Age: 34, General Manager
Essence Communications, Inc, New York City
Joy Collins, general manager for Essence Communications Inc., attacks challenges with gusto. “I love being presented with a challenge and finding the right solution that addresses the issue, not only from a strategic perspective, but also an executable and implementable perspective,” she says. Responsible for financial, planning and administrative functions, Collins works with Essence’s senior executives to design and execute Essence’s strategic vision and directly manages the Essence Music Festival.
Prior to joining Essence in 2008, Collins was vice president of business development for NBC Universal. She played a pivotal role in NBC’s $2.7 billion acquisition of the Spanish-language Telemundo Communications and NBCU’s $925 million acquisition of Oxygen Media Networks, the leading women’s entertainment network. Collins served media clients as an associate in JPMorgan’s Investment Banking Division before joining NBC.
“Having a vision and a life plan is critical,” insists Collins, whose vision began to form while she attended high school in Inglewood, Calif. During the summer, she participated in an M.B.A. program at Duke University, an experience that sparked her interest in finance. Since then, she has charted her own course to her “dream job” at Essence, with strong internships at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and smart networking.
Collins graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in business economics and holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. She sits on the board for the Bronx Lighthouse Charter School, which emphasizes the arts. She is an active member of several alumni organizations and is involved in her local church, the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. On any given Sunday, you will find Collins hosting dinner with friends.
What artist would you go on tour with: Sade
Dish you cook best: Lasagna
Favorite comedian: Bernie Mac
What actress should play you in a movie: Angela Bassett
Countries visited: South Africa, Spain