James Myers Jr. is the Director of Community Affairs and Business Development at Urban Innovaiton21. He is responsible for recruiting and seeking out entrepreneurs who have an interest in starting a business or have an existing business looking to expand. Along with connecting companies to business resources, he engages with the community around public policy issues while working in collaboration with community based organizations to gain a better understanding of the concerns of residents in Pittsburgh’s underserved communities. He leads continuous outreach efforts working in collaboration with Duquesne University Small Business Development Center and various business support organizations to inspire entrepreneurs to bring their ideas to fruition and scale up their business operations. James serves as a presenter for Urban Innovation21 programs at business, education, economic development, and public policy conferences.
James is a Pittsburgh native who currently resides in the neighborhood he grew up in, the Hill District, known for its dynamic history and culture. He is a graduate of Carlow University where he received his bachelor’s degree in business management. During his academic tenure, he was awarded for academic excellence, named to the Dean’s list, and received the Kathleen Wynne Hufnagel Memorial Scholarship in recognition of community projects and uplifting neighborhoods around Pittsburgh. He is a member and recipient UPMC Fellow Scholarship with the National Black MBA Association, Pittsburgh Chapter. He has been a recipient of the NEED/Johnny Gammage Scholarship for developing solutions to barriers between community based organizations and the fraternal order of police. Also, he received the Poise Foundation Scholarship for academic recognition and community affairs.
As a community leader, James serves on several boards that are dedicated to enhancing the economic conditions of Pittsburgh that include the Equal Opportunity Review Commission, McAuley Ministries, Greater Hill District Growth Development Fund, Holy Family Academy Emerging Leaders, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Community Advisory, Thelma Lovette YMCA and an active role with the Eco Innovation District. He is a CORO Pittsburgh graduate and served as a founding member of the Next Leaders for Green Communities. Next Leaders for Green Communities established the inaugural UpHill 5K race for the Greater Hill District in 2011 that is now under the umbrella of State Representative Jake Wheatley’s Health & Wellness Weekend that attracts runners and groups from all across the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. James once was a teacher at the former Urban League of Pittsburgh Charter School, which is now the Urban Academy. He has worked with the Pittsburgh Green Innovators as the Education and Outreach Coordinator to provide information to our youth about renewable energy and green practices. He has served as an advocate with Gtech Strategies for conserving energy campaigns in the communities of Homewood and Hazelwood. James has a professional career path extends to being an educator, advocate, teacher, coordinator, director, and consultant.