About the Author

Shawn D. Rochester is the Managing Director of Trident Capital Group and CEO of Good Steward LLC (GSL).

Mr. Rochester is the Managing Director of Trident Capital Group Fund I, which invests in growth companies that have the potential to help create a more robust business infrastructure in Black and other economically disadvantaged communities. He was formerly President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisitions Inc. (MEOA), the first majority Black, Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) to trade on the NASDAQ. MEOA was created to execute a business combination with a minority owned, founded or led company and raised $126.5 million in its IPO. Mr. Rochester is also the author of the critically acclaimed book, The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America, which book is a data-driven, evidence-based account of the massive systemic financial cost Black Americans have endured since the early 1600s, as well as the powerfully transformative personal financial management book, CPR for the SOuL: How to Give Yourself a 20% Raise, Eliminate Your Debt and Leave an Inheritance for Your Children’s Children.

Mr. Rochester is a sought-after speaker, an economic development advocate who has advised Fortune 100 C-suite executives and given presentations before state legislatures, county executives and the United Nations on how his PHD economic framework leads to truly inclusive and equitable economic strategies that drive jobs, business and capital strategies that spur a stronger U.S. and international eco-system. In addition to his work in the private sector, he has received citations from the New York State Assembly and the New York City Council for his work in economic development, has been featured as a Black History Maker by Amazon Corporation, and is a recipient of the difference maker award for leadership in economic development from the Urban League of Greater Kanas City. Mr Rochester is a recipient of the Pinehurst Invitational Leadership Award and has been a prominently featured expert in both the Inside the Racial Wealth Gap series by Business Insider which was nominated for the Editorial Campaign of the Year and The Cost of Inheritance – a documentary that explores the complex issue of reparations in the US.


Mr Rochester is also a strategic advisor to Cisco corporation’s $50 million African American Partner Community initiative; a board member of the FedPropel Institute whose mission is to assist 5,000 minority and veteran businesses secure over $7 billion of federal contracts by 2030; a senior advisor of FundBlackFounders whose mission is to help close the capital gap by utilizing crowd funding coupled with matching grants to provide non-dilutive early stage capital; is a strategic advisor to Lockstep Ventures which makes equity and equity related investments in consumer facing businesses that reduce inequality and issue in economic and social justice and was formerly an advisory board member of Silicon Valley Bank’s Access to Innovation Initiative to increase representation and funding of underrepresented groups in the US innovation system.


Mr. Rochester previously served as the Global Director of New Business Development for Amphenol Corporation’s AITC Group, responsible for mergers, acquisitions and identifying new growth opportunities for a $1.2 billion portfolio of businesses covering the IT and Data Communications marketplace. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rochester worked for IBM Corporation in Corporate Development, Finance & Planning, and Treasury. Mr. Rochester also was a member of IBM’s Emerging Business Opportunities (EBO) program, which has been featured in a Harvard Business School Case study and a Stanford Business School Research Paper. As a member of IBM’s EBO program, Mr. Rochester represented Corporate Finance and worked closely with Corporate Strategy and various global general managers to identify, fund and monitor businesses that generated $10 billion of revenue.


Mr. Rochester holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with a concentration in Accounting and Finance, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester.