Vince never accepted that the odds were against him when he found himself at 16, a high school drop out, being raised by a single mother on the tough streets of Chicago’s Southside. The women in his life refused to allow him to fail. And with their support and encouragement Vince earned his GED. He then went on to attend Howard University, obtained a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University.
After college, Vince went on to a successful career including working for legendary Congressman Charlie Rangel and later a senior management role with the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ) before moving on to TD Bank as a community development banker in New York.
In 2005, Vince met the beautiful and talented Shola Lynch, a Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker and a University of Texas Hall of Fame track star. Shola’s latest film on Angela Davis lists Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, along with Jay-Z as producers. Vince and Shola are the proud parents of two young children: Julian and Violet.
Before settling in Harlem, Vince spent three years in post-apartheid Johannesburg, South Africa. It was in South Africa, observing a country wrestle with the pains of its new freedom, that motivated Vince to a life a public service.
In 2007, Vince became chairman of the 125th Street Business Improvement District (BID), where he spent 3 years overseeing the revitalization of one of the world’s most famous thoroughfares – 125th Street.
A year later, Vince led the charge to bring full transparency to the West Harlem Local Development Corporation (WHLDC), the agency set up to oversee over $150 million in community benefits from Columbia’s $6.5 billion campus expansion. Vince’s activism led to a full investigation, which culminated in a settlement with the Attorney General’s Office. In March 2013 the WHLDC, for the first time, began distributing funds to Harlem’s non-profits.
Vince is now leading the effort to secure over $2 billion in contracts to minority, women and local businesses and 7,000 jobs promised in the Columbia expansion. Vince’s motivation is simple: To whom much is given, much is expected.” Vince, in speeches to teenagers, says: “I was given a second chance at 16, and I intend to make sure I exemplify that with hard work we all can make a success of our lives”