Enterprise Report, our nationally syndicated television show, and Black Enterprise Magazine’s Keys To A Better Life, a joint venture with Clear Channel Communications. I’m sure that Butch will continue to find ways to deliver our message through innovations or acquisitions that will prove to be a strategic fit among our portfolio of companies.
This transition also marks our shift from an entrepreneur-driven entity to a professionally managed corporation. Butch has brought his peers into the ranks of senior management within our company. Editor-in-Chief Alfred Edmond Jr. and Executive Editor Derek Dingle (both of whom “grew up” in the company with Butch); Ed Williams, senior managing director of Black Enterprise/Greenwich Street, who attended B-school with Butch; and other senior managers now represent the next generation of leaders in our company. Butch has adroitly developed business partners and key contacts, white and black, of his own; many are classmates and associates who made inroads into top management positions at the world’s leading financial services, publishing, manufacturing, and consumer goods corporations. He routinely interacts with these professionals and serves on corporate boards with many of them — all of which has been beneficial to the advancement of our franchise.
I am confident that in Butch we have a leader who will keep our mission intact. We live in tumultuous times, and, if you’re African American, they are twice as daunting. It will be up to him, his brothers, and our senior management team to find new ways to help our readers, listeners, and viewers access information and services that will bring them closer to the American dream. When I told Butch he was going to succeed me as CEO, he vowed that BE “would serve as the lightning rod to inform and inspire people to believe that all things are possible.” Under his stewardship, I know that statemen
t will ring true. And Butch knows that, as his boss, I fully intend to hold him to it. After all, he can be replaced, because it won’t be long before the next generation of the Graves family is setting its sights on the CEO’s office.