40 Next: Khary & Selena Cuffe

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Black Enterprise is taking a look both forward and backward at the world of black business. Our list of 40 Next celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

These BE Nexters–those 21—35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field–are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). And they prove every day that “business as usual” is not so usual. For them, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard operating procedure.

Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own way, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset. Here, we introduce you to one of our 40 Next.

Khary & Selena Cuffe, 34 & 31
Heritage Link Brands L.L.C. Los Angeles

The 2009 BE Next Company of the Year, Heritage Link Brands has demonstrated explosive growth (2009 revenues: $1.15 million) while enabling African vintners to market their wines globally. The Cuffes have struck lucrative deals with United and American Airlines to serve South African wines on flights. In fact, the AA deal made their wine, One World, the first such fair-trade wine to be served on an airline in the U.S.

Wesleyan University, Bachelor of Arts – Social Studies, class of 2000
Harvard University, M.B.A., M.P.A., class of 2007

Favorite Book
Leisure: 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Professional: Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon

BE Next Manifesto
Revolutionize the global landscape and the world’s view of Africa by making black-produced products household names

Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts – International Relations, class of 1997
Harvard University, M.B.A. with honors, class of 2003

Favorite Book
Leisure: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
Professional: The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People by Steven Silbiger

BE Next Manifesto
Africa repatriate. Everyone deserves to earn and every child deserves to learn. Respect to Damian Marley & Nas for Tribes at War. (We nuh want no more a dat.)