168: Marvin Wilmoth (Generation Development Group)

Marvin Wilmoth on Innovation City

“I want people to back away from, ‘Okay well this is the way it’s always been done,’ to ‘We know that the initial thesis was flawed in that it was using a flawed theory,’ i.e structural racism and everything that goes along with that.” – Marvin Wilmoth

Welcome to Season 3 of Innovation City, a podcast featuring innovators, creators, and disruptors to discover how business is changing in the modern world.

Created and produced by SLAM! Agency in cooperation with Venture Cafe St. Louis and Venture Cafe Miami, Innovation City gives you an inside look at how rapidly business and culture are changing thanks to increasing diversity and inclusion, heightened creativity, and a stronger and better-connected business community. Venture Cafe is the largest combined gathering of entrepreneurs and innovators anywhere in the world. Events are held every Thursday in St. Louis, Miami, and other leading innovation cities around the globe.

Today’s guest is Marvin Wilmoth, Managing Principal & Co-founder at Generation Development Group, a real estate development group which focuses on utilizing the social determinants of health as drivers of the built environment. Marvin also serves as Vice Mayor and Harbor Island Commissioner for North Bay Village, FL. In this episode, Marvin sits down with the team to discuss his community work through local politics, the Generation community model, countering the systematic disinvestment in underprivileged neighborhoods, and much more!

They discuss:

  • How being raised by immigrant parents who were dedicated to serving their new country really ingrained the importance of service in Marvin
  • Music is his love language, and he has a large vinyl collection, and learned how to DJ to mix the music for his wedding reception
  • He is also active in CrossFit
  • How he got started in development
    • When Generation Development Group started, they asked “How do we really improve people’s lives instead of just building a place?”
    • Wanted to solve social issues
    • Tweak plans for different community needs
  • His elected and appointed political positions
  • How he considers his political involvement and development career as “community engagement”
  • Plastic Free NBV campaign
  • Developing Silo City
    • Ground floor eco system to supplement the work of artists
  • The generation model
    • The framework
    • Following a rabbit hole of questions about a community’s needs and why they exist
  • The cyclical effects of neighborhoods being “systematically disinvested in”
    • Less access to fresh produce and ingredients
    • Chronic illness and disease
    • Burdensome healthcare costs
    • Negative effects can impact up to seven future generations
  • To fix this, Marvin’s group took it upon themselves to find ways to supply fresh ingredients
    • Nutritious food is grown locally, sustainably and on site – Generation Grow Initiative
    • This way they can offer residents fresh food at a reasonable price
    • They partner with celebrity chefs to teach residents how to quickly and easily make meals with those ingredients
    • This is the bottom line issue of improving quality of life
  • With the comprehensive, holistic model, how do economies of scale translate?
    • He applies his finance background to community development
    • A different perspective on what makes a development successful, what drives valuation
      • Not just profit
  • The biggest challenges
    • Education, overcoming preconceived notions about affordable housing
    • The redefinition of essential workers, in consideration of workforce housing
  • Get in touch with Marvin and Generation Development: @GenerationDG on Instagram and Facebook; @wilmothmarvin Instagram and Facebook; www.generationdg.com; www.marvinwilmoth.com

Lightning Round:

  1. What do you want to let go of?
    • 2020. And the old frameworks of the way we do things.
  2. What makes you feel loved?
    • The appreciation that comes back from doing things for others.
  3. What does this world need more of?
    • More citizens, fewer individuals.
  4. How do you show love for others?
    • Doing thoughtful, pointed things for others.
  5. Who are your heroes?
    • My dad.
  6. What’s your favorite place in the world?
    • I love Amsterdam, the Netherlands.