UBR Spotlight: Top Hollywood Studio Exec DeVon Franklin

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Renita D. Young talks with author and Hollywood studio executive DeVon Franklin, who nurtured a lifelong fascination with the entertainment industry into a successful career in the film business. Franklin, the vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures, made his mark as one of the youngest executives in the industry, as well as being among the most accomplished movie executives of color.

A former intern at Overbrook Entertainment, where he gained experience and guidance from megastar Will Smith and his partner Jay Lassiter, Franklin includes the remake of the blockbuster film The Karate Kid (starring Smith’s son Jaden), which grossed more than $350 million worldwide, among his most significant professional accomplishments. Franklin was also behind the hit romantic comedy Jumping The Broom, which starred Paula Patton, Laz Alonso and Angela Bassett. Even more remarkable, Franklin is a devout Christian and preacher who has not allowed the demands and temptations of his industry to eclipse his walk of faith. Franklin, who married actress Meagan Good earlier this year, tells how he honors his spiritual commitments while pursuing his professional goals in his book, Produced By Faith: Enjoy Real Success Without Losing Your True Self.

Also on the Roundtable,UBR Contributor Samantha Pass speaks to JJ Ramberg, host of MSNBC’s Your Business, co-founder of GoodSearch.com and the author of the new book, It’s Your Business: 183 Essential Tips That Will Transform Your Business. Ramberg will share her take on how entrepreneurs can feel more in control of their business operations.

In my Alfred’s Notepad segment, I recommend a great new book by success scholar and author Dr. Dennis Kimbro: The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires. Kimbro uses research and interviews with about 1,000 of America’s 35,000 African American millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires to make the case that acquiring significant wealth is a matter of choice, not chance.

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Khoa X. Ho of Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of The Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 15-18, at Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Nominate your company or an outstanding entrepreneur in your network for our Small Business Awards! Also don’t miss the chance to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to compete for $10,000 for your business. To find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/