February is Black History Month. While The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce celebrates all our members throughout the year, this month we are shinning a spotlight on our members within the African American community. Join us all month long for our 2nd annual spotlight series. This special feature helps our communities learn a little more about some of their business leaders who work so hard to make it a community to be proud of.
Today, we would like you to get to know Jamaal Wilkins of The Washington Commanders.
Jamaal recently joined the NFL franchise in December 2021 after relocating from Dallas, TX. He quickly adapted to his new role and is making a name for himself within the organization. The Washington DC team announced their new name, The Commanders, On February 2, 2022. As the organization kicks off it’s 90th year it is important to pay tribute to past traditions, legacy, history, and the greats that came before them. The franchise will continue to honor and represent the burgundy and gold while forging a new pathway to a new era in Washington.
We asked Jamaal three important questions. Read his responses below.
Q1. What are some challenges you faced early on that helped prepare you for the role you are in today and how did you overcome them?
I struggled with a speech impediment at a young age and had to learn how to slow down when speaking and annunciate my words. Fast forward to the start of my career in Inside Sales (Minor League Baseball), the best advice I received was to speak less and listen more. Listening to understand over hearing to respond has resulted in forming genuine relationships in both my professional and personal world.
Q2. Who/What is your biggest inspiration in both your personal and professional life?
My biggest inspirations are my family especially my parents – understanding what they’ve done to get me to this point. I will not rest until I can give it all back, and then some more. Also, Reggie Johnson, Head of Stellar USA NFL – my cousin who is a certified sports agent; most notable client: Jameis Winston. He set the tone in the professional sports & entertainment world within my family, so I go to him for any advice and/or insight.
Q3. What is your biggest piece of advice to businesses struggling with diversity and inclusivity in the workplace?
As a wise person once said: “If you’re the smartest in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” I encourage all businesses struggling with diversity, equality, and inclusivity to self-evaluate the following: Does everyone in the room look like you? Is the candidate best suited for the job the actual best, or just who you know? I believe that to be the best, you must hire the best, and fill the room with people who have different backgrounds, to do so.
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