Title: The DAD Initiative, Partner – Buildwell Development Group
Current / Past Place of Employment: The DAD Initiative, Buildwell Development Group
How many years have you been in the region? 28 years in Cincinnati (since 1993)
Where are you originally from? Born and raised Cincinnatian
Tyran Stallings is an educator, philanthropist, investor, and business owner. A Cincinnati native, he found his love for creativity, entrepreneurship, and multitasking early. Making music, art, good trouble (through activism), and the occasional dollar were fixture’s in Tyran’s high school years. The same held true throughout college at The Ohio State University, where he entered as a graphic design major, and graduated pre-law. After graduation, Stallings found his way into the classroom, spending most of his career at Rockdale Academy, while growing several businesses that aligned with his passions for creativity and youth advocacy, including Quiet Noise Multimedia and Goal Getters Consulting.
After leaving the classroom, Stallings’ need to broaden his impact on Black children led him to founding The DAD Initiative, Inc., a non-profit focused on the development of African American youth through mentorship, cultural and career exposure, and innovative programming. The organization has served thousands of young men and women in the Greater Cincinnati area, their families, and communities. With his partners, Tyran also launched Buildwell Development Group, a minority owned residential development company. Stallings has served on numerous executive boards, including the Hamilton County Community Action Agency, Children Inc, and currently Learning Grove. Tyran’s work has garnered him numerous local and national awards and recognitions, some of which include Who’s Who in Black Cincinnati, finalist recognition for Jet Magazine’s Magnificent Father Award, Best of Black Cincinnati’s Teacher of the Year, and an ULYP Affirmed honoree designation. Tyran has been featured on countless local and national panels to lend his expertise on developing African American youth. When Tyran isn't working (which is rare) he can be found spending time with his wife Rachel and son Tariq.
In 30 seconds or less, tell us who YOU are. This is not your professional bio, but rather, your responses should reflect how you are uniquely you. My name is Tyran Stallings, James and Charisse’s son. I’m a devoted father and husband, loving son and brother, steadfast friend, and fierce community advocate. I love intellectual discourse and large words. I’m a serial creative, extroverted introvert, and connoisseur of fine hip-hop. I’m an enigmatic hustler with a heart, and an immensely proud Black man.
After a long week of work, what energizes you?
Laughter! My weeks can be pretty stressful so taking the opportunity to not be so serious is paramount for me. Hitting the gym is, without question, a personal necessity, especially on the weekend when I don’t have time constraints. Expressing myself artistically is always refreshing, and of course spending time with my beautiful wife and musical genius son is my biggest pleasure. Also, I have really smart friends, so weekends provide time to catch up with them. I always glean something that energizes me from conversing with those incredible people.
What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
I hope to leave a legacy of servant leadership, the power of collaboration, and value of time well spent, and energy well placed. When people remember the life I am living, I hope they see the fulfilled potential of a black man in all his facets - as a father, husband, community member, businessman, and intellectual. It is my hope that my life serves to dispel stereotypes too often misplaced on black men.
How do you define success?
I define success as the mastery of one’s self. Once you’ve done the work to know who you are, then your decisions both personally and professionally can be aligned toward what should be the ultimate goal for us all, obtaining true happiness.
What is your advice for emerging African American leaders?
Don’t conform. You can’t be at your best if you are consumed with projecting a subdued representation of yourself. It is too mentally and emotionally taxing to do so. Who you are, your culture, your thoughts, and what you represent, is good enough for any table at which you may find yourself seated. Your comfort matters just as much as someone of a different race or culture. To be less than who you are is to do a disservice to yourself, those who seek cultural understanding, and those who will walk into similar rooms after you.
Tell us about something that most people do not know about you.
How to pronounce my first name! The “y” in Tyran is silent so it’s actually pronounced “T’ran”. Something more interesting though is that I lived a double life for a while, splitting time between being an educator and a rapper/producer. I’ve performed as far as Cannes, France, and worked on records for national recording artists. I’ve also done voiceover and music production work for national brands like Nike and Airheads. This definitely makes the bond with my son even deeper, being able to offer him advice that is rooted in experience. Aside from being a business major, my son Tariq plays 5 instruments, produces music of all genres, and is an accomplished DJ. He’s definitely exceeded my talent!