Ep. 15 Jason Appling: Cool Smart, Inc. and Tux & Chucks
Jason K. Appling is the Co-Founder of Cool Smart, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that has a mission to educate the youth and young professionals on the importance of philanthropy and increasing awareness of charitable initiatives in metropolitan areas through Cool, Smart, and Fun programming.
Cool Smart, Inc. was founded in 2014 by Jason Appling and his business partner Byron Suggs.
Elite professionals and socialites unite with the goal of giving back.
As approaching the age of 30, Jason was inspired to become more socially responsible in his community and realized that growing up, volunteerism and charity was not a major influence in his household. This inspired the birth of the Cool Smart, Inc., assuming that the youth would be more apt to volunteer and raise money for their community if educated on the importance of philanthropy but done in a manner that infused Cool, Smart, and Fun activities.
Byron Suggs, Fox2 Detroit Reporter and Jason Appling
In 2011, Jason Appling and his partner launched an annual fundraising event called Tux & Chucks. The original idea behind the event was to celebrate the two individual’s birthday but use the funds raise to donate to local non-profits organizations. The theme of the event was inspired by partner Byron Suggs’s wedding party who wore tuxedos and Converse Chuck Taylor gym shoes. The initial event drew over 350 people but as of 2015 draws over 1200+ patrons and over the course of 5 years has raised $45,000 for 9 local non-profit charities in the Metropolitan Detroit Area.
In addition, Jason Appling holds position of 2nd Vice President for BUF Connect, a young professional’s leadership group under the Black United Fund of Michigan. The mission of BUF Connect is to increase awareness of the Black United Fund’s mission to the young professionals between the ages of 21-40. The Black United Fund (BUF) is committed to impacting and supporting positive changes in a diverse community, by providing funding and support to start-up non-profits that focus on education, community development, cultural enrichment and economic improvement.
Appling holds a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunication from Michigan State University in Lansing, MI. His affiliations also include:
- Member, General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN), corporate-sanctioned affinity group to provide a competitive advantage in attracting, developing, and retaining African Ancestry employees while engaging our communities to drive General Motors business priorities/performance.
For more information, visit www.coolsmart.org