Shelton Haynes

New: Shelton J. Haynes Explains His Incredible Success at RIOC


At the peak of his success, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes explains how under his direction, “Roosevelt Island has reemerged as a hidden gem previously lost in the shadow of the Big Apple.” It’s all there, in black and white, in a new Ideamench “handcrafted interview.” Previously, this interview mill let Chief Council Gretchen Robinson explain how she’s an “entrepreneur.”

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Ideamench is an online publication that welcomes “entrepreneurs, leaders and creators” willing to interview themselves by answering a string of standard questions. Modest by nature and unassuming, RIOC’s leader shed his natural tendency to give credit to others.

For example…

Shelton Haynes works closely with the RIOC Board of Directors to ensure that the goals and objectives of the Corporation are fulfilled, allowing the Board to function effectively as a governing body.

Article Prologue

It’s all about serving, Haynes explains.

landscape photography of trees on shoreline
Photo by Asad Photo Maldives on

“Progress – excites me. Fanfare isn’t for me it’s creating change. Seeing the work we do and how it impacts the lives of Roosevelt Island residents drives my excitement,” he shares.

Media-Shy, Shelton J. Haynes Explains His Achievements Despite An Inclination To Hide His Light Under a Bushel Basket

Almost too good to be true, isn’t it?

Mr. Haynes has overseen improvements to numerous parts of Roosevelt Island, including renovating the Blackwell House, Southpoint Park Shoreline restoration, replacing the Seawall Railing, renovating the Roosevelt Island Youth Center, renovating the Sportspark Complex, dedicating the FDR Hope Memorial, completing the Tram Elevator Project, and securing funding for the Riverwalk Building 9 project, to name a few.

But, in truth, he’s not giving himself enough credit. He does not mention how, along with sidekick Akeem Jamal, he brought Pickleball to Roosevelt Island. Or how a YouTube channel was forced on him by the sheer power of his achievements.

Hard to beat, right? But we can.

Because Haynes is so self-effacing, RIOC has shied away from recognizing some wonders of his making.

The Good Works

Did you know that RIOC’s President/CEO…

  • Swam the English Channel without a snorkel?
  • Contributed heavily to the study of Quantum Field Theory?
  • Singlehandedly constructed the Queensborough Bridge in an earlier lifetime?
  • Gives Aaron Judge daily tips on leadership?
  • Stood on his head with one hand waving to a crowd for five hours?
  • Taught Wynton Marsalis everything he knows about jazz?

And that’s just a few.

Other Highlights

In this scintillating interview, Haynes explains the insights that gift him with the dazzling skills that make him oh so successful.

He shares that “something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on” is “That I am the best chess player in the household.” Amazing openness. Vulnerability. He beats his teenage sons at the chessboard.

But chess plays an even bigger role.

What does he do when feeling overwhelmed? “I reset and sit still, then I may take a walk. I would then somehow find a way to play chess on an app that serves as mental calisthenics for me.”

In a blow to the spiritual community, Haynes says, “Meditation is a staple for a healthy and productive day for me.”

But not to worry, when asked what he does “repeatedly” and recommends to others, he says, “Stay true to your authentic self, professionally and personally.”

Read the whole, beautiful self-interview here.

The Roosevelt Island Daily is always free to read. But our expenses are not. Publishing has costs beyond the human ones of writing and reporting. We appreciate your generous contribution in support our work. Thank you.

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