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Jeff Good, a restaurateur in Jackson, Mississippi, strives to breathe life into a city that is less than flourishing. He leads his businesses with a keen eye on human capital and a core commitment to his community.
Jeff Good's innovation isn't ground-breaking or new, but it is no less meaningful than others. Jeff refuses to leave his city as other businesses flee to the suburbs. Jeff is committed to the renewal of his community. His numerous restaurants employ members of the community and he leads his employees in a way that brings folks from different walks of life together. He and his restaurants are actively involved in the community, even winning an award for "Best Urban Warrior." Jeff's next venture is to launch a Food Hub that will create the infrastructure for local farmers to fuel a farm-to-table economy in Jackson.
Jeff's inspiration starts with a story of his journey through AA years ago. He speaks of the breaking down of the ego and introspection that was a key element to his recovery process. This led to an awakening of the spirit--a call to do. He recognizes his wife as his anchor, a partner that balances him out and keeps his feet on the ground with a realization to finish what he has started. He is inspired by the place he lives. It is a city that has failed to work through racial inequality and towards a positive and growing solution. He feels as if he was called to be a leader stating that, "I am in a needy place, and a small enough place to make a difference. If I were in a bigger place I might not be able to do so."
Jeff's compassion for his people and commitment to his city impacts the area's economy and morale. He is a champion for what is right and he treats all of his employees with respect and sincerity. Jeff's emotional intelligence and commitment to his employees is evident in the choices he makes for his businesses on a daily basis. For example, when faced with economic downturns, Jeff refused to do away with his employee's holiday bonuses in order to increase his bottom line. Decisions like this one impact the community in a positive way. People are treated with dignity and the ripple effect impacts not only his employees and their families, but the community at large.
Jeff's commitment to the people of his community benefits his business. Many of his customers choose to eat at his restaurants because they want to support their local businesses. They feel like he and his management are good people and they want to support the pro-business local guys. "Somebody needs to be the person who is the standard bearer who says this is the place to be. Our brand is that we are champions. There is a positive motivation for people who live in our town. 'Let’s go there, those guys are so nice. Let’s support those guys.'"
Staying in Jackson and honoring employees and customers alike builds community. Jeff's commitment to doing the right thing has an impact on his city. People look to him as a business leader. “It’s a series of small things that adds up to caring."
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Jeff Good, Managing Partner