The Most Intriguing People in Business - Page 4 of 6

The Most Intriguing People in Business

presidential election. Jarrett, 51, his closest consultant, has even been described as the other side of Obama’s brain. She raised nearly $60 million for the Obama campaign in mid-2007–all while holding down her day job as president and CEO of real estate development firm The Habitat Co.

Her official-unofficial title is senior adviser, a role she assumed in the fall of 2007 when Obama was lagging 20 points in the polls behind Sen. Hillary Clinton during the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination. Since then, Jarrett has been involved in the management decisions of every single campaign strategy, from how to convey Obama’s message of change to a cross section of Americans to handling crisis issues such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Jarrett is no stranger to politics, having served as Chicago’s commissioner of planning and development in 1991; as chairman of the Chicago Transit Authority, where she was responsible for a budget of more than $800 million, in 1995; and as chairman of the Chicago Stock Exchange in 2003.

As the vice chair of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee and vice chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees, it’s anticipated that she will be recruited for a high-profile position in an Obama administration.

The Brand Master
Kedar Massenburg, CEO of Kedar Entertainment Group and Kedar Beverages

A music industry veteran responsible for introducing and sustaining the neo-soul movement, Massenburg never thought he would find interest in the spirits business. But, when the opportunity to partner with Jean-Sébastien Robicquet arose, Massenburg seized the opportunity. The expertise of Robicquet, a master distiller with a long family history in fine spirits, mixed with Massenburg’s passion for creating and marketing new products introduced an innovative venture. In 2007, under Kedar Beverages L.L.C., he launched K’orus wines imported from Bordeaux, France, specially targeted to African Americans. Creating a unique marketing model, Massenburg would produce three varietals of white and red wine without vintage, making wine selection easier for consumers and allowing for broader distribution to a variety of chain suppliers throughout the country.

He has not, however, relinquished his base. Massenburg’s beverage company regularly sponsors his music events. As CEO of Kedar Entertainment Group, this year he entered a 50/50 partnership with R&B artist Joe, in which the two will share all profits and rights of his recordings, including the masters–an unprecedented model for independent artists and recording labels, creating an environment where artists and execs can profit equally. This year Joe’s CD, Ain’t