Four Under 40 award honoree Daveyon Bradley

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Daveyon Bradley, a Purdue University graduate, is a dedicated advocate for social justice and community empowerment. As the founder of MoreThan23, NFP, he strives to surpass the 23% success rate for individuals affected by incarceration through personal development initiatives. With a background in Business Management and a passion for mentoring youth, Daveyon’s leadership extends beyond boundaries. His own experience of incarceration fuels his commitment to rehabilitation and correction, driving MoreThan23, NFP to create impactful programs and forge collaborative partnerships. Under his guidance, MoreThan23, NFP has grown from concept to reality, offering four programs to support incarcerated individuals and those reentering society.  Daveyon also works at Sundog IT.

A devoted family man, Daveyon leads his wife Deborah and their two children, Dj and Dalilah, with integrity and balance. Today, Daveyon is honored for his Outstanding leadership/excellence in Business, his community, & personal life exemplifying the essence of leadership – not merely achieving success, but empowering others to thrive.

Daveyon sat down with Kaylin Risvold, President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce for this special edition of Inside the Chamber.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?

It’s a few people. Each person for different things but the 3 that are at the top of my list today include:

1) My mother: This woman is my foundation, and I would be NOTHING without. Every time we talk, she literally says “you are clearly my son” because I am a male version of her. Nobody weather storms like she do. She’s one of the strongest people I know. She has a powerful story and has always been a great communicator, able to pull it all together and give you some wise advice through her life experience. She believes “right is right” and “wrong is wrong”. She doesn’t care if we are family, she will hold me accountable, no matter what!

2) My best friend Argyle: He is my spiritual inspiration & mentor. Just like my mother but a lot humbler and more Spiritual. Most of our conversation include God and this is normally the person I go to when I’m physically and mentally drained. When I have physically done everything in my power and that didn’t work, this is my prayer warrior.

3) The owner Of Sundog Cohen (My Friend CB): This is my professional mentor. He helped me take my life to the next level in many ways. He helps me overcome my limited mindset, he helped me stretch my vision, provide a platform me to grow financially and professionally. As he would say ” the guy is WICKED SMART” and blessing!

What are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?

There are so many that are important but the three that stand out to me in this season are:

1) Strategic Vision- A lot of people have a vision but not many are intentional and strategic. I think the most impactful leaders were very intentional with every step. Their vision was well thought out. They understood the risk, rewards, and everything.

2) Effective Communication – Because you must be able to clearly communicate that vision to get people to follow.

3) Personal initiative – You must be a self-starter. Most people have some great ideas and the difference between them, and leaders is leaders get started. They are not waiting on someone to instruct them. They are not waiting for permission. My favorite quote is “There are two people in this world that will never be successful. The one that can NEVER do what he is told and the one that can ONLY do what he is told.” Which goes back to my point, you must be a self-starter!

What one thing makes you most proud?

My household. It’s truly a place of peace for me. We are extremely close and we support each other. We do little cool things to show how much we love each other individually and collectively. Most importantly they are my team before anything else and we all move like that. We work together to make sure we all are getting out of life what we desire and everyone understand their part. all the way down to my 6 years old daughter. We love each other, take care of each other and press forward all together. And I’m proud of that because I built that and model that in every team I’m a part of.

What’s the most important risk you took and why?

The most important risk I have ever risked was going to Prison. Some people think that I had no choice, but I had the option of keep fighting (through trial) or plead guilty and I plead guilty to 9.5 years. WHY? Because I genuinely believed that God was going to shape and mode me into something different. I somehow believed that I would be more successful after even though the majority came out worse.

I didn’t know how, but I trusted that he would! And it was there where I became the man that I am today. I created most of my vision there. It was there I learned to communicate effectively! It was there I learned to spark this fire, to go after life and stop waiting on people to give me the life I desire.

Host: Kaylin Risvold, President and CEO – Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce

Guest: Daveyon Bradley, Business Development – Sundog