We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Ellison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyle, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I think taking risks is how we get to innovation. I don’t necessarily mean in technology, which does play a part but more importantly innovation in life. Your life, your friends lives, people’s lives, the world. I love the feeling I get with risks and making a decision to do something people will scratch their head at. For me, the willingness to take risks is the only reason I’m here to do the work I’m doing now.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m the Executive Director for a not for profit organization, Real Men Real Heroes, Inc. Our goal is to expose kids, especially young men of color to opportunities that the world has to offer. We help provide them with tools and resources that allow them to become the best versions of themselves. I’m excited because I feel in our city we changed what mentoring looks like and who it is done by. Not only that but I’m excited because I was able to make giving back look cool. I’ve learned that being who you are is crucial for long-term success and happiness. I think if you have to be someone else for success then it’s probably short-term gains and something that you can’t sustain or like about yourself. I want people to know I love breaking the rules and challenging the status quo, redefining the world and cracking the matrix.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First off, no itinerary. I’m laughing at this because anyone who knows me knows we’re just going with the flow. You can definitely plan on some drinks and cigars – West Side humidor, Morts in old town, and my cigar group, Smokers and Jokers private lounge. Food wise, we’d have to check out Cajun shack, sumo (my favorite restaurant), and some of the dopest patios in the city. I love to have a good time, which doesn’t equate to the club for me. It just means enjoying life and living in the moment. We would probably hit a few peoples homes, people who I know have the same mindset and love entertaining. I would introduce them to the infamous Hatman Jack Store in Wichita as well as some hangouts of mine like Muligans and Harry’s. Again though, I emphasize no schedule we just have to let it flow.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would say that my shoutout needs to start with my fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by black men who believe in success and traditionally don’t settle for anything less. I also have to give a shoutout to the younger me who growing up said there has to be more to life than this and wouldn’t settle for less. In addition, anyone in life who told me I couldn’t do something. They deserve a HUGE shoutout because I love proving them wrong every time. If you can find those who told me what I could and couldn’t do and asked them about me now they’ll look stupid.
Professional headshots are by Kacy Meinecke Photography. The photo at the recording studio are by Chase me if you Can Productions. If you contact me I can specify which ones if needed.