In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Black Enterprise is taking a look both forward and backward at the world of black business. Our list of 40 Next celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
These BE Nexters—those 21–35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field—are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). And they prove every day that “business as usual” is not so usual. For them, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard operating procedure.
Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own way, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset. Here, we introduce you to one of our 40 Next.
Andre Hudson, 34
Hyundai Design North America
It was passion that steered Hudson to design cars. After receiving his first auto magazine in junior high school, his career path became clear. “Chrysler was doing some amazing concept cars, I remember how inspired I was by the Prowler and the Dodge Viper. These cars just got my heart racing,” says Hudson. He is now responsible for designing the sleek, sculpted 2011 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata’s redesign has propelled the company to record growth at a time when much of the auto industry is recovering after a series of government bailouts and product recalls. In May, sales for the Sonata soared 93% year-over-year, leading the company to an all-time sales record for the month. Hudson, who has learned from the industry’s best business minds, including GM’s Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn, has also lent his design skills to the new Elantra, which saw sales jump 47% year-over-year.