What is your “day job”?
I am the Vice President, Corporate Communications Officer for Radio One, Inc. I am responsible for all things marketing, communications and PR for our multimedia platform. We are the largest African American owned multi-media company in the country. Our subsidiaries span across radio, television, digital media and branded content agency. Collectively, TV One, Reach Media, Interactive One and One Solution reach over 82% of Black Americans with quality content designed to inform, inspire and entertain our audiences. The organization has also branched out into the gaming industry and financial services.
A growing portion of my role is to ensure the integration of our content and services so that our audiences experience digital, audio and video congruence.
Who were your heroes, or mentors?
I’ve had so many who have taught me some really heroic principles; how would I narrow my scope?
My mother taught me how to love God, while my father taught me how to love His people. People are not objects or a means to an end. When you love people, they’ll go hard for you. That concept has helped me to manage people on a different level. I care for people genuinely and personally, and the people I have cared for have done more for me than I could have ever compensated them for.
My husband has taught me to love myself. His love affair with me literally healed me and gave me permission to truly love and embrace myself. I am worthy of that. Everyone is.
And, believe it or not, my ten-year-old son has taught me the power of love. The birth of my son and daily living as this boy’s mother has taught me the essence of love in a way I’d never contemplated before him. Everything I do in this life is somehow connected to my intense LOVE for him. Perhaps it sounds cliché, but I really want to make the world a better place because of him. He’s my vested interest. Every seed I sow will produce a harvest and legacy that he can reap and benefit from.
When did you decide you were a communications and marketing guru, that this would be your journey?
I can’t say that I identified marketing and communications as a career path, but I knew that I would be doing something like what I am doing, around the age of 11-12. I grew up with a speech impediment, and it was a limitation, or barrier, to my ability to articulate my thoughts.
I sang a lot in church, as music was a release. I sang my first solo at the age of three! My mother prayed for me constantly, as my stuttering was a huge frustration, and a source of pain from bullying. I remember being around 11-12 and praying, “God, if you take this away, I will give a voice to the voiceless.” I didn’t know what that would translate into, but I knew I would always be a verbal vehicle for those who didn’t have a voice.
Print Journalism, TV news production, corporate marketing, communications, branding―all of these were really an avenue to provide others a voice. I can appreciate that now in hindsight. I’m nothing more than my own faith and words fulfilled.
If you weren’t a Corporate Communications Officer for Radio One, what would life look like?
I would probably be in full-time what I call “marketplace ministry.”
“Love….Lift...Liberate” would be my message and platform around the world to a universal audience. I have a particular love for women and local church government. They both allow for my dichotomy – my two loves of business and ministry/people to come together nicely.
If you had it all to do over again, would you do anything differently?
Not one thing. I get asked that question often. I would never change my journey, because to say that I would do something differently is to minimize the sovereignty of God. I don’t believe in mistakes or happenstance. Even what I want to look back on and call a mistake, even that was for the building of my character, my edification, and my learning. To change something would change everything and alter the path of who I have become.
What do you do for you that brings you absolute joy or peace?
Agh! I am a spa connoisseur! I will “spa out” in a minute! It makes me happy! I have traveled the world, literally, for a spa: Italy, France, London, the Islands. I always want to stay at great resorts, but all of my down time I spend around the indigenous people learning culture.
What would you like your epitaph to be?
She lived fully, loved completely and died empty.
In one word, what is it that you want people to remember about you?
Is there anything else you wish I’d asked you?
Two words of wisdom that I’ve lived by that I wish I could give to every person:
Know that you are enough
Failure is not defeat
I think if I had learned these concepts earlier in life, there would have been less pain. So, it’s a gift. Failure is par for the course. We really do have to learn to fall down and get back up.