Name: Jeff Lindor
Occupation: Founder and CEO of Gentlemen’s Factory
Motivator: Seeing Black people be the full version of themselves
NYC neighborhood: Flatbush, Brooklyn
Jeff Lindor built his career across several industries, including public policy and city government, but none has had more personal significance than what he’s been able to accomplish and build in six years of the Gentlemen’s Factory as his primary professional focus. The collective is “not a social club,” according to the mission statement, but a movement—a business incubator that connects entrepreneurially minded Black and Brown men. Though this multi-million-dollar revenue generator has already achieved extraordinary growth and had immense social impact, the company and its founder are, according to Jeff’s vision and plans, just getting started. Read more about Jeff’s journey below.
What brought you to New York and what keeps you here?
I was born in Haiti, and I came to New York at the age of 3 with my parents, who brought me here with my two sisters for a better life. What keeps me here is, this is a city of opportunity. This is a global city, so if you build effectively here, then you can scale whatever model that you create all across the world.
What is your favorite NYC story or experience?
New York City basketball. As I build my business in brotherhood and community, I learned a lot of those attributes from playing high school ball.
When you think about the Black community in NYC, what comes to mind?
Collective power. I think that the Black community is a really strong base. It’s a strong voter base, it’s a strong economic base, and I see just the brilliance and the power that we have, so that’s definitely how I view the community.
What do you consider to be the greatest cultural contribution of Black New Yorkers?
Its brilliance and its cultural equity. “We are culture. Nothing moves without us,” as Jay-Z likes to say. The culture of the Black community is so strong, from its food to its arts to its language to its business acumen. We just need the resources to help push it forward so that we can own it.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I just walk around the City all day and study human interaction. I love to study different neighborhoods; I love to study the different architecture. That excites me. Just looking at the diversity and the brilliance and beauty of this city.
What’s next for you?
We have the Skills Factory, which is the workforce development and employment pipeline, where we're helping to employ and train Black men and women across New York City and beyond. We will eventually launch the women’s equivalent of Gentlemen’s Factory, and we're working with women-led organizations and women executives and thought leaders on how to approach that. So it’s really this massive ecosystem that addresses the different areas within our community that need to be strengthened.
What would you like your legacy to be?
That I did all that I could do to put my community in a better position than they were. That I dedicated my life to this. And everything didn’t just focus on myself but on the collective element of the Black experience. I would want people to know that I did all that I could do while not sacrificing my mental health or sacrificing my family—that I lived a really balanced life.