By Sonny Jones
Jerome Hoskins has a passion for learning, making a difference in people’s lives and contributing to the community.
Thursday afternoon, inside the Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, the former Bladen County resident was among those honored by Auto Remarketing magazine’s 40 Under 40 program. The program recognizes people under 40 years old who are making differences in the used-car business and at their companies. Awards are presented by the Independent Auction Association.
“I was surprised,” Hoskins said after receiving the award during the final day of Used Car Week 2021 held in the Nevada city. “I was not expecting the nomination and very grateful for it.”
Hoskins, who is 39 years old, is the son of Bladen County native Dr. Pearly Graham Hoskins and Dr. Trevor Hoskins, who is a dentist in Trinidad. “We just got this under the radar,” Jerome Hoskins said with a chuckle since he will turn 40 in December.
“I was certainly grateful that I’ve been able to contribute what I have a passion around, which is how people learn and perform,” Hoskins said. “I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to contribute in a meaningful way in my industry. It was really rewarding to be recognized, particularly because of the outcomes of my effort is that people are able to perform better and able to, in a greater way, master what they do. I love that I can contribute in a way that absolutely helps others optimize the way they perform.”
Hoskins is the manager for training and implementation of Auction Edge, Inc., a software company based in Atlanta. He’s been with the company for “three years in the spring,” he said.
“Anything that is going out to the customer is what I focus on,” Hoskins said. “The automotive industry is pretty incredible in terms of innovation and in terms of talent, but what I’ve been able to bring is a professional learning and development talent enablement.”
Hoskins attended East Bladen High School for two years and graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Raleigh in 1999. “My focus at East Bladen those first two years was on academics because I was interested in attending North Carolina School of Science and Math,” he said.
He received his undergraduate degree from UNC Pembroke and began working for Bladen County Schools. He taught high school math for five years in the Brunswick County Schools system. He earned his master’s degree in instructional technology from UNC Wilmington.
“That experience was critical in giving me that formalized education in how people learn and develop from a research standpoint,” Hoskins said. “Truly, the science behind it in learning and performance. That launched this adult learning and adult development focus for me.”
Over the past nine years, Hoskins has done consulting for industries in the “learning and development space” as well as working for companies in the automotive industry.
Along the way to becoming one of the top young employees in the used-car industry, Hoskins hasn’t forgotten where he was raised and the lessons learned from his family, including those from his late grandfather Ottis Graham.
“My grandfather placed such a premium in contributing, making sure you didn’t waste your talents” said Hoskins, whose given first name is Ottis. “Contribute be that to church, be that to family, be that to society at large. Grandpa really just set a mindset across the family that service is the rent that you pay to live here on God’s earth. Thereby, continue to enhance yourself, continue to perfect your craft, become a master at what you do so you can make a difference and contribute more.
“I definitely appreciate my Bladen County roots,” he said. “There were wonderful community leaders and people that poured into me and supported me. A lot of the skill that I was able to develop over time and the kind of direction in my career came from the inspiration and examples within my family, my mother, my grandmother, my grandfather, and other leaders like Dr. Ann Elks.
“I definitely owe a lot of who I am to my rearing in Bladen County.”