OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Summit Bank Foundation is pleased to announce that Derreck B. Johnson, Senior Vice President of Operations and Founder of Home of Chicken and Waffles Oakland, has joined its board of directors.
In 2004, Mr. Johnson invested in the fledgling Home of Chicken and Waffles, a restaurant which was originally opened as a franchise of the Los Angeles-based eatery Roscoe’s but was struggling to survive. Mr. Johnson knew that Roscoe’s had a special place in the restaurant landscape of LA, but had failed to build upon that success. Mr. Johnson spent weeks on end at a local Houston’s Restaurant studying the DNA of a restaurant organization that took pride in its customers, management, and its food. Mr. Johnson re-launched the Home of Chicken and Waffles as a standalone restaurant with a new image and under new management. With a base of 60 employees, Mr. Johnson takes pride in hiring from within the Oakland community. The location in Jack London Square became and continues to be one of the Bay Area’s favorite restaurants attracting an incredibly diverse crowd.
Mr. Johnson opened several small companies prior to opening Home of Chicken and Waffles, often hiring chronically unemployed locals and nurturing them into employees. By the age of 30, he had built a lucrative auto detailing company (five locations in the Bay Area, including two operating in San Francisco’s Financial District), as well as a sought-after promotion business aligning with America’s top brands from Gallo to Frito Lay.
Mr. Johnson has a degree in Business Administration from the prestigious Fisk University in Nashville. He returned to Oakland after graduation with a determination to give back to the very community that had fostered a strong sense of cultural pride and tenacity in him. He knew that taking the corporate route would not allow him to follow his desire of returning to his community, a predominately Black city that was desperately in need of leadership and role models. “The people I looked up to had moved on, and I knew it was really important for African-American kids to have strong role models. So much of my ambition and success is derived from those early impressions,” said Johnson.
Summit Bank Foundation Chairman Shirley Nelson stated, “We are so honored to have Derreck join our Board. His passion and desire to give back to his Oakland community is inspiring. We are confident that he will contribute to the advancement of our mission.”
About Summit Bank Foundation
Summit Bank Foundation was founded in 1998 by Shirley Nelson and a group of dedicated business professionals under the direction of Summit Bank. Initially, the Foundation was established to develop and promote financial literacy programs throughout Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, support general education endeavors throughout the East Bay, and to recognize and encourage corporate volunteerism and support of the nonprofit community. Since 2005, the Foundation has been providing academic scholarships to students at Castlemont and McClymonds High School in Oakland. In 2013, the Foundation expanded its core focus to include the support of cancer and other research at UCSF. In 2017, the Foundation added a new scholarship to support a student at Bishop O’Dowd High School in East Oakland.