36 Degrees North is excited to announce Kojo Asamoa-Caesar as our new interim executive director. Kojo will serve 36°N by helping us maintain our momentum during the search for a permanent leader. He will step into the position following the departure of current Executive Director Dustin Curzon, whose last day will be Friday, January 25.
As a long-time community leader devoted to Tulsa’s growth and development, we are confident that Kojo will be a great addition to the staff during this transitional period. Previously serving as the founding principal of Greenwood Leadership Academy, he has proven his commitment to human-centered leadership and organizational excellence. We believe his experience synthesizing various community partners will help preserve our mission to connect Tulsa’s entrepreneurs to the workspace, community and resources they need to create long-lasting, impactful businesses.
Next time you’re in the space, make sure to keep an eye out for Kojo and give him a warm welcome. Till then, learn a bit more about him below.
Q&A with Kojo Asamoa-Caesar:
Where are you from and how did you end up in Tulsa?
I was born in Alexandria, Virginia, but lived in Accra, Ghana from age 2 to 10. I attended public schools in Virginia and after law school, I decided I wanted to teach kindergarten and joined Teach for America. I told them I would go wherever the need was highest, and they sent me to Tulsa.
What’re your favorite things to do in your free time?
I love hanging out with my wife, Onikah, and our two dogs, Zazu and Simba. We love watching Netflix and HBO shows like House of Cards, Insecure, and Game of Thrones. I also love reading books on great people and how they became that way, and I've recently fallen in love with playing golf on the weekends and 2K19 when it's too cold outside.
Favorite local restaurants?
Sweet Lisa's, Burn Co, India Palace, and MotherRoad Market
If you were to start your own business, what would it be and why?
It would be a media & edutainment company that would produce uplifting and useful content to help people achieve their highest potential. I believe we're all born with greatness inside of us but the media and content we consume often condition that out of us. I would want to help people tap into their inborn greatness.
Favorite memory of 2019 so far?
Going through this process to become interim executive director. It happened in the most fortuitous of ways and yet as if pre-orchestrated by intelligent design.
What song would you sing at Karaoke Night?
I would definitely sing "Juicy" by The Notorious B.I.G. I learned all the words to that song in 6th grade and to this day, I still rap along with the same level of enthusiasm every time that song comes on. "It was all a dream, I used to read Word Up! magazine...."
If you could splurge a whole paycheck on any store, which store would it be?
It would probably be Barnes & Noble...yeah, I know, boring. But I'm like a kid in a candy shop when I go in there, and I always leave thinking, "man, if I could splurge...."
What are three things you would take with you on a deserted island and why?
My Bible - because my mom will get mad if I don't say this (and perhaps it will increase the likelihood that Jesus will come and save me)
A lifetime's supply of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream - because I couldn't imagine life without it; when I'm stressed that's my dessert of choice (and I imagine I'd be very stressed on this deserted island...see what I did there? no? nvm)
My wedding ring - because the constant reminder that I am loved deeply would be all the motivation I'd need to find my way out of no way off that island and back into the arms of my sweet, sweet love (yes, I know she is going to read this and my brownie points bank is going to be on fleek! no shame in my game)
What characteristics do you most admire in others?
Authenticity - I admire folks who have the courage to keep it real
Humility - I admire folks who don't take themselves too seriously
Kindness - I admire folks who can overlook petty slights and kill with kindness