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.
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.
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.
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.
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