By Jon G. Mickens
Amidst the many establishments, personalities, characteristics and people in business on La Brea Avenue in Inglewood, there are four men that have one thing in common…Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. On any given day between 64th and Kelso Streets on La Brea, you can find these ‘Gentlemen of the Dove’ at work making life better for the citizens of Inglewood. We all know that on the corner of La Brea and Regent sits a cornerstone in our community – KJLH Radio Station. What we may not know is the many accomplishments of one of its key executives Ron Turner. Turner, a graduate of Gardena High School and USC, has been a long time radio executive in Los Angeles for over 30 years. At the heart of KJLH’s success and engagement within Greater Los Angeles is Turner’s undying drive to serve. In addition, you can find him and his longtime friend Congressman Steven Bradford (who is also a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Gardena HS and CSULB alumni), on the front lines of Los Angeles’ community initiatives. A few blocks south of Turner on Kelso is the Inglewood headquarters for People Helping People Agency headed up by Earnie Sears. In the 1980s, Sears was an All-CIF High School Basketball Player at Inglewood High School. After his Sentinel days, Sears was a four year letterman at Cal Berkeley. These days, Sears is spending his time not too far from where he grew up training and educating a new (and old) generation on the specifics and nuances of financial services and how to reserve and grow one’s wealth. “When I was first introduced to the financial industry over 11 years ago, two thoughts popped into my head, one is that “Why haven’t I heard of this before?” and the second was, “When I open my own office, I’m going to open it in the area that I grew up in, INGLEWOOD!”.
When you head a few blocks north of Sears on Centinela there is a another Sigma Man…Damon Haley. A Los Angeles native, Haley spent his childhood playing at Darby Park and the old Getty Field. He is part owner of Glow + Flow Beauty Supplies (formerly Sol Beauty). “I have always had love for Inglewood. Being a sports marketing professional, I marvel at Mayor Butts’ ability to create deal flow, close deals and elevate the city. Good things are certain to follow and my Sigma brothers support him and the city”, says Haley. A few blocks north of Haley, is Life Style Imports and co-owner Anthony George. George is a UCLA graduate who started off in Watts and later moved to the Baldwin Hills. George, who conducts business in Inglewood and has seen the city’s emergence and seeks to grow and expand with the city states “I’ve always known since I was a little child, that I wanted to own my business, work for myself and the community. That’s why my partner’s and I decided to open a Vehicle Dealer Business Center (AKA Life Style Imports) to help customers gain access to auctions, facilitate vehicle registration and passports, offer mailbox rentals and assist in the formation of S and C corps as well as LLCs”.
It is refreshing to know that boys who grew up in and around the City of Inglewood are returning as men and business influencers to contribute to the city’s economic growth. Often times, our leaders that we develop and cultivate find themselves fleeing the city to bolster other communities and build wealth with others. More importantly, these gentlemen are leveraging education, talent and leadership to strengthen our city. In the spirit of one of Phi Beta Sigma’s National Programs ‘Bigger and Better Business’, these four Sigma Men will be attracting and generating more business to the City of Inglewood. “It seems natural that we not only align ourselves being in close proximity to one another but also to encourage more of our members at large and our sister organization Zeta Phi Beta to support Inglewood as well”, says Turner. “Inglewood has always been a forward thinking city. The leadership has done an excellent job of working with business owners, the community-at-large and being collaborative at every level of government. My business partners look forward to expanding to offer more to the people” says Haley.
Phi Beta Sigma participates in numerous programs and projects centered around its ideals of Brotherhood, Scholarship and Service. For more information on Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity local activities and opportunities, visit https://www.pbschapter.org.