Dr. Gerald Austin Sr.Our Founder and CEO
A visionary, electronic engineer, theologian, educator, and community developer. His international network brings together the expertise of extremely talented professionals to assist individuals and organizations in “turning visions into reality”. He knows from personal experience that there is hope for Urban and Rural communities particularly for those longing to break free from personal and environmental challenges; one of nine children raised by a loving mother in one of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest public housing communities. Through God’s grace, the love of his family, education and determination, he and his family has emerged to a life of making significant impact in the community in general and countless lives. In the height of an accomplished corporate career and business in technology and medical electronics, he sensed God’s call to leave it all and return to serve in the communities from which he emerged. While academic achievement and collaboration is critical, I also know from personal experience that there is hope for Urban and Rural communities and particularly for those longing to break free from personal and environmental challenges. One of nine children raised by a loving mother in one of Birmingham, Alabama’s largest public housing communities; by God’s grace, the love of my family, education and determination, we emerged from poverty to a life of relative ease and comfort. In the height of an accomplished corporate career in medical electronics engineering, I returned to serve in the communities from which I emerged.
In 1986 I established The Center for Urban Missions, a non-profit, tax exempt organization in the State of Alabama. Its mission is “to equip and inspire urban and rural families to move from dependency to true-sufficiency”. In 1990, I established The New City Church in the heart of Downtown Birmingham. The Church and The Center continues today and has been at the forefront of Community Revitalization and is internationally recognized for its research, development, “best practice” tools and techniques. Today, I bring together my practical and academic experience in an online “one stop shop consulting firm”, Mega International and Associates, LLC. Mega is serving a growing network of Public and Private Sector organizations in the United States and Africa.
As an experienced business development practitioner and results oriented professional with an entrepreneurial flair; I have been able to apply well researched practices, theories and methods from these disciplines to problem-solving in business and program development and human behavior modification. I have a strong record of management and leadership and demonstrated people management skills, including the ability to manage complex relationships with a wide range of partners. I am research oriented and possess analytical skills, and the ability to translate ideas into action; proven organizational skills, the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and work well under pressure and have excellent communication skills. Our resume’ of success and achievement is well documented. Our non-profit began in 1983 in what was the poorest zip code in the nation, Metropolitan Garden, now “Park Place. Through our programs we have served over 8,000 unduplicated program participants, with an average of 400 per year through community based tutoring programs, job training, entrepreneurial business developments, computer technology centers, affordable housing, summer academic enrichment camp’s, minority health initiatives, prisoner reentry programs, senior citizens care, professional development for parents and educators. I value partnering with organizations with a vision for holistic community revitalization and increase their capacity through the use of well researched “best practice” tools and techniques.
Our measurable and dynamic data continues indicates that our students, their families businesses and communities are experiencing improved test scores, a decrease in high school dropout rate, post-secondary educational pursuits, increased business development, a positive outlook on life, and they are having fun.
- 92% of our students advanced at least one grade level in reading and math based on our STARS pre/post test each year.
- 87% of students at risk of school failure complete the high school exit exams.
- 76% of our program participants are from single parent homes.
- 78% of our participants are enrolled in Birmingham City Schools.
- 98% of our participants improved their technological proficiencies in three areas; applications, hardware and internet etiquette.
- 100% of our senior citizens express improved outlook on life as a result of our Prime-Time S.A.F.E. initiative (Senior Adult Fellowship and Education)
- 89% of our students increase their SAT and ACT scores with pretest preparation
- 82% of our students expressed interest in business ownership careers
- 98% of our students are able apply conflict management techniques through empathy training and character development.
- 87% of our clients succeed in staring their businesses with training
Dr. Austin holds a B.S. in Electronic Technology from DeVry University; ThM from Grace Theological Seminary; Doctorate Degree in Transformational Leadership/Community and Economic Development from Bakke Graduate University. He is also a Graduate of Harvard University’s School for Religion, Values and Public Life, where his project was recognized as a “21st Century Model for Community Transformation. He has published numerous articles and white papers on the subject of Racial Reconciliation, Community and Economic Development, Cross Cultural Communications, and Urban Family Life, many of which have appeared in several books around the country. He teaches classes as adjunct professor at several colleges and universities in the areas of Entrepreneurship, Economic Development, Urban Missions, Leadership and Community Development, Cross-Cultural Communications, Church Planting and Polity.
Awards and Publications
White Paper, The Role of the Church in Community Revitalization, 2008
Practical Nonprofit Board Governance and Operations, 2007
Contributing writer to A Mighty Long Journey, 2003
Featured in Birmingham Business Journal as Community Based Organizer, 2006
Named as Board Member of The Children’s Literacy Guild of Alabama, 2003
Serves as an Chairman for Alabama of the Business Advisory Council 2004-2005
Honored by ONB (Operation New Birmingham) for community service and significant contributions made in the City Center in November 2003
Harvard University’s Center for Values in Public Life recognized The New City Center Project was as a 21st century model of community transformation.
Featured in the January 2001 edition of Birmingham Magazine 50 People to Watch,
Family Life and Vocation, 2001
Appointed by the Governor of Alabama to serve on the Task Force for National and Community Service