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.

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 protégé 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-Ill.). 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?

Isiah Thomas III
39, Owner, Chairman & CEO, Continental Basketball Association. Thomas’ purchase of the CBA last year is t
he latest in an impressive run of ventures. The former NBA All-Star is the founder of Isiah Investments, L.L.C., a holding company; iSIAH.com, 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.

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.

Omar Wasow
28, Executive Director, BlackPlanet.com. 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 BlackPlanet.com, 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

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