NET WORTH: $60 million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Def Jam Music Group, Warner Music Group, KWL Management
FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth
OVERVIEW: Kevin Liles and his wife Erika have steadily supported educational outfit SEED Foundation. Liles founded the Make It Happen Foundation, whose mission was to life-changing opportunities for under-serviced youth, and the Kevin Liles for a Better Baltimore Foundation, exposing Baltimore youth to social, educational, economic, cultural and civic opportunities.
BACKGROUND: Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Kevin Liles attended Morgan State University. He started as an intern for Def Jam in 1991 and by 1998 was named of president of the Def Jam Music Group. In 2004, Liles joined Warner Music Group as Executive Vice President and served on the executive team that took WMG public. He is president and CEO of KWL Management, a talent management company which he launched in 2009.
EDUCATION & YOUTH: The couple supports the SEED Foundation, which “provides boarding school college-preparatory educational opportunities to underserved students.” Liles is on the board of the The SEED School of Maryland. He’s also supported his school Morgan State University, which he attended on a NASA electrical engineering scholarship. Liles founded the Make It Happen Foundation, whose mission was to life-changing opportunities for under-serviced youth, though the current status of the charity is unclear.
He also launched the Kevin Liles for a Better Baltimore Foundation, exposing Baltimore youth to social, educational, economic, cultural and civic opportunities. The foundation aims to “implement and foster public policy, as well as, research and development activities to improve existing programs”; “provide services or advocacy for Baltimore youth and increase public awareness of activities that enrich Baltimore’s youth” ; and “facilitate youth participation in services where their energy, ideas, and enthusiasm provide an opportunity for deeper community involvement.” In the past, the foundation has run its Back to School Festival, which provides free haircuts and immunizations for youth, as well as gives out backpacks loaded with school supplies, electronics, gift cards, and coupons, among other resources.
LOOKING FORWARD: Expect Liles to remain laser-focused on youth in the Baltimore area.