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Home | MediaMakers | Sheila Brooks
Color: Purple
Food: Seafood
Quote: Stop selling what you have, sell what your client wants.
Season: All Seasons
Vacation Destination: Hawaii
Kansas City, Missouri
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 1/30/2014

Broadcast journalist and entrepreneur Sheila Dean Brooks was born on June 24, 1956 in Kansas City, Missouri to Gussie Mae Dean Smith and Stanley Benjamin Smith. She received her B.A. degree in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1978. Brooks paid for her final two years of college while serving a two-year stint in the United States Navy Reserves from 1976 to 1978. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in political science from Howard University in 2003.

In 1978, Brooks was hired as a reporter and producer for KCTS-TV in Seattle, Washington, where she worked until 1981. From 1981 to 1983, she worked for KREM-TV in Spokane, Washington, as a reporter and anchor. Brooks was then hired as a news director and anchor for KAMU-TV/FM in College Station, Texas, where she worked until 1985, when she accepted a management trainee position at the Dallas Morning News in Dallas, Texas. She moved to Washington, D.C. in 1988, and worked as a senior producer at Vanita Productions in Baltimore, Maryland. From 1989 to 1990, Brooks served as executive producer for special projects and the documentary unit at WTTG-TV Channel 5 in Washington, D.C. She then founded SRB Communications in 1990, a full-service strategic communications agency and post-production facility, where she is president and CEO.

Brooks is president of The Presidents’ RoundTable (PRT), and serves on the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC). She has also served as vice president/public policy and vice president/communications on the board of the Center for Women’s Business Research, as a board member and co-chair of the Public Policy Committee for ten years with the Maryland/District of Columbia Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC), and on the advisory boards of Capital One Bank, Women’s Leadership Exchange, Women in Film and Video, Washington D.C.’s Small Business Development Center, and as past chair of the Women’s Advisory Board for the Washington Group of MassMutual. Her community commitments have included service as a Board of Trustee for the National Center for Children and Families and Lab School of Washington, and nearly forty years of board and committee service with the National Association of Black Journalists.

Brooks has won several awards, including forty-seven national Telly Awards; a national Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television; three local Emmy Awards; and was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, as well as the Emmy Award Hall of Fame by the National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Her honors also include the 2012 Supplier of the Year Award from the Maryland/District of Columbia Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC); the 2011 Pat Tobin Entrepreneurial Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the 2011 Shining Star Award from the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women; the 2011 Entrepreneurship Trailblazer Award from Howard University’s School of Communications; the 2009 Black Rose Entrepreneur Award from New York State Black Women Enterprises; the 2005 Enterprising Women of the Year Award from Enterprising Women Magazine; and the 2002 and 1998 Women in Business Advocate of the Year Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration, among others.

Brooks is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mass communication and media studies at Howard University with an expected graduation date in 2014.

Sheila Brooks was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 30, 2014.

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