By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
SENEGAL â€“ LaQuay LaunJuel grew up humbly in Atlantic City’s Pitney Village, but it has led the Marines veteran to the western African coast, co-owning an investment company and opening an international plant extraction business.
Juel, co-owner of the New Jersey-based Obsidian Elite Investment Association with Tammeisha Smith, said he hopes the business can help lead others to financial freedom and wealth.
“The primary services Obsidian Elite is looking to provide to its members access to financial education, a robust networking environment of financial service professionals and other investors, and access to financial vehicles for collectivized partnership and capital investment,” Juel told Front Runner New Jersey.
Obsidian Elite focuses on the cannabis industry as well as the real estate, energy and technology sectors. The association created by African-Americans gives customers an avenue to seek personal financial freedom through the sharing of knowledge and exclusive opportunities.
Finding Home In Africa
Juel said his work with Obsidian led to Senegal.
“It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to relocate to Africa at some point in my life,” Juel said. “I lived there previously from 1998-2001. I recently returned, and decided to relocate, as I own property there.
“I have opened a pharmaceutical extract company there with the focus on extracting various plant extracts for therapeutic and medicinal purposes. All these reasons combined have contributed to my decision to relocate. However, I travel back and forth frequently,” he added.
Juel, a Stockton University graduate, credited his mother and growing up in Atlantic City with his toughness and focus in the investment world. He has a bachelor’s degree in international economics at Stockton.
Learning Life in Atlantic City
“Living within the inner-city projects of Pitney Village helped me to learn the hard knocks of life more than in any other place,” Juel said. “My mother was a single parent that worked multiple jobs, being able to buy her first home at the age of 25. A phenomenal achievement in the late 70s for an African American woman and single parent.
“She set the bar for what was excellence and determination. As I became a man, I learned that the confidence, fortitude, and street shrewdness, quick adaptability, and aggressiveness that I acquired in the Atlantic City environment were life savers and on par with the best communities anywhere in the world,” he continued.
Time At Stockton ‘Developmental’
Juel called his time at Stockton “developmental.” He said he was able to challenge his thinking and sharpen his interpersonal skills.
“I participated heavily in student leadership on campus and was respected by the university’s faculty, staff, and administration,” Juel said. “This helped me to learn proper professional etiquette, as well as other crucial social and cultural skills needed for the professional world. Stockton helped my personal inner development to flourish.”
Marines Gives Motto to Live By
He also studied international business law at Seton Hall University. He served in the U.S. Marines Corps as a captain select, commanding a division of combat engineers, and is a combat veteran of three foreign conflicts.
Juel is an entrepreneur owner of the Home First Foods, LLC brand and Dansby Business Consulting while serving as a trustee of the non-governmental organization All Afrikan Empowerment Society. He is also president emeritus of the New Jersey chapter of the National Forum of Black Public Administrators.
“In the Marines, we learned the motto of ‘Leadership by Example,'” Juel said. “I don’t necessarily take on the mantle of role model, but rather to be an example. The mantle of role model in my view restricts one to being a complete model person. I’m rather an imperfect model but a fine example of not only what to do, but sometimes what not to do.”
Timely Advice, Seeking in Inspire
Juel touched on numerous other subjects with Front Runner New Jersey.com.
FRNJ: How seriously do you take you position as a role model?
LaQuay LaunJuel: As for having an interest to enter the world of business, I am constantly looking for youth to inspire, as well as peers. I take my responsibility to help create opportunity and wealth for peers and youth very serious. The financial education aspect of Obsidian, as well as the collective investment motivation is part of that passion to help the wider community evolve.
FRNJ: What do kind of advice would you give you young people?
LaQuay LaunJuel: My advice is to strive for mastery, and never accept mediocrity. There is space for everyone to bathe themselves in achievement and glory, just as the Sun can shine on us all at the same time. The greatest barrier to greater success is viewing competition as the only means to succeed. In truth, collaboration and partnership are essential elements to business success. And lastly, you must know that failure is the result of quitting. If there is time, you can still achieve. The only time you lose is when you quit. No matter what, don’t quit, and remember that modification, adaptation, or otherwise is not quitting.
FRNJ: Tell us more about your mother’s impact on your life.
LaQuay LaunJuel: My inspirations have all been the result of my Mother. Each person in my life whether positive or negative has helped to mold my path solely through interaction. The values, analytical skills, and determination, again, come directly from my Mother.
FRNJ: Where do you see yourself I five years?
LaQuay LaunJuel: In five years, I expect to be heavily engrossed in international trade and politics.
Photo courtesy of Obsidian Elite website
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