2019 Trailblazer: Jason Cox

 In Trailblazer 2019

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Jason Cox

Jason Cox, 39

Press Coffee+Crepes/ Fitzgerald & Faulkner/ Aedos Group, Graham

For downtowns to thrive, Cox says, “you have to turn over buildings and bring in interesting people.” He’s doing that in Alamance County. He and partner Brett Devries opened Press Coffee+Crepes in 2017, then added the Fitzgerald & Faulkner cocktail bar, helping change Graham’s image from being “lost in the ’60s,” Cox says. His Aedos Group has since acquired buildings totaling 32,000 square feet and leased the space for offices, a yoga studio and other uses. It’s a switch from his previous career as a manager and broker of hedge fund-owned distressed properties, lucrative work that also left its scars: The N.C. Real Estate Commission took away his license for 11 months in 2014 for “improper dealing” of a property sale. Cox fought the matter for six years and says it was an expensive lesson, adding that the banks involved in the dispute still do business with him. While lacking a college degree, the Greene County native serves on an advisory board for entrepreneurship at Elon University. “Alamance County has long had a fear of anything new,” he says. “But we have the belief that Graham can be very cool.”

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