Looking Forward: Unlocking the Power of Diversity
For over a decade, Susan Jackson-Lee has been a driving force at MOI, leading sales, marketing, and business development. During this time, she had the unique opportunity to deeply analyze our business strategies, market approach, and identify areas where we were falling short. Her insights were particularly valuable in harnessing the power of cultural diversity and promoting inclusivity.
Susan’s long-time connection, Detra Neal, MOI’s valued manufacturing partner, initiated a collaboration between the MOI team and LaRian Finney from The Finn Group. Together, they embarked on the ambitious mission of renovating and revitalizing Thurgood Marshall’s former elementary school, PS 103, situated in the heart of West Baltimore, an area where redevelopment has not been at the forefront. The goal is to inspire the youth in the community to pursue careers in STEM, law, and entrepreneurship. The rejuvenated school will serve as a hub for youth development, housing health centers, career training facilities, and exposure to STEM education to support the youth of today and tomorrow.
LaRian Finney introduced our team to Rev. Dr. Alvin C. Hathaway, Jr. of Beloved Community Services Corporation, an organization focused on the restoration and rehabilitation of historic sites in Baltimore. To preserve the historical integrity of PS 103, the MOI team collaborated closely with Dr. Hathaway and Dale Glenwood Green, an accomplished architect specializing in historic preservation. Green’s expertise extends to leading one of the oldest African-American architectural firms in the Baltimore and DC area. In addition, he holds a professorship in architecture and historic preservation at Morgan State University, a prestigious Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Maryland.
Detra Neal, LaRian Finney, Dr. Hathaway, Susan, and her team refer to this as “feel good” business – work that leaves a positive impact on the lives of others, both in the present and for generations to come. With the “feel good” mission gaining momentum, Susan established a deep bond with Shauna Stallworth, an African-American architect, and the owner of LUHF Branded Environments. Their mutual commitment to unlocking the power of diversity resulted in Shauna becoming a part of the team, contributing her design expertise and perspective to the diverse clientele the team serves.
As the mother of three young African-American individuals, Susan is acutely aware of the significance of illustrating that boundless possibilities exist. One of her daughters has successfully overcome neurodiverse hurdles and is currently teaching third graders, while her other daughter is excelling as a minority in the STEM field.
Recently, Susan has attained certification as a life coach and is dedicated to mentoring young African-American male athletes as they transition from school to the workforce. Her motivation for this endeavor stems from her son, and her profound desire to impart the belief that boundless opportunities are within her children’s reach. She strives to ensure they recognize that anything is possible and that celebrating their uniqueness is incredibly important.
As one of the few women of color holding a leadership position in the commercial real estate industry, Susan is passionately dedicated to fostering inclusivity and providing support for others in their pursuit for representation and success. In every aspect of her life, she firmly believes in the importance of celebrating differences and ensuring that every voice is heard. Her unwavering dedication to diversity and empowerment serves as a beacon, illuminating the path for a brighter, more inclusive future for MOI, our communities, and the world.