Spartan alumni can often be found rising to the occasion to accomplish remarkable impacts and influencing positive change within Michigan’s business communities. Such hard work does not go unrecognized, as many receive awards for their achievements and proudly represent Broad College excellence.
Jim Roberts (MBA ’96) has shown a tremendous amount of dedication to sustain his successful management consulting company, Jim Roberts Enterprises LLC, and continues to be an inspiration to people of color in business.
Roberts has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Business of the Year award and the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s Minority-Owned Sustainable Business Award, both in 2019. In December, Roberts was selected as an honoree for the Best of MichBusiness 2020 for the small business category.
Receiving these awards and recognitions helps him be a role model and inspire others. “I believe people of color need different types of role models,” he said. “Typically, the role models are athletes or entertainers. We need to showcase business leaders, corporate executives, nonprofit executives, artists, politicians and others so our youth can see they have many choices … to pursue in their lifetime.”
Most recently, the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council, a nonprofit organization promoting the economic growth of its corporate members and the minority-owned businesses that serve them, held its annual ACE Awards, in which Roberts’s company was selected as the Supplier of the Year — Class I for the third time.
“Winning the Supplier of the Year award three times is an honor. I have put a lot of effort into making my companies successful,” Roberts said. “The awards help to validate that I am achieving my goals, and maybe it will help to inspire others to follow the same path.”
Outside of his consulting company, Roberts is also the CEO of Jim Roberts Investment Advisors LLC, a registered investment advisory company, and co-owner of Lake Company LLC, a commercial real estate company. Along with his businesses, his passion lies in helping others — especially as small business owners navigate COVID-19 — by supporting opportunities and serving as a mentor.
Roberts explained his passion for helping others with a quote from Sally Ride: “‘Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs. You can’t be what you can’t see.’ This applies to people of color as well,” he said. “The awards [that recognize minority small business leaders] help to elevate people of color so they can be role models for future generations.”
Broad alumni like Roberts embody the spirit of Spartans Will. Their determination to strive for improvement and ability to challenge conventional standards helps motivate and shape future business leaders.