Joe Mamo, D.C.'s Gas-Station Master Meet the guy who owns half of D.C.'s filling stations

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Photos by Darrow Montgomery

To hear him tell it, Joe Mamo’s move from Ethiopia to North Dakota in 1981 was accidental.

Mamo’s father, Yenberber Mamo, was a public transit mogul who manufactured buses and ran the first fleet to provide service across Ethiopia. The operation made his father’s Mamo Kacha bus line a household name in the East African country. It provided a nice life for his family. But it rendered him distinctly unpopular with the Marxist junta that ruled Ethiopia between 1974 and 1991. The elder Mamo was jailed two or three times by the regime. Some of his property was confiscated. As his son approached draft age, the patriarch looked for ways to send him overseas.

That’s how Joe, at the age of 13, found himself attending Catholic boarding school in North Dakota.

“He didn’t know the difference between North Dakota and New York City. We didn’t know until we got there,” says Joe Mamo, whose given name is Eyob. But he got used to the cold winters and moved to Chicago after graduation. While he attended community college there, he got a job pumping gas.

By 1987, Mamo had moved to Washington, where an old friend had settled among the region’s large Ethiopian community. This too was “an accidental move,” he says. “I didn’t know Washington that well but I liked it here because it was much more diverse than Chicago. There’s a lot of Ethiopians, a lot of different cultures.” And while Mamo remained far from home, it turned out that his entrepreneurial DNA was still intact in North America. “I always wanted to be a businessman like my father. The only business I knew was a gas station, so I decided to lease a gas station,” Mamo says.


Mamo scraped together his savings and a little money from his father for a down payment. Within months of arriving in Washington, he signed a lease on his first station, an Amoco on South Dakota Avenue. His two brothers were his only employees, Mamo says; they all worked 18-hour days.

Mamo still owns the station, which now operates as a Shell. Over the next quarter century—and in a manner more deliberate than accidental—he has built a network of stations around the region, acquiring them slowly, at first, and then, starting in 2009, at high speed. Riding a wave of industry transition, he went on a buying spree that expanded his empire from 25 to around 240 stations. Nearly half of all stations in the District are controlled by Mamo; he runs a quarter of the region’s stations.

He’s occasionally been painted as a rapacious tycoon, and sometimes been cast as an exemplar of the American Dream. In fact, Mamo may be a bit of both. But what’s striking is how rarely he’s been painted at all. During his rise from gas station attendant to the chief executive and board chairman of the Springfield-based Capitol Petroleum Group, Mamo, 44, has kept a low profile in the industry and shunned interviews with reporters. The little-known tale of how he went from dodging an authoritarian government’s draft to dominating Washington’s fuel business is one of politics, ambition, luck, real estate, hard work, race—and, of course, gas.

Within the industry, there’s “a bit of a mystique” around Mamo, says Steve Holtz, news director at CSP Information Group, a trade publication that has covered Mamo’s business ascent. But as rapid as his rise may have been, “mystique” is hardly the first word that comes to mind for a burly, plainspoken businessman who lives next door to his mother in a modest ranch-style house in Annandale and runs his enterprise from a no-frills office space in a Springfield industrial park.

Despite his reputation as an aggressive businessman, Mamo seems almost humble when he sits down for the first in-depth interview he’s ever given. He credits good luck as much as entrepreneurial savvy for his recent string of successes. He may be a mogul, but he still comes off as what oil folks call a “jobber.”

In the parlance of the oil industry, the companies that do the drilling and processing, like ExxonMobil and Shell, are “refiners.” The local business people who run stations are known as “dealers.” Companies like Mamo’s that get the fuel from the oil companies to the gas stations are called “jobbers,” though Exxon refers to its jobbers as “branded wholesalers.”

For decades, competitive flaps in the business pitted the refiners of Big Oil against the ma-and-pa operations of dealers, who generally rented their land from the companies. But in the last five years or so, the drama has shifted. The big companies have sold their stations and gotten out of the retail side of business. That’s where Mamo found what he considers a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Washington-area stations were among the first in the country to be spun off. BP sold nearly 200 area stations to Annapolis-based Eastern Petroleum Corp. in 2005. Germantown-based Mid-Atlantic Petroleum Properties, LLC, among other jobbers, saw similar expansion in the suburbs.

District Stations Owned by Joe Mamo Stations Not Owned by Joe Mamo

Our Readers Say

It is very nice to hear about your sucess. Keep up the hard work.
God Bless you.
Joe - what are you going to do at the empty lot at N. Capital and Florida Ave? That empty lot (former gas station) has been vacant for years, except for the vagrants that hand out there every day. The community is dying for the development at that site which you promised over 5 years ago!! What you gonna do Joe???
Proud of you!
your story is very's so nice to see someone achieve the American Dream! Keep up the hard work.
Yeah, Joe, what are you going to do with the site at 14th and Maryland NE that is now a make shift homeless shelter? Seems like when you can't buy a win you let your properties sit vacant. You may be a successful business man, but you are a terrible neighbor.
nice story about crony capitalism.
WHAT a story!! keep it up BRO go national and global. so proud of you.
Very proud my brothor.
your success inspired us to be visionary.MAY GOD BLESSED YOU BUSINESS
amazing!!! invest in ur home country

Thanks for your ongoing committment and perservence in growing the brand. You are the man to watch!
ethiopians are shining in the capital

Proud of you Joe!
Whoa, this map is way off on the station locations.
I remember going by your house near Bulgaria Embassy, everyday when I was attending Shimelis Habte in the 70's. With my friends we talked about your dad's success and his story inspired us very much. Now here you are, a son like a father, continuing the tradition of hardwork. I am really proud of you!
In 1987,I met this brght young man at South Dacota gas staion Apparently he ownt hat gas staion.I still stop by to fill gas at the same gas staion.He came greeted me with respect and ask me where I work.At that time I was working for .DCpublicschool
.His question was do I get enough salary to feed my family.My respond was yes for the time being.This was almost 25 yearsago.I he was just strting buying gas station..I am so glad youmade it. I am so proud of you.As I remember your father was one the well known business man in his native country.My advise to you was don;t forget from where you came .I hope he is doing great thing for his native country.I was always remember this questionwhen ever see that gas staion.I still won;t to say help those who neeed your help specily those poor Ethiopians.After all world is becaming smalland tight.
Selam late ena lebetesebothi.Egziabhar yerdah.Yechmrlh.
Mengstu ferede
Proud of You !!!

A tale of sleaze and corruption.

How many African-Americans are employed by the chosen one?
How many African-Americans are employed by the chosen one?
How many African-Americans are employed by the chosen one?
Joe is from Ethiopia. Therefore, he is African-American. What is your point?
It is very inspiring to see one of us become successful. May God bless you richly and make you a blessing. It is my prayer and wish to hear a testemony of your the humanitarian participation of such a successful man.
great Eyob proud of you keep it it your work i am very happy for your success God bless you and your family.
Keep on striving
Tony, Your question is embarrassing. I second DCDave's response.

And still.....Joe is an AVERAGE JOE. The success has not changed him a bit. Keep it up bro!
Wow!! It is very intersting to see such a successful business man in America from ethiopian origin! He is a great son of Africa!!
Like his father the son done it again. God bless your business. I am just proud of you. After Ethiopia liberated from tyrant and corrupt leadership We need your enterprenuership and buisnessman skill to advance development in Ethiopia and your investment will be then very important.
Do you love Ethiopia? did you contribute anything to your mother land like your father did? everything is changing now. Ethiopians are experiencing democracy in a spotlight, the economy is growing and the country is being build. so your people invite you to invest in your mother country............Hope you will soon.
amazing!!! please invest in your motherland.
Am very aspired to hear such a sucess story form one of our own!! May all who read this take it into heart especially us Ethiopians to work for such a sucess. May God be with u!!!

proud of you and congra for following the footsteps of your great father,I am genuinely sure after the fall of th tegre gujille you will play a bigger role in your beautiful and proud country of your origin and advice you not to invest in any form as their days are very numbered

God Bless and more sucess
Please help your motherland to be free. Your sucess is nothing unless Ethiopia is not free. Help free medias. I am happy you are an ethiopian, Lets free our poor country from Woyane.That time you can Invest where ever you like in Ethiopia.
Hi Joe I am proud of you as my Ethiopian Brother wow I can not explain to how I fell great about you please Joe do your best to help your mother land what s so ever the political condition of your country . May God Bless your fortune as well as your blessed family . I as immigrant like yourself I will not sleep you are like a big Engine for my life . I am doing my degree in Radiology in {Montgomery Community college } again God Bless you & your Beloved Family. cheers !!!
Dear Eyob Congragulations for Doing A Great Job.
Keep Up Your Zeal for Big Business it is Your
Calling.Strive To Reconcile and Unite The Weak
and Divided Family.Love is more important than
Money and Power if We have True love amongest
us We Have everything and Our Dad will surely
be Proud of Us.
Again Best wishes and Much Sucess in The Comming
Years ahead.

Girma Mamo Boston , Ma.
I am so happy to read Joe's story. My birth place is "Mamo Kacha Sefre." I grew up there. Hope we will be back when Facist TPLF out of our home land. Joe please try to help you country. God bless you.
Boy, I'm sure glad to hear he didn't buy his way in with politicians. Why the F does anyone need to pay a lobbyist 250k? What is the gov't doing to people who don't pay in? Oh right, they fuck us. Lesson learned.
I knew his father Mamo Kacha when I was a kid. Nice to hear the son is doing good and I hope he remembers his people and country.
Proud of you!!! Interesting story.
Mamo Kacha, a business tycoon, and is now succeeded by a glorious lion -hearted Kacha - another Mogul after his own father’s heart. I see Mamo Kacha proved good PARENTING beyond success. A few may jump from rag to riches but only a handful maintains the status quo. Eyob acquired both. After reading this piece, I salute Eyob for one thing- his behavior and attitude of exemplary iron-discipline, politeness and attitude to shun publicity at times of his success and utmost desire to live it up. Is that not what we all aspire especially these young Ethiopians living abroad. Mamo Katcha lived in Eyob and Eyob lived after His father. What a success.

I wish him all

Blessed be he, and God bless him with all his blessings

Getahun, Natan
I am really proud of you my brother. keep growing and make all of us proud. Such positive news really inspire the young generation.

This is really a great news.
I know the father of Mr. Eyobe. I grew up there in the Mamo Kacha Sefer, where his father build a settelement for the employees of his company.
I know a famous man, who has worked in the company of Mamo Kacha. His name is Great "Abdissa". Abdissa was the founder of the "Fetan" sport club of Mamo Kacha. The famous Mamo Kacha has financed and developed this team very wel. This club has grown many known footballists. Later Abdissa became the head and founder of the Fetan-Godana foot ball team. This is a joint club of Fetan (Mamo Kacha) and Aura-godana.
This was a very nice period of time in my life, where I have watched the games of this team on the field of the OLD AIR PORT.

Am happy to hear good about Eyobe.
I feel proud to see thriving Ethiopian Entrepreneurs. Keep up the good work Joe.

We're proud of you!!
I read it all with great admiration and indeed thrilled. Few succeed the ladder for it requires good entrepreneurship and the personality to acquire it. I adore your caliber to carry the Torch of your Father. The Mamo Family abides among the memoirs of the Ethiopian Community and signify Good Standing and craftsmanship as always.

Indeed thrilled !!

Bless be the womb that gave birth to you

Samuel G.

It has been a while reading such kind of a success story amongst our Community. Eyob is a live example to all of us that we could cherish.
I saw how Eyob is too young and read how polite he is. I gathered how Eyob managed and endeavored to mount to his success. His main inertia, I presume, lies in his pr perseverance, self-discipline and the gut to accomplish his desired goals. I guess that is the DNA he inherited from his father. His father should be highly commendable to mentor and sharpen him after himself. I think his father made the difference in the life of Eyob. For a good father always bear good fruits and Eyob is equally good to keep up the family morale and good enterprenurship.

I pray that Eyob keeps up the good job and the good sense to live it up.

Success to you again.

G. Benyam
Eyob has been a good friend for many years and to this day, what his friends know best about him is his humbleness. Eyob worked hard to get to where he is and so we must recognize and cheer him for his hard work. Nothing better than the best is deserved. May you prosper many more times. May your father and mother smile on you for an eternity
A friend.
I am proud of you.
It is indeed an amazing success story of the Ethiopian immigrants in the US. It is inspiring for all immigrants.

Joe, I think your success is possible due to your hard work and perhaps most importantly because of the freedom we enjoy in this country. Where freedom is enjoyd by the people success is possible for all who work hard.

In your native country, Ethiopia, freedom has still remained illusive since the time you left it long time ago. Free entepreuners, like your dad, sufferred and are still suffering in the unjust politics.

May God bless you.
It would be great if you can have an input towards the cause of freedom in Ethiopia so that success story like yours can be possible for fellow citizens.

When you are at the top everone looks at you. As much as we love and respect you we want you to be on guard: don't put all your eggs in one basket'. The
"American Dream" is a symbol of the potential of everyhuman being to transcend limitations.
Good job Eyob!
I am so happy to see a good friend of mine working hard towards his dreams and goals. Joe, you truly are an inspiration. Keep on moving forward!!!!
it's great to hear such a success story about a hard working young African-American. However,as usual, the author made sure it sound/looks like a corruption story rather than a success story. Its OK, just Keep up the good job "WONDEME"
Joe keep up the good work
Joe keep up the good work
Isn't DAG and Capitol Petroleum the same company? As i understand it the former DAG has now become Capital or is that Capitol. Very confusing, congratulations on your success! I hope this translates into your company being a better neighbor, than whats currently being demonstrated to folks who live near your Maryland Avenue NE property and North Capitol and Florida ave NW site.

How about some contributions to DC based non profits instead of greasing the wheels of politicians for hope of favor on zoning and regulatory decisions ? Good Karma from real philanthropy is better than lobbing, Vincent Orange can't do nothing for you man.

It is very inspiring and motivating to read such a success story especially for us young entrepreneurs. Indeed dream can come true in this great nation, That is what makes America different. Good luck to you Joe and good luck to us all. Good bless u and God bless this great nation......
Welldone yabeshalig !GOD bless your work and strives
Good job smart like you dad, it is time to give back to your moma land Ethiopia GOD belss you with more & more hard working brother , I love reading this kind of story.
Joe, I am proud of you, and you have succeeded enough to invest in your motherland and or Help some poor people who are living in Ethiopia who need to be supported.

God Bless You
One day.....I will have a success story. Mine will be the greatest of all time and i wont forget Ethiopia.
congratulations. You did what you like to do and you are so successful at it. America is truly a land of opportunity to all, and this is one proof.
May god bless you and keep you safe.

Less is said about Mamo's daughter Yeshi Mamo, a girl I admire, without a penny from her dad's wealth, Yeshi is a successful business woman, running her own Limosine company. I admire her b/c she worked hard for the money, no inheritance, Eyob, and his Mom got a chunk of Ato Mamo's wealth, no big deal that he owns this many gas stations. Eyob ,it is time you share the wealth with your sister and may be other siblings too.
What a great story! I am currently working at a DC Public Middle School with a family that has recently relocated here from Ethiopia. We have been working desperately to find the father of this family employment. Do you currently have any open positions or have any resources that may be able to help this family? They are in desperate need and will lose their housing soon if we cannot find them a job! If anyone has any contacts, please let me know!! Thanks!
the sky is the lemit.i love your dad.kassu amedie,addis ababa.ethiopia.
1st I'm very proud of you and I just lost my dad and mom with in 6 month in VA,so if you can please help me to go to school...thanks
What a great story......... A child born from a blessed family.... May God be with you and your beloved family..... The American Dream!!!!!!!!!!!!! you will be an inspiration for a lot of people in this world.........
I know your father and he was one of the greatest man i ever met in my life......... He has seen it all the down side and the upside...... what a great man he was...... and to see his next generation come up and get his name called upon... nothing more than saying God bless... keep up the good work and be like your dad
Dear Joe.
I am very impressed with your success story.I knew your Father from a distance and he was also a great achiver.People like yourselves are good rolemodel for Ethiopians. Remeber Athlete Haile GS famous quotation."Yes we can".You have made all of us proud and please keep it up. We shall pray for you.
Best wishes.
dear Joe, I'm so happy one of Ethiopia's successful young man. i am very happy for you, keep up the hard work.
Proud of u
Proud of u Eyob!!!!!!!!!!
You have done it in America you can do it in Ethiopia. I suggest you could invest in oil exploration, that needs a caliber like you. Just think about it and decide.
Hi Dan: dont suggest ridiclous suggestion! No one should invest in Ethiopia where thieves are ruling the great nation. It is like advising to invest in Libya or Iran.
God blesse your business and iam very proud for you mamo.
mamo i am one the guy live in America to day and life is not ease for me .
but i try every day i never give up and i pray day and night ,work hard i wish and hope
i am fom ethiopia
Joe Mamo is a greedy SOB. Ask anyone who has had the bad luck of dealing with him or ask any of the people suing him.
Proud of you Joe!!!!!!! Its take dedication, focus, commitment to get where you are today.... and for Sleeze.... just like you name you are a sleezy SOB........ being jealous won't get you anywhere.. get your ass up and work hard like joe.... Maybe God will be kind to you too

God bless America and Joe Mamo !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ha! Ha! Zemed is either Joe Mamo or one of his lazy, sleezy relatives. AB, is that you?
proud of the ethiopian brother who made has made it and plss don't forget to give back to your motherland.i say invest in your country now is the time to take advantage of the business opportunities which other nationals like turks,indians,chinese,saudis,egyptians and few europeans countries are making a fortune out of ethiopia.come over and take the opportunity from them.
Proud of you!!
you achieve American dream... this is big thing but what about Ethiopian dream??
The son like his father, you the only had kept your father dignity. Thank you with respect. I born and raise «feres meda» accrose the main residence your dade.
And how many of the posters are proud that he is price fixing
his gasoline? I would like a list of all his stations so that I can support a small businessperson.
Isn't it interesting that Capitol Petroleum has deactivated the link on their website which shows you where the gas stations are located? Why is he hiding his vast reach?
What a great families.!!! A child born from a blessed family!!!!!! May God be with you and your beloved family you will be an inspiration for a lot of people in this world.
I know Eyob and he was one of the greatest man i ever met in my life. He has seen it all the down side and the upside. what a great man he was. I’m very proud of you..MARVELOUS work you have done...Keep up the good work TERRIFIC!Nothing can stop you now keep up with the good work...May God bless you and your very loving family you have....i am so proud of you..if you need my help i am here for you..May God be with you..Take care..Columbus Ohio
Good is God. I've been mentoring young males in the City, especially around the South Dakota area for many years. We teach basic business skills, public speaking, and writing business proposals to enchance our young men. We appreciate your success that has inspired me and others. Unfortunately, many of our sponsors have cut their budget and we can no longer go forward without a finanical boost. Could your company please donate BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY wit a $$$ financial contribution.....any amount. Thanks for your help.
your hared work is paid off keep up the good work proud of you.
Bless you
Hello! geabeek interesting geabeek site! I'm really like it! Very, very geabeek good!
Very nice site!
Hello! ffaddfa interesting ffaddfa site! I'm really like it! Very, very ffaddfa good!
Very nice site!
I see he's donated a lot of money to various political campaigns/funds/etc. How much money has he donated to all of his siblings?

Family first, Eyob.
Good job mamo!!
He is to be admired, unlike the looters of Ethiopia and Africa, his wealth is due to hard work and for sure what he earned financially and in experience from his father. I hope when looters and killers of Ethiopia give way to a free and democratic Ethiopia, you will invest in Ethiopia like your father who was successfull in the transportation sector. Take of the woyanes so that they will not loot you or poison you.

Many millionaires give away money to others, usually to charities and nonprofit organizations. Philanthropy has always occurred, but it seems as if giving to others is more popular than ever before.

The biggest contributing before 1997 was $80,000,000 donated by the multi billionaire Bill Gates.

In that year, Ted Turner raised the bar with the single largest donation in history, a whopping $1,000,000,0000. This was only the start. In the past ten years, billion dollar contributions have become more prevalent, and the super rich seem to be competing for the biggest.

Right now the two most generous billionaire philanthropists are Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Between these two, over $70 Billion dollars has been given away.

So why do billionaires and millionaires give away so much money? There is a common belief amongst many rich and affluent individuals that the more you give, the more you receive. Being that these people have millions and even billions of dollars, maybe they know something that others do not?

It makes us wonder if they give away money because they have it, or if they have so much because they give money freely to others. Maybe what goes around really does come around, and therefore the super generous continue to get richer and richer. This definitely seems to be the case.

How do you want the future ethiopian generation see you as ??? besides the one of ET immigrant successful entrepreneurs, in the 21st century ???/
The first black ( Ethiopian origin )

we all live one time ...I hope you follow

God Bless You more and more
Otobusy Mamo Kacha
Yehedal alu Garbaguracha

well done
Please come home
WOW!!!! So proud that one of ours has made it to this level. Keep up the great work, you are an inspiration to the young Ethiopians.
To Girum - October 12, 2011 message.

Wow..... what an impressive message you have posted and I am sure When joe Mamo reads this message, it will ring a bell in his ear and also make him do more for his people and the future generation.....

Thank you and congratulation for Jeo ( eyob ) Mamo for his hard work and dedication....... May God bless you and your family..
Illegal aliens all. He couldn't do it w/o paying undocumented workers, low wages, no benefits, but then again that is THE AMERICAN WAY nowadays isn't it?
Hi Mr.eyob i work for atlantis petroleum LLC at state of PA about 15 years . i always want to move around DC area. if you have any lease or rental property around dc area please send me email or call me at 609 403- 8595.when i pump gas at princeton NJ years ago alawys my dream to own one just one. thank you.
I have no problem with him owning the station.What Ihave problem with is the high cost of gas. I go to Maryland because I live near the line and the gas is 20 cents cheap.I was at one of his station this morning and I used my bonus points because I really needed gas. After I used the Giant card the gas was the price I usually pay in Maryland.I would sign you petition if you would lower the price of the gas stations that are at the Maryland line. If not Mary Cheh is right. I am all for black enterprize as long as it does not hurt poor or working people.
I also have a problem with the unfair monopoly and the high cost of your gas stations in DC. Now that I know that for some reason the DC Council killed the gas bill I will make sure that I boycott these stations, let my friends know and use MD, VA or other gas stations. This is very similar to what happens in underdeveloped countries as I have lived in many of them! Ironically (but not surprisingly) it is happening on US soil surprise it is in DC with the incompetent government...
hi in the philippines...would you care to invest here in the philippines for gas station...i can be your partners and lets make many more stations
Joe, I know you get bombarded by many requests from Ethiopians in our community and elsewhere. However, I feel my need as an HIV/AIDS activist to promote early testing, education and erase the stigma AIDS brings to our community of the utmost importance. I do not feel that I am as effective as I should be in Seattle. The Washington, D.C. area boasts of the highest population of Ethiopians in America except for Ethiopia, itself. Therefore, I feel that this is where I need to be. I have had TV interviews in your area and have spoken at different college forums, such as Howard University, and I feel it is urgent at this time to promote this cause. Whoever is reading this email, I would appreciate it if you would forward this to Joe Katcha Mamo's charity department, if one exists. I can be reached at 206-453-8858. I would like to receive Joe Mamo's email. Thank you. Solomon Berhe, Seattle, WA.
Joe mamo I'm proud of you us habeshan hard worker & successful!!! I live in w DC I'm looking for small gas station please if you have one call me 202-378-4162 or email me.
If you detailed how he actually does business, you would find he is a manipulating greedy man who doesn't care about anyone but himself and how much money HE can make!
If you detailed how he actually does business, you would find he is a manipulating greedy man who doesn't care about anyone but himself and how much money HE can make!
All this guy is into is wrecking small businesses and not worrying about what happens to the families that own them, all to make a buck!! What has happen to America? We are being kicked out of our own home! What has happened to the American dream???? Welcome to the new America! This company has personally affected our family and they are being kicked to the curb as July 20, 2012 and has kicked several small businesses out on the street.
I have been personally affected by this "So called wonderful man" I beg to differ, he is shutting down my husbands small successful business that has severed the Springfield, VA community for 12 years on July 20th, 2012. What a selfish, self centered man!! It disgust me that he can put all these local small businesses out of business and on the street.

What has America come too, oh I forgot "Welcome to the New America"
Hello My brother .
This message is from one of your admirer . Keep up the good work. What kinde of advise would you provide for someone who wants to start gas station business in the state of new york?

Thank you .

HANDLE YA BUSINESS! I read most of the comments and all but a few are mean spirited. What man goes into business to not MAKE ALL THE MONEY HE CAN!?!?! Puhlease... do ya thing Sir.

you well done!!! i hope its ur next vision to turn ur face to home land ... keep up. BRAVO.
sir.i.dont america.pleace help me sir
good job
Dear Joe,

You are one humble individual. You walk the talk and haven't changed. Take care of your family and yourself in such business, you are likely to become celebrity. Stay as authentic as yourself while taking good care of yourself there are bad people out there no matter what. You should write a book about your father and how you inspired from that. Your father's and your story will inspire for many especially Ethiopians. Investing in Ethiopia is good but it looks like the political situation maybe unstable and should do more homework before you do that, there are many robbers there. Actually investing in certain insituations would be great as it doesn't affect this in future. One more thing, open some kind of transportation instituion for Ethiopians in Ethiopia for the legacy of your father, perhaps under your fathers name for example some kind of endowment. Finally, be mentor to others so that they too can be inspired but at the same time keep everything balanced. Good luck in your endeavor.

You need to do your homework. It is true that many billionniares in the past has given money for charities they set up by their own or they themselves are border directors. This means they want to see how their money is being invested. This is wise. It is also true now more and more we know this funding could be used to push certain agenda. Go see what Gates is doing in developing countries.

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