Edina, Minnesota… where people of color are almost as unheard of as being homeless. As a young, homeless, African-American boy in one of the most affluent zip codes in Minnesota, Brandon Macon stared face-to-face against the ‘haves’ every day only to return to see himself, in somebody else’s mirror, as a ‘have-not’. Before that he found himself in Chicago–the protagonist child in the sadly too common story of drug-addicted, broke parents.
He stood alone for years of his life; he embodied the word “minority”. This is the driving force behind his yearning to assist those navigating similar paths.
Fast forward—skipping over stints of couch surfing in between foster homes complimented by the more-than-occasional night in a tent or car—and Brandon is now recognized by many as a pioneer in the vacation rental space. Before graduating from the University of Minnesota—yep, he did that–Macon acquired his first rental property at the age of 21. His investment in a dream perpetuated social and financial freedom unheard of to a ‘have not’.
Fast forward again—skipping numerous additional degrees, years as a collegiate professor, and leading a faction of followers to portfolios of their own—and Brandon now operates a plethora of vacation rentals and a suite of companies under the Macon name. Countless other organizations have arisen from mentees of Brandon; these have led to further untold stories of social and financial freedom. Directly and indirectly, Brandon has played a role in billions of dollars of real-estate revenue.
More importantly, he’s led people to build lives for themselves they never dreamed to be possible.
What was initially a mere profit generator now serves predominantly as a catalyst to a free-flowing lifestyle. It fuels a supreme passion as a family man with two young daughters, and a friend to many who have become family in every way. While yes, Brandon has done much to ensure his family’s success, so many other contributors have helped shape the story. From foster parents, to friends with open couches, to everybody in between, Brandon’s family stretches far beyond blood or relation. That larger, extended family is Brandon’s why behind everything he does.
Fast forward once more—skipping a pair of first steps, years of trials and errors across babies and properties, MORE property acquisitions–and the time has come to take a monumental leap. In partnership with Open Your Heart, a 501c3 charitable foundation designed to strategically fund other non-profit organizations, what was once merely a vehicle for profit has transformed into a generator of sustainable impact.
Leveraging years of experience in the real estate industry, an extensive professional network, an attentive management team, and a financially sustainable business, Brandon has pivoted his brands. Macon A Difference (MAD) shall now serve as an ongoing partner of local families and businesses in the wake of George Floyd’s horrific death and the ensuing damage which devastated the city of Minneapolis.
Moving forward, funds generated will be injected throughout Minneapolis and our surrounding communities.
Strategic partnerships and diligent financial allocations–from philanthropic events to the procurement of new technologies –shall create an assortment of multifaceted impact. Creating jobs, increasing access to education, and a genuinely holistic investment in the PEOPLE of Minneapolis merely scratches the surface of MAD’s eventual impact.
Brandon’s story is an inspiration to many yet so far from finished. Born in times of darkness, this organization is here to bring light through sustainable social impact.