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30 for the next 30.

Here are the movers, shakers, and decision makers poised to dominate the pages of Black Enterprise in the decades to come.

THE YEAR IS 2030. THE KIDS ARE GROWN AND ON their own, and you and your husband have decided to leave your New South African home in Mandela City, South Africa, for a smaller place back in the U.S. (It's only an hour away via the DC Air Sonic Shuttle). You've spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Week clearing out the attic; there'll be no room for all this stuff in your cozy new home. As you pore through boxes of old Pokemon toys and push aside an antique DVD player, you stumble on it: 30 years of old paper copies of BLACK ENTERPRISE. You shake your head. Your husband just couldn't toss these magazines out even though he has every issue for the past six decades stored on the info-token in the study. "Still, they are in pretty good shape.... "you think to yourself as you start flipping through the pages.

Good news--you don't have to wait 30 years. Here are the financiers, executives, and CEOs who will set new standards for black business achievement in the new century.

yvette lee bowser

34, President, SisterLee Productions. As executive producer of the popular Fox sitcom Living Single, Bowser was the first black woman to produce a prime-time series. She now produces the Warner Bros. Network comedy For Your Love. Bowser will continue to do more than anyone in the television industry since Bill Cosby--who first tapped her to work on A Different World--to create opportunities for African Americans on both sides of the camera.

james winters

39, CEO, United Energy Inc. Winters is one of the new breed of young CEOs on the BE 100s. Reporting 1999 revenues of $66 million, United Energy ranks No. 43 among the nation's largest black-owned industrial/service companies. In an effort to diversify his holdings, he has expanded beyond the fuel industry into fast-food franchises and other retail businesses. Expect Winters to be a dynamic business news maker in the decades to come.

theodore v. wells jr.

49, Partner, Co-Chair/Litigation Department, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Wells has been repeatedly selected by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America and one of the top white-collar criminal defense lawyers, with successful defenses of former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, investment banker Calvin Grigsby, and former U.S. Rep. Floyd Flake, among others.

chris williams

42, CEO, Williams Capital Group L.P. Over the past two years, Williams Capital has been involved in underwriting more than $4 billion in investment-grade bonds for Fortune 500 corporations. This year Williams sold 15% of the investment bank to HypoVereinsbank, the sixth largest bank in the world. The transaction will enable the firm, No. 4 on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list, to strengthen its trading in Europe and give it access to HypoVereinsbank's U.S. customers.

keith clinkscales

36, CEO, Vanguarde Media. Last year, Clinkscales left Vibe/Spin Ventures to partner with BET Holdings and create Vanguarde Media. His shutting down of Emerge, the black news magazine, in the midst of its 10th anniversary in May, leaves no doubt that he is a force to be reckoned with. Vanguarde is poised to be the most impactful black magazine publisher since the founding of Earl G. Graves Publishing Co. and Essence Communications 30 years ago.

russell w. simmons

42, Founder and CEO, Rush Communications. Since selling Def Jam Records to Universal Music Group last year, the original hip-hop mogul is expanding his claim on popular culture and the diverse markets of consumers who embrace it. Add the highly anticipated website to the mix of advertising, fashion, magazine, television and film production, and artist management ventures that comprise his $150 million BE 100s company.

percy "master p" miller

30, CEO, No Limit Enterprises. When No Limit Enterprises debuted on the 2000 BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 list, reporting revenues of $110 million, Miller dethroned Karl Kani as the youngest BE 100s CEO. In addition to rap music, Miller has stamped the No Limit brand on clothes, movies, and toys. Miller's entrepreneurial instincts have served him well in the past; expect them to sustain him in the future.

j. donald rice

41, President, Rice Financial Products Co. Rice leads a team specializing in interest rate swaps, one of the most complex type of securities know as derivatives. Among the best firms--black-owned and otherwise--in this area, their mastery of such deals resulted in BE Financial Company of the Year honors for 2000. Look for Rice to play a pivotal role during a time of continued merger-and-acquisitions activity.

alfred c. liggins III

35, CEO, President & Treasurer, Radio One Inc. Since taking Radio One--the fast-growing, acquisition-oriented radio empire founded by his mother, Cathy Hughes--public last year, Liggins is the odds-on favorite to become king of the urban airwaves in the decades to come. Liggins, who led Radio One to BE Company of the Year honors with 1999 revenues of $93.3 million, remains focused on expansion--and pleasing shareholders. Stay tuned.

don coleman

48, President & CEO, Don Coleman Advertising (DCA). With clients such as DaimlerChrysler and American Airlines, DCA is No. 2 on the BE ADVERTISING AGENCIES list with $202 million in billings. As chairman and CEO of the New American Strategies Group, a result of a partnership between DCA and True North Communications, Coleman is poised to capitalize on the African American, Asian and Latino markets and to increase his clout in the ad game.

robert knowling

44, Chairman, President, & CEO, Covad Communications. Knowling is one of a growing number of African American CEOs of publicly traded technology companies. Covad, which is traded on the Nasdaq exchange, is the leading national DSL broadband services provider. But Knowling won't stop at reaching 40% of the nation's homes and 45% of its businesses--international expansion is a top priority.

rep. harold ford jr.

30, Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-Tenn.). Elected at 26, Ford was the youngest member of the 105th Congress. It's in the blood--his father, Harold Ford Sr., served in Congress for 22 years. With membership on the Education and Workforce as well as the Government Reform and Oversight committees, Ford's heritage and potential indicate that he will be a force inside the Beltway in the future.

mellody hobson

31, President, Ariel Capital Management Inc. As the recently appointed president of Ariel, No. 4 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with assets of $3.7 billion, Hobson has emerged as a vocal crusader for financial literacy and wealth building among African Americans. A protege of Ariel founder and CEO John W. Rogers Jr., her ultimate goal is to make asset management and investing "dinner-table conversation" for black families.

rep. jesse jackson jr.

35, Member, U.S. House of Representatives (D-III.). A rising star in the House, Jackson is rapidly establishing a base of influence in partnership with, and apart from, his father, civil rights giant Rev. Jesse Jackson. If Rev. Jackson has been "the tree shaker," challenging the powers that be so that others can gather the fruit of his efforts, Rep. Jackson will play a critical role as a legislative "jelly maker," fighting for policies of economic fairness and opportunity.

karl kani

32, CEO, Karl Kani Infinity. Kani (born Carl Williams) is still going strong after more than a decade in the rag biz (an eternity in fashion). His company is No. 32--and still the only black-owned label--on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE list, reporting 1999 revenues of $78 million. With a focus on diversification of his lines, can Kani move beyond the urbanwear to break the fashion industry's haute couture color line?

antonio "l.a" reid

43, CEO, Arista Records. Reid must fill the shoes of Clive Davis, one of the biggest starmakers in the history of recorded music, at one of the world's most successful labels. He should be equal to the task. Along with Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Reid was co-president of LaFace Records (now a part of Arista). The team produced 33 No. 1 singles and earned three Grammy Awards as producers/songwriters.

isiah thomas III

39, Owner, Chairman & CEO, Continental Basketball Association. Thomas' purchase of the CBA last year is the latest in an impressive run of ventures. The former NBA All-Star is the founder of Isiah Investments, L.L.C., a holding company;, an online shopping and service center; and Enlighten Sports Inc., a full-service Web development group specializing in marketing and merchandising for collegiate and minor-league athletic programs.

omar wasow

28, Executive Director, Wasow has been a crusader for the Digital Age since the tender age of 11. The Internet analyst for MSNBC and NBC-TV in New York, Wasow has the attention of more than 600,000 "Planeteers" through, a rapidly growing online community. His credibility as a technology advocate has earned him influence in the making of public policy in such areas as education reform.

linda johnson rice

41, President & Chief Operating Officer, Johnson Publishing Co. One of the most important business stories of the 21st century will be how Johnson Rice builds on some of America's most recognized black brands--including Ebony and Fashion Fair--and extends the legacy of the most influential black-owned company of the 20th century. She couldn't ask for a better role model--her legendary father, JPC founder, chairman and CEO John H. Johnson.

tavis smiley

34, President, The Smiley Group Inc. As the host of BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley, a live, call-in talk show, Smiley's become as influential as many of the people he interviews. For example, he was primarily responsible for shutting down a Christie's auction of African American slavery paraphernalia in two hours. It's not surprising that his first love is politics, a calling he fully intends to pursue when he leaves television.

dwayne walker

38, President & CEO, Network Commerce Inc. Walker. who heads a cutting-edge e-commerce business serving smaller retailers and large corporations, extends his influence by investing in and advising other technology ventures. What's next? How about his firm joining the ranks of publicly traded tech companies led by black CEOs? Network Commerce was listed on the Nasdaq exchange last fall, raising more than $200 million through public offerings.

jimmie lee solomon III

43, Sr. Vice President/Baseball Operations, Major League Baseball. Solomon oversees major league operations, minor league operations, international operations, the major league scouting bureau, the Arizona fall league, the upcoming Rocky Mountain Rookie League and special projects. (Hey, Jimmie--what's left?) A former executive director of minor league operations, Solomon should solidify his standing as one of the most influential African Americans in the business of sports.

ron blaylock

43, Chairman & CEO, Blaylock & Partners. Blaylock has taken his firm from No. 7 on the 1999 BE INVESTMENT BANKS LIST to No. 1 on the 2000 list, being tapped as one of eight co-managers of a record-setting $8 billion bond offering by AT&T along the way. An ardent supporter of Rev. Jesse Jackson's Wall Street Project and a consummate deal maker, Blaylock will prove himself a powerful and influential player in the industry for years to come.

pamela thomas graham

37, President & CEO, With the additional designation of executive vice president of NBC, Thomas-Graham is the network's highest-ranking black executive. A former partner at McKinsey & Co., the world's largest consulting firm, Thomas-Graham supervises the management team for the financial Website, which serves the United States as well as 140 countries across Europe and Asia.

mark whitaker

43, Editor, Newsweek. Whitaker became the first black editor of a national newsweekly in 1998--21 years after serving an internship at Newsweek while a student at Harvard. As editor of a newsweekly with more than 3.1 million subscribers, Whitaker's influence on people, politics, and policy is not only national, but global: Newsweek is published in Russian, Spanish, Korean and Japanese. An Arabic version of the magazine was launched in June.

william kennard

43, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Kennard's pursuit of competition in the telecommunications industry and access to technology for every American has earned him a reputation as a public advocate for the Digital Age. He will continue to play a critical role in the struggle to close the Digital Divide facing African Americans--a gulf that literally separates the haves from the have nots in a technology-driven New Economy.

frank cooper

29, Co-Founder, Urban Box Office (UBO). Cooper is one-third of the trio (which included the late former Motown CEO George Jackson) who launched UBO ( as a comprehensive on line, urban/hip-hop network in March. Cooper's ability to help capture a lucrative but elusive urban community--estimated to be worth as much as $85 billion annually-- should keep his star on the rise.

tracey edmonds

32, President & CEO, YabYum Entertainment and Edmonds Entertainment Group Inc. Edmonds runs seven successful enterprises involved in everything from music to movies. With award-winning soundtracks and the box office smash Soul Food among her company's credits, Edmonds' firm represents the next frontier of black power in Hollywood--producers who can create projects for black actors and directors.

ed williams

42, Managing Director, Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street Corporate Growth Partners. Who will finance the next generation of BE 100s companies? Williams, the managing director of the three-year-old private equity investment fund backed by financial services giant Citigroup and Earl G. Graves Ltd. Williams was key in raising nearly $100 million to seed the fund. The 20-year veteran will play a vital role in helping black-owned businesses leap a major hurdle: access to capital.

charles h. james III

40, Founder, President & CEO, James comes from a long line of entrepreneurs who have reinvented the family business, C.H. James & Sons Inc., an international produce distributor, since its founding in 1883. His Web business is aimed at exploiting business-to-business e-commerce by simplifying communications between buyers and sellers of fresh produce. Look for James to build on the family legacy of business innovation.
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Publication:Black Enterprise
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2000
Previous Article:Where we must go from here.
Next Article:generation X-ceptional.

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