San Marino, California – On July 21, 2016 Philanthropist, Entrepreneur and Filmmaker Baron Jay LittletonJr. Baron Jay Foundation., was nominated and won the “Rising Entrepreneur Star” Award at The Inaugural Los Angeles Black Business Leaders Hall of Fame Event presented by Hart Leadership Center and City National Bank. Ms. Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and the current Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation was the Keynote Speaker.
The purpose of the event is to honor the achievements of men and women in the black business community in Los Angeles who have dedicated their lives to the advancement and realization of equality in all industries. Hall of Fame Categories include:
1. Excellence in Community & Philanthropy
2. Perseverance & Sustainability
3. Biddy Mason Business of the Year
4. Ruby Bridges Pioneer in Education
5. Entertainment, Innovation & Technology
6. Entrepreneurial Rising Stars
The Entrepreneurial Rising Stars are businesses that have demonstrated hard work and determination as they pursue success; show a great potential for growth; think outside the box; and, understand the need to make the world around us a better place, as demonstrated by social responsibility actions.
Baron Jay Foundation (BJF) is proud of all their programs but one in particular is the Filmmaker program which helps students get job-shadowing opportunities in independent movies, TV shows, paid/nonpaid internships and Lunch and Learns with Entertainment Industry Executives at their corporate offices. Students recently had a chance to do a “Lunch and Learn” with entertainment executives Steve Mnuchin and Joseph Woolf at the One West Bank corporate office in Santa Monica which was set up by Joseph Otting. Steve Mnuchin of Dunes Entertainment has co-financed films for Warner Brothers & 20th Century Fox. They taught the students how banks finance films. BJF has a partnership pipeline with Western Golf Association (WGA) based in Chicago, Illinois that sends over 200 Evan Scholar Golf Caddies to college each year. Baron Jay is one of 9,000 alumni of the (WGA) golf caddy program. Baron said, “You’d be surprised at the great alumni of this program. Jim Baackes, CEO of LA Care (the largest healthcare provider in the United States) and Peter Pampusch the Curriculum Coordinator at USC School of Cinematic Arts are my friends and both are alumni of the WGA Evans Caddy Scholarship. Pampusch said, “Any of your students that want to get into USC please send them my way because USC is seeking a big diversity push.”
Baron just began raising capital for BJL Film Partners, LLC. The purpose of the film fund is to produce 15 minority diverse films over 5 years in the budget range of 5 million to 15 million with a co-production/finance deal with a studio. The capital debt summary is 10 million in equity, 10 million mezzanine financing, 30 million revolver credit facility from a bank and recycled cash will fund approximately 66% of the capital needs. He plans to have three students as paid interns working in each department in a set/production office so they can learn from experts. Baron says, “The greatest minds and most talented people in history…Aristotle, Socrates, Alexander Graham Bell, existed before there was college. They learned from the world around them. They knew that information doesn’t belong to any one person or organization. Many of them studied through apprenticeship. They found someone better than themselves at what they wanted to do and learned from them. This mindset still works today but somehow it has become a lost art of humility and discipline.”
When asked what’s new on his plate Baron Jay replied, “Of course the film fund and secondly Baron Jay Foundation is in the planning stages of implementing ‘Riches to Wealth’ financial literacy blueprint program for student athletes in middle schools, high schools and college athletes. The focus is athletes but the information is useful for everyone. Just like basketball shoes are for the court but people wear them off the court as well. This is something that I need to do because I was an athlete in high school. I worked around professional athletes while in high school and college as a Batboy for Major League Baseball. I met and built great relationships with the likes of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr, Tim Salmon, Frank Thomas and many others. All of them supported me emotionally when I was a walk-on at Michigan State University for the Spartans football team under legendary coach Nick Saban. That reminds me for my to-do list, I need to reach back out to Junior Bridgeman who is the fourth wealthiest retired athlete. I spoke to him and sent him a blue print of my idea because I would like to get his opinion and to be ambassador of the program.”
BY LARRY BUFORD
For more information on the Hart Leadership Center go to www.hartleadership.com.