made the director of interior and exterior product design for DaimlerChrysler’s truck studio. Rolling out in 2006 are sleeker versions of the Dodge Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and Dodge Magnum. Gilles is now in the driver’s seat of the next generation of minivans, a market segment Dodge leads with a 20% share in the U.S. AGE: 35
Damon Evans, Director of Athletics UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
Why he’s hot: Age is no indicator of experience or performance. The 14-year career and track record of UGA director of athletics Damon Evans can attest to that. The youngest athletics director in the Southeastern Conference, Evans was responsible for securing $81 million in tax-exempt financing for the construction of UGA athletic facilities. He also grew UGA’s athletic association reserve fund from $1 million to $9.5 million over a five-year periodâ€“the largest jump in the history of the organization.
Evans became the director of athletics at UGA, a Division 1-A school, in the summer of last year. Prior to that, he served for four years as senior associate athletics director. He oversees a $60 million capital campaignâ€“the largest in athletic association historyâ€“and negotiated a deal to outsource the marketing rights of UGA’s licensed apparel to multimedia sports marketing company International Sports Properties. That deal guarantees UGA $14 million over the next five years.
Evans is always thinking of ways to increase UGA’s brand awareness: “In order to run a successful business, it is important to have a well-established brand identity. The success of our organization will depend upon having the right people in the right positions and empowering them to do their jobs.” AGE: 36
GREGG A. GONSALVES, Partner & Managing Director Industrial & Natural Resources Group GOLDMAN SACHS
Why he’s hot: Gregg Gonsalves, who appeared on our 2003 Hot List, knows the art of the deal extremely well. In 2004, his prowess earned him a promotion to partner of the Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs. He continues to structure billion-dollar transactions in his arena of choice: the aerospace, defense, and chemical sectors. Holding a degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, Gonsalves has been involved in mergers and acquisitions activity related to some of the largest companies, in industries ranging from automobile manufacturing to paper and forest products. AGE: 37
F. GARY GRAY, Film Director, Producer
Why he’s hot: F. Gary Gray is one of the few African American directors whom studios call on to helm big-budget action films. Even though his latest movie, Be Cool, the Get Shorty sequel, opened earlier this year to lackluster reviews, it grossed a respectable $55.6 million at the box office and generated impressive DVD sales. Gray has no formal training in film, yet the former video auteur has made a string of hits over the last decade: Friday, Set It Off; The Negotiator; A Man Apart, and The Italian Jobâ€“the 2003 film that earned him a spot among Hollywood’s elite after it grossed $105 million in box office receipts. His