Jeff Aguy spent his earliest years in a small village in Haiti. "We didn't have running water or flushable toilets. In fact, we were lucky if the electricity came on for a few hours a day," says Aguy. "Innovation was not a buzzword used by business people; it was the difference between life and death."
These childhood experience gave him a deep sense of purpose, love for community, and passion for solving complex problems.
At 21, Aguy became the youngest CEO of a strategic planning firm in the United States in 2012. He has served in a number of leadership roles, chairing boards and steering committees, directing student research at his alma mater, and serving as executive director for a business development nonprofit. Most recently he served as the vice president and economic development chair for the Minneapolis NAACP.
Aguy is a co-founder for NCXT, a design and technology modernization firm serving mid- to large-size companies, managing partner of his family’s small business investment arm Aguy Innovation Group, and manages programs at Lunar Startups, a new model for startup incubation that specializes in growth, connection and innovation for women, people of color and other high-potential entrepreneurs.
Education: Bachelor of Science in industrial-organizational psychology with an emphasis in data analytics from Oakwood University, Master of Arts in leadership, creativity and innovation from Andrews University; Six-Sigma Black Belt certification from The Management & Strategy Institute, and graduate research experience with Harvard and Florida Hospital Innovation Labs.
Interests: Jeff is a creative writer and enjoys having a good time surrounded by family and friends.
Community engagement: former vice president & economic development chair of Minneapolis NAACP, former active member of the Environmental Justice Coordinating Committee, former board member of Village Credit Union, former Youth Director of Minneapolis First Seventh-day Adventist Church, former executive director of Let’s Bridge The Gap
Favorite metro Mississippi River location: "My favorite location at the Mississippi River is the Upper Harbor Terminal. For me it represents the best failures of human kind trying to use the water solely for their own benefit but the ripest example of the possibility our future holds. And yet right there the majesty of the river shines through like a ray of light in the darkness."
Conservation and environmental heroes: "This one may seem odd to most environmentalists but Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman used her knowledge of nature and the environment to guide more than 300 enslaved Africans to freedom."
Why he serves on the FMR Board: "I believe strongly in the equity efforts of FMR. For too long we have seen a homogeneous effort on conservation and environmental prosperity while ignoring the peoples who suffer most from the negative impacts of pollution and other man-made environmental issues."
Favorite quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou