Ones to Watch in 2006: Business

In celebration of Black History Month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine presents "Ten People to Watch for 2006." These professional superstars represent the best and brightest of today’s entrepreneurs, business, and entertainment professionals. Check back for the rest of the list.

Debra Lee
Debra Lee — President, CEO and Chairwoman, Black Entertainment Television

Ms. Lee became president and CEO of the popular cable network and media conglomerate in June 2005, and chairwoman just last month. But she’s already busy shaping the future of the company. Increased news coverage, a Sunday morning talk show that looks at hot topics through a spiritual and moral lens, a new comedy series, and an animation division are just a few of the projects in the works.

Ron Williams
Ron Williams — President and CEO, Aetna

This month, Mr. Williams will assume leadership at Aetna, one of the nation’s top health insurance and employee benefit providers. His name will be added to the exclusive list of African-American Fortune 500 CEOs. Mr. Williams plans to actively pursue future Aetna customers and continue educating healthcare professionals about the gaps that exist between race, ethnicity, and the availability and quality of healthcare.

Raven Symone
Raven Symoné — Actor, Singer, Producer

Unlike many child stars, Raven Symoné has proven she can adapt to the changing world of entertainment — and she’s doing it prosperously. The former Cosby cutie has recorded music CDs, produces and acts in her own cable television show, and has branded millions of dollars worth of merchandise, including clothing, cosmetics, toys, and video games.

Cory Booker
Cory Booker — Mayoral Candidate, Newark, New Jersey

When he was a young boy, Mr. Booker’s parents told him to not just observe life, but effect change in it. Currently, in his second run for mayor of the city of Newark, New Jersey, that’s exactly what he’s trying to do. Mr. Booker is deeply committed to the plight of African-Americans and not afraid to do battle against neighborhood drug dealers or mudslinging politicians to voice his ideals.

Linda Johnson Rice
Linda Johnson Rice — President and CEO, Johnson Publishing Co.

At the helm of her late father’s empire since 2002, Ms. Johnson Rice is set to breathe new life into the company. She has already proven she can keep Ebony magazine the top lifestyle publication for African- Americans. Now she turns her attention to some new endeavors, including revitalizing the company’s publishing division and expanding the reach and influence of the Fashion Fair brand.

Black Enterprise is the premier business news source for African-Americans. Since 1970, the magazine has chronicled the growth of the black business market, providing essential business information and advice for professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and decision-makers. For more information log on to