Senior Manager Business Development
G.W. Peoples Contracting Co., Inc.
While his classmates at the University of Virginia were deciding what degree to pursue, Jonathan Samuel Clark had already decided that two degrees were better than one. With drive and determination, he simultaneously earned a bachelor’s in history, with a concentration in Middle Eastern studies, and a bachelor’s in economics, with a concentration in finance. It was the best way to learn more about the subjects that interested him, he explains. His interests led him to Georgetown University and master’s degrees in real estate finance and real estate development.
Clark was determined to be his own man, as were his role models — his father and grandfather. His father, Melvin E. Clark, is the chairman and CEO of G.W. Peoples Contracting Co., a railroad construction contractor. His grandfather, Melvin E. Clark Sr., is a bishop in the Church of God In Christ in Pennsylvania. Clark dove into a career in finance, working as a financial researcher and investment analyst until the market collapsed and forced him to revisit his professional goals. “If the credit crunch hadn’t happened, I probably would have eventually ended up in New York, working on Wall Street,” he says. “The crunch showed me that my career was about making rich people richer. I didn’t see the impact of my work. Leaving that and coming to work for my father is the best decision I’ve ever made.”
As senior manager of business development, he sees firsthand the impact of his company’s projects on communities. He recalls a rail project in the Southside of Chicago, where they hired 70 percent of the workers locally. “When you give people jobs, you give them careers and change generations,” Clark says. He personally does more for the community as a volunteer fundraiser for his church, the Alzheimer’s Association, March of Dimes and D.C.’s Help the Homeless.