The Lowery’s host the 28th New Year’s Day Prayer Breakfast where elected officials came and spoke on continuing the push for equality in our city and some breaking news was shared from the podium.
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While she was pursuing a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations at the University of Memphis, she decided that she wanted to pursue an education in law which would take her and her husband to Orange County, California. Not too long after attending law school, she discovered that law wasn’t her true calling. Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and armed with her degree in public relations, she hit the pavement off looking for her dream job in one of the top PR markets in the world. She immediately humbled herself when she discovered that Los Angeles is also one of the most competitive PR markets in the world. She made it up in her mind that she would be willing to work in the mailroom for an opportunity to get her start in a PR firm in Los Angeles. She ended up in a position right under the Vice President of the firm.
Her corporate America marketing and advertising experience was looked upon favorably in the multi-million-dollar integrated marketing firm that was one of the largest African American firms in Los Angeles. She was hired to manage the day-to-day public relations, advertising and marketing of the largest and oldest account that the firm had. Her dad’s illness would bring her back to Memphis, Tennessee. After returning to Memphis, her dad passed away a year later. She feels one of the best decisions she ever made was to be by his side for his last year on earth while being back home in the South. Although, the decision was bittersweet.
She had to leave her adopted city of Los Angeles where she and her husband had developed a very substantial network, made new friends, was introduced to family, enjoyed attending celebrity events, and going to the beach almost weekly. She founded The Neely Agency, LLC in 2013 while her and her husband were between Los Angeles and Memphis and is thankful for the opportunity to have her husband Victor Neely whose background is in auditing and account management and her aunt Selma Brinson whose background is in tax management and accounting as partners.
Running an integrated marketing firm that also has a casting division, there are multiple projects to manage. I enjoy pulling teams together to execute client projects, managing the projects and watching them come to fruition. As a consultant, I enjoy helping my clients see their dreams come to reality or help them work through marketing issues within their companies. My day consists of meetings, calls and emails with clients, partners, team members, vendors, and media. It also includes writing, editing, reviewing, and planning PR, marketing and advertising materials, messaging, and campaigns. After my work day is over and if there are no conference calls, evening meetings, client events or networking events that I must attend, I usually go home and cook one of the meals that was delivered from either Home Chef or Sun Basket (two of my favorite meal kit delivery services). I must admit that I am constantly checking my email on my iPhone or iPad throughout the day because as a CEO, your day never really ends.
My aunt Selma Brinson, who also runs a successful business, has been a huge inspiration, has always motivated me, and has always supported me from day one. I also have other close family and friends who are also part of my support system and who consistently motivates me. Mentors over the years have also been a source of inspiration. One that comes to mind is Ephraim Urevbu. He has been an awesome mentor for years, and still is. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention Kim Hunter and Keisha Brown. They gave me my first PR and marketing job and helped to develop me into the successful PR and marketing practitioner that I am today. I was inspired by them then and I am yet inspired by them today. But there are also other giants in the industry who are “mentors in my head” who I have admired from afar and have been inspired by such as the owner of The Britto Agency Marvett Britto and Cathy Hughes founder of Radio One who became the first African-American woman to head the publicly traded company. Of course, most African-American women are inspired by the likes of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey and I am no exception.
Join professional organizations which also offer classes or workshops. I did not stop at getting my MBA. I also participated in The City of Memphis’ Propel Accelerator founded by StartCo which is a 12-week intense program for minority entrepreneurs and business owners. I also graduated from the Small Business Administration Emerging Leaders program that is hosted in Memphis and included the opportunity to meet with and learn from the top business coaches, bankers, and CPAs, and develop connections with others in the community. It also included nearly 100 hours of executive entrepreneurship classroom time focused on business development and expansion strategies. Also, network, network, network. Attend relevant events where you can potentially meet your next client, business partner, or team member. Organizations can be very good for networking.
I am a 2017 graduate of the Leadership Memphis Executive Program and although it took almost a year to get through the program, it was well worth it. I look back on all these programs and I am thrilled to have been a part of each one of them. I learned invaluable information and made lifelong connections in each one. I can go on about things that you should do, which I would probably have to write a book about it one day. But, the most important are to keep God first and family second; be a loyal friend; live a healthy lifestyle, don’t compromise your integrity; be positive; be confident; work hard; learn as much as you can; set goals; take risks; read daily; don’t give up; enjoy life; love people period; love yourself; don’t take yourself so seriously; and laugh or smile at yourself and with others as often as you can.
In 2019, the Coliseum Coalition plans to continue tours for investors and civic leaders, and is planning another Roundhouse Revival. Roundhouse Revival 1, 2 and 3, previtalizing events which featured the Coliseum’s classic brands of music, wrestling and basketball, were held outside the building.
Kier “Junior” Spates. He’s also a survivor, warrior, humble and one aspiring to greatness! Dec. 21, 2018 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm at the Hattiloo Theatre.
Lessons from chef garyRemembering gary williamsBy JR RobinsonThis article is brought to you by Krewe of DeJavu Check out their menu! Bradley Whitford "Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope....