmond McCoy describes the need for collaborative business practices among African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richmond McCoy discusses economic development in urban markets

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richmond McCoy expresses his concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richmond McCoy shares his personal philosophy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Richmond McCoy considers his father's response to his success

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Richmond McCoy considers his legacy

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Richmond McCoy discusses his two marriages

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Photo - Richmond McCoy with his two brothers, ca. 1969

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Photo - Richmond McCoy with his mother, father and adopted aunt at the family farm in Poughquag, New York, 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Photo - Richmond McCoy with his daughter in New Jersey, 1980

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Photo - Richmond McCoy in Capetown, South Africa, 1995

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Photo - Richmond McCoy on a spiritual journey in Peru, 1996

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Photo - Richmond McCoy and his wife as he is awarded an honorary doctorate from Destiny Bible College, Tampa, Floria, 1998

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$3

DATitle
Richmond McCoy meets with success selling encylopedias after high school
Richmond McCoy discusses the development of his company, UrbanAmerica, L.P.
Transcript
It's coming time for you to graduate [from Arlington High School, Poughkeepsie, New York]. And so what are your thoughts about what you want to do?$$I didn't really have any. I just wanted to have a good time, was in love with a young lady, who, Italian lady--Italian girl who had moved. That's what was on my mind I remember. But you know, I graduated, within a couple months I moved down to Florida trying to find her. And, went down there, found her. And was dating her for a while. And then one day her father came by my apartment and suggested that it was a good idea if I left town. And, so I did and, ended up going to--getting on a bus to, San Francisco [California]. This was in 1974, it was right around the time that Patty Hearst was abducted. I remember I was out there, had this big Afro and everything. And then I went to (laughs), went to San Francisco. And, didn't know anybody. I had a few hundred dollars in my pocket. Had gotten some phone numbers from some friends and went out there to just see--you know, do something different.$$And so how long did you stay out there?$$About four years.$$Okay. Okay.$$I had--It was a great experience, rented a hotel room, out in Berkeley [California], started looking for a job. Ended up, responding to an ad for, for sales selling door to door encyclopedias, for Collier Encyclopedias. I went in there, they said, "Look we think you could do it." They hired me, trained me and I got totally into it. I started reading all the positive thinking books, Norman Vincent Peale, O, O, Og Mandino, the world's best salesman. I just totally saturated my spirit with salesmanship, and positive attitude and really got into it. And, was a phenom for that company. I did extremely well, for them, sold a lot of encyclopedias. Had people underneath me that I was training. Within a year they gave me the opportunity to, open an office in Canada with myself and another gentleman named Ted Lane who is an Afri--another African-American, they financed us to go up to western Canada in the--in the province of Sas--Saskatchewan and I had the office to open in Saskatoon [Canada] and they gave me, the money to go open an office, and (chuckling) and rent furniture, phones. I put an ad in the paper. Hired, hired about twenty college students to come in, trained them and, worked up there for about eight months, up there doing the marketing of, of the encyclopedias up there in, in Canada. So it was a tremendous experience and I did really well at it. Then we ended up coming back down to the U.S. up to, the northwest and I opened an office in Portland, Oregon. And my associate was in Seattle [Washington]. I did that for about another two years and then decided it was time to come back east. I you know really missed my family. So I ended up, coming back to, to upstate New York.$$Now did you participate at all at--Well it's a little later in the (unclear) culture at Berkeley? You know Berkeley has always been known as being sort of--No you were very business oriented.$$Very business oriented from, from day one was out there. Focused on that and, that's what I did. So I, I, I didn't no.$$Okay. Now , what--You know you knew from a young person that you sort of had a, a sense of hustle. You know, in business.$$Yeah.$$So the market--the sales and marketing was sort of a natural.$$Yes.$John Utendahl and I started talking about creating UrbanAmerica, the investment fund. And John and I had known each other in passing as business leaders in our community, but never really done anything together and really hadn't spoken. We were both in the Fortune [magazine] article together. And through that meeting, we had a luncheon up at the Time-Life Building [New York, New York] with all the people in the article. John and I had a conversation there. He said, "You know we're thinking about creating this fund." I said, "Well so am I!" He said, "Well we ought to get together." So literally that's what happened and, in the fall of 1997, and a year later we started--September of '98 [1998], we started UrbanAmerica. And, so it all kind of--When I look back on it, it was all you know, destiny that kind of you know, unraveled itself. And in making the decision to do--to join John it was a big decision. Because I was giving up my own company, my own name, my own freedom, to do this. But to come in with him and a lot of other you know, well recognized individuals to, do something that was bigger than all of us. And that was I think, a place of maturity for, for my part. And to get back into another corporate structure, which we have and--but to do something very large.$$And so what--tell us about UrbanAmerica and its plans and what you know, sort of a strategic positioning. Because this is the first time that you're part of something where you were ra--you know you actually raised the funds.$$Yes it is. Yeah. UrbanAmerica is, it's the first company of its kind. And that's historic and sad at the same time. It's a celebration and it's like, "Why?" (Laughing). But it's really the first time that, a group of people of color, came together and put together a real estate investment company to acquire institutional real estate in a number of different markets. , to really become the preeminent real estate owner in, in our urban ethnic markets. So the concept was, was once again, to, address the need and take advantage of an opportunity. The need being there is almost a trillion dollars of pent up equity, cash, in debt dollars available from, from financial institutions through the Community Reinvestment Act to put money into low to moderate income communities. In 1997, the Federal Reserve Bank, came up with a new regulation to require an investment category for the banks to put money into these markets. The banks have struggled to find qualified investments. So we created our company to be a vehicle for that. And then the--and then the thus the need we're meeting. The opportunity was there's just really good real estate deals out in these markets that we're comfortable with that we feel we could put together a large portfolio to go forward with. So that was the idea. So we got together a great group of people. Included [Kenneth] Ken Chenault, who was the president of American Express, [Richard D.] Dick Parsons of Time Warner AOL [AOL-Time Warner], [Joseph H.] Joe Flom from the Skadden Arps [Slate Meagher & Flom & Affiliates] law firm, John Utendahl, myself I mean a great group of people. Then we had to put together a terrific corporate board with, with Ed Lewis from Essence, Marcus Alexis from Northwestern University [Evanston, Illinois], the former president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago [Illinois], he's also on the board at Teachers' Insurance [Company], Mario [L.] Baeza, from TCW Capital. Just a great group of people who proved the corporate governments to the activities. We wanted to create a company that looked like the rest of these real estate institutional advisors. It had all the components to it. So we sat out to raise 110 million dollars from financial institutions, to buy a portfolio of properties. So we started, in September of '98 [1998]. --And we've raised sixty million dollars of cash to date. We have soft circles on another fifty at this, this day here, we started buying properties last year beginning in January of 2000. We've bought sixteen properties since then. And we're buying supermarket anchored shopping centers and office buildings that are in these urban markets. 165 million dollars worth of properties and we're we look to be a billion dollar company in five years. So it's been very exciting. We operate quite a bit differently than, I think traditional investors in these markets. We once again have a very aggressive program of putting dollars back into the communities where we invest, and also bringing new goods and services into the market. So over 65% of all the vendors that we hire to work on our properties are minority owned companies that are from those communities. And, we've created over a hundred new jobs in, in the one year that we've been active. And we really see that, continuing to multiply and, and to grow. So we're bringing what's been missing in our m--communities, for many, many years. That's the unencumbered equity. To come in with the cash to do the deals. We control the deals. We hire who we want to hire. We improve the buildings. We increase security and really bring a class a environment into our markets that hasn't been there before.