The 2-day Dialogue brings together professionals who will advance the SMART Islands Agenda and mobilize and activate new partnerships among civil society, the private and public sector for systems transformation. The Forum will explore policy options for improved system efficiencies; gain industry and business insights; identify investment partners; network and discover solutions to Food-Energy-Water Nexus challenges.
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Evens Charles is the founder and managing principal of Frontier Development & Hospitality Group LLC. A native of Washington, D.C, Mr. Charles attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was a Big East Conference Division I football athlete. During his five-year athletic tenure at Temple University, he earned a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Education. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Charles was inspired by his landlord and began investing in real estate, which lead him to start Frontier. At the age of 25, he executed his first small transaction that required an out-of-pocket investment of $1,000 resulting in a $25K profit six months later. This transaction was the catalyst that catapulted Mr. Charles into real estate investing. More than 75 transactions later, Mr. Charles, at the age of 36, had led Frontier to its first hotel investment. The firm has since grown to over a $200MM hotel portfolio of Marriott, Hilton & IHG hotels in urban and secondary markets such as Nashville, TN, Atlanta, GA, Columbus, OH as well as the Washington, D.C and Baltimore, MD metro areas.
His accomplishments have been recognized with the 2009 Hotel Owner of the Year Award; The 2016 Deal of Year Award for the DoubleTree by Hilton Largo, MD, presented by the National Alliance of African-American Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers; the 2010 Next Generation of Business Leaders Award presented by the Urban Philly Professional Network; 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by the National Alliance of Marketing Directors; the 2010 Outstanding Hotelier Award presented by the Asian American Hotel Owners Association and the 10 People Under 40 to Watch in 2010 awarded by the Philadelphia Tribune Magazine. He has been featured in various publications including the Hotel Business Magazine, Philadelphia Tribune, Lodging Magazine, Savoy Professional and the Minority Business Entrepreneur Magazine. He is also a member of Temple University’s School of Hospitality & Tourism Board of Visitors, member of the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), as well as industry organizations such as the National Alliance of African American Hotel Owners and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.