Do Right, Do Good…would seem like a cliché comprised of commonality, elements that you have been imbedding in not only yourself but others whom you have discovered value in throughout your walks in life. However mundane the phrase, what has become a one of one is the initiative to express it; at every opportunity given. This description as well as a myriad of others only tips the iceberg of what Jean Alerte personifies when speaking to the magnificent sense of social awareness which lies within. A financier by trade, hustler by spirit, and his story is one of pride in heritage, and the teachings in which he holds so dearly, handed down by working class parents whose guidance and discipline was humbling yet empowering. His penchant for assisting, uplifting, organizing, and inspiring is admirable. His accomplishments which will be detailed are praiseworthy; evident by resounding endorsements by A-Class individuals- his dedication and demeanor, deserves reverence.
I got the opportunity to share a moment with the author, entrepreneur, husband, brother, mentor, and leader at the Latiq Agard Foundation’s'”Urgency of Now” event, where he was, as usual, sharing words of enlightenment; of conviction- and awareness. Learn about his ambition, objectives, humility, and background, as I present to you, a candid interview with the truly esteemed Jean Alerte:
So my brother your Do Right Do Good Movement has really cemented itself as a reputable charitable based initiative, can you talk to us a little about that?
Yes we have been experiencing great success pushing the envelope with our objectives, and overall spreading the cause of individuals doing right, and doing good. We have established a scholarship as well where each year we select a great student to be the recipient of our education award, which will help to further their education at the college level.
Can you give us a little background on yourself for those who are not familiar with Jean Alerte:
That’s a lot (giggles) my background is in marketing and branding. I have also dabbled quite successfully in event planning. I started out managing talented individuals, and ultimately settled on the Public Relations side of things with a concentration in marketing. Over the years the company has grown and we have secured some great accounts.. I am Haitian born, proud son of hard working parents. We moved from Brooklyn when I was 6 years old, out to Deer Park where I finished up Elementary, Junior High, and eventually went on to college at Hofstra. Rough times hit financially and I couldn’t afford to stay at Hofstra so I finished up at Old Westbury. My major was in Finance. I got my start in finance handling mortgages in the real estate sector; I got a great opportunity to work with a gentleman by the name of Rob Flower, with Dynamic Mortgage. I started at 18 years old as a way to help pay for college and such; I spent 8 years there. Fast forward, 2007 I started a PR firm Alerte, Carter, and Associates. Entrepreneurially I opened up the 1st Frozen Yogurt Shop in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Swirl, me and my wife.
That’s a great resume, and your humility led you to leave a couple of accolades out but its ok we’ll get back to that. So tell me this, how did you transition from Finance to Marketing and Management:
In banking I was self employed, that was the mind frame that I maintained. I had to learn how to market myself. Picture an 18-year-old African American male trying to convince someone in Long Island to let him handle the refinancing of their mortgage. You couldn’t imagine. I was a natural it seemed, but what it was- was proper planning. I had gimmicks; I made myself appeal to prospective clients. I used mailing lists, customized cards; I had this thing I did at the beginning of every year I would send out million dollar bills that said ‘thanks for your referrals’. It worked. It carried me through the summer, next thing you knew referrals poured in. I even named myself “the mortgage doctor”, and soon it resonated with clients. I reached loan officer, then onto being VP of the company at age 24, responsible for 20 employees, 5 branches. My transition to management came in 2007 when a good friend by the name of Patrick Jeffrey, screenwriter asked me to manage him which I thought was a joke, but it turned into a great business venture. I had a certain knack for brand awareness, promotion, and more. By 2009 I realized that our niche was the marketing and there was good money to be made.
Let’s talk about the book, DO Right Do Good, where did the inspiration come from to write it?
When I wrote the book I had realized that my experiences made me who I am today. I was doing so many events; I was selling out comedy shows which were another venture of mine. I’m talking producing Kevin Hart comedy shows, touring with the likes of Capone, the top dogs of comedy. Wherever someone told me no, I was determined to prove them wrong. Selling out 3K in seats doing 13 shows a year. One time, I was speaking to a group of kids at Bushwick HS in Brooklyn and they were actually the ones that suggested that I write a book; they joked that I should be taking my own advice. I was 29 turning 30 and I knew I wanted to give something back; instead of throwing a huge party I wanted to experience something life altering. I went on a 14 day cruise throughout various parts of the Mediterranean. I spent my 30th birthday in Jerusalem; I was spiritually prepared. I started writing in August, by December I was done. It took me a year to put it out. I was going to sell for $10 and a female mentor of mine told me I was selling myself short; I wanted to find a way to give the book proper due price wise but not feel bad about raising the price. That is where the scholarship idea came from. I said I could reassure supporters that the other $10 was going to a good cause.
You mentioned public speaking, where did your love and commitment to mentoring come from?
When I was growing up, I looked for mentors. Older males always pushed me to sports. Unfortunately I had to find mentors that were caucasian. I didn’t want to be an athlete, my mind was on business. I always told myself that once I was successful I’m going to give back and be a mentor to my own; helping kids have an opportunity is something that I am very passionate about.
Be sure to support the Do Right, Do Good initiative as well as the book, for more information you can visit:
Brooklyn Swirl is located at
445 Marcus Garvey Blvd Brooklyn, NY 11216