He’s making changes + Big Differences-Meet Isaac
Every Tuesday I feature someone who inspires me. Needless to say I am inspired by so many people, which I think is one really cool thing about this life! We all are so different, and have so many different and unique talents. That’s why we are all so special!
When We moved in to our community here in Nashville, that’s when we met Isaac. He was so kind and friendly- and just genuine. Which I find is a hard quality to find sometimes. Over the course of the last few years, we’ve gotten to know him super well and learn so much about him. He’s been super inspiring to me, and of course I love his style! BUT, He is not only kind and just all around a really cool dude, he’s BRILLIANT! He’s a professor here in Nashville at TSU! He also started this amazing movement called “Conscious Conversation” which has inspired thousands to make a change. He’s also the Co-Founder of The Hub for Urban Entrepreneurship, a Nashville-based social enterprise responsible for supporting minority business owners through initiatives such as Black Entrepreneurship Week! I could keep telling you all about him, but instead of that- I’m going to let him do that! Meet Isaac!
Isaac Y. Addae is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the College of Business at Tennessee State University. From a research perspective, Isaac focuses on traditional and social entrepreneurs and their use of social networks in the process of opportunity recognition. His dissertation, “Illuminating the social entrepreneurship process: A social networks and stakeholder perspective,” examines the role of individual and network characteristics in the formation and growth of social ventures. Isaac has published his work in multiple research outlets, and has presented his research at numerous academic conferences such as the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference. While his teaching efforts are primarily concentrated in strategic management and entrepreneurship, he has also taught courses related to leadership and international business.
With regard to community impact, Isaac is very active in efforts to influence economic development across Nashville’s urban population. He is the creator of the Conscious Conversation community discussion series, an effort that focuses on galvanizing local citizens around common issues. Isaac is a co-founder of The Hub for Urban Entrepreneurship, a Nashville-based social enterprise responsible for supporting minority business owners through initiatives such as Black Entrepreneurship Week. He is also leaving the formation of a community change fund that will drive collective philanthropy in Nashville’s urban communities. From a global perspective, Isaac has been involved in developing schools within rural villages in the West African nation of Ghana through Save the Villages, a nonprofit organization he founded.
Isaac is currently a Management Ph.D. candidate in the School of Business and Management at Morgan State University (Baltimore, MD). He completed a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Systems Engineering at Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN). Prior to his academic career, Isaac spent several years working as an engineer in various Fortune 500 corporations across the automotive, defense and information technology industries. He maintains active involvement in various local, regional and national organizations, including The Equity Alliance, the Social Enterprise Alliance, and Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity, Inc.
As a self-described change agent and social engineer, Isaac is very focused on utilizing his full potential to advance communities of color around the world. He aims to achieve this goal by innovatively integrating his academic and community-based efforts. In his leisure time, Isaac enjoys spending time with his son, running, road cycling, listening to music, connecting people, and dreaming about how to make the world a better place.
What’s your favorite song right now?
This is a tough question because I listen to a lot of music and have tons of favorite songs. I’d have to say that my current most favorite song is “DNA” by Kendrick Lamar. In the chorus, he says, “I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA,” which is a very profound statement that I can connect with on many levels.
What’s your favorite style to wear?
When most people think about me, they probably envision a guy wearing a suit with a bowtie. While that’s my typical professional look, I’m more apt to wear jeans, a t-shirt, Chuck Taylor shoes and a baseball cap. That’s my go-to attire for the times when I’m just being myself.
What’s your guilty pleasure snack-go-to?
I have this unhealthy affliction for soft-baked chocolate chip cookies. As a child, my mother would often buy the Keebler soft batch cookies for my siblings and me. I’d sneak them out of the grocery back on the drive home and would demolish half the package with my younger brother’s assistance. We’re all self-proclaimed cookie monsters.
What’s your MUST-HAVE beauty item that you can’t live with out?
I consider myself to be a hard core techie, so it makes sense that my favorite beauty item would be a technology product. Last year I purchased a Bevel Trimmer. This has to be the coolest thing ever invented for men. The trimmer was developed by a Black-owned company, had Nas (one of my favorite rappers) as a marketing partner, and is a marvel of human engineering.
Who’s the most influential person in your life and why?
Wow, another tough question!! Before I became a father, I would have chosen two people, my parents. But now I’d have to say that my son is my greatest influence. He inspires me to be the greatest version of myself. Whenever I need motivation, I think of the life I want him to have. Watching him grow and evolve over the past six years has changed my view on the meaning of life. Instead of striving to be successful for my own selfish purposes, I now think of success in regard to how it will positively influence his life.
What’s the one thing you want to accomplish that you haven’t yet?
As a type-A person, there are many things I want to accomplish. While I’ve had many achievements, there are still a few things I want to tackle. The most pressing for me is the completion of my doctoral program. I’ve been on the journey toward the PhD for a while now, and I can’t wait for the day when that journey is complete. It will be one of my greatest accomplishments in life because I’ve endured so much along the journey. But I’m still focused on the goal and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What’s your favorite thing in your closet?
Now that’s an easy question. I’m a fan of Converse Chuck Taylor shoes and have several pairs in my closet. By far, my favorite pair are the all black leather ones because they’re super versatile. I can wear them with jeans and a t-shirt, or I can sport them with a casual pair of slacks and a blazer. The really don’t even look like tennis shoes. I’ve even managed to wear them in venues that don’t allow tennis shoes. I’m thinking about getting an all red pair next!
What’s your fave inspirational quote?
“To whom much is given, much is required.” I discovered this quote somewhere between high school and college, and it has been a guiding principle for me ever since then. It comes from the bible verse (Luke 12:48), which states, “…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”