The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation honored L. Londell McMillan and Tina Wells, among others, at a gala luncheon and beach party that celebrated young, successful businesspeople. Lewis led the largest leveraged buyout in corporate America in the 1980s and was the first African American to build a billion-dollar company.
Entertainment attorney and entrepreneur L. Londell McMillan received the Reginald F. Lewis Award, which honors African American entrepreneurs who succeeded internationally in business before the age of 50. Lewis, 43, is partner and co-head of the media and entertainment global industry sector at the international law firm of Dewey and LeBoeuf, one of the co-owners and partners with real-estate developer Bruce Ratner and hip-hop icon Jay-Z in the New Jersey Nets and the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, and group publisher of The NorthStar Group, which publishes Jones MagazineandThe Source.
Tina Wells received the group’s first RFL Young Entrepreneurial Award, which is given to successful entrepreneurs under 40 who reflect the values, virtues, legacy and philanthropy of Reginald F. Lewis. Wells, 30, founded Buzz Marketing Group, a $5 million business that she started at age 16, and she’s been featured in Black Enterprise.
Loida Lewis (l), widow of the late Reggie Lewis and chair of the Reginald L. Lewis Foundation, with Carolyn Fugett, Lewis’ mother; and Gayle King, editor-at-large for O Magazine. “The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation is pleased to recognize the hard work of Londell McMillan and Tina Wells, and the wonderful contributions of Peter [Offermann], Phyllis [Schless], and Robert [Winters, Jr.] to the story and legacy of my husband,” said Loida Lewis. “Perseverance and dedication, especially in entrepreneurship, normally pay off in individual success and community development and help society in general. We are happy for their success and grateful for their help with the Foundation.” Offerman, Schless and Winters received the Millennium Member award from the Foundation.
Also at the event were journalist and media personality Star Jones and Herb Wilson, executive chef at the Tribeca Grand and the Soho Grand hotels in New York City. “It’s very interesting that the quiet giants are the ones who actually move our country forward. You don’t have to be the biggest, loudest, most well-known person to actually have an impact on society, and it’s very clear that Reg Lewis had one of the largest impacts that we, as African Americans, have ever had,” said Star Jones.
Canadian-born singer, songwriter and actress Deborah Cox gave an electric performance at the luncheon, which was emceed by WCBS-TV News Anchor Maurice DuBois and sponsored by American Express, Bloomberg, Black Entertainment Television, The Camelot Group and GenNx360 Capital Partners, J.P. Morgan, Ariel Investments LLC, The NorthStar Group and Prudential Financial.
Luncheon attendees also enjoyed an exclusive performance from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The dancers performed against a backdrop featuring an image of the late Lewis.
After the luncheon, it was time to mix and mingle at the Lewis estate in East Hampton, New York. The affair, themed Beach Glamour, was an oceanside benefit given by and for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Belvedere, Pedestals Floral Decorators, and Kate’s Paperie sponsored the event and the music was provided by DJ M.O.S. WCBS-TV News Reporter Hazel Sanchez served as emcee.
Jean S. Fugett, Jr., Esq., journalist, attorney, businessman, and former Dallas Cowboys starting tight end chats with Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and TV personality Dhani Jones. Fugett, who played in Super Bowl X, is the late Reggie Lewis’ brother. Jones played in Super Bowl XXXIX.