His job: Attorney, Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd
Family: Wife, Christine; two children, Isis, 8; Logan, 1
Education: Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Morehouse College; law degree from University of Virginia
Community/professional involvement: Board member, March of Dimes and Columbia Development Corp.; vice president, Columbia Young Professionals
His story: After college, where he worked at an early learning center, Wells returned to his hometown, Columbia, where he worked as a sales supervisor for The State newspaper. Wells wanted to be an architectural engineer (combining his love of art and analysis), but instead became intrigued by the interaction of law and business. He headed to law school where he was managing editor of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.
Wells practiced in pharmaceuticals and medical-device defense with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, and then joined Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd's business and consumer products industry group. A one-time Columbia Urban League Young and Gifted honoree, he worked on the league's Columbia Young Professionals group and has been honored by the league with an Empowered Citizen award in 2008.
What saying does he live by? "To paraphrase Kipling, we must treat the impostors 'triumph' and 'disaster" just the same. There are often profound lessons to be learned in both."
His life changed when ... He served with fellow high school students on the Columbia Urban League's Stop the Violence Team. "It was the first time I had personally been actively involved in a group that was faced with a problem and charged and trusted to think up and implement proposed solutions. The experience itself was unbelievably empowering. It was during this time that I began to understand the power of positive collaboration."
How did he recover after failing at something? "I married several months after graduating from college, at age 21, and celebrated the birth of my first child one year later. I firmly believed that while some things might change, marriage would remain a constant. I was devastated when shortly after law school the marriage came to an end. As always, God carried me through that stormy period. I found strength in my faith, family, and friends."
His middle name means "one who will lead." How has he tried to be a leader? "I try to lead by 'telling the truth' in words and action. ... I've lived on both sides of the proverbial railroad tracks. But I have been fortunate to have opportunities that not everyone has had. ... When we begin to believe our own hype and hold ourselves out as infallible or extraordinary, we begin to destroy our ability to truly inspire those who need inspiration."