An Internet start-up targeting members of minority groups has chosen a prominent African-American banker to be its CEO.

Carlton Jenkins, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Founders National Bank of Los Angeles, was named chief executive officer this month of - a culturally diverse Web site aimed at African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, and Native Americans.

The site, officially started last week, is stacked with a star-studded board of directors, including civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, his son Yusef, R&B music producer and singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, former "Melrose Place" actor Andrew Shue, and Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.

"This is an exciting opportunity, and I'm keeping good company," said Mr. Jenkins, 44, who began his banking career at Lloyds Bank California in 1976.

Mr. Jenkins, who resigned from $100 million-asset Founders in October, honed his financial skills at five banks before buying the failed Founders Federal Savings and Loan from the Resolution Trust Corp. for $750,000 in 1991. But he acknowledged that becoming an Internet CEO is much different from his previous mission of providing capital to minority-owned businesses and inner-city residents.

Mr. Jenkins said he hopes to encourage more minority group members to use the Internet and also to connect people of different races. He said he is still adapting to the fast-paced Internet world himself. He acknowledged that he had to take a "crash course" in computers.

The Web site predominantly supplies information, including on the entertainment, financial, and sports industries. Mr. Jenkins said he plans to contact his acquaintances in the financial world to ask them to offer investment advice - and possibly even to advertise - on the site.

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