My Wife, My Partner

Let’s face it: It is extremely difficult to build a multimillion-dollar company from scratch, negotiate the treacherous peaks and valleys of a successful career, or achieve financial security in an economy marked by uncertainty and rapid change. However, the struggle is far less daunting, and far more rewarding, when you are teamed up with a spouse who shares your values and vision. Marriage, at its best, is the ultimate partnership, the foundation that supports the health and wealth-building capacity of families and, indeed, entire communities—today and for generations to come.

If marriage is the ultimate partnership, I have enjoyed the energy, intelligence, and loving devotion of the ultimate partner, Barbara, my wife of 47 years. In addition to excelling as a wife, mother, and grandmother, she has been a true business partner every step of the way, from the conception of a magazine that would serve as a resource and cheerleader for business-minded black people nearly 40 years ago to the evolution of that idea into the No. 1 multimedia source for African Americans who want to build lasting wealth today. Barbara is my most trusted and wisest adviser, critic, cheerleader, and confidante. Over the years, she has run nearly every department in the company and helped to develop many of its top executives, including our three sons. Today she continues to serve as a board member of Earl G. Graves Ltd. and is the senior member of the brain trust behind the planning of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, the premier professional development conference for businesswomen of color. Barbara has been and continues to be our company’s most valuable asset—and my secret weapon. I love her more today than I’ve ever loved her.

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