Matthew Jenkins, D.V.M.
Matthew Jenkins grew up in Southern Alabama, one of ten children. Matthew's family history is nothing short of extraordinary, and his life accomplishments continue the family legacy. Matthew graduated from Tuskegee University in 1957 with honors, receiving a degree in Veterinary Medicine. He was President of the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association. After graduation he worked for the US Department of Agriculture in Boston, Massachusetts. Matthew served in the United States Air Force from 1958-1960 as a captain. During the time he was stationed in Greenland, he was the first person to discover rabies in that country. He later led a team which was dedicated to the control and eradication of rabies in the country of Greenland. In 1960, he moved to California and upon arriving, worked with the State of California Department of Veterinary Medicine. Shortly thereafter, Matthew entered into private practice in Compton, California. His veterinary practice grew to a four-man medical team and office staff of 18 people, with modern offices in Compton and Long Beach, California.
Dr. Jenkins developed a new anesthetic combination for cats, and the results were published in Modern Veterinary Practice, February 1972 edition. This drug is currently being used in many different countries.
In 1970, Matthew appeared before the National American Veterinary Medical Association and was responsible for resolutions which resulted in the dismissal of any state that practiced discrimination against minority veterinarians by excluding them from membership in the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). He also introduced resolutions which resulted in placing African Americans in positions of authority within the AVMA, including the establishment of a program for the recruitment of minority students.
Matthew and his wife Roberta founded Saroe Imports (an import/export company) in 1970 and later in 1974, created SOD Enterprises, Inc. a highly successful real estate investment and property management firm with businesses in eight states. In 1979, Dr. Jenkins retired from veterinary medicine to devote full time to SOD Enterprises as its President and CEO. In 1996, Dr. Jenkins appointed Dexter Jenkins as his successor and President of the Company. He currently serves as Chairman for SOD Enterprises.
Matthew has served on the boards of numerous community and business organizations including:
- Compton Community College, Trustee and Board President
- Bank of Finance Board of Directors, Chairman
- California Junior College Association (CJCAL), Board of Directors
- Tuskegee University Board of Trustees
- Telemedia Television Management Company, Chairman
- Charles Drew University Board of Directors, Vice Chairman
- Front and Center Board of California State University at Fullerton
- Claremont Graduate University Board of Fellows
- Television Football Network, Advisory board and initial investor
- Los Angeles Zoo Advisory Board
- Global Systems Network Advisory Board
- City of Long Beach Planning Commission
- California State University Foundation Board of Governors
- The Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation, Founder and Chairman
- Tuskegee University Foundation Board, Chairman
Matthew has been honored by his Alma Mater, professional associations and numerous community organizations for his leadership, inspiration and example. Some of the awards he has received are:
- National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO)
- Tuskegee University Distinguished Alumni Citation
- Cited in "Who's Who in California"
- Lifetime Membership Award, Southern California VMA
- Tuskegee University Alumni Association
- 100 Black Men of Los Angeles
- Frederick D. Patterson Heritage Award from Tuskegee University
- Los Angeles Inaugural UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball Award
- The Humanitarian Award from The California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ)
- Epsilon Epsilon Boule' Archon of the Year Award
- Honorary Doctorate of Science from Tuskegee University
Realizing the importance of education and with the desire to give back to the community, Roberta and Matthew founded the Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation in 1984. The Foundation has been responsible for providing numerous scholarships across the country to many deserving students, colleges and institutions. To date, the Foundation has distributed more than 12 million dollars to educational causes.
Matthew is married to fellow Tuskegee graduate Roberta Jones Jenkins and they reside in Long Beach, California. They are the proud parents of three children - Sabrae, Derryl and Dexter Jenkins. They also have six grandchildren. Matthew has just completed a manuscript for a book describing the challenges he and his wife faced in the journey of reaching the pinnacles of their careers. The book is due to be published in early 2015.