From his family’s farm in Lexington, Kentucky to Wall Street, Jim Coleman has delivered stellar results over the last 37 years with Oscar Mayer & Co., Pepsi Cola Company, Altria Corporation, American Express, several entrepreneurial ventures, and several government and quasi government entities including: the New York State Senate, Westchester County Government and the Prince George’s County Maryland Economic Development Corporation.
Jim was raised on his family’s farm, Coleman Crest, which was originally purchased by his great grandfather, James Coleman, on March 27, 1888 after he and his family had tilled the farm as slaves. Jim is the sole owner of Coleman Crest Farm today.
In 2015, Jim was appointed, president & CEO of the Prince George’s County Maryland Economic Development Corporation by Prince George’s Maryland County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III.
Under Jim’s leadership, the corporation’s workforce services division trained and prepared over 71,000 of the county’s residents for new high wage jobs in the county’s private sector. As a result, county residents filled over 20,000 newly created jobs, reducing the county’s unemployment rate from 5.3% to 3.9% and increased the county’s median household income to a record high of $79,184, which is more than $20,000 higher than the nation’s median household income.
Jim connected Prince George’s County based businesses to the international market by facilitating trade missions to China, South Korea, Cuba, Nigeria and South Africa. These trade missions generated a business investment pipeline of over $100 million.
After the passing of his loving wife Cathy, of 37 years, Jim moved his life forward to Lexington Kentucky in August 2020 to restore his heart and Coleman Crest Farm. Jim rapidly restored Coleman Crest Farm into be a hyper growth farming enterprise with three operating divisions including; certified organic crop production, an Incubator for Aspiring Farmers and Agritourism.
On July 19, 2022, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture approved Coleman Crest Farm to be an Official Certified Organic Farming Operation, making Coleman Crest Farm the only African American Owned Farm in the state of Kentucky to be Certified Organic and the 117th African American Farm in the Nation.
To date, Jim has secured successful produce customer relationships with Critchfield Meats, Good Foods, Idle Hour Country Club, Lexington Country Club, Black Soil, Thompson Catering, Ramsey’s Diners and Dudley’s on Short.
Jim has established partnerships with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University to leverage the latest approaches to agriculture management and to leverage the innovative spirit of their students to achieve his long-term vision for Coleman Crest which is to preserve the farm in perpetuity, as a teaching farm for aspiring farmers.
In 2021, Jim established the “Cathy and Jim Coleman Scholarship Endowment Fund”, which is currently valued at $3 Million. The fund is 100% dedicated to providing scholarships for minority students in the University of Kentucky’s College of Agricultural and for students at Howard University, Jim and Cathy’s alma mater.
Jim is a 1983 graduate of Howard University with a B.A. in Economics. He is the author of “Cut the Crap and Close the Gap”, an operating guide for small and large businesses and not for profit organizations. Cut the Crap and Close the Gap was published by Morgan James in 2016 and is available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.
Jim is a certified management training facilitator with Development Dimensions International, the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness and Dale Carnegie. Jim is a 2014 graduate of the World-Wide College of Auctioneering.
Jim is a board member of One World United and Virtuous and the Henry Clay Estate Foundation and Jim is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture.