Justin Massa loves new technologies, data and food.
More specifically, as founder and CEO of Food Genius, a dining out data company that offers the food industry best-in-class menu/ingredient and consumer behavior insights, he loves new technologies that collect and make sense of data about food consumption.
And he certainly followed an interesting path to the 2012 Crain’s Chicago Business Tech 50 list.
Justin has served as the Director of Project and Grant Development at the Metro Chicago Information Center and was co-founder and executive director of MoveSmart.org, an organization that connected housing seekers to neighborhoods of opportunity and diversity. He was also Program and Technical Coordinator at NetSquared, where he managed internal communication and helped run innovation competitions, and while there was named one of the ’35 Under 35 Emerging Civil Rights Leaders in Chicago by the Community Renewal Society.
Prior to that, he was the Fair Housing Testing and Outreach Coordinator for the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where he supervised testing, handled intake and investigation, conducted fair housing training and led the investigation into Craigslist’s publication of discriminatory advertisements.
He’s also served as a Chicago Public School teacher (3rd and 8th grades) and as a research analyst for the Center for New Community, where he monitored white nationalist activity and trained more than 5,000 young people on how to spot and respond to hate. While at the Center, he wrote for Fellowship, Intelligence Report, and Searchlight magazines and appeared on CLTV, VH1, and NPR’s All Things Considered. From 1998 through 2002 he was co-host of Government Music on WLUW, 88.7fm in Chicago, a Friday night punk and hardcore radio show, and co-founded and ran a record label of the same name, releasing one great and one truly amazing record.
Born and raised in New Orleans (geaux Saints!), Justin holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Women’s Studies from Loyola University of Chicago and an MA in Teaching from National Louis University. He lives in Chicago with his wife Abbie and daughter Marlowe.
And oh yeah, in his spare time, he’s an avid boxing fan.