Taking on Tomorrow

Our 2010 nominees revved up during the recovery to snatch success

BE NEXT AWARD NOMINEES

This award is presented to the fearless young entrepreneur(s) age 21–35 tapped to be future business leaders.

Young, Black and Fabulous L.L.C.
Type of business: Celebrity gossip and news blog site
Founder/CEO: Natasha Eubanks
Location: Washington, D.C.
www.theybf.com
Eubanks started TheYBF.com in 2005. Today, the site receives 15 million page views per month and in 2009 generated $1 million in revenues—90% of which came from advertisements. Advertisers looking to reach her target audience include MetLife, Macy’s, Wal-Mart, movie studios, and luxury car companies. Eubanks, 28, remains the site’s sole writer, and a radio commentator for the nationally syndicated radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood.

H.I.M.-istry
Type of business: Men’s skincare
Founder/CEO: Darnell Henderson
Location: Miami
www.himistry.com
Launched in 2004, the line of skincare products for men of all ethnicities is currently available in more than 100 Macy’s stores nationwide as well as online. The company posted $1.6 million in revenues for 2009—up from $980,000 the previous year. Revenues for 2010 are projected to reach $2.3 million because of 32-year-old Henderson’s lucrative government contract that now places the H.I.M.-istry (Healthy Image Man) line, including cleansers, toners, and scrubs, in 150 Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores across the country.

Ascension Aircraft
Type of business: Aircraft leasing, management, acquisitions, sales, and brokering
Founder/CEO: Jamail Larkins
Location: Augusta, GA
www.ascensionaircraft.com
Larkins has been flying high as an entrepreneur since the age of 16. He offers services related to aviation: aircraft leasing management, acquisitions, and brokering. Started in 2006 with just $5,000, the business generated revenues of $8.4 million this past year. Crediting the company’s success to strategic growth, an expert and knowledgeable team of four, and a diverse portfolio, 25-year-old Larkins expects revenues to reach $8.5 million by year-end 2010.

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR NOMINEES

This award is presented to the small business owner whose efforts and/or entrepreneurial pursuits exemplify the passion and commitment needed to overcome adversity as well as attain success.

RAM Surgical Instruments
Type of business: Surgical instruments and medical supplies distributor
Founder: Adrian Davis
Location: Arlington, TX
www.ramsurgical.com
RAM Surgical Instruments, started in 2006, provides hospitals and surgical centers with medical instruments such as scalpels, chest retractors, forceps, and graspers. Clients include Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton and John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. The company also offers instrument repair, medical products, and acute care supplies. Last year, revenues rose to $300,000, nearly double those of the previous year. RAM projects revenues of $1.1 million for 2010, primarily because of two recently secured contracts that total more than $800,000 with Methodist Health Systems of Dallas.

NuJak Cos.
Type of business: Construction, property management, and real estate development
Founders: Timothy B. Jackson and Frank Kendrick
Location: Lakeland, FL
www.nujak.com
A full-service construction and commercial real estate business, NuJak Cos. implemented an extensive technology enhancement strategy that resulted in savings of about $150,000 per year. Founded in 1992, NuJak focuses on educational facilities, financial institutions, commercial office buildings, and religious facilities in central Florida. The team is currently working on the University of South Florida Polytechnic’s signature building designed by world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. For 2009, the 12-person company posted revenues of $10 million; revenues of $12 million to $13 million are projected for 2010.

Trevor L. Newman L.L.C.
Type of business:
Acquisition, procurement, and contract management
Founder: Trevor Newman
Location: Linwood, NJ
Now in its ninth year of business, Trevor L. Newman L.L.C. boasts a full-time staff of 18 and fulfills federal contracts and provides management support for several federal agencies including the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and Transportation Security Administration. The company also provides support to buying services for agency procurement, including developing full-cost proposals, negotiations, and cost and price analysis. The company generated revenues of nearly $625,000 for 2009. Newman projects 2010 revenues to reach $2 million because of a $1.2 million contract she recently signed with the U.S. Navy.

This article originally appeared in the May 2010 issue of Black Enterprise magazine.

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