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Roger K. Strother

He was born in Buffalo, NY.
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"Life is a marathon race and I'm a long-distance runner." This is just one of the mantras that have guided the life of Roger K. Strother. He completed one year at Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland. He recognized three important gifts that he had. He was a leader; he could make good decisions and he understood how to find good role model to emulate. With God's help he was able to navigate the system. Roger always wanted to be financially independent. He wasn't sure how he would get there but that was his dream. There was always an inner voice that led him to believe that once he found his niche, he would soar. He learned early to value his reputation and he guarded it jealously. He took pride in everything he did and would finish what he started. For 10 years he worked for minimum wage and slightly above jobs with long hours. As he entered his early thirties, through Affirmative Action, he was given an opportunity, and went to work for a Fortune 500 Company. He went from sales representative, to corporate account executive. He always believed that financial soundness plus a viable skill, could give you a competitive edge.

Roger was taught by his parents from an early age the old adage: "It's not what you make, but what you do with it", and early in his life he put it into practice. He began by investing in real estate, and later educated himself about investing in securities. He had found his niche. Because of his success in securities he left his job in 1991 and his dream became a reality. He has not worked for a paycheck since that time. As a private investor Roger epitomizes 'money can make money', and as he invests his money, he also believes in people. His passion to give back to the community was fueled by his realization that financial literacy was the next big hurdle to conquer in the 21st Century.

Mentor and private investor, is what Roger is called today. In many ways Roger's life mirrors that of two important men in his bloodline. Peyton Harris - his 3rd great grandfather; (1791-1882) and Robert Talbert his 2nd great grandfather (1830-1892). Each one fled from their respective plantations in the 1800's and resided in Buffalo, New York. Both were very smart and fearless. Peyton fought in the War of 1812. He was one of the first trustees at Michigan Avenue Baptist Church and helped raise the money to actually build the church in 1844. Robert left Buffalo seeking his fortune in the California Gold rush of 1850. Both invested in land and opened businesses in Buffalo. They were also a part of the Underground Railroad network. The stories told by Roger's parents, other family members and friends, captured his imagination and left an indelible mark. He was and continues to be inspired by his ancestors and continues to emulate them in these two important ways: Financial Independence and Social Consciousness.

Roger's success in managing and investing money was just the beginning. He knew he had a knowledge that others would benefit from and vowed to give this knowledge to his community. Giving talks on investing at churches, Buffalo State College, and the University of Buffalo were his initial endeavors. What evolved from that was a new mission. Roger, and his wife, Betsy, took this financial message to their respective high school alma maters: Lafayette and Bennett High Schools, and share the much-needed information on financial literacy with young people. They called their program the "New Breed of Investor". He and his wife, Betsy, founded their own private foundation called Strother Maxwell Inc., A Private Foundation (509 Tax Code). Using their own funds, they taught financial literacy to young people. They sponsored trips to stockholder meetings and to luncheon dialogue sessions; worked with companies in setting up internships; (ex. M&T Bank, IRS, and WNED-TV); donated monies to schools and other organizations and partnered with other groups to present positive events in Western New York.

Roger has received numerous awards: National Champion Award, National Philanthropic Award, NAACP Community Award, National Federation for Just Communities of WNY, Urban League Family Award, Wall of Fame Inductee at Lafayette High School and the Community Service in Economics Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority... He has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Africa, Europe and South America. The knowledge gained during his travels has broadened his perspective and enhanced his presentations.

Roger is the only child of the late Harry and Jeanette Strother. He is married to Betsy Maxwell-Strother, and has one daughter, Cheryl A. Strother of Atlanta, Georgia. He is a life member of the NAACP; the founder of St. Philip's Episcopal Church Endowment Fund; Former Dale Carnegies Youth Character Board, and a former 'Meals on Wheels' emeritus endowment board member. He gives very special acknowledgement and accolades to these role models that are in his personal 'Hall of Fame' and that have impacted his life:

Will Gibson - author of numerous novels and former attorney
Father Kenneth Curry* - former Priest of St. Philip's Episcopal Church
Dr. William Strother* - Investor; and retired Princeton professor
Lawrence King* - Business Owner and former Regional Manager of General Foods
Jesse Nash* - Former professor at Canisius College
Mary Crosby Chapelle* - Educator
William (Bill) L. Gaiter* - Community Organizer