Christopher Regent: Just call him 'The Influencer'
CYRIL JOSH BARKER Amsterdam News Staff | 9/28/2011, 11:54 p.m.
When you first hear about Christopher Regent's accomplishments, both professionally and in the community, it might seem like he's been a pillar for decades. However, at age 27, he's just getting started.
Regent is a kitchen design planner for IKEA. Working out of the Hicksville store in Long Island, he also serves as a product specialist and spokesman for the company. Regent offers his keen advice on design for people through seminars and private consulting.
A major influence in the community, he serves as polaris (president) of the Pi Omega chapter of Iota Phi Theta Inc. in New York City. The Black fraternity, recognized by the colors charcoal brown and gilded gold, was founded in 1963 and is one of the "Divine Nine" Black Greek-letter organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Regent was accepted as a member of the fraternity at SUNY Buffalo.
A native resident of Queens, Regent said that being both a designer and helping out were things he always loved. Before deciding on being a designer, he considering being an engineer, a chef and even a NYPD officer. He also considered going into the entertainment world as a model, actor or dancer.
"My parents always told me that I had a knack for design," he said. "I always designed my room and didn't think anything about it."
Regent ended up graduating from Brooklyn College with a degree in marketing. He started out at Ikea doing stock and moved up the ranks to become a designer. He's been working for the trendy home furnishing store for the last six years. He eventually wants to get his MBA.
When he's not working, he's considered a superhero in the community. A leader of Iota Phi Theta in the city, Regent is responsible for coming up with ways the fraternity can improve the community. "My position as the leader is to push forth ideas and create a foundation from it," he said.
"There are a lot of needs in our communities. I made a point to try to get the community involved with whatever we did."
Since his election as president of the fraternity's chapter in 2009, Iota Phi Theta has participated in several community projects, including New York Cares Day and the annual AIDS Walk. Regent said he wants to expand the fraternity's involvement to include helping undergraduate students pay for college. The fraternity also wants to begin mentoring and start a scholarship foundation.
"I always felt there was a need to do more and not be so apathetic," said Regent. "Mentoring, to me personally, is close to my heart, and I see it ultimately helping the community. Mentoring and creating a bond with young Black men and older Black men-that solidarity is definitely needed."
As for the future, Regent is leading Iota Phi Theta as they work on upcoming community projects, including feeding the homeless in November. The organization recently participated in Nickelodeon's "Day of Play" event, which encouraged kids to get active.