Richelieu Dennis is a Managing Partner of New Voices. Mr. Dennis has thirty (30) years of experience as an entrepreneur and investor, specifically in companies owned by individuals of color. Mr. Dennis has been actively involved in sourcing, assessing, and investing, and providing operational assistance in the Fund I portfolio companies.
In 1991, upon graduating from college and being unable to return to his native Liberia due to civil war, Mr. Dennis was one of the founders of Sundial Brands LLC (“Sundial”), the manufacturer behind the pre-eminent beauty and personal care brands SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage. Mr. Dennis served as Sundial’s chair and CEO until December 2019. During his tenure, he set the vision for its purpose-driven business model (“Community Commerce”) and created a natural hair and beauty company serving Black women and the larger multicultural and natural communities he coined as the “New General Market”. Sundial’s Community Commerce investments have impacted tens of thousands of people throughout its global supply chain and in the U.S. through improved infrastructure, increased incomes, healthcare access, safer work environments, entrepreneurial and educational opportunities.
In November 2017, Sundial Brands and Unilever entered into one of the largest natural beauty/personal care deals in the U.S. and also the largest consumer products transaction by a majority Black-owned company. As part of this groundbreaking transaction, the terms included support for Fund I. In December 2017, Mr. Dennis founded Essence Ventures, which acquired Essence Communications Inc. from Time Inc.
Mr. Dennis holds an undergraduate degree in finance and entrepreneurship from Babson College.