ABOUT Vice Mayor OD HARRIS
Discovering a Passion for Service
OD Harris’ father was a U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran, an American Factory worker, and an entrepreneur. His mother was a stay-at-home mom. OD’s parents were married for 20 plus years until his father passed away when OD was 14 years old.
OD discovered his passion for community and service at an early age. During his first elected position in middle school student government, he realized helping people brought him great joy. He continued his service into high school, where he served as student body Vice President and President. He founded a faith-based group with a mission to reinstate prayer in school, successfully building that group to nearly one-third of the student population. He also focused on giving back to the community, each year going door-to-door with a three-wheel stroller to collect eventually over 2,000 perishable food items for local food banks.
After completing Army Junior Recruiting Office Training Course (JROTC), OD enlisted in the U.S. Army while graduating from college with an Accounting Degree. He opened his first tax and accounting business with an emphasis on the community to minimize cost and maximize refunds for his clients. He successfully scaled his business to 35 locations in seven states before selling it to his major competitor.
Faith and a Call-for-Action
While staying faithful to God and being active in his church, OD was ordained as a Minister and later became a Campus Pastor. He still felt the call to do more. He experienced a renewed focus on the community while watching the news of a 17-year-old teenager who was gunned down in Sanford, Florida. Upon seeing this and other injustices, he refused to sit back and do nothing. He organized and rallied hundreds of people, including former mayors, government lawmakers, national media, and citizens, to gather at the State of Michigan’s Capitol to speak in favor of bringing equity to the community. After the successful rally, OD orchestrated a Town Hall meeting, where local government officials and citizens discussed the changes that needed to be made. As a result of this unprecedented meeting, police protection was increased in the expressed areas, and violence decreased in the needed areas.
Serving the Community
In 2006, OD created his first Backpack Drive to help youth who struggle
with getting school supplies. Over 11 years, he generously
donated school supplies to over 9,000 students.
In 2008, he was reacquainted with an old friend who was a coach for
Rising Stars, a national traveling football team. OD became so enamored
with the youth and their dedication to winning, he sponsored the team
uniforms with his own capital. The Rising Stars football team went on to
win many championships thereafter. Several students went on to play college football with full-ride scholarships. Bryce Brand and Brian Brand, both beneficiaries of the sponsorship, received full scholarships to play at the University of Maryland. OD later sponsored many other local sports teams, impacting thousands of children.
Ready Set Go Foundation
2014 OD founded Ready Set Go (RSG) Foundation, 501c3. This Foundation gives back to the community by offering programs and strategies to entrepreneurs to promote their successful growth and development. RSG has graduated 150 new entrepreneurs who successfully completed the 5-week certified Entrepreneurship Training Course and Developmental Workshop. Through his RSG Program, he has created over 1,800 jobs through entrepreneurship and has provided the training ground for thousands of small businesses.
Citizen's Coronavirus Task Force
In 2020, OD established the Citizen’s Coronavirus Task Force
in Chandler, comprised of residents. In a short time, the
the task force collected over 136 pounds of food, donated over
100 N95 masks to a local hospital, organized free transportation
to drop off prescriptions and groceries for our vulnerable
communities, fed over 113 people, and established a dedicated
hotline for expedient services.
As an award-winning entrepreneur, OD Harris
has served as the following:
As a Councilmember, he serves on local and regional committees, including:
Board of Directors, Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS)
Board Directors, Valley Metro Rail
Vice Chairman, Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA)
Governing Board of La Frontera Arizona and EMPACT-SPC
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona
Chandler City Council Subcommittees for Economic Vitality, Innovation and Technology, and Neighborhoods
Co-chair of the Black Philanthropy Initiative through the Arizona Community Foundation
His past service in Chandler and beyond included the following:
Chandler City Council Subcommittees for Public Safety, Community Services, Economic Development, Neighborhood Resources and Cultural Development
Board Treasurer, Valley Metro Regional Public Transportation Authority (RPTA)
City of Chandler Airport Commission (Ex-officio)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Chairman of Economic and Entrepreneur Development of Maricopa County
Board Member – National Black MBA – Phoenix, Chicago and Los Angeles Chapters
Advisory Board Member-Clean Home Project
100 Black Men of Phoenix
Black Philanthropy Initiative under the Arizona Community Foundation