Founder and CEO • Powerful Impact Inc. • Long Island, N.Y. • Age: 33
In 1999, Mack Burnett III had enough of working as a mailman. There was nothing wrong with being a mailman, he says, but at the end of each day he felt like a “mentally deficient.” He subsequently worked at various technology companies, but grew tired of jobs he did not like. Moreover, he had his own views of how those companies should be run. “I couldn’t see myself working for a company for 40 years and not have anything to show for it,” he says.
In 2003, Burnett launched Powerful Impact Inc., a name he chose from the lyrics of the rap song, “Scenario” recorded by the hip-hop groups, A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders of the New School. “I wanted to make a powerful impact on people’s lives,” he says. Located in Great Neck, Long Island, Powerful Impact specializes in innovative marketing technologies such as digital windows that transform storefronts into huge computer screens with which passersby can interact. The company has a staff of five and 50 clients. It grossed close to $400,000 in 2006. Powerful Impact works with other minority-owned companies to bring their ideas into the marketplace, assisting them with marketing, obtaining funding and operational and start-up support.
Burnett has three older siblings but thinks of himself as an only child because “I am the only child from my parent’s second marriage.” His father, a real estate broker, and mother, a certified public accountant, give him valuable guidance, always emphasizing integrity. His mother’s lesson, “If you find work that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” has proven true, he says. Since he started Powerful Impact, he has not worked a day because he enjoys what he does and just happens to get paid. “If a person finds something they’re passionate about, it’s not work,” he says.
Burnett holds bachelor’s degree in computer science from St. John’s University and is currently working on a master’s in business administration at the same school, which he hopes to complete this year or early next year.