JBJ Management leverages relationships to connect the North Texas (Video) – Dallas Business Journal – Dallas Business Journal

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JBJ Management was honored in the Dallas Business Journal’s first Leaders in Diversity Awards. Winners were honored at a virtual event on March 4.
JBJ Management’s business model is based on connections, and the company has leveraged its relationships with local leaders to give businesses a leg up since its founding in 1995.
The company, which has done an estimated $2.5 billion in client work since its inception and has offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Oakland, is a public affairs firm specializing in business-to-government community engagement. The company said it was founded “on the intersection of community access, community knowledge and a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Inside its ranks, JBJ has 27 employees — some from outside of the United States, some multilingual and all representing a spectrum of age, race, ethnicity and gender.
“The reason that is significant is because that’s what Dallas-Fort Worth looks like,” said CEO and founder Willis Johnson. “When you go to Klyde Warren Park, you see a little of everybody — you see Indian, you see Asian. You see African American; you see white; you see Hispanic. Well, that’s what our firm looks like. That’s why it’s a direction of ours as a company to be a company of diversity.”
Click here for a video interview with this honoree.
Because the company reflects and connects with different subsets of the North Texas population, they were able to work with Parkland and UT Southwestern to ensure everyone in North Texas has accurate information on COVID-19 testing and the vaccine.
The country’s history of experimental medicine without consent has created a disconnect and lack of trust around Black North Texans’ medical issues, Johnson said. JBJ has used community institutions such as churches to spread information about the vaccine.
“When the pastor says ‘this is alright,’ obviously that helps. But it’s not just the pastor, it’s the guy who’s at the local garage. It’s the guy who is at the local restaurant,” he said. “Some of those places where people know those people in their neighborhoods, that see them take the rapid test or take the vaccine and nothing (bad) happens. Then there’s a comfort level.”
More community work was needed in 2020 for the U.S. Census. Problems caused by COVID-19 compounded the growing pains of the first online Census and the uncertainty for non-citizens spurred by Trump administration legal action.
“There was always this pushback from several communities because of immigration laws or because of this concern about who is this, and will I fill out a document. Then there was the digital divide, and that made it even more difficult,” he said.
The JBJ team utilized QR Codes and Wi-Fi hot spots to make the digital survey more accessible and partnered with community organizations and recreation centers to reach different neighborhoods.
One thing that coronavirus pandemic has put on hold for JBJ Management is their quarterly business to business opportunity luncheon. Before COVID-19, the luncheon would host small firms, large corporations and local officials for lunch to create relationships without the pressures of request for proposals or official contracts.
The luncheons will continue once the conditions are permitting, because like everything else for JBJ, relationships are vital to cultivate.
“People do business with people they like. The only way you can like someone is to get to know someone,” Johnson said. “There’s been such a division in Dallas for so long that we wanted to start to break that barrier down.”
Celebrate leaders for their remarkable work in promoting practices that advance diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and throughout the community.
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