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Kenard Gibbs is a proven operator in the urban media and entertainment space, specializing in media and brand strategy, P&L management, brand development, digital content strategy and multicultural marketing. His early career focused on business development at The Northern Trust Company and Leo Burnett.
He began his publishing career as a part of the founding team of Vibe Magazine as the Midwest Director. In 1999 he became president of Vibe, hired by Quincy Jones, and led this leading urban music magazine to unprecedented revenue heights, expanding the brand into digital media and broadcasting.
In 2007 after the acquisition of Vibe by a private equity firm, Gibbs was asked to bring his expertise of brand building to his role as group publisher of the iconic magazines Ebony and Jet and as president of Ebony/Jet Entertainment Group. In 2008, Gibbs founded MadVision Entertainment and with InterMedia Partners acquired the famed Soul Train franchise from Don Cornelius.
As CEO of Soul Train Holdings, Gibbs and his team developed a number of license deals that have extended the brand into home DVD, cruises and book publishing.. He executive produced “The Hippest Trip in America—Soul Train documentary for VH1 presence via and most notably, engineered the reintroduction of the iconic Soul Train Awards through a strategic alliance with BET (Black Entertainment Networks). In 2013, Gibbs and his partners sold Soul Train to BET (Black Entertainment Television—a ViacomCBS company).
Gibbs serves on the investment advisory board of the United Nations Social Impact Investment Fund I. He also serves on the advisory board of Synch Solutions, a tech solutions company and is Vice Chairman of Lunar Privacy, a private cybersecurity firm. He is a graduate from Williams College and holds an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.