Top 50 EmPOWERED Leader Shantay DeMar

This year FCOED is recognizing and celebrating Frederick County’s EmPOWERED Leaders who are experts and leaders in their industry, give back to the community and add significant value to their company and its culture. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday as we get to know our Top 50 EmPOWERED Leaders.

Shantay DeMar
Founder & CEO
@VR Virtual Reality
Frederick, MD

Shantay DeMar is CEO and Founder of @VR Virtual Reality and the President of the Golden Mile Alliance. Prior to launching @VR, Shantay worked in the financial services industry for a variety of community, regional, and national banking institutions. During his tenure at M&T Bank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase, Shantay worked as a Vice President/ Business Banking & Government Non-Profits. He helped small and large businesses manage and increase revenue, counseled clients on growth and acquisition strategies, provided clients with credit solutions, and helped connect clients with other strategic partners.

After over 20 years in the financial services industry, Shantay decided to pursue his long-term goal: becoming an entrepreneur. In November 2019, he opened @VR Virtual Reality, a state-of-the-art virtual reality entertainment center in Frederick, Maryland. @VR Virtual Reality is a virtual reality gaming room for all ages, where individuals can play a variety of games or educational experiences in 360-degree immersive technology.

Shantay is also the author of the book O.W.N I.T., which provides practical ways to jump start your financial awareness and help create and eventually reach long-term financial goals. Shantay has always had a passion and interest in personal finance. As a young adult, he often noticed the lack of emphasis on financial education. Shantay made it his goal to pursue a career in Finance and bring what he has learned to communities that need it most. Shantay was born in Frederick, MD. He is a graduate of Morgan State University, with a B.S. in Finance.

Tell us about a professional achievement that you feel most proud of.

Writing my book O.W.N. I.T.

It is a tool that can help pretty much anybody navigate through common financial challenges.

What does EmPOWERED mean to you?


What motivates you and why?

My boys.

Who has influenced you most professionally and why?

My brother. He taught me self-motivation and accountability.

What behavior or personality trait do you most attribute to your success and why?

Being driven, always looking at the positive in situations and leading by example.

What personal or professional goal would you like to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Getting my book into the public school systems and into as many hands as possible.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Keep doing what you’re doing. You can do whatever you put your mind up to.

What do you hope to see for the future of Frederick County?

More minority business owners and more diversity and inclusion.