Crenshaw Chamber Of Commerce

Crenshaw Chamber CEO Michael S. Jones is stepping down after 7 years

By Olu Alemoru, Staff Writer

After seven years at the helm, biotech executive-turned-business consultant Michael S. Jones is stepping down as the president and chief executive officer of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce.
Jones, 56, will make the official announcement Thursday morning at the chamber’s October business meeting to be held at Holman United Methodist Church.
According to Jones, his successor is likely to be business consultant Armen Ross of The Ross Group, Inc.

In a Monday interview with The Wave, Jones said he was leaving to concentrate on a new travel business venture with his language expert wife. He said it was time for a new direction and leadership at the organization.

“I’ve helped to rebuild the business walls of Crenshaw over the last seven years, which had suffered through the economic downturn,” he said. “I’m also really happy that the Expo Line light rail and the upcoming Crenshaw/LAX line will be very good for the area.

He added: “Both will help stay the course of economic development in the corridor and bring a lot of transit-oriented development.”

Jones, who has praised the multi-million dollar transformation of the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza “as a place of opulence,” had a bird’s-eye-view of the Shuttle Endeavour on Saturday from a rooftop at 77th St. and Crenshaw Boulevard.

“It was an amazing sight for the district,” he said.

Born and raised in South Los Angeles — having attended La Cienega Elementary School, Mount Vernon Junior High and Dorsey High School — Jones went on to earn a biology degree at Pacific University in Portland, Ore.

His early professional career included working in Kansas as an executive for the pharmaceutical firm of Burroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline) and as a church pastor.

He later established his own company, Success Management, a business and professional coaching consultancy to help people achieve their goals.

Jones returned to L.A. in 1998 ,and promptly married his high school sweetheart. The Dorsey connection also sees him volunteer as part of a group called Motivated Men, who patrol the school’s halls in suits and ties, helping make sure students get to their classes on time.

Jones’ relationship with the chamber initially came through his role as a manager with the Crenshaw Family YMCA.

“Our services offer a number of benefits — which include business mixers, referrals, new member receptions, guest speakers and political access,” said Jones, who receives a small stipend for his duties.

“The membership includes everyone from micro businesses that work out of their home, entrepreneurs, community organizations, all the way up to big box corporations like Walmart.”

He added: “But, the thing we’re most proud of is called electronic economic development. It’s a term we coined for our new website, It’s been around for about two years, and it’s so powerful in the things it can do. When you go there you are so connected — we’re almost like the Google of Crenshaw.”

Business consultant Michael S. Jones is stepping down as CEO and president of the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce after seven years at the helm. Olu Alemoru/The Los Angeles Wave