On Feb. 1, Luwanda Jenkins joined the ranks of The Cordish Companies as the new Vice President of Community Relations and Diversity. In that role, she is primarily responsible for setting the tone and policies for how Cordish, a major developer based in Baltimore which counts Maryland Live! Casino, Power Plant Live! and Towson Square among its accomplishments, takes their community relations and minority business inclusion efforts to the next level.
In an interview with the AFRO Jenkins said “Cordish has had a pretty impressive track record for quite some time of minority business inclusion but as the company has grown, it has grown significantly in recent years to really become a global leader in real estate development. We have operations in other cities and states around the country, so also developing some uniformity and enhancing what we do in terms of consistency.”
Jenkins most recent positions were at at Coppin State University and the Maryland Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.
The Cordish Companies has grown into a global leader in Real Estate Development, Gaming & Hospitality, Entertainment Management and International Urban Planning & Development. It is one of the largest real estate developers not only in the Baltimore metropolitan area but the entire country with properties like Hopkins Square, Towson Square, Pier IV, Power Plant Live and Maryland Live.
“We are pleased to have Luwanda as a member of our executive team,” said Zed Smith, Chief Operating Officer of The Cordish Companies, in a statement. “Her experience and leadership in the areas of diversity and community relations are unmatched, and her expertise will continue to strengthen a core value of our company.”
Luwanda Jenkins is a native of Baltimore and grew up in the northwest part of the city in the Forest Park neighborhood. She attended Western High School before going to Towson State University. She then attended graduate school at Johns Hopkins University.
Jenkins was working at Coppin State University during last year’s unrest. “First and foremost the university took actions to ensure their students were safe… whether it was going up to North and Pennsylvania to help with the cleanup or participating in one of the more peaceful demonstrations that were led by a number of students throughout the region” she said. “We also provided office space to one of the federal agencies that was providing federal loan assistance, I believe the college of health professions provided health related outreach services to the local community and as I recall some of the professors held panel discussions to allow students and faculty on the campus to have some discourse and dialogue around what was happening in the greater community.”
When asked how she rated Cordish’s diversity at the time of the interview Jenkins said “I would give us an A+ because we have really had a strong focus for decades on including minority and women businesses when we are developing and building out projects. In terms of our ongoing operations, in terms of once we have built an entertainment district, I would give us a B because I believe there is more potential there for us with our ongoing operations and that is an area I hope to help the company lift the tide there with ongoing operations. Overall I would give us an A for our diversity efforts.”