Chaz Heath is currently a Junior Executive with From Internship to Ownership. Chaz is a 23 year old that was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He attended Morehouse College for one year, majoring in finance, but opted out due to financial constraints. Chaz, having weighed available options responded to his entrepreneurial urging, in his words “ I believe my future would be better rewarded as an entrepreneur, and after being a part of the work force for a while I now realize that merely being an employee is not fulfilling for me either.”
Chaz and Khari Ogle, the son of the Founder, James Ogle became friends after meeting each other at Morehouse. Knowing of his passion for enterprise Khari recommended Chaz for the FITO program, and he became the first pioneer intern in the program. Chaz explained in earnest; “I was inspired by seeing Khari work as his own boss immediately after college and that motivated me even further to go after entrepreneurship myself.”
Chaz jumped in and is the leading Junior Executive of a community impact project. Chaz is being coached by a team of experienced mentors in the development and construction of a water bottling facility in Dawson, GA. This industrial project plans to provide bottled water for emergency relief, and for the wholesale and retail markets. The project will give a favorable economic boost to the local community. When the factory is up and running it will provide jobs for residents of the city of Dawson, and potentially supply military bases within its immediate service area.
During our interview Chaz was unrestrained while stating how he felt about the From Internship to Ownership initiative. “This opportunity has allowed me to work under the guidance of talented and accomplished professionals in an informal and impactful way.” He paused and appeared to be searching his thoughts, “I probably would never have met or been able to learn about an unfamiliar industry from experts. I get excited about working on the plans we discuss and implementing each milestone hands on.”
We plan to make this project the first of many more successful incubator enterprises as we grow and perfect our “Straight Path” to enterprise method of fielding tomorrow’s business leaders. We believe that at a minimum our program places valuable knowledge and skills in the mind, hearts and contacts in the hands of passionate and ambitious interns. As our interview came to a close Chaz smiled as he shared another point of insight about the program; “I like to listen to my mentors’ ‘war stories’ about challenges they overcame and how to avoid them. It makes me think that sometime in the distant future I might be doing the same thing as a FITO mentor.”
Chaz believes that for anyone looking to become an entrepreneur, the FITO program is a good fit for them “because throughout the process they can prove to themselves that yes, they are capable of doing it.” Chaz believes that “this initiative can take young leaders and turn them into big leaders.” The FITO program is certainly an environment where one can flourish and thrive in entrepreneurship. Chaz wants the young and ambitious to know that just going to college and getting a degree is no guaranty of success. He prefers to bet on his own tenacity to carve out a piece of the American pie for himself.
I enjoyed conducting this interview of our first intern and of all the encouraging points Chaz shared I believe the one that will stay with me is his last; “This program allows freedom, they push you to take a leap of faith through hard work and determination, which is a fulfilling experience for me.”
Ms. Nailah Ogle, President
From Internship To Ownership