Keynote Speaker: Jerome Fowlkes
Jerome Fowlkes is currently the Managing Member and Franchisee for Cut & Style of Broadlands, a Great Clips franchisee in Ashburn, VA. He has owned and operated that salon since 2007 and at times also owned a second salon which he subsequently sold. Working evenings and weekends only, Mr. Fowlkes has tripled Cut & Style's revenue and customer count, leading to satisfactory income performance. Mr. Fowlkes has also won national awards from the franchisor for marketing and operations. Mr. Fowlkes also serves as the President of the Washington, DC Co-Op of Great Clips franchisees.
In addition to being a franchisee, Mr. Fowlkes works full time as an employee of the federal government at the Farm Credit Administration. He serves as the Associate Director in the Office of Regulatory Policy and is in charge of the Credit and Mission Team charged with developing banking policy for the Farm Credit System.
Mr. Fowlkes has held several positions in his career including Financial Analyst and Venture Portfolio Manager at the Small Business Administration's Office of Liquidation; Director and Investment Banker at BIA Capital Strategies; Vice President and Telecom Consulting Practice Manager at BIA Financial Network; Deputy Division Chief of the Auctions Division of the Federal Communications Commission; and Vice President and Commercial Lender at predecessors to Bank of America and SunTrust. During that time Mr. Fowlkes has worked with diversity issues in both his professional and personal life.
In his professional life, Mr. Fowlkes has served on the Advisory Board for the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council. He has supervised government programs responsible for expanding diversity in the telecommunications industry. Mr. Fowlkes has served as a subject matter expert on the issue of financing for minority entrepreneurs in the telecommunications in hearings before the Federal Communications Commission.
Jerome Fowlkes is a 1988 graduate of Virginia Tech's Pamplin College of Business with a Bachelor's degree in Business and a major in Finance. He subsequently received his MBA from the College of William and Mary in 2001. He is currently enrolled at the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Wharton and also the Agriculture Lending Institute at California State University, Fresno.
Mr. Fowlkes is currently a member of the Virginia Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is also the Co-Chair of a group of concerned Black Alumni that are planning the 2013 Black Alumni Summit to discuss ways that alumni can increase minority admissions and alumni engagement with Virginia Tech. Mr. Fowlkes is also a member of the Pamplin College of Business Alumni Advisory Council. On that Council, he works on the subcommittee that addresses minority recruitment and retention on campus. Mr. Fowlkes was formerly a member of the Virginia Tech Multicultural Alumni Board of Directors. He also is a Founding Member and a former Chair of the Black Cultural Center Alumni Advisory Board. During that time the Black Cultural Center Board initiated a scholarship for students and began a speaker series to bring alumni back to campus for networking and information sharing events.