The Petersburg Sheriff’s Office believes that re-entry begins when a person first steps into the correctional system. However, after their release, it’s important to make sure that services and resources are available for those same persons to have a successful transition back into the community. Therefore, for the sixth year, Sheriff Vanessa Crawford and the Petersburg Sheriff’s Office sponsored annual Community Re-Entry Forum at Good Shepherd Baptist Church from September 20-21.
The speakers were Tracey Syphax, who shared his life story, and C. J. Meenan, author and educator. Syphax, CEO of Capitol City Contracting Inc. and Phax Group L.L.C., has a unique story of falling from grace and ending up in the prison system before overcoming and becoming a successful businessman. The enterprising CEO was named Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2011, one of the ‘White House Champions of Change’ in 2014, and recently identified as one of the 25 ‘Most Influential African Americans in New Jersey.’ He served time in the prison system as a youth and adult after being involved with drug trafficking and drug use. Syphax says that entrepreneurship was eventually his saving grace.
C.J. Meenan holds an MBA from Babson College and is an educational leader in entrepreneurial thought and action with more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship instruction and business management. He specializes in the areas of opportunity recognition, innovation, and new venture development. As the co-founder of the NFTE, Meenan helped develop the curriculum and launch an entrepreneurship training program that has been implemented at universities throughout the United States. Having trained 5,000+ teens and 1,500+ teachers in the principles of entrepreneurship, he received the Price Babson Fellowship for Entrepreneurship Educators, the youngest educator to receive the award. Meenan has taught and lectured on entrepreneurship at Wharton, Columbia, Stanford, Babson and Georgetown. A highlight of his career was bringing entrepreneurship education programs to India and Great Britain. Since retiring from NFTE, he has continued to focus on supporting entrepreneurs through education & training, such as teaching the Veterans Launching Ventures program at FDU, designed to help veterans launch small businesses. In October of 2014, Meenan co-authored The Beginner’s Guide to Entrepreneurship and co-founded Open for Business Ventures, a multi-platform company that provides entrepreneurship education to teens and adults through a combination of online courses and real-time workshops with specially developed curriculum for print, video instruction, and online entrepreneurial networks.
The Petersburg Sheriff’s Office continues to sponsor events and share resources to enhance the lives of its community. Should you have any questions about this program or any program that the office sponsors, please contact Sheriff Vanessa Crawford at 804-733-2369.