Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reginald F. Lewis Foundation Hosts 3rd Annual Gala Luncheon

Entertainment Attorney and Entrepreneur Londell McMillan Feted by Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Receives Prestigious Business Award at Lewis Estate in East Hampton

In photo: McMillan (center) receives his award at the 3rd Annual Reginald Lewis Foundation Luncheon Gala. Pictured with McMillan are event co-chair Shawn D. Baldwin, Loida Lewis, Carolyn Fugett and Leslie Lewis Sword (widow, mother and daughter of Reginald F. Lewis) Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

Via Press Release: Entertainment attorney and entrepreneur L. Londell McMillan was honored at a star-studded bash for the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation at the Lewis estate in East Hampton on Saturday, June 26th. Gayle King, Star Jones, Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of Malcolm X, and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and TV personality Dhani Jones were among the notables who came out to support the Gala Luncheon. The event, which featured a rousing performance by R&B superstar Deborah Cox, was sponsored by American Express, Bloomberg, Black Entertainment Television, Belvedere, Kate's Paperie, The Camelot Group and GenNx360 Capital Partners.

McMillan received the Reginald F. Lewis Award, which honors African American entrepreneurs who succeeded internationally in business before the age of 50, as Lewis did. The first African American to build a billion-dollar company, Lewis led the largest leveraged buyout in the 1980s. He went on to shatter all expectations and inspire future generations of African American entrepreneurs.
Reginald F. Lewis’s wife and mother Loida Lewis and Carolyn Fugett, with Gayle King (Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

“It’s very interesting that the quiet giants are the ones that actually move our country forward. You don’t have to be the biggest, loudest, most well-known person to actually be an impact on society and it’s very clear that Reg Lewis was one of the largest impacts that we as African Americans have ever had,” said Star Jones. “He took business to another level, and all of these wonderful entrepreneurs now know success because of Reg Lewis.”

McMillan was personally inspired by Lewis, having met him as a law student. The attorney, who has represented such luminaries as the late Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Usher, LL Cool J, Roberta Flack and Spike Lee, joined the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs and real estate mogul R. Donahue Peebles, past recipients. He is partner and co-head of the Media and Entertainment Global Industry Sector at the international law firm of Dewey and LeBoeuf. McMillan is one of the co-owners and partners with real-estate developer Bruce Ratner and hip-hop icon Jay-Z in the New Jersey Nets and the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, future home to the NBA team. Additionally, he is Group Publisher of The NorthStar Group, which publishes Jones Magazine and The Source.

Deborah Cox performs at the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation Gala Luncheon (Photo credit: Robert Delacruz,

The event, which was emceed by WCBS-TV News Anchor Maurice DuBois, featured a performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Peter Offermann, Phyllis Schless and Robert C. Winters, Jr. were also acknowledged for key roles they played in the life and career of Lewis, with each receiving a Millennium Member award. Joyce Mullins Jackson, Reginald Van Lee, Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Khephra Burns, Don Coleman, Daniel & Alicia Bythewood and many more guests graced the lawn of the Lewis' East Hampton Estate.

Following the Gala Luncheon was Beach Glamour, an ocean side benefit given by and for young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Tina Wells, the 30-year-old founder of Buzz Marketing Group, a $5 million dollar business that she started at 16, received the group’s first RFL Young Entrepreneurial Award. The award is given to successful entrepreneurs under 40 who reflect the values, virtues, legacy and philanthropy of Reginald F. Lewis. Music was provided by DJ M.O.S. and WCBS-TV News Reporter Hazel Sanchez served as emcee. Beach Glamour was sponsored by Belvedere, Pedestals Floral Decorators and Kate’s Paperie.

“The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation is pleased to recognize the hard work of Londell McMillan and Tina Wells and the wonderful contributions of Peter, Phyllis and Robert to the story and legacy of my husband,” said Loida Lewis, widow of the legendary mogul and foundation chair. “Perseverance and dedication, especially in entrepreneurship, normally pay off in individual success and community development, and help society in general. We are happy for their success and are grateful for their help of the Foundation.”

Christina Lewis, daughter of Reginald F. Lewis and Gayle King (Photo credits: Margot Jordan, 646-226-6652)


Herb Wilson and Star Jones

Gwen Hankin, Noel Hankin and Arana Hankin; Brooke Smith, Londell McMillan, Jerri Devard and Tracey Ferguson


Eglon E. Simons, Mr. & Mrs. Maurice & Andrea DuBois, and Renee Simons


Loida Nicolas Lewis and Millenium Member Honorees: Peter Offermann, Phyllis Schless and Robert C. Winters Jr.

Additional sponsors of the Gala Luncheon were J.P. Morgan, Ariel Investments LLC, The NorthStar Group and Prudential Financial. Proceeds of both events will benefit the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture in Baltimore, the largest of its kind on the East Coast. For more information, visit

L. Londell McMillan and bust of Reginald F. Lewis
In related news, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation recently granted Virginia State University, Lewis' alma mater, with a $1.5 million dollar grant - the largest gift in the school's history. VSU's business school will be renamed in honor of Lewis, and the grant will be placed in an endowment with earnings used to support the business school through student scholarships, travel related to academic pursuits, and an academic achievement prize at graduation. To read more, visit HERE.

See highlights from last year's gala HERE.