The Boulder Thesis (derived by Brad Feld when he transformed Boulder, CO into a vibrant startup community) has four key principal components: (1) Entrepreneurs must lead the startup community, (2) The leaders must have a long-term commitment, (3) The startup community must be inclusive of anyone who wants to participate in it, and (4) The startup community must have continual activities that engage the entire entrepreneurial stack.
Our panel will discuss these components and expand on how and why they feel Atlantic City could be a vibrant startup community in the future. They will also discuss ideas for social entrepreneurship that are currently in the works or where gaps currently lie that could be filled by social impact ventures.
Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce
Jimmy Whitehead was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1978. Between 1979 and 1984 Mr. Whitehead served in numerous Executive Federal Government positions, with primary focus on domestic and international business development., Mr. Whitehead managed a variety of legislative and administrative activities for United States Congressman Jack Kemp, Senator Phil Gramm and Senator John W. Warner. Mr. Whitehead served in various White House Schedule C and SES appointments for President Ronald Reagan, President George H. W. Bush, and as Director of the Republican National Committee’s Small Business Council reporting to Chairman Lee Atwater.
As the former Deputy Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Minority Economic Impact, Mr. Whitehead directed and managed Secretary Admiral James Watkins $250 million-dollar Minority Banking Program to support the White House Rebuild LA effort after the 1992 riots. These funds were provided from the U.S DOE Petroleum Violation Escrow Account, and were not tax payers’ dollars. Most recently Mr. Whitehead provided Post-Sandy Hurricane Minority Outreach support in Atlantic City, NJ through the efforts of the Community Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), and ran for Mayor of Atlantic City focused on creating 5000 new RX5 Cyber Security Jobs.
After receiving a September 2017 call from US HUD to help with Irma-Maria hurricane emergency disaster recovery, Mr. Whitehead Co-Founded US-HART as a Private Sector Initiative P3 platform, to allow private investment to expedite resilient affordable “smart” community recovery, provide local diversity workforce training, as well as RX5 Safe Waste Solutions (SWS).
Michael Chait was named President of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber in January of 2020. As an Atlantic City native, Michael is honored to lead an organization that serves as the area’s unified voice for the business community to foster economic vitality and a higher quality of life in our region.
Prior to joining the Greater Atlantic City Chamber in 2017, Chait spent three years as the director of marketing for The Press of Atlantic City, three years as the assistant director of marketing, communications and events for the City of Cape May, and eight years as the corporate advertising and sponsorship manager at Boardwalk Hall and the Atlantic City Convention Center. With more than 15 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and events, Chait has facilitated the execution of diverse events, strategic planning, and marketing programs for businesses of all sizes and nonprofits.
Chait serves on numerous boards and committees including the Atlantic County Workforce Development Board, Atlantic City Restart and Recovery Committee, Atlantic City Policy Group, Atlantic City Executive Council, Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT) at Stockton University, and the Air Mallen Foundation.
Michael holds a BA in business communications from Marietta College where he was a member of the school's rowing team. In 2016 Michael was recognized as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Atlantic City Weekly.
Michael is married to his wife Kimberly of 12 years and they have two children together, Elizabeth (10) and Michael (7).
Startup Grind Atlantic City
Startup Grind Atlantic City