The Interview: Cynthia Jenkins

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This month, The Paper publishes its Interview with Cynthia Jenkins.

Briefly describe yourself and what you do/did.
I’m a lifelong Coweta resident, ECHS alum, Georgia Tech alum currently serving as CEO of Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity covering Fayette, Clayton and Henry Counties. I am also Mayor Pro Tem of the city of Newnan.

Best piece of business advice you’ve received.
1. Take care of your people. (Employees and customers)
2. Do a job right the first time. It will cost more to fix it later.

If I had it to do over …
I would have studied abroad when I had the chance. I wouldn’t have bought the new car. Long after the new car smell is gone, the new car payment keeps coming.

You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take?
People don’t take albums anymore. I would listen to the Mary Mary, Beyonce, and Red Garland Pandora Stations. It’s something for praise, for dancing, and for relaxation.  I would bring my Bible, and the two books I am currently reading Carl Ware Portrait of a Businessman: One Generation from Cotton field to Boardroom, and Our Iceberg Is Melting.

Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know.
I have a variety of interests. Most know I love gospel music, but may not know I enjoyed singing in the Georgia Tech Chorale and love show tunes and opera. I also like sporting clays shooting.

You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why?
Jesus, President Barack Obama, Warren Buffet, Coretta Scott King and Oprah Winfrey.
I can only imagine the conversation at this table. A civil rights icon, former President, two of the wealthiest business persons who are philanthropists and the Lord would be an amazing experience.

Name an as yet unfulfilled dream.
Trips to Antarctica, Africa and to Israel.

If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be …
An actress.

Your go-to food.
Chick-fil-A drive thru.

Favorite movie(s).
I watch The Sound of Music annually but tend to watch superhero and action movies most of the time.

Dogs or cats?
Dogs.

Your favorite quote and why?
Life’s most persistent question is what are you doing for others. – Dr. King
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40. These quotes are compasses for me. I ask myself if I am doing something for others and for God.

Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished.
I recently completed my Master of Science in Management and Leadership. It took 20 years to go back but I am glad I did.

What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own?
Believe the advice my parents gave. Save and invest earlier. Travel while you’re young and learn something from the people you encounter. Experiences are more important than things.

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