Rohn Monroe is the president and CEO of A.M.E.N. Foundation, a faith-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable housing for low income families and homeless veterans. He is a trained expert in team-building, project management, corporate operations, and strategic initiative execution. During the course of his career, Rohn has held both supervisory and executive positions at multiple private firms in the fields of finance, marketing, and technology. Beyond his professional roles, Rohn Monroe serves in a volunteer capacity for Friends Help A Friend, The Helping Hand Foundation, a charitable organization that assists veterans and the disabled in a number ways, including housing, transportation, and in-home care.
Why did you decide to create A.M.E.N. Foundation?
There are many reasons why I created the foundation, but when it really comes down to it, I wanted to be able to utilize my talents and experience to help those less fortunate.
What do you love most about working in the non-profit sector?
I love that I am able to help others. I love seeing how people are able to make their lives better, at least partly thanks to some help that the organization has provided. It brings me great joy.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
Although each day is a little different, some commonalities that are shared between them are strategic meetings and planning. I try to get out into the field as much as I can, but in truth, a good deal of my role as president and CEO consists of administrative tasks.
What keeps you motivated?
The ability to help others with each day of hard work. The less fortunate are on my mind constantly, and every morning when I rise, I spend a moment thinking about some of the individual people that I’ve met during the course of the foundation’s work. When I speak with them, they relate their personal stories to me. Some have had immensely bad luck. Some have become homeless due to poor life choices, but have since found God and made an effort to reform themselves. Some are innocent children. I think it’s important to take the time to remember that these are real people we’re dealing with, and they deserve the stability and dignity of adequate shelter, as every human being does.
How do you motivate others?
I like to find out what actually motivates others instead of guessing or assuming. Most times, I will just ask them directly. Although there are some people that won’t reply honestly, most people will. Once I obtain that knowledge, I will reference it and use it when I observe that they have become sluggish, apathetic, or mentally discouraged.
How has your company grown from its early days to now?
We have expanded the mission of A.M.E.N. Foundation to provide homes for Housing and Urban Development-qualified families and individuals. That was a seismic shift in our self-imposed mandate, as the foundation initially had more modest goals. In the beginning, we were little more than a facility with a kitchen where we made meals for the homeless. So, the organization has gone from simply feeding the hungry to now being able to provide the homeless with shelter.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am a man of great faith. That faith provides me with all the inspiration that I need. Through that faith, I have been raised to understand a few basic rules for a well-led life: first, always treat others with respect, and second, always help people whenever and wherever possible.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
Since I am a man of faith, I am an ardent follower of the bible and I do my best to observe its teachings. The scriptures are my guiding light, and Jesus Christ is my role model. I try at all times to be an example in my own right, as well. I try to practice the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and courage, as well as the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
By discussing the foundation’s goals to help others with my family and friends. I enlist their opinions on our programs and initiatives all the time, and their viewpoints are always carefully considered, good natured, and helpful. I’m blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.
What traits do you possess that make a successful leader?
The ability to listen and actually hear what my team says and treat them as a team and not subordinates, but equals pursuing a common goal of helping others.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Make sure your motives are pure. Charity is for the benefit of others, not the self. There is no glory or recognition in it, and very little by way of financial compensation.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
My only objective is to help others. I’ve always been very transparent about that. It is difficult to find others that truly want to assist in helping this vision come to life. Imparting this desire has been the most difficult obstacle I have encountered thus far.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
As long as you are true about what your motives are—what is truly in your heart—you are sure to stay the course without deviation.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
I believe my biggest accomplishment is being able to keep my motives pure. Similarly, I think that summoning the drive each day to keep pushing for my original vision and goal of helping the least fortunate people in society find food and shelter is an important accomplishment.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
Look inside yourself and find your moral core. Try to understand what your actual motive is for operating in the non-profit sphere. Make sure that it’s pure and that it stays that way.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
Not everyone has honorable motives, even if they claim otherwise. Unfortunately, I learned that lesson the hard way. I will not have to learn it more than once, though.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I think my faith defines me as a person. It is a constant presence in my life, and it governs how I conduct myself and how I make even the smallest of decisions.
What trends in your industry excite you?
We at A.M.E.N Foundation are elated by the decreasing numbers of homelessness in Nevada. The increase in impoverished children receiving birthday and Christmas gifts, as well as the increase in parents that are able to provide shelter for their children are also encouraging trends.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I think we’ll still be doing what we are doing now, but on an even larger scale. Our volunteers and staff members have all made personal pledges not to rest in our efforts until every single person the area has the necessities of life.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
I think the proudest day of my professional life was when I realized I was in a position to do what I do not because I have to do it, but rather because I want to do it.