50 Most Powerful Black Women In Business

From the executive suite to the BE 100s, these dynamos are changing the direction of American business

“I want to be recognized as a leader in my industry,” McCann said at that time. It wouldn’t be long before that recognition was gained.
— Tennille M. Robinson

VICKI R. PALMER Executive VP, Financial Services & Administration Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. Atlanta, GA. Age: 52
Clout: As a member of the senior executive committee for Coca-Cola, Palmer oversees the treasury department, which manages the company’s $11 billion multicurrency debt portfolio and its $3 billion pension plan and 401(k) investments. She oversees internal audits, diversity initiatives and corporate affairs. In addition to working for the beverage giant, Palmer serves as a board trustee and secretary of Spelman College. She is also a board director of First Horizon National Corp., where she chairs the audit committee.

JOANN H. PRICE General Partner Fairview Capital Partners Farmington, CT. Age: 56
Clout: Price is a billion-dollar player in the private equity arena. As Fairview’s co-founder, she has helped propel the upstart into the No. 1 firm on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY list with $1.6 billion in capital under management. As a “fund of funds,” Fairview has participated in the investment of more than $600 million in more than 50 venture capital and private equity limited partnerships. In addition to serving on the advisory boards of New Vista Capital and Pacesetter Growth Fund, Price sits on the board of The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and a number of civic organizations in the greater Hartford community.

VIKKI L. PRYOR President & CEO SBLI USA Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. New York, NY. Age: 52
Clout: When she joined SBLI USA in 1999, Pryor set out to give the 66-year-old company a much-needed makeover. She not only changed its focus but reversed more than 10 years of staggering losses. Today, she leads a company that boasts $17 billion in insurance, more than $1.5 billion in assets (including $120 million in surplus capital), and approximately 400,000 policyholders. Pryor guided the creation of a $12 million technological platform that transformed the company into a financial services firm with a leading-edge e-commerce strategy.

SYLVIA RHONE Executive VP Universal Records President Motown New York, NY. Age: 53
Clout: Rhone has the distinction of being the first African American woman to head a major record company. She is charged with rebuilding Motown’s roster. A 30-year industry veteran, Rhone brings an understanding of the creative community and extensive management experience to the position, having steered the careers of artists such as Yolanda Adams and Missy Elliott. In addition, Rhone sits on the boards of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Studio Museum of Harlem, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

DESIREE G. ROGERS Corporate SVP Peoples EnergyCorp. President Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas Chicago, IL. Age: 46
Clout: Rogers oversees field operations, customer service functions, and gas supply management for the $2.3 billion utility company. And she shows no signs of running out of steam. She completed a series of tough assignments while meeting the energy needs of Chicago residents and improving the company’s

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