Entrepreneurial Freedom

November 3, 2015 //
Evens Charles
Evens Charles

Frontier Development and Hospitality Group’s Founder & Managing Principal, Evens Charles carved a name for himself in the hospitality-focused, real estate development business, and wants to provide Temple juniors and seniors similar opportunities through a scholarship

Evens Charles

BA ’94, M.Ed ’95 | Founder & Managing Principal, Frontier Development and Hospitality Group LLC

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Lasting Connections: “My key takeaway from Temple was the strong academic foundation I developed and the key relationships I made with students who eventually became prominent professionals and long lasting friends.”

Once an underprivileged student from humble beginnings, Evens Charles takes pride in supporting his community.

That is why the founder and managing principal of Frontier Development and Hospitality Group, LLC, has endowed a scholarship for students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM). Charles knows first-hand the financial obstacles motivated entrepreneurial students face. Maxed out from student loan providers, Charles finished school because of a football scholarship he received during his junior year, after he had earned a starting position.

“Without that funding, I don’t know if I could’ve continued my education,” Charles said.

Following graduate school, Charles became interested in real estate. He taught himself everything he could, entered the business, and amassed a good amount of residential real estate. He was inspired to enter the hotel business in 2008, after attending a conference in Washington D.C., hosted by the National Alliance of Black Hotel Owners Operators and Developers Association (NABHOOD). There, he heard a speech by the association’s chairman, developer R. Donahue Peebles. He initially partnered with another Temple alumnus, Paul Patel of Pennsville Hospitality Group, who had the experience of running and operating hotels.

“It was a very humbling experience because it meant partnering with folks who had industry knowledge that I did not possess,” Charles said.

By evolving his business into hotel acquisitions, Charles has achieved a great deal of creative freedom. He finds his work rewarding because it allows him to control his own destiny and influence economic development.

Charles gave $25,000, which was matched by the Dean’s Match program of the Fox School of Business. The $50,000 scholarship is awarded to underrepresented junior and senior students from the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. metro areas. The scholarship will alternate each year, between students from Fox and STHM.

“It’s a shame that many students with the desire and drive can’t always continue school because of finances,” Charles said. “If I can help to make a difference in the lives of even one or two students, it’s a start to giving back what I’ve been given.”