From real estate to television, these Millennial and Gen Z execs are proving that age is only a number.
Gone are the days where age determines what positions you can hold in the corporate world. Younger generations are making money and power moves, solidifying their expertise and taking on leadership positions earlier in their careers. With a dedication to diversity and inclusion, social responsibility, and mission-driven work, this new generation of change makers are focused not only on their own growth but also on positively impacting their communities.
From real estate to television, here are 10 Millennial and Gen Z execs who are proving that age is only a number and changing the game in the process.
Once an investment banker, Brandon Bryant is now a co-founder and partner at Harlem Capital, a venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over 20 years. In addition, Bryan is the Creative Director of Wall Street Paper, a digital creative outlet that is focused on lifestyle and culture for the modern gentleman. He was featured on the 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 list, the 2018 Ebony Power 100 list, and is an Ohio State University graduate.
An impact-first executive, Sofiat Abdulrazaaq entry into the fintech industry was born by her desire to pair her foodie status with an easy-to-use payments platform that would help food truck operators, many of them immigrants and people of color, dramatically scale operations. Today, she is the CEO and co-founder of Goodfynd, an app, payments platform and marketplace that allows users to keep track of their favorite food trucks and mobile food businesses. A first-generation American, Abdulrazaaq is passionate about entrepreneurship and utilizing the power of fintech to innovate and support the underbanked and underserved. She is one of the few Black women to raise more than $3 million in VC funding – and she’s just getting started.
Bozoma Saint John
Most recently, Bozoma Saint John served as the Global Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix becoming the company’s first Black C-suite executive. But even prior to this accomplishment, Saint John has been well-known as a marketing expert working with companies such as Uber, PepsiCo, and Apple. Her work has been internationally applauded and earned her an induction into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame.
A Milwaukee native, Kevin Newell is the CEO of Royal Capital, a leading venture and holding company with a focus on urban development and innovation. As CEO, Kevin leads the company’s strategic efforts across multiple verticals which include real estate ventures, urban health, food-beverage and experiences, venture investments, and social responsibility. With a Real Estate portfolio of over $400M and partnerships with the NBA, Newell has been named one of the most influential African Americans in Wisconsin, focusing on developing quality and sustainable communities.
With over 20 years of journalism experience, Rashida Jones is the President of MSNBC, the first Black executive to run a major television network. Jones previously served as a Senior Vice President for NBC and MSNBC news where she spearheaded breaking news and major events for both networks, including coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 presidential debates. Jones’ contributions have won her an Emmy as well as recently being named “Most Powerful People in New York Media" by The Hollywood Reporter.
Ofo Ezeugwu is Founder and CEO of WYL (WhoseYourLandlord), "The MVP of Landlord Review Sites," according to ApartmentTherapy.com. Ezeugwu graduated from Temple University, where he was the VP of the student body and also the youngest alumni convocation speaker in the school's history. He was recently recognized as a Disruptive and Innovative Entrepreneur by NBCUniversal and as one of BET’s #30Under30. Additionally, Ezeugwu has been featured in Newsweek, Forbes, The Today, and more.
With a relentless dedication to improving the lives of others, Nichol Whiteman is the Chief Executive Officer of the award-winning Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF). Under Whiteman’s leadership, LADF tackles the most pressing problems facing Los Angeles with a mission to improve education, health care, homelessness and social justice for all Angelenos. Whiteman was the first in her family to graduate from college, with a degree in Economics from Spelman College, and has an unwavering passion for education, equity, and diversity. Her relentless dedication resulted in positions in investment management and publishing before beginning a philanthropic career as VP, Western Region of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. As a child of Jamaican immigrants “in search of a dream," she frequently highlights the power of diversity in advocating for resources and opportunities for marginalized populations.
Stacey Wade is the CEO and Executive Creative Director at Nimbus Inc., a fully integrated creative agency, combining intelligence with ingenuity to generate and nurture authentic connections between client’s brands and targeted audiences. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Wade studied at the School of Visual Arts and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Prior to founding Nimbus, he spent almost 20 years working with global brands and now represents a variety of brands such as Papa John’s and Norton Healthcare, among others.
With over 10 years of corporate leadership experience for Fortune 500 companies, Janice Omadeke founded her own company, The Mentor Method, which creates easy-to-use software to help companies build scalable mentorship programs proven to retain, engage and develop underrepresented talent. She is also one of the first Black women in the United States to raise $1M in seed funding. In addition to being a Harvard graduate, Omadeke is a 2x SXSW speaker and has been named one of Black Enterprise’s Top 5 Black Women in Tech in 2021.
A member of the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 list for his role as Vice President at KKR, a leading global investment firm, Allan Jean-Baptiste is now a co-founder and General Partner at Ansa Capital, an expansion-stage investment fund built to support founders as they scale. Jean-Baptiste is an industry leader and expert, serving on the boards of a number of businesses such as FanDuel, Glassdoor, and SurveyMonkey, among others.