James A. Whitt is the Director of Supplier Diversity for the City of Columbia of Columbia, Missouri and is responsible for enhancing diverse business presence by MBE, WBE, DBE and LGBTQ business enterprises with the city and county. Whitt serves as the Executive Director of cPhase Sports Association, a non-profit organization focused on providing, educational, social and spiritual growth and development opportunities for young males and females (ages 12 through 18) through sports. Whitt is also the owner of JA Whitt LLC, a consulting firm focused on enhancing diverse business presence within business communities. Whitt served on of the Board of Education for Columbia Public Schools for 10 years from 2009 to 2019 and is currently a Board Member of the Community Foundation of Central Missouri.
Whitt has more than 25 years of management experience. Whitt is a retired Executive with General Electric Company and a former business owner. Whitt received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Indiana Institute of Technology and his Master’s in Business Administration from Indiana University. He is a graduate of the Kellogg School for Advanced Management development program.
Whitt is Chairman of the Sharp End Heritage Committee which focus is to recognize the contributions of the historic Sharp End Black Business District in Columbia before it was torn down by Urban Renewal projects in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Whitt has served on the Monsanto YMCA Board and JW Newgen Holdings Corporation Board in St Louis, Missouri.
Whitt is also Executive Director of the Sharp End Entrepreneurial Development Fund which provides targeted grants to minority and women owned businesses. Targeted grants are designed to help disadvantaged businesses enter new markets, train their management team, develop an online presence and upgrade their financial procedures.
Whitt is an avid golfer and AAU basketball coach. Whitt lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife, Annelle. They have two sons: Marcus resides in Dallas, TX and owns B.D.N.R which is a urban clothing wear business and Jimmy who recently completed his career as a grad-transfer player for the University Arkansas Men’s Basketball Team and is looking to play professionally.