One of the newest addition to the PYB board, Mr. James Thompson provides a very intuitive perspective on serving the youth, and building communities around them. Born and raised in New York City, a mecca for basketball, Thompson cites his great experience playing basketball at the park with, “park legends”; as a great social capital foundation. Thompson started working professionally at the very young age of 16 interning for a record label, promoting concerts and artists to the local area, slowly building a business profile that served him well throughout his life.
Thompson attended Temple University dual majoring in marketing, and human resources administration. After college Thompson continued with his musical background and created his own entertainment company. After a short stint, there Thompson took his talents to the financial services sector/private wealth management space where he’s been working for the last 21 years.
Currently working for Bernstein Private Wealth Management, a unit of AllianceBernstein L.P., Thompson was recently appointed Head of Diverse Markets Strategy. The position is the firm’s first-ever wealth management business development role dedicated to diversity, inclusion and the multicultural marketplace, a role that Mr. Thompson is very proud to call his own. Explained by Thompson, “Building relationships, and extending advice and our great work to multicultural, and diverse markets— while offering resources to help communities grow will be mutually beneficial to all parties.”
Connection with the youth:
From a very young age, Thompson has used the skills/street knowledge from his New York basketball experience, and apply them to the work he does today. When attempting to connect with the youth Thompson explains it is important to relate to kids in an organic way, “meet that person where they are. For many of the youth, the best way of doing that is to connect through the game of basketball.”
A facility that PYB could call home is Thompson’s main goal at PYB. Creating a safe space for kids with a challenged background would do wonders to impact, and positively affect the lives of many. Thompson also believes it is crucial for PYB to be data-driven, offering technical and fundamental insight to critique and measure practice and measures for donors and PYB.
Motto to live by:
“Without commitment, you’ll never start. Without consistency, you’ll never finish” – Denzel Washington
Mr. Thompson has two kids playing basketball in the Philadelphia area while living vicariously through their basketball careers. His son is currently an incoming freshman at Cheltenham high school, training hard to compete for a spot on the team, and his daughter is playing AAU basketball with Philly Triple Threat. His wife is a nurse at Temple University Hospital.
NBA player with a similar game:
Anthony Mason who was a very effective “power point guard.” Likes to play the game “violently.” Also, a big fan of Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley.