Al Edmondson is the owner and proprietor of the
A Cut Above the Rest barber shop in Columbus,
Ohio. Al was born and raised in Columbus, where
he graduated from Columbus’ East High School.
Upon graduation from High School, Al enlisted in
the United States Army and is a Desert Storm,
Gulf War veteran. After an honorable discharge
from the army, Al graduated from college, and
soon thereafter returned to the community in
which he grew up to establish a barber shop.
He purchased a building on 20th & Mount Vernon Avenue in Columbus’ Near East Side. He has successfully converted his building into a multi-use facility housing his barber shop and a salon on the
first floor, and a much needed, non-profit technology training center on the second floor.
Al Edmondson is a quintessential entrepreneur who
also owns graphic arts and entertainment enterprises. In 2008 he launched a magazine entitled, “The Taste of Mt. Vernon Magazine” that spotlights businesses, artists, and writers from the community. Furthermore,
Al believes in the importance of re-circulating dollars within the community to help other small and disadvantaged businesses flourish. He models this belief by contracting with such businesses whenever possible. Al has received numerous public service awards including the 2008 Jewel Award for outstanding social and community service in the
City of Columbus; and, is featured in the 2010
edition of Who’s Who in Black Columbus.
Further exemplifying his commitment to revitalize Columbus, Ohio’s Bronzeville and Mount Vernon Avenue corridors, Al Edmonson has served on a number of local community action committees and
is a member of the area’s chapter of the Masons.
He is also the President-elect of the Mount Vernon Avenue Business Association.
He is well aware of the challenges facing the area’s inner city youth, and has worked tirelessly to make
a difference in any way possible. For instance, every Monday, Al offers discount haircuts to area youth.
He has also started a faith-based basketball camp which teaches positive values, while encouraging the involvement of fathers and positive male role models, in addition to teaching basketball fundamentals.
Al is an active member at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, serving as the leader of the recreation ministry, and the host and facilitator of a men’s bible studygroup which meets every Monday evening at the barber shop. In addition to his many other activities, Al donates time to African American men’s health issues by providing health screenings every 1st Saturday of the month at his barber shop. He has also served as an Ambassador for the American Heart Association and Lifeline of Ohio. Al also seeks to be a role model in
his personal relationships. He is a devoted husband
to his wife Kim; and, an involved and active father to
his two sons, Cameron and Andre.
Al Edmondson’s tireless community efforts culminated in early 2010 with
the establishment of the non-profit community service organization, Making a Difference, Inc. (non-profit status #90-0588498) Making a Difference, Inc. will serve as the ideal vehicle to expand upon the foundation of community service activities. Making a Difference, Inc. will focus on expanding awareness regarding issues key to Columbus’ inner-city communities, by expanding upon Al’s work in the areas of: health, youth mentorship and educational resources; and, the strengthening
of the family.
Making a Difference, Inc. will continue
to support and facilitate such keystone events as The Making a Difference Basketball camp, the Cover Me Back
to School Rally; and, the Making a Difference Prostate Cancer Awareness Weekend. One of the key areas for future expansion for 2011 will be the addition
of a Fatherhood Training program.
Al Edmondson as well as the Making
a Difference, Inc. Steering Committee believes that fathers, who are
consistently and properly engaged in
the parenting of their children, can help stem the tide in youth violence, school drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, and juvenile crime.