Leading in Crisis: Jeff Boodie on Economics

December 17th, 2020

SOCIAL IMPACT ENTREPRENEUR JEFF BOODIE ’07 says he met EMU’s invitation to speak about leading in crisis with some hesitation. “To be honest,” he said, “my response was that we’re still in this kind of ‘wound stage’ for many entrepreneurs who have had to pivot and change business models and generally rethink life in general.”

Here are three themes from his TenTalk:


The pandemic pushed both a personal and professional “pivot,” just as he was investigating expansion into a wider market of Fortune 500 companies. He explains:

I started Jobsnap five years ago. It’s a hiring platform that uses video software to help Gen Z job-seekers in underserved communities connect to jobs in the restaurant and retail industries. At the time, using video was and still is revolutionary. I always had this idea that video is going to be the way, but I had no idea that video would be the only way in 2020. Now, we’ve had more and more people coming to me, not from restaurant and retail, but from other fast-growing industries, who are questioning and wanting to learn more about how to best navigate video hiring and interviewing. Now, I’m focused on consulting and partnering with those companies.


Alongside this shift, Boodie says, was a new perception of how much his social life was tied to his professional world:

I am an extrovert, and for all you listeners out there who are also extroverts, I feel you. My social status and ability to connect with people was my business… and there was not much difference between the business side of JobSnap and the social side of Jeff Boodie. Every time I went out, work was always part of the conversation. That’s just what happens when you are head of the company. You can’t not discuss it.

Boodie says the current racial justice movement has also led to awareness among friends and associates about his challenges as a Black entrepreneur in the tech industry. His peers now have a “new lens” through which to view his efforts to raise capital, build a board, and create new partnerships. 


In reflection amidst the tumult, Boodie saw opportunity for healing in his identities as a social activist, a millennial, and an entrepreneur:

I thought if there is ever a year to give back, now is the time. Two months ago, I moved to Florida to volunteer with an organization called Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. I work directly with the founder, Desmond Mead [featured in TIME magazine’s 2019 100 Most Influential People for his work on Amendment 4], to help this non-partisan group run by returning citizens. This was not on the map months ago. In January, I was celebrating with my team at Disneyland in California thinking about the next five years and expanding into the markets of Fortune 500 companies and now I’m here in Florida. It’s exciting being in a new place and a new position, even temporarily, to get to work with people whom I believe are actually making a difference and helping to give opportunities to people who have been shut out of democracy for so long.