Rep. Melvin Watt, who has represented North Carolina’s 12th District for 12 years, was elected chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus in January.
“It is important for us to have regular discussions of issues so we can act as a unified voice. With 42 votes in the House and one in the Senate, the CBC will be a powerful bloc if it is voting together,” says Watt.
Watt’s agenda for the next two years will focus on issues that will likely cause a great deal of debate: Social Security, healthcare, jobs and the economy, foreign policy, and education.
— Joyce Jones
Two black-owned technology consulting firms, Blackwell Consulting Services (No. 96 on the BE INDUSTRIAL/ SERVICE 100 list with $31.5 million in sales) and Electronic Knowledge Interchange merged forces, forming BCS. The merger will not only benefit their respective clients, which include Bank One, Motorola, Waste Management, and the Chicago Public School System, but will also reunite the father and son team that founded Blackwell Consulting 13 years ago. Robert D. Blackwell Sr. will become chairman of the board and CEO of BCS. Robert “Bobby” Blackwell Jr. has been named vice chairman of BCS and will remain co-CEO of EKI. The company is expecting to hit the $60 million revenue mark in 2005.
Robert Johnson, founder and CEO of Black Entertainment Television, will step down from his post at the end of 2005 when his contract expires. Johnson has already relinquished day-to-day responsibilities at the Washington, D.C.-based cable network, leaving Debra Lee, chief operating officer of BET, to run operations. Johnson is the majority owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats and has other business ventures that he plans to focus on, including real estate, hotels, and restaurants.
— Nicole Marie Richardson