(BALTIMORE – September 30, 2019) – Be sure to RSVP for Black Wall Street BALTIMORE on Wed., Oct. 9, 2019 from 6 to 8 pm at Next Phaze Cafe, 112 E. Lexington Street. This Bmorenews business networking event will feature the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Awards.
Honorees include Sharif J. Small.
Who is Sharif?
Sharif J. Small’s personal background starts with him and his twin brother being raised by a single father in the Park Heights area of Baltimore, MD. Having a loving and caring father kept them away from all the drugs, violence, and gang activity within the neighborhood by getting them involved in various sports and other activities.
Growing up, sports played a big part in shaping them, but most importantly helped save the twins as well. Their father also introduced them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at a very early age.
“For this, I’m most thankful,” said Small.
Sharif’s professional background has been in the accounting and financial service industry for over 15 years. His career began as a Financial Advisor for MassMutual Financial Group. He also worked for his father’s tax service. While at MassMutual, he obtained several licenses, including Life & Health, Series 6, 63, 65 and Life/Health insurance licenses.
Also, Sharif has over 12 years of bookkeeping, accounting, and payroll experience performing contracting projects for Accountemps (A Robert Half Company) and Accountants International where he worked with small businesses, non-profits organizations and corporations.
In 2005, he started his own tax accounting and financial planning practice called S.J.S. Financial Firm to focus more on providing accounting and financial planning services to small businesses and families. In 2008, Sharif established a 501©3 non-profit organization called Financial Empowerment Movement, Inc. to improve the social economics, poverty, inequity issues by providing better financial education, access to needed financial resources and pro bono financial planning services to empower low-income families, local minority communities, young people and military veterans to help them make better financial decisions and achieve financial success.
In 2011, he partnered with the Mayor’s Office and City of Baltimore to coordinate and host the inaugural Baltimore Financial Planning Day, an annual event that provides free financial literacy workshops and counseling sessions to low income families, young people and minorities in the Baltimore area; it is now called the Youth & Family Financial Empowerment Event.
In 2013, he became a Financial Planning Counselor Contractor for Serco, Inc. as part of a mobile transition team for the Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) to provide financial planning workshops and individual financial counseling sessions tailored to meet the needs of transitioning soldiers and family members prior to their separation from the active Army or Reserve Components Military service at the Ft. Meade, MD Military Base.
In 2014, he created the Wealth Diversity Summit to focus on powerful panel discussion highlighting disparities and issues that have widen the wealth gap among minorities hosted at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
Sharif’s educational background includes an A.A. in Business Administration from Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), a B.S. in Accounting with a Concentration in Personal Financial Planning from Towson University, and Master’s of Science in Taxation from American University. Further, Sharif has obtained the Accredited Financial Counselor Designation (AFC®) from the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education.
Sharif has also been actively involved in various professional and community organizations such as the Financial Empowerment Committee, the Greater Baltimore Urban League, the Community Service Committee, the National Association of Black Accountants Baltimore Chapter, the Pro Bono/Financial Literacy Committee, the Financial Planning Association of MD Chapter, the African American Association of Financial Advisors, and the National Association of African American Human Resources.
Sharif’s mission in life is to be a blessing to others and to do God’s will by financially educating and helping empower those less fortunate as well as the next generation for years to come.
He said, “The blessing is in the giving and not the receiving. So, to help the residents of my hometown, Baltimore, and others to build a solid financial foundation is a blessing in itself.”