Board member spotlight: Milton Reed

Board member spotlight: Milton Reed

Entrepreneur. Educator. Egalitarian. With over 20 years of business experience, Milton Reed is the Principal of Global Consulting Solutions (GCS) and a board member of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) Board of Directors. GCS partners with businesses and governments to provide implementation blueprints for economic development and rejuvenation. Incorporating the private and public sectors GCS can touch on environmental and community issues.

Reed attended Purdue University’s Main Campus, graduating with a bachelor's of science degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) from the School of Technology. Reed believes that the major is one of Purdue’s best, and credits it for the opportunities available to him post-college.

“I believe my major is one of the best-held secrets at Purdue University,” said Reed. “There’s a diversity of jobs that you can get once you graduate. Many people in my major can go into HR roles, supervisory operations, management roles, and business roles. When I left college, I probably had about ten job offers. It led me to the business side of corporations, where I really learned about budgets, economics, and finance.”

Reed then spent nine years in corporate America. There he managed budgets up to half a billion dollars. The experience also allowed him to work with supply chains and minority businesses, gaining an insider’s perspective on the economic clockwork. He would later form the consulting company GCS using the wisdom he gathered from corporate America as a guide.

“Almost all of the work that I do is somehow rooted in what I learned in corporate America,” Reed said. “As a consultant, you have to stay relevant.”

Along with supplying large-scale plans to organizations, Reed also uses GSC to promote diversity in business through classes. It prepares courses for business and educational institutions so that students, educators, and administrators may create equal opportunities in the economy.

“A big, but quiet piece of what I do is diversity, equity, and inclusion programming for corporations and school districts. It is very rewarding work. I would almost do it for no charge. I love it that much,” Reed said. “We are more alike than not alike. We have to normalize some of those conversations in a non-threatening way.”

Reed is also very proud to represent East Chicago on the RDA Board of Directors. RDA manages many projects including two major railway projects. The projects extend South Shore access to Dyer from Munster and supplement additional rails between Michigan City and Gary to decrease traveling time to Chicago’s downtown area. Being a native of East Chicago, Reed is excited and humbled to serve in leadership with the RDA to help develop his home area.

“The RDA board is a really good group of people that come together and have a heart and a passion for doing what's best for the region. There is no politics in the RDA board at all, and yet, it still gets things done,” Reed said. “I'm a regional rat. I'm here by choice. I love Northwest Indiana and anything that I can do, I am willing to do. So I’m proud of being a part of these major rail projects, and being right on the front lines and having a voice to be heard, to deliberate, and to be supportive of these efforts.”

With a full resume and a generous amount of opportunities offered and seized, Reed carries not a prideful heart but expresses gratefulness for those who have supported him along his journey. Reed gives thanks most to the Divine as he is strongly tied to his religious identity.

“A lot of my work is related to my spiritual life. I think when you put good out, you get good back. And I wake up every day expecting to put out good and I have been blessed again to receive that back on multiple occasions. My frame of reference is always about being thankful. My father was a Baptist minister. So some of these things just tend to come out naturally,” said Reed. “I'm thankful to God for my family and support system that has carried me along the way. None of this has come without the grace of God.”