Edward Lewis, Chairman of the Board
As the chair and founder of Essence Communications Inc., Ed Lewis has guided the ongoing prosperity of one of the country's largest African-American multi-media organizations, reaching over seven million African-Americans. In 1968, he founded Essence Communications Inc. publishing Essence magazine. The magazine's first issue was launched in May 1970. Today, Essence is regarded as the country's leading lifestyle magazine for African American women. The company produces the Essence Music Festival, the annual celebration of African-American music and culture held in New Orleans. It also has brand licensing agreements for Essence Eyewear and Essence Books. Essence ranked seventh on Advertising Age's 2003 "A-List," which is the first time that an African-American targeted publication has received this honor. In October 2000, Mr. Lewis engineered a partnership with Time Warner, and Essence was sold to Time Warner in 2005.
Mr. Lewis has been honored as the recipient of the Henry Johnson Fisher Lifetime Achievement award. He has been cited by Crain's New York Business as one of New York's ten most powerful minority business leaders. He sits on the boards of numerous organizations including New York City Partnership, the Central Park Conversancy, A&P, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. As a strong advocate of civil rights and community involvement, he has contributed personal time and financial support to a number of civic, educational and arts organizations.
Mr. Lewis received a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations at the University of New Mexico.