Jerome was born and raised in a large extended family in Evanston, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. Today, he still lives in the neighborhood where his family has lived for over one hundred years.
Jerome started his first business at age seventeen and has owned several businesses ever since. He has been an investor, international seminar presenter, network marketer, personal coach, landscaper, retail merchant, lifelong learner, and a twice publicly elected local official on the Board of Education.
He’s had jobs—but as he puts it: “Once you taste freedom it’s hard to go back.”
His objective is to add value to peoples’ lives; make things visible that were not previously seen; and to create artifacts that change the way people live. As a business owner and now author his mission is to bring humanity back into business.
Beyond his “work” Summers is a big believer in young people. Through his past retail enterprises he taught inner city youngsters how to run his business. They were 17 to 23 years old. After two years he would kick them out of the nest so they could go and grow. Several of those young people went on to start and manage their own businesses.
His work with young people has helped to formulate his belief that learning is a process of discovery, and that people are already smart enough to identify solutions which are harmonious with their skills and goals. He doesn’t seek to provide answers. He would rather ask good questions or express his point of view as this usually leads to more than one good answer. He looks for greatness in others and expects more of them than they do of themselves. He challenges people to become better than they are today.
Summers graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Alabama A&M University. He paid his own way through college and was debt free upon completion. He has taken at least one class every six months for over 25 years since college. “The world keeps on turning so I have to keep on learning.”
His faith is also very important to him. He prays every day.
He is a father, grandfather, and all around great guy –and a highly motivational speaker.