Black Excellence, Soulful Vibes — Black Enterprise’s 40 Under 40 Gala Was a Glamorous Night To Remember

Black Excellence, Soulful Vibes — Black Enterprise’s 40 Under 40 Gala Was a Glamorous Night To Remember

New York’s City Winery was lit with Black excellence and soulful vibes for a night of celebrating BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s 40 under 40 honorees.


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On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the star-studded evening brought together a dynamic group of disruptors, innovators, and trailblazers that continue to pave a pathway to power and success before their 40th birthdays. The inaugural in-person event wouldn’t have been possible without title sponsor Now and Later, presenting sponsor Amazon Web Services, platinum sponsor Walmart, and Lobos 1707.

“We reserve our highest respect for those who refuse to be constrained or defined by how others see us,” said Justin Barton, SVP/Digital Strategy & Partnerships.

“In that same spirit, BLACK ENTERPRISE is proud to turn the spotlight on the 40 under 40 class of 2022.”

From the first hour of flowing cocktails and networking to a glamorous dinner and awards ceremony, City Winery was live and guests came red-carpet ready, dressed to the nines in the spirit of the late Mr. Earl G. Graves Sr, who started BLACK ENTERPRISE at the age of 35 in 1970 and led his organization with excellence including having employees dress business sharp every single day.

Selena Hill, Deputy Digital Editor at BLACK ENTERPRISE also gave a nod to BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s beloved founder, Graves Sr., who launched today’s No. 1 Black digital media brand with 10 million unique visitors per month.

(Photo credit Black Enterprise)

“We have to pay special tribute to the legendary, iconic business founder, Earl G. Graves Sr,”  said Hill.

“At the time, the idea of a national mass market magazine dedicated to Black professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs was bold and unprecedented. Now, more than 50 years later, Mr. Graves’ vision has expanded to a multi-platform media empire that has empowered generations of Black Americans to start businesses, climb the corporate ladder, and build wealth.”

“40 under 40 recognizes leaders who embody the same grit and unstoppable passion that Earl Graves brought to the table, changing our world in the process.”

New York’s finest DJ Self of Power 105.1 had the turntable on lock with Black anthems that had guests fueled to the max.

But it was Hill the “hostess with the mostest” and actor Terence J  that got the crowd up out of their seats, swaying and swag-surfing while entertaining the crowd with style and contagious energy.

(Photo credit Black Enterprise)


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Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and producer Travis Malloy also graced the stage and delivered a stunning performance of 90s hits, including Blackstreets’ Before I Let Go. He represented for his brand, Millions, Billions, Trillions.

At one point, Hill gave some of the 2021 honorees who were in the building, their moment to shine, since they didn’t get a chance to experience a live event back in 2021 because of the pandemic. The love for them erupted in the room.

Later, Hill and Terence J welcomed the honorees to the stage allowing them the freedom to groove to the music as they accepted their coveted awards.

For Natasha Miller Williams, VP Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at Ferrera Candy Co., representing Now and Later, her presence onstage was a full circle moment. As a previous writer for BLACK ENTERPRISE, she contributed her expertise in talent management and inclusion in the workplace. Now, she is driving change for all of Ferrera’s candy brands.

“I’m proud to say that for Now and Later and all of Ferrera’s 28 brands, we’re holding ourselves accountable for all of our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals,” Williams said. “That includes a commitment to a 30 percent Black, indigenous, and people of color representation in leadership by 2024.”

During the event, sports industry leader and former NY Giants player David Tyree sat down with Terence J to share his New Jersey upbringing, overcoming addiction, his faith, and his transition from the field into entrepreneurship.

“All of my decisions up to this point was because I was the captain of my ship,” said Tyree, president and Founder at DT3 Enterprises.

“Success is relative. I think we live in an over-saturated idea of what success is and we pursue it based on what we see, not based on what’s internally valuable to us,” he added.  “Your values determine your value.”

The celebration will culminate with the 40 Under 40 Summit, taking place virtually on Thursday, Dec. 8.

The 2022 BLACK ENTERPRISE 40 Under 40 Honorees:
  • TJ Adeshola – Head of Global Content Partnerships, Twitter
  • LaDavia Drane – Director & Global Leader, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Amazon Web Services
  • Jackson Georges, Jr. – Partner, Growth, CapitalG
  • Iddris Sandu – Founder, SLABS Inc.
  • Kimberly Wilson – Founder & CEO, HUED
  • Johnny Bailey –Founder & CEO, ShineHard Family
  • Aisha “Pinky” Cole – Founder, Slutty Vegan
  • Kelvin “PJKev” Mensah –Co-Founder, Approved Jets
  • Regine Moore – Director of Constituent Relations, Walmart
  • Sevetri Wilson – Founder, Resilia
  • Shaquanna “Ms. Business” Brooks – CEO, Brooks Alliance L.L.C.
  • Darren Dixon – Fund Manager; Former Partner, Goldman Sachs
  • Tiffany James – Founder, Modernblkgirl
  • Teri Ijeoma – Founder, Trade and Travel Program
  • Ermias Tadesse and Cheick Camara – Co-Founders, BlackGen Capital
  • Simone Biles – Olympic Gymnast
  • Stephen Curry – 4x NBA Champion, 2x MVP; CEO, SC30 Inc.
  • LeBron James – 4x NBA Champion, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
  • Candace Parker – 2X WNBA Champion
  • Russell Wilson – Super Bowl Champion and Philanthropist
  • Ryan Coogler – Filmmaker
  • Robyn Rihanna Fenty – Musical Artist, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
  • Chloe and Halle Bailey – Musical Artists, Actresses, and Producers
  • Nyla Hayes – NFT artist
  • Marsai Martin – Actress and Producer
  • Rashaad Lambert – SEVP, Forbes; Founder, For(bes) The Culture
  • Jamila Mustafa – Award-winning Journalist, Host, and Actress
  • Angelica “Angie” Nwandu – Founder & CEO, The Shade Room
  • Tashara Parker – Emmy Award-winning News Anchor and Founder, Loud Women Lead
  • Taylor Rooks – Broadcast Sports Journalist and Host, Bleacher Report; Thursday Night Football, Amazon Prime
  • Melissa Butler – Founder & CEO, The Lip Bar
  • Alexander-Julian “AJ” Gibbson – Creative Director, Visual Artist, and Celebrity Stylist
  • Romeo Hunte – Founder, Romeo Hunte New York
  • Kerby Jean-Raymond – Founder, Pyer Moss
  • KJ Miller –CEO & Co-founder, Mented Cosmetics
  • Jamira Burley – Activist and Worldwide Education Strategic Lead, Apple
  • Mari “Little Miss Flint” Copeny – Activist and Teen Miss Michigan Earth 2022
  • Cierra Kaler-Jones – Founder & Director, Unlock Your Story
  • Renee Bracey Sherman –Founder & Executive Director, We Testify
  • Jeffery Wallace – Commissioner; President & CEO, LeadersUp

Take a look at all the Black excellence!


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