They’re young, bold, innovative, and powerful. These characteristics — and more — have earned members of an exclusive cadre of professionals and entrepreneurs a spot on BLACK ENTERPRISE’s Hot List — 50 individuals under the age of 40 who are at the top of their game.
Why have we produced such a list? As global business undergoes yet another seismic shift in the post-New Economy era, we decided to examine and identify its emerging leadership. Those featured on the next 14 pages have either transformed industries through innovative products and practices, broken new ground in a particular field, produced billions of dollars in revenue with their talent and business prowess, or influenced the strategic direction of some of the world’s largest corporations. They have made a major impact in a number of industries, including media, finance, entertainment, and technology.
Just take a sneak peek at their sizzling performance. Geneticist Colin Hill creates computer-simulated models of cancer to help pharmaceutical companies create more effective drugs. Amy Barnett, journalist wunderkind and editor of Teen People, made history by becoming the first black woman to ascend to the helm of a publication at Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher on the globe. Goldman Sachs’ Gregg A. Gonsalves manages billion-dollar transactions in the aerospace, defense, and chemical sectors. Aaron McGruder, artist and creator of the critically acclaimed and controversial comic strip, The Boondocks, transformed a unique concept into an international brand that extends beyond the pages of your local newspaper into books, apparel, and film.
Now, as you marvel at the achievements of these movers and shakers, you can be sure of one thing: These young leaders will make up a force to be reckoned with for decades to come.
Managing Editor Age: 34
Barnett is the first African American to head a major consumer magazine at Time Inc. As managing editor, she oversees the creative direction and serves as the public face of Teen People, which has a circulation of roughly 1.6 million. “It was a very organic transition,” she says of her catapult into mainstream publishing. “Having worked in the urban market prepares you for being ahead of the curve in mainstream pop culture.” Previously, Barnett served as editor-in-chief at Vanguarde Media’s Honey for nearly three years, during which time the magazine’s rate base doubled from 200,000 to 400,000.
Foundation Executive Age: 37
An attorney by trade, Bernard is senior vice president of the Apollo Theater Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization established in 1991 to preserve and enhance the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Bernard’s recent projects on behalf of the Apollo include negotiating and restructuring the historic Showtime at the Apollo syndicated television series, the basis for Apollo Television.
Actress & Producer Age: 37
Berry needs no introduction. She’s opening doors in front of and behind the scenes. She’s the first African American woman to win an Oscar for best actress for her controversial role in Monster’s Ball and the first Bond girl in the spy series’ 40-year history to gain a spin-off for her character Jinx in Die