Jason Gold, President
How do you define success for yourself?
I define success for myself by obtaining desirable and favorable outcomes for the people I serve both personally and professionally.
Do you have a favorite podcast, TED Talk, blog, book/author that inspires you professionally?
Igniting your life by John McCabe and The Autobiography of Malcolm X
What’s an example of how failure in your life resulted in something great?
I failed at marriage and divorced my wife in 2006 with one child at the time. We remarried in 2010 and have been blessed with five healthy children. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” Napoleon Hill
Wow, that’s a big family! Tell me about them.
I am married to a creative genius named after Maya Angelou. We have five children:
Jason, our oldest enjoys creating, reading, skateboarding and basketball.
Olivia our only daughter is an actress in the making!
Jackson and Jamison, our middle sons, who aren’t twins but definitely partners in fun. Jackson is excitable and a maker, give him scraps and he’ll produce a treasure. Jamison is witty, fiery and competitive.
Jacob, the baby, is a bundle of joy and excitement, following expediently in the footsteps of his siblings.
What expertise or passion do you contribute to GEM?
My expertise is adverse childhood experiences and safety. My passion is supporting people in need. I am a product of historical trauma/inter-generational trauma, my great (5) grandfather was a slave in Arkansas and he was branded with a smoothing iron on his chest to create a distinction between the two Jim Lewis’ on the plantation. I was exposed to abuse, neglect and dysfunction at an early age. The adverse experiences have manifested in my growth and development as a child and well into my adulthood.
How has your education and career experience prepared you to be an ACE (Advocate, Consultant and Educator) for the GEM Group?
I went to Central Michigan University on an athletic scholarship. I learned a lot about putting the team’s success before my own and even more about performing under pressure. I served as a police officer in several capacities ranging from patrol to detective so I understand the challenges affecting historically underserved communities and what happens when nothing is done to address change! After retirement from law enforcement, I entered the education arena and it opened my eyes even more to the direct connection between education and the cycle of poverty and crime. It also ignited a passion to change the future for the next generations...ultimately it’s why I joined forces with my partners to create GEM Advocacy Group.
How would the rest of the GEM team describe you?
Driven, positive and open to feedback. At least I hope they’d say something like that!
What is a current or past challenge that you have overcome or are working to overcome?
I overcame a catastrophic injury to both of my patellar tendons while pursuing an armed robber. As a result, I understand the value and impact of being vulnerable. I learned to accept help and support from others, it was extremely humbling. My personal development has been exponential. I watched Brene Brown’s Netflix special and got on board with the vulnerability movement. I believe vulnerability activates compassion.
What fun fact might others not know about you?
I enjoy watching martial art movies and DIY projects.