Age: 30, Director of Economic Development
Greater Jamaica Development Corp., Queens, N.Y.
With a bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida A&M University and a master’s in sports management from Adelphi University, Justin K. Rodgers intended to work with a professional sports league. Instead, his path led to Greater Jamaica Development Corp., where he is the director of economic development, charged with promoting economic and development in downtown Jamaica, Queens. His projects include working with local subcontractors on construction of a $100 million IMAX infrastructure, securing funding for Signature Park and serving as an adviser on construction of a 200-room Marriott Courtyard hotel.
A native New Yorker, Rodgers has a deep-rooted sense of community. “Projects that I am working on will create thousands of employment opportunities and raise the overall quality of life,” he says.
Rodgers serves as financial secretary of the United Black Men of Queens County Inc., chief financial officer of the United Black Men of Queens County Inc. Foundation and on the board of directors for the Jamaica NAACP Day Care Center. He mentors high-school and college students and participates in career days at various schools. He believes that his strong work ethic has been invaluable in the corporate world. “While others might wait until the next day to finish a project, I usually won’t leave until it is complete,” he notes, adding that his ability to work with everyone is equally valuable. “I work with everyone, from the president down to the person that sweeps the floor. “Sometimes, if you sit back and just listen to people, you are able to learn and create ideas / solutions to issues,” he says.
Rodgers has entrepreneurial plans and is particularly interested in development. He has also invested in real estate and expects to soon increase his holdings.
Dish you cook best: Grilled chicken
What actor should play you in a movie: LL Cool J
First car: Mitsubishi Gallant
Favorite sports team: Yankees
Favorite charity: Salvation Army