Name: Cleveland Spears, III

Neighborhood: Vista Park

Profession: President & CEO, Spears Group

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Cleveland Spears 

Describe what you love about what you do. I love being an entrepreneur and leader that creates opportunities for young people, particularly young people of color. We use our company to nurture good ideas and business concepts that bring people together.

Why New Orleans? New Orleans is my hometown. I wouldn’t want to do what I do anywhere else. The best thing about doing it here is I get to hopefully inspire other Black kids to show them what is possible.

Describe what you see as our future. That we lean in on equity in order to create a more equitable city for all. That will create an environment for everyone to do better. This would help all that ails us—poverty, crime, education, and health outcomes.

What lessons will you take with you from the pandemic? This experience has reinforced things I already believed in—mental fortitude, tenacity, and most importantly, in the face of extraordinary adversity, true leaders shine brightest.

Describe your personal work style in three words: Trust the Process.

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Cleveland Spears

Favorite restaurant: Meril

Favorite food and where to get it: Fried Chicken at the National Fried Chicken Festival

Best book you've read in the past year: Relentless by Tim S. Grover

Name a necessary extravagance: Nice hotels, 4 stars or better

Local business you’ve supported during pandemic: Backatown Coffee Parlor

Interviews have been edited and condensed.

This article appeared in the September 2020 Issue of Adore Magazine.