The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Fay Ferguson

Advertising chief executive Fay Ferguson graduated magna cum laude with her B.A. degree in English, speech, and drama from Concordia College in Minnesota in 1973. She then received her M.B.A. degree from Indiana University in 1978

After graduation, from 1974 to 1976, Ferguson taught eighth grade English for two years in Michigan City, Indiana. She began her advertising career in 1978 at the Leo Burnett Company and progressed from an account management trainee to account executive. While there, Ferguson coordinated marketing and advertising campaigns for several Pillsbury Company products, including the refrigerated dinner rolls, the sweet rolls, the turnovers, and the slice’n bake cookies. Ferguson then served as senior account executive at Bozell & Jacobs, Inc. where she managed the Alberto Culver account and oversaw the national rollout of their premier line, Mrs. Dash and Alberto Mousse. In March of 1984, Ferguson joined Burrell Communications Group as an account supervisor. She was promoted to vice president in 1986 and became an account director in 1988. After being promoted to management supervisor in 1992, Ferguson was named client service director in 1993 and managed the company’s accounts with the Procter & Gamble Company and the McDonalds Corporation. In addition, she served as co-chair of the new business committee for Burrell Communications Group. In November of 1997, Ferguson became the managing partner of account management and operations. Later, Ferguson was appointed as co-CEO of Burrell Communications Group.

Ferguson has been active on several boards, including the Perspectives Charter School, the Chicago Advertising Federation, The Chicago Network, the North Shore Chapter of the Links, Inc., the American Association of Advertising Agencies – Purple Forum, and the Economic Club of Chicago. She was appointed to the advisory board at Turner Patterson, LLC. In addition, she co-chaired the advertising book benefit for the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.

Ferguson has received numerous awards, including the “Advertising Working Mother of the Year, Trailblazer Mom” award from Working Mother magazine, and the Target Market News “Advertising Executive of the Year MAAX” award. She was also recognized the “Most Influential Woman” award from the Women’s Leadership Federation; the “Outstanding Women in Marketing Communications” award from Ebony magazine; and the “Advertising Woman of the Year Award” from The Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago and the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Fay Ferguson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 27, 2013.

Accession Number

A2013.247

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/27/2013

Last Name

Ferguson

Maker Category
Schools

St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Grade School

Central Junior High School

La Porte High School

Concordia College

Indiana University

First Name

Fay

Birth City, State, Country

La Porte

HM ID

FER04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Indiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Rancho Mirage, Palm Springs, California

Favorite Quote

If You Don't Have Anything Positive To Say, Keep Quiet.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/6/1951

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cake (Chocolate)

Short Description

Advertising chief executive Fay Ferguson (1951 - ) served as an account executive with the Leo Burnett Company and went on to become co-chief executive officer of Burrell Communications Group.

Employment

Burrell Communications Group

Lee King & Partners/Bozell & Jacobs

Leo Burnett Company, Inc.

Michigan City Elston Junior High School

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:1827,43:2958,64:4350,112:5481,126:7830,174:8265,183:10962,239:12006,252:13311,275:13833,282:15312,302:28509,392:30003,413:32742,459:33821,478:38137,546:38469,551:39050,559:40959,596:41291,601:42868,630:46188,700:54320,828:58120,919:76732,1124:77838,1140:86530,1199:87490,1228:90850,1303:92210,1315:93330,1331:95970,1381:96850,1394:97170,1399:98050,1413:98770,1423:100610,1456:100930,1461:101410,1468:102690,1486:108724,1505:109372,1516:110020,1527:110956,1544:112180,1554:114746,1581:115257,1589:115549,1594:116133,1604:118323,1670:133133,1780:134904,1820:141141,1923:141911,1935:146222,1959:146726,1966:152942,2058:154958,2082:155882,2095:157646,2121:157982,2126:158738,2136:160166,2162:168194,2205:168746,2215:169367,2226:169712,2232:170057,2238:170747,2249:171851,2269:172403,2279:172817,2286:173576,2298:174059,2306:174335,2311:175370,2330:175853,2339:178268,2388:178820,2399:179303,2410:179924,2420:180269,2426:184400,2439:185060,2446:189130,2506:198464,2609:199608,2624:200224,2632:202248,2662:205388,2681:205898,2687:206408,2694:206816,2699:207224,2704:207938,2712:210794,2787:211202,2792:211814,2804:215690,2836$0,0:5092,100:5396,105:7676,135:8360,145:8664,150:11552,192:12084,253:12616,262:15276,324:16112,337:16872,349:17328,356:18468,375:19380,391:21508,427:22724,449:23028,454:23332,459:34054,576:35854,603:36430,612:37150,628:37870,641:41110,695:41398,700:41686,705:42406,719:42982,729:43630,742:43918,752:44350,760:44854,769:45502,779:58542,933:58898,938:59343,944:63470,1004:65822,1102:68006,1156:68762,1166:72710,1291:73382,1300:73718,1308:74642,1321:75062,1327:77414,1380:77834,1392:84806,1526:93342,1563:94587,1589:95915,1610:104796,1832:105709,1844:113160,1903:113727,1911:115590,1948:117777,2002:118182,2009:118668,2016:120531,2046:121827,2063:127700,2104:128900,2124:129220,2129:129940,2141:130900,2160:131620,2172:133860,2209:134260,2215:135140,2228:137620,2263:138740,2280:140420,2298:140980,2306:150250,2387:150775,2393:151510,2401:152770,2417:153295,2424:165144,2554:165872,2565:166873,2579:174335,2691:174881,2699:175427,2706:175791,2711:176155,2716:178703,2775:179704,2791:180250,2799:180614,2804:187322,2862:187826,2870:188710,2878
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fay Ferguson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fay Ferguson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fay Ferguson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fay Ferguson talks about her maternal grandfather's adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fay Ferguson describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fay Ferguson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fay Ferguson remembers St. John's Lutheran School in La Porte, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fay Ferguson recalls her experiences at the majority-white St. John's Lutheran School

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Fay Ferguson lists her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Fay Ferguson talks about her early interest in athletics

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Fay Ferguson talks about her parents' divorce

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Fay Ferguson talks about the role of religion in her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Fay Ferguson remembers Sunday afternoons after church

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fay Ferguson describes her community in La Porte, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fay Ferguson recalls her transition to public schooling

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fay Ferguson remembers LaPorte High School in La Porte, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fay Ferguson remembers enrolling at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fay Ferguson talks about the development of her racial identity

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fay Ferguson remembers teaching at Elston Middle School in Michigan City, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fay Ferguson talks about her experiences as a teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Fay Ferguson recalls the Indiana University School of Business in Bloomington, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fay Ferguson recalls her transition to the marketing industry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fay Ferguson remembers joining the Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fay Ferguson describes her responsibilities at the Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fay Ferguson remembers her first marketing presentation

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fay Ferguson talks about the advertising industry

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fay Ferguson remembers her transition to Bozell and Jacobs, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fay Ferguson describes the account executive's role at an advertising shoot

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fay Ferguson recalls being recruited by Thomas J. Burrell

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fay Ferguson remembers Thomas J. Burrell

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fay Ferguson talks about marketing to the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fay Ferguson remembers her clients at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fay Ferguson talks about the growth of the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fay Ferguson describes her role as the director of client services at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fay Ferguson talks about the work environment at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fay Ferguson remembers Thomas J. Burrell's retirement from the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Fay Ferguson recalls becoming co-CEO of the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fay Ferguson talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fay Ferguson talks about marketing to the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fay Ferguson talks about black women in executive positions

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fay Ferguson talks about the downfall of prominent advertising agencies

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fay Ferguson talks about digital marketing

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fay Ferguson describes the structure of the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Fay Ferguson reflects upon the marketing industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Fay Ferguson reflects on her legacy at the Burrell Communications Group

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Fay Ferguson reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Fay Ferguson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Fay Ferguson talks about the importance of healthy living

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Fay Ferguson recalls her transition to the marketing industry
Fay Ferguson describes her role as the director of client services at the Burrell Communications Group
Transcript
Well, you know, let's kind of touch, touch base a little bit on Xerox [Xerox Corporation]. Off camera you just mentioned the environment and I think you mentioned something about it being a--$$It was an all male environment as far as the professional careers and there were female secretaries, but in terms of any managers they were all white men and Xerox was a household name and so I was very gratified to be able to get an internship with them and to be able to I thought, contribute, who knows what interns are actually are able to do, but they gave me real world assignments as opposed to just make work, so that, that was really great. I had my own little apartment. It was, it was, it was wonderful.$$How as Rochester [New York] overall?$$Rochester, nothing to it (laughter).$$But it was nice to have your own place, have enough cash?$$Yes and could, could walk to work so it, it was, it was all very good.$$That was a summer internship?$$Yes.$$Okay, thank you, so let's go to Leo Burnett [Leo Burnett Company Inc.]. What was the woman's name again, Judy--?$$Carol Singer.$$Carol Singer, I'm sorry, I don't know where Judy came from, Carol Singer. How did you end up getting a position with Leo Burnett, I mean she came recruited, how, how did you get the job?$$And so then once Carol went back to the headquarters in Chicago [Illinois] at Burnett, obviously they get together and talk about all the different candidates that they've seen and then you're invited up for an interview and so I came up to Chicago to interview with a number of individuals and then I was invited back again for another follow up interview and then made a job offer.$$Okay, and time wise, this is when about, late '70s [1970s] or so?$$Yes, '78 [1978].$$Thanks and you got an offer to, to join Leo Burnett as, in what capacity? What was your position?$$Trainee (laughter). Back in those days we lovingly called the entrance level position as working in the pit, and that's because you went, when you went to work it was dark, when you left work it was dark and you were amongst your peers learning the ropes. You, you were put into different positions, whether it was research, spot buying, writing so that you learned a little bit about every discipline within advertising, which was really quite great because many companies don't do that now because they've become specialists, but I, I was able to be exposed to virtually every position and that's helped me as I worked my way up the ladder so to speak. My first assignment was on Kelloggs [Kellogg Company] and after I left the pit (laughter) and there I had ninety spot TV markets that I analyzed and purchased media for and then after that I went into account management on the Pillsbury account [Pillsbury Company, LLC] where you get into more of the strategic arm, of, of marketing.$Before we get to the 2000s, so you're, you're, you're moving up the, the ladder very nicely, senior vice president in the early 1990s, executive vice president. What was your role within the agency [Burrell Communications Group, Chicago, Illinois] and with the clients at those kinds of levels? What was that like?$$I was actually the director of client services, so I was over all of the accounts in the agency, but being a small agency--so I've gone from large to midsize to small, my job was not--I didn't, I had direct accounts that I worked on, but then I had accounts that I may not be directly involved with, but I was also charged with mentoring and nurturing the account directors to help them grow in their roles and also took on more of a role in terms of financial accountability and profitably for the agency, again the numbers are important on the agency side as well (laughter).$$Absolutely, absolutely, and you had some major clients, beside McDonald's [McDonald's Corporation] you had Exxon Mobil [Exxon Mobil Corporation], Sears [Sears, Roebuck and Co.], Kellogg [Kellogg Company], Coca-Cola [The Coca-Cola Company], Nation- Nationwide Insurance group [Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company], P and G [Procter and Gamble Company], did you, were you accountable with client services that if something is going awry you, you have to step in?$$Yes, yes, yes and in fact--$$Not that it ever did.$$(Laughter) No we all have our challenges.$$You have your challenges, thank you.$$So in fact, there was a point and time when the McDonald's account was going through a number of issues and I was not working day to day on the account at the time and so Tom [HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell] tapped me on my shoulder and said, "Hey, we need you over here." (Laughter) And I was like, "Oh god, no." (Laughter) Because it was interesting that the McDonald's folks were always busy, they're always running around, it was--I said, "I don't get that. What's going on?" (Laughter) I soon found out, it's a retail account, so it was one of the agency's busiest accounts because we were literally doing every month what it took most of the other accounts six months to a year to do, so we were in production every month of the year, which, and we were at client meetings all the time, so it was a totally different environment and it was, it was fascinating in a very different way. I never thought that I could go from a slow, steady, steady pace on a packaged goods client, like a Procter or a General Mills [General Mills Inc.] to a McDonald's, but once I was there it took about, you know, a little bit, six months before I accepted it (laughter), but once I was there I was like wow, this is really what it's about and I, I don't know that I could ever go back, that, that pace, that energy, that excitement, it's, there's, there's exhilaration, there's nothing like it.

Robert Dale

CEO of R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations, Robert J. Dale was born on May 2, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois. As a child, he attended Chicago’s St. Cyril Elementary School. After graduating from Chicago Vocational High School in 1961, Dale went on to serve in the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Amarillo, Texas and served as a member of the U.S. Air Force basketball team.

Dale married Ottie Andre’ Bryant of Nashville, Tennessee in 1966 and then moved to Phoenix, Arizona and enrolled at Arizona State University where he pursued his B.S. degree in business and was elected president of the Black Student Union. There, he led efforts encouraging the administration to have cultural educational assistance and housing for black students. During this time, he was also elected student senator from the college of business. Dale continued his education by pursuing his M.B.A. at Stanford University. Then in 1973, Dale was hired as a local account executive at Kaiser Broadcasting in Chicago. He then was promoted to national account executive at Kaiser Spot Television Sales.

Dale co-founded R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations in 1979, with the hopes of bringing a unique business approach to African American advertising. Since its inception, R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations has been ranked among the leading black owned agencies by Black Enterprise Magazine. Its practice focused on general market and segment specific programs.

Dale has served on the boards of the Chicago State University College of Business, the Black Public Relations Society, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Black Ensemble Theatre, the Association of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs and the Institute of Positive Education where he was elected board president.

Dale was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 18, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.017

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

2/18/2008

Last Name

Dale

Maker Category
Schools

Chicago Vocational Career Academy

St. Cyril Elementary School

University of Arizona

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Robert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DAL03

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Florida

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/2/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Salmon

Short Description

Advertising chief executive Robert Dale (1943 - ) was the founder of R.J. Dale Advertising & Public Relations in Chicago, Illinois. The company has been ranked among the leading black owned agencies by Black Enterprise Magazine.

Employment

Kaiser Broadcasting Corporation

R.J. Dale Marketing Consultants

Adworks

R.J. Dale Advertising

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:4006,88:6686,253:12082,362:41710,758:42050,764:48830,833:52707,895:56675,946:58925,980:59300,987:59675,993:61025,1019:61325,1024:68530,1106:69794,1129:71532,1175:71848,1180:77386,1262:77721,1268:77989,1273:79731,1303:80334,1313:83240,1329:84360,1358:84850,1368:85130,1373:85480,1379:86390,1395:87370,1415:88000,1425:88350,1431:88840,1439:89120,1444:89400,1449:89750,1455:95172,1520:96726,1550:101390,1633:102350,1653:102650,1659:102950,1665:104980,1672:106160,1701:107812,1739:108933,1767:111180,1783:113040,1826:114240,1858:117072,1887:119144,1917:120436,1932:121044,1942:121880,1954:122792,1969:125908,2047:126668,2063:130360,2085:130640,2090:134000,2159:134280,2164:134770,2173:136100,2196:137500,2218:137920,2225:139600,2257:139880,2262:143520,2357:144220,2369:144780,2379:153503,2414:154167,2425:154914,2446:159040,2494:160160,2512:160720,2521:165550,2642:166110,2652:167650,2684:168140,2692:168630,2700:171770,2717:172960,2743:174500,2781:176250,2812:176810,2823:177370,2833:177860,2842:178770,2868:182598,2881:183458,2896:184576,2912:186472,2927:186756,2932:188886,2969:189454,2978:189809,2985:190093,2990:191726,3021:193430,3048:193927,3057:194566,3094:199735,3135:202095,3191:204180,3210$0,0:4472,73:6278,100:7826,127:8772,139:9288,147:13760,267:14534,277:23462,312:25030,340:32240,413:36198,443:36792,453:37056,458:38244,488:38904,506:39960,523:40422,531:43656,598:44184,610:45702,637:46428,678:47352,697:53872,773:54928,803:55720,817:56380,829:57106,841:59812,911:60076,916:61528,968:64750,995:65920,1013:68026,1085:70522,1126:71536,1146:72316,1158:77390,1193:79735,1213:80160,1219:82370,1248:82795,1254:83475,1263:92790,1388:100041,1453:103601,1489:112250,1615:115916,1676:119008,1706:121744,1809:122176,1816:125808,1847:126228,1853:131775,1934:133638,1981:133962,1986:136068,2023:136959,2038:137283,2043:137931,2052:138741,2061:139146,2067:139794,2079:142284,2095:142900,2105:148136,2201:148521,2207:148906,2213:149753,2224:150061,2229:150523,2237:150908,2243:152525,2271:154604,2315:160375,2354:161275,2371:161650,2377:162250,2387:162625,2393:165495,2423:166940,2431:167228,2436:168380,2456:169172,2468:169892,2485:170900,2504:171692,2517:171980,2522:173636,2558:174140,2568:174500,2574:175220,2591:175508,2596:177020,2626:177884,2640:178316,2647:179468,2667:179972,2676:180404,2683:182924,2723:183932,2743:184724,2761:190604,2786:191132,2795:191396,2800:192056,2812:192716,2824:193310,2836:194696,2864:197929,2882:198440,2890:199024,2901:199754,2916:200557,2930:200995,2938:204280,3002:204718,3009:206397,3043:206689,3048:212490,3101
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert Dale's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert Dale lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert Dale details his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert Dale discusses his mother's move to Chicago, Illinois and her family there

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert Dale describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert Dale talks about his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert Dale describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert Dale describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert Dale talks about his brother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert Dale recounts his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Robert Dale describes his childhood neighborhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Robert Dale describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Robert Dale discusses his early childhood education at Catholic schools in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert Dale recalls his experiences at Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary School and St. Cyril Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert Dale details his experience of racial discrimination in the Catholic school system and how he ended up attending Chicago Vocational School

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert Dale recounts his experiences at Chicago Vocational School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert Dale recalls his decision to enter the U.S. military and his experiences in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert Dale talks about his family's limited engagement with the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert Dale explains how he became a dental assistant in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert Dale recounts his decision to move to Phoenix, Arizona enroll at Arizona State University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert Dale explains how he pursued a degree in Business at Arizona State University despite racist obstruction

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert Dale recalls his recruitment to Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert Dale recalls his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement through youth outreach and campus activism

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert Dale talks about encountering subtle racism when invited to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert Dale recounts the achievements of the Black Liberation Organizational Committee at the University of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert Dale describes working for Nairobi Day School, a private African-centered institution, in 1971

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert Dale discusses his graduate studies at Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Robert Dale recalls obtaining his first job with Kaiser Broadcasting Corporation in 1973 despite initial discrimination

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Robert Dale describes becoming one of the top salesmen at Kaiser Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert Dale describes encountering the glass ceiling after being promoted to national salesman at Kaiser Broadcasting Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert Dale recounts creating R.J. Dale Marketing Consultants and later co-founding the agency Adworks with Bernard Boswell in 1979

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert Dale remembers Vince Cullers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert Dale explains how racism limited the advancement black-owned advertising agencies

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert Dale talks about his identity as a businessman and how he developed an understanding of advertising

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert Dale reflects upon his clients and African American companies who do marketing and advertising in-house

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert Dale describes R.J. Dale Advertising's successful campaign for the Illinois State Lottery in 2004

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert Dale recounts how R.J. Dale Advertising was excessively audited after obtaining the Illinois State Lottery account

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert Dale explains how racial discrimination resulted in an unfair contract for R.J. Advertising with the Illinois State Lottery

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert Dale talks about the future of R.J. Advertising and his concerns for black-owned advertising agencies

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert Dale recounts R.J. Advertising's involvement with various political campaigns in Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert Dale talks about why he would not do anything differently in his life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert Dale describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert Dale talks about his involvement with African-centered schools and his belief in African-centered education

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert Dale reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Robert Dale talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Robert Dale describes the influence of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Robert Dale talks about how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
Robert Dale describes becoming one of the top salesmen at Kaiser Broadcasting Corporation
Robert Dale recounts creating R.J. Dale Marketing Consultants and later co-founding the agency Adworks with Bernard Boswell in 1979
Transcript
Nineteen seventy-three [1973], Kaiser Broadcasting [Corporation], okay. So, they, they just opened up Channel 32 as a, as a independent UHF [ultra high frequency] station?$$No, it was already open; it was owned by Field Communications, the same people that own Marshall Field [Marshall Field and Company].$$Oh, that's right, okay.$$They purchased it from Field Communications.$$Okay. Well, what were things like?$$It was just like he said (laughter). I was in training, but got none (laughter). And, you know, the, the--$$--Well, how were you treat--well, just kinda walk us through it--your first day in office--what your expectations were, and what happened.$$I didn't know what to expect, you know, so I, I showed up, I showed up like he said. I got there early, and so he did; he came out and greet me and he called in the sales manager--guy by the name of Frank; I can't remember his last name--nice enough guy. And so they showed me where my cubicle was, and told me what I would have to do was go out and find customers, you know--people who wanted to advertise on television. There were no training procedure, no training manual, no training program--nothing like that. So, I just had to watch the other guys and pick up--talk to them and learn stuff from them, and by me being--having marketing emphasis, I was able to go out and make cold calls and make sales because I could talk to the, to the companies about helping them with their marketing, as opposed to tryin' to convince them to advertise on television. So, I was pretty successful, and so I wanted to come out--I was doin' well enough where I wanted to come outta training after three months because I wasn't getting any commissions. So I woulda been makin' more had I been on straight commission, but other folks was gettin' my commission--the sales managers--so they weren't anxious to see me come outta training. But what they did, they gave me a couple of advertising agencies as my clients, so now I don't have to all--do all cold calls. But the clients they gave me weren't spending any money at that time, so as, as things would happen, two of the clients they gave me were about to start spendin' a lotta money on what we call direct response television advertising back then. Eicoff Advertising [later A. Eicoff & Company] was one of the first agents--advertising agencies to engage in that, and so we--so anyway, by the time I was ready to come out of training at the fifth month, they were ready to start advertising spending money with me--it was two agencies--and so I told him, "Well, let's hold off." And I didn't tell the company that I had these two agencies, each ready to spend a million dollars with me. And so they finally let me outta training, told me I was on a straight commission, on my own, and the next day I walked in with two million dollars' worth of business and became the top salesman in the office for the next year. And so then I got promoted to national sales; same thing happened--became the top salesman in the office and like the second top salesman in the--national salesman in the company. The number one salesman in the company was also a black guy; he was in Detroit [Michigan].$So, so is this the beginning of R.J. Dale and Associates?$$It's like the preliminary to R.J. Dale. This was a--this wasn't an advertising agency, this just a consulting firm, and I did (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous)--What did you call it?$$It was called R.J. Dale Marketing Consultants.$$Okay.$$And so we did work for the Small Business Administration [SBA], the [U.S.] Department of Commerce, and some--a few manufacturers. And then a, a recession came along, and 'course one of the first things they start cutting is outside consultants, and so I lost some of the business I had had, so--but there was a young guy at Vince Cullers Advertising [later Vince Cullers Group], which was one-a my clients who, every time I'd go up there, he'd say, "We oughta start our own agency." And I really wasn't interested in starting an advertising agency, and even when I--when I'd see him on the street, he'd say the same thing; it got to the point where I hated to see him coming. But then when the recession hit, my contracts dropped, and I saw him one day, he said, "We oughta start"--I said, "That's right; let's start our own agency." And so we started the agency, and it was called Adworks, initially. And our first client was Bachelor Quarters Men's Clothing Store.$$Now, now, what is the name of--says Adworks?$$A-D-W-O-R-K-S.$$And what year is this?$$Nineteen Seventy-Nine [1979].$$Nineteen Seventy-Nine [1979], okay, all right.$$And our, and our first client was a company that had been one of my clients as an SBA [Small Business Administration] consultant, Bachelor Quarters Men's Clothing Store. Leonard Williams was the owner there, and he hired us as the, as the agency. And then I--Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loans [Illinois Service Federal Savings and Loan Association] was our, our second client. And then we got a big break when Luster Products [Luster Products, Inc.] hired us as their agency; they were just starting to make a move in the black hair care industry, and they hired us as their agency, and we were together fourteen great years. The company grew by leaps and bounds, and the size of our contract with them grew every year. It, it was--at the end, it was about eight times more than when we first started, so that was a good relationship. And the thing I really loved about that relationship was that in my mind, it was the ideal model for black folks. You had a black-owned company that hires a black-owned advertising agency, and that agency applies its expertise to help that black company grow. And I saw that as a model that should have been duplicated as a way for us to begin to grow larger businesses, because what you really have now is black agencies with a lotta skills, but we sell them all to white corporations and we make millions upon millions of dollars for those white corporations based upon our skill set. So, I believe that if we took that same skill set and went to work for black companies who are at one level, need to get to a higher level, that we could, we could do some serious growth for black-owned companies.$$(unclear).

Eugene Morris

Pioneering advertising executive Eugene Morris, Jr. was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 25, 1939. The youngest of four siblings, Morris was raised in Chicago’s historic Bronzeville neighborhood. Owning several restaurants, Morris’ parents, Eugene Morris, Sr. and Willie Mae Morris, instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in their son. At the age of twelve, Morris and a childhood friend started a junk resale business with local thrift and resale shops as their clients. In 1952, Morris graduated from Forestville Elementary School. He then attended Tilden High School, graduating in 1956.

Morris attended several community colleges, and was later drafted into the U.S. Army in 1962. He was stationed in Kentucky at Fort Knox, in South Carolina at Fort Jackson, and overseas in Germany. By 1968, Morris returned to Chicago and obtained a job with the advertising agency of Foote, Cone, and Belding. He worked for several years at Foote, Cone, and Belding while attending Roosevelt University. In 1969, he received his B.A. degree in business administration and his M.B.A in 1971 from Roosevelt University. During the period between 1974 and 1986, Morris worked as an account supervisor and senior vice president management supervisor at Burrell Advertising Agency. He developed advertising programs for clients including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Johnson Products.

In 1987, Morris founded his own advertising agency entitled Eugene Morris Communications, Inc. (EMC). EMC has been ranked as one of Black Enterprise’s top fifteen advertising agencies. EMC’s clientele have included American Family Insurance, Tyson Foods, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. EMC has created major multi-cultural and multi-dimensional advertising campaigns that have generated $37.7 million in billings. Morris received the 2005 Martin Luther King Legacy Award from the Martin Luther King Boys and Girls Club for his philanthropic efforts. He has also received the 2006 Illinois Governor’s Small Business Person of the Year Award.

Accession Number

A2006.006

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/24/2006 |and| 2/1/2006

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Schools

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School

Carter G. Woodson South Elementary School

Roosevelt University

Kennedy–King College

First Name

Eugene

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MOR10

Favorite Season

Spring, Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Favorite Quote

Common Sense Ain't Common.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

7/25/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Italian Food

Short Description

Advertising chief executive and advertising executive Eugene Morris (1939 - ) owns his own advertising company called Eugene Morris Communications (EMC).

Employment

E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Burrell Advertising

Foote, Cone and Belding

U.S. Post Office

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:888,8:6134,86:18948,333:33832,515:35128,533:51306,696:55128,742:55518,748:64020,859:65424,881:66282,896:68700,927:69168,934:69480,939:74074,954:75946,983:92560,1221:93600,1239:98080,1319:98560,1326:99520,1343:100640,1367:101360,1377:102960,1406:134005,1842:137645,1918:147690,2061:148070,2067:160686,2381:169130,2466:181106,2687:181496,2693:181886,2699:190310,2892:208678,3076:215822,3217:237853,3618:238145,3623:238583,3630:261160,3985:261880,3999:276280,4168:280669,4355:294180,4619$0,0:395,25:16595,299:30789,500:32997,547:34860,614:46394,806:47252,818:48890,860:49202,865:54584,985:54896,990:57470,1033:59186,1066:59888,1077:71390,1198:73640,1237:76490,1286:82650,1341:87393,1401:96735,1509:100335,1590:106840,1694
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Eugene Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about his birth

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris describes his maternal and paternal family histories

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes moving to the Near North Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience at Sexton Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris remembers his sixth grade teacher, HistoryMaker Frances T. Matlock

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris describes his experience at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris talks about renting a horse to collect scrap metal

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes the racial tensions at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience on the wrestling team at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about his shop teacher at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his father's restaurants

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about what kind of student he was at Tilden Career Community Academy High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris talks about his experience in the City Colleges of Chicago between 1956 and 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1962

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes being stationed in Germany as a U.S. Army clerk

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes his experiences with segregation while in the U.S. Army

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as a company clerk in the U.S. Army at Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as a company clerk in the U.S. Army at Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his entrepreneurial experience on Coleman Barracks in Sandhofen, Germany

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris describes returning to the United States and enrolling at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris talks about his mother's religion

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris recalls being hired at the advertising firm Foote, Cone and Belding in 1968

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris recalls working at Foote, Cone and Belding and studying at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris recalls working at Foote, Cone and Belding and studying at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris talks about being oblivious to the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris talks about the assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about how his car was stolen after his return from Germany in 1965, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about how his car was stolen after his return from Germany in 1965, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as an account executive at Foote, Cone and Belding, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris describes his experience as an account executive at Foote, Cone and Belding, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes being hired as an account supervisor and media director at Burrell Advertising in 1974

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris recalls working on advertising campaigns for McDonald's and Coca-Cola at Burrell Advertising

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Eugene Morris describes the state of black advertising in 1976

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris talks about changing general market advertising campaigns to work for black audiences

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris recalls his departure from Burrell Advertising in 1986 and his relationship with HistoryMaker Thomas J. Burrell

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris describes starting Morris Randall Advertising and E. Morris Communications, Inc. in 1987

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris recalls the deaths of his parents and his likenesses to them

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris talks about his early clients at E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris shares his total marketing concept

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes losing Oldsmobile as a client in 2001 and how it affected E. Morris Communications, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris describes the quick turnover of business in advertising

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris describes how E. Morris Communications, Inc. rebounded from the loss of Oldsmobile in 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working on advertising campaigns for Wal-Mart Stores

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Eugene Morris describes his approach to marketing to different segments of the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Eugene Morris talks about founding the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Eugene Morris describes his experience working with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the reconstruction of the Dan Ryan Expressway

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Eugene Morris talks about the "Double Dutch" advertising campaign for Tyson Foods, Inc.

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Eugene Morris describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Eugene Morris reflects on how his parents would view his career

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Eugene Morris shares his advice for young entrepreneurs

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Eugene Morris reflects on his faith and marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Eugene Morris narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$6

DAStory

9$3

DATitle
Eugene Morris remembers his sixth grade teacher, HistoryMaker Frances T. Matlock
Eugene Morris talks about founding the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies
Transcript
But the teacher who impacted me the most in, in, in, in, in grade school was my sixth grade teacher [at Forestville Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois], and her name was [HM] Frances T. Matlock. And she was a little bitty lady, although she didn't look very little to me, 'cause I was a little bitty kid. I mean I, I grew very late. But she was, she was very tough, very tough, physically tough. I mean she would, she would get very physical. She couldn't exist today, but in those days, I mean she didn't hesitate to lay a little corporal punishment on you if, if you got out of line. But she was a tremendous teacher. She was the first and only teacher until I, I guess sometimes in college where I--she taught us anything about black history. And she was doing this in 1950. And she used to bring, during, during February, she would bring all kinds of materials to school, and we would have skits and plays and things like that. But she taught us a lot about having black pride, I mean, you know, long before anybody ever, ever mentioned it. You know, and she taught us a lot about black historical figures who, at, at a time when nobody was taking about it. And I always--you know, she, she taught us just about, about life and wanting to excel and wanting to live a better life. And she taught us social skills, and, and music, and all kinds of different things that, that went above just the regular curriculum. In fact, I, I might be getting ahead of myself, but I had not, had not seen her for a very long time. And one of the things we, we might talk about this later, but I'm real big on, on celebrating my birthdays. And the, the--my E. Morris [Communications] team here, they know that I really like this, and so they always try to do something to surprise me for my birthday. And so one day I had planned to take off for my birthday, and they called me and told me that something had happened, and I need to come in. And so I came in, and they said it's in, in the conference room. And I went in the conference room, and all these people were in there. And so, I--(unclear)--ah, man, they're just trying to trick--it's a birthday surprise, and I thought it was just the staff. But then when I started looking around, I could see, well, wait a minute, there're some other people here, was a friend who I grew up with, who I, I main--maintained contact with. His mother was here and several other people. And then so I see this little lady, and, but she had her back turned, and I couldn't figure out well, who is this? And at first I thought it might have been one of my aunts, and then I said no, it's not her. And she turned around. It was my sixth grade teacher. They had found her.$$How had the found her?$$And they found her--$$That's so awesome.$$--they found her, and, and I just started screaming: Ms. Matlock, Ms. Matlock, 'cause I had not seen her in forty-five years or something, you know--$$And she was still alive.$$She, she was still alive. In, in fact I found a picture of her that we took that day, because we, we, after the, after we had our little champagne and cake celebration, we, we--they had rented a bus, and we went on a tour of all, a lot of the places where I used to live and where I went school. And Ms. Matlock rode the bus with us and spent the whole day with us. And it was just, it was just a fabulous birthday present.$$That's beautiful--$$Yeah.$$Oh, my goodness.$$Yeah.$$I love that.$$Yeah.$$That's so sweet. Was she proud of you?$$Oh yeah. I mean she brought me, she brought all kinds of--she had these clippings and stuff. She had some things that, some clippings that, of, of, that were written about me in the school newspaper, all kinds of things, you know.$$She had been following you all of these--$$Yeah.$$--years.$$Yep.$$That is such a beautiful story. Ah, I wish it was like that still.$$Yeah.$$Oh, I wanted to ask, were, was your--was Forestville [Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois] integrated at that time?$$No, it was an all-black school. It was located on, on 45th and, and St. Lawrence.$$Oh.$$So it was, it was all-black school.$$So wait now, I guess--were you still living here on the north side then, or--$$No, no, we had moved, we had moved back to the South Side.$$Okay, right, that's what--$$We were always moving.$$Okay, I just wanted to get that--$$I don't know why. I don't know if we were trying to stay one step ahead of the rent man or what, but we moved a lot.$$Okay, that's what I was trying to figure out. I'm like, wow, you had a black teacher here on the North Side. That's really cool.$$Yeah.$And the, the other thing that you've done is, is to form the Association of Black-Owned Advertising Agencies.$$Yes.$$What, what led you to start that?$$Well, it's, it's something that's long overdue, and we've tried to do this before. I mean it's been tried a number of times. And for a number of reasons it, it, it never worked before. But it's important that African American agen--agencies be able to speak with one voice. I'm very vocal, and I'm always mouthing off about what's wrong in our industry, and why do you do this? And I write letters to people, you know, to companies and to the media and all that. But they can blow me off, like well, who are you? You know, you're a little guy. You got a little $40 million dollar agency, you know, what do we care about you? But if you have ten agencies or twenty agencies, and we're all saying the same thing, we write a letter, and everybody is on the, you know, is a signatory to it, then people have to pay a little bit more attention to it. And so, we have a lot of problems and a lot of challenges within our industry, and some of them are very specific to African American agencies. And so we need to be addressing those. And I think fortunately, because I have been around a very long time, and I think that I have always conducted myself in a way, tried to make people respect me, tried to operate above board, be a person of my word, know the people, people know that they can count on me, so I, I, I think I was able to get a bunch of agencies in the room, and they know that I didn't have a real agenda, other than this is something that we all need to do for our collective good. It's not just for, for Eugene Morris.

Donald A. Coleman

Advertising chief executive Donald Alvin Coleman was born on January 11, 1952 in Toledo, Ohio to Augustus and Dorothy O. Bowers Coleman. He attended Monroe Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School and Robinson Junior High School, and graduated from St. Johns Jesuit High School in 1970. After completing his B.A. degree in journalism at the University of Michigan, Coleman was drafted to play linebacker for the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints in 1974. Traded to the New York Jets, Coleman, on injured reserve, earned his M.B.A. degree in marketing from Hofstra University. Retiring from the NFL in 1977 because of knee injuries, Coleman began a career in advertising.

Working at Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Michigan, Coleman became a Vice President in the early 1980s. Coleman then joined Chicago-based Burrell Advertising where he learned about target marketing. In 1988, he founded Don Coleman Associates (which later became Don Coleman Advertising), a company which has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s largest black owned advertising agencies. In 2002, Coleman joined forces with Hispanic agency Montemayor y Asociados and Asian agency Innovasia Communications to form GlobalHue Advertising. As President and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalHue, Coleman runs the largest minority-owned full service marketing communications agency in the nation. GlobalHue was awarded AdWeek’s “Multicultural Agency of the Decade” in 2009. GlobalHue’s clients include DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Verizon Wireless, American Airlines, and the United States Navy.

A member of the Adcraft Club of Detroit, the University of Michigan Athletic Department’s Board of Control and the National Football League Players Association, Colemen also Co-Chairs the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s Capital Campaign. Coleman lives near Detroit with his wife Jo and their daughter.

Donald Coleman was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 6, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.098

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/6/2005

Last Name

Coleman

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

A.

Organizations
Schools

Monroe Elementary School

Lincoln Elementary School

Robinson Junior High School

St. John's Jesuit High School & Academy

University of Michigan

Hofstra University

First Name

Donald

Birth City, State, Country

Toledo

HM ID

COL08

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

St. Martin

Favorite Quote

A Competitor Who Has Arranged It So He Or She Can Win Or Lose With Equal Pride Has Set The Table For Their Last Supper.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

1/11/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice, Greens (Collard)

Short Description

Advertising chief executive Donald A. Coleman (1952 - ) was drafted by the National Football League’s New Orleans Saints in 1974, and was later traded to the New York Jets. Coleman retired from football in 1977. In 1988, he founded Don Coleman Advertising, Incorporated. In 2002, Coleman united his firm with Hispanic agency, Montemayor y Asociados and an Asian agency, Innovasia Communications to form GlobalHue, of which he is chairman and CEO.

Employment

National Football League’s New Orleans Saints

National Football League’s New York Jets

Campbell-Ewald Advertising

Burrell Communications Group

Don Coleman Associates

GlobalHue Advertising

Favorite Color

Black, Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:17967,258:18561,267:35684,484:42116,589:46450,596:47431,607:72774,852:77850,952:78320,958:86512,1025:86922,1031:90694,1129:111006,1506:141500,1953:160441,2120:167893,2376:168622,2386:169918,2410:170485,2418:179178,2485:180122,2495:180830,2502:182128,2527:193948,2719:194410,2726:222275,2984:223660,2997:224668,3006:235006,3094:236084,3107:252190,3330:256420,3410:256960,3417:261720,3459$0,0:388,3:3718,57:5124,80:15170,278:21395,389:39778,790:51560,1096:54570,1178:64130,1223:65030,1235:77193,1350:78489,1398:86670,1585:87399,1600:91206,1676:109356,1946:111020,1951
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald A. Coleman's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald A. Coleman lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his father and paternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald A. Coleman describes his father's physique and personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald A. Coleman describes his parents' meeting and migration from Tennessee to Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald A. Coleman describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald A. Coleman recalls familial roles and his uncle's eating traditions

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald A. Coleman recalls his childhood in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald A. Coleman talks about how family values were impressed upon children in his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donald A. Coleman remembers his childhood in Methodist churches

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his family's religiosity and his mother's love for jazz

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald A. Coleman talks about baseball players he admired as a child and remembers being an active child

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald A. Coleman recalls his father's carpentry skills

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald A. Coleman lists his childhood interests and primary and secondary schools

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald A. Coleman explains why he attended the reopened St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald A. Coleman details the progression of his football-playing as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his academic progress at St. John's High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald A. Coleman talks about his experience at St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald A. Coleman talks about playing running back at St. John's Jesuit High School and Academy in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald A. Coleman recalls his time working with children with developmental disabilities in Toledo, Ohio as a teenager

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Donald A. Coleman recalls being scouted for college football teams as a senior at St. John's Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald A. Coleman explains his decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan despite pressure to attend Stanford University in California

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald A. Coleman recalls being coached in football by Bo Schembechler at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald A. Coleman talks about the state of collegiate athletics

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald A. Coleman talks about how his interest in journalism led to copywriting career aspirations

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald A. Coleman recalls how he began playing linebacker for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald A. Coleman talks about black advertising agencies

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald A. Coleman recalls living with six other football players while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald A. Coleman describes his experience at the 1972 Rose Bowl Game

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald A. Coleman describes the sights, sounds and smells of Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donald A. Coleman remembers getting the best of Tyrone Willingham

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

7$10

DATitle
Donald A. Coleman describes his parents' meeting and migration from Tennessee to Toledo, Ohio
Donald A. Coleman remembers getting the best of Tyrone Willingham
Transcript
Is there a story about how your mother [Dorothy Bowers Coleman] and father [Augustus Coleman] met?$$Well, they met at a dance, I believe, in rural Tennessee. He was a couple of years older than she. And so they dated, you know, how you dated back in those days, on horseback. (Laughter) So, he lived, you know, down the road a way, so now it would be the equivalent of a ten-minute drive. But back in those days it was quite a little horse ride. And every now and then a buggy on special types of occasions, because they didn't really have a car in those early days back then. And my father decided to leave Tennessee when he was nineteen, and he hopped a railcar with two other buddies out of their area. The trains, they knew the trains were coming by, and they hopped them. I guess you called them hobos. (Laughter) They hopped a train, and three of them were headed for Chicago [Illinois], because they knew the train went to Chicago. The first stop was a little town in Ohio called Sandusky, Ohio. And the two other guys said, "You know, this is far enough. I'm sick of riding this train," and they hopped off in Sandusky. And that's where they made their lives and raised their families. And my father said, "No, I'm going on to Chicago." But, you know, after traveling by himself for a couple more hours, they stopped in Toledo [Ohio]. So he says, "I'm going to get off here." So, he got off in Toledo. And he worked a lot of different jobs, I mean a number of different jobs. But after he got there and got a job and got a room, he sent for my mother, and they got married.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$$So he didn't, he didn't know anybody in Toledo? He just stopped off because he got tired of--?$$Well, he got tired. He said he didn't feel like there was any opportunity for him in the South. And you know, he wanted to go north, where obviously everyone was trying to get to. They thought it was better opportunity in the North. And this was in the, this was in the late '30s [1930s], I believe.$$Yeah, if he was born in 1920, it would be 1939 I guess.$$Yeah, about '38 [1938], '39 [1939], something like that.$$So he's nineteen years old in Toledo?$$Uh-huh.$$Where did he work when he got to Toledo?$$Well, he had a lot of jobs. He was, he and my mother worked as, like domestics in a house. He was a delivery man, he was a janitor. He worked a lot of different jobs like that until he finally settled in, and he was a skycap for United Airlines, and he worked there for thirty years.$$Okay.$$Yeah. My mother got into real estate. You know, as she got older, she settled into real estate. Now mind you, this was years later. There were a lot of different jobs. But when I was born--see, my father retired in 1980 after thirty years. So, he started in 1950 at United Airlines. And my mother probably started--I was born in '52 [1952], so she probably started in like '55 [1955] in real estate. And--$$Okay.$$So we were in, we were in Toledo, Ohio. And subsequently after he left and settled in, all but--he's from a family of nine. So four of his, three of his brothers and sisters followed him north, to Toledo. So he helped them get situated, and that's where their families, that's where they lived and where their families were raised.$$Okay.$$So he was always kind of the trailblazer in the family, you know, more of the leader. Even though he wasn't the oldest, he was always considered to be the leader of the family.$Is there, is any one play that you remember as being the most memorable play in your college career [at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan]?$$Oh, I had a lot of them. You know, I think there are a lot of different plays. I mean you know, you always think about those more, those more out-front plays, you know, where you make the interceptions as a linebacker, and then you run them back for touchdowns. And I remember a lot of those. But I think, you know, one of the most--for me, it was, we were playing [Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan] at Michigan Stadium [Ann Arbor, Michigan]. And the quarterback then, one of the quarterbacks, was Tyrone Willingham, you know, from--an ex of [University of] Notre Dame [South Bend, Indiana], now at the University of Washington [Seattle, Washington] or wherever. Who knows where he may be.$$Stanford [University, Stanford, California], too, he was the coach at Stanford.$$Yeah. It was a pretty close game at Michigan Stadium in my junior year. And I remember he was quick. Man, he was so fast and quick. And he was an option quarterback, he wasn't a passing quarterback. And it was a 4th down and 2 play, and they ran a bootleg type play to my side of the field. And I just remember beating the blocker. Really I did an unorthodox move. You're not supposed to cut, go inside the blocker, particularly when there's a fast guy who can get outside or around you and go around the corner. You're supposed to, what they call, contain. So you're supposed to stay on the outside, to turn him back in, to the pursuit of the defense. Well, on the 4th, it was the 4th and 2. And sometimes, you know, just your instinct tells you to gamble. You feel like, you know, you've got an edge in the situation, so you, you just go for it. So, I felt I had an edge on the blocker. I went inside of him and tackled Willingham for a loss on his 4th and 2, which was a pretty big play.

Renetta Earldeane McCann

Renetta McCann, long time CEO of the Americas Starcom MediaVest Group, was born as Renetta E. Walker on December 8, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois. Raised by her mother, school teacher Editha Lorraine Collymore Walker, and grandmother, Renetta Collymore, McCann attended Holy Cross Elementary School, St. Phillip Neri School, and graduated from Aquinas Dominican High School in 1974. McCann, who excelled in forensics, earned her B.S. degree in Communications from Northwestern University in 1978.

McCann joined Chicago’s Leo Burnett advertising agency as a client service trainee in 1978, and rose rapidly to become Burnett’s first African American media supervisor the following year; she then became the first African American vice president of the company in 1988, and the first to be media director in 1989. As media director, McCann handled a variety of clients including Sony, Keebler, McDonald’s, and Dewar’s; she was named senior vice president in 1995. In 1998, McCann was promoted to managing director of Starcom; as Leo Burnett merged with D’Arcy, she became CEO of the Americas Starcom MediaVest Group. McCann was responsible for the operation of the largest office in the Starcom MediaVest Group network, encompassing Canada and the United States, and including Starcom; MediaVest; GM Planworks; and Starlink. Responsible for United States and Latin America, McCann oversaw all annual business plan development and finance issues; maintained client relationships; and drove the agency’s strategic planning functions.

McCann developed Starcom into one of the advertising industry’s top strategic planning think tanks. The winner of numerous Effies and Cannes Lions, McCann was selected as one of Ebony magazine’s 57 Most Intriguing Blacks and Black Enterprise designated her the 2002 Executive of the Year. McCann was chosen Media Maven by Advertising Age in 1991, while the Women’s Advertising Club of Chicago selected her as Advertising Woman of the Year for 2002. Profiled by Business Week and Chicago Magazine, Essence named McCann one of 50 Women Who Are Changing The World. In January of 2009, McCann took a sabbatical from her position at the Americas Starcom MediaVest Group, citing a need to spend time with her family and reflect on personal and professional goals.

Accession Number

A2005.079

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/25/2005 |and| 6/1/2005

Last Name

McCann

Maker Category
Middle Name

Earldene

Organizations
Schools

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School

Holy Cross Elementary School

St. Philip Neri Catholic School

Northwestern University

First Name

Renetta

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MCC06

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Scottsdale, Arizona

Favorite Quote

Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

12/8/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Advertising chief executive Renetta Earldeane McCann (1956 - ) was the CEO of the Americas Starcom MediaVest Group.

Employment

Leo Burnett

Starcom North America

Starcom MediaVest Group

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:6240,110:6596,115:7664,128:8376,138:18967,266:36000,443:39432,541:40212,556:47934,712:48402,724:49494,739:49884,745:50274,751:53238,809:64504,931:64808,936:67848,1009:70128,1046:70812,1057:92082,1327:93414,1359:98298,1452:105846,1622:108140,1664:108436,1672:118863,1762:119218,1768:121916,1819:134449,1992:135296,2006:135681,2012:143304,2149:144228,2162:148617,2230:150080,2250:150619,2258:151004,2264:152390,2284:153391,2305:153699,2310:161860,2382:174192,2552:174516,2557:175002,2565:180024,2656:187557,2799:197910,2874$0,0:2475,83:3000,91:5850,158:9825,216:10875,234:11475,239:11925,246:12525,257:15975,315:18075,354:19875,392:21525,417:31896,508:32436,514:46664,699:47162,707:47660,715:48158,722:67112,956:68204,971:68828,980:69608,994:70700,1016:71480,1029:81128,1154:81767,1164:82051,1169:86737,1283:89861,1348:90642,1361:91565,1376:92701,1399:95044,1448:96251,1477:96677,1485:97458,1500:98026,1508:105375,1553:106039,1561:112679,1638:114173,1655:114588,1662:118074,1694:118821,1705:119236,1711:119900,1719:123340,1732:123980,1740:125100,1755:125500,1761:126300,1772:126860,1781:128540,1811:132460,1850:143420,1947:144116,1955:144812,1964:145247,1970:149336,2032:150815,2063:151250,2069:154690,2092:155086,2097:156472,2116:157759,2143:158254,2149:158947,2157:161917,2191:162313,2196:170629,2291:177716,2367:178445,2378:179660,2396:181100,2405
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Renetta Earldeanne McCann's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann relates how her grandmother moved from Mobile, Alabama to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes the occupations and personality of her mother's family members

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about attending Catholic schools during her childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about moving to the South Shore neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about the role of music in her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her childhood personality and her childhood activities in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her first encounters with racism as a child in South Shore, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her experience at Aquinas Dominican High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her family's attitude towards civil rights

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her personality and interests during her childhood in South Shore, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her decision to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Slating of Renetta Earldeanne McCann's interview, session two

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes the racial composition of the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois during her childhood, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes the racial composition of the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois during her childhood, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes attending Catholic schools while living in South Shore, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her family's perspective on the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann remembers the assassinations of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann remembers the mass media entertainment she was interested in as a child and a teenager

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her activities at Aquinas Dominican High School, Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her experiences with campus life at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her academic pursuits at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her path to taking a job at Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her job responsibilities at Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about being one of the first African Americans in the media department at Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about why she chose to work at Leo Burnett rather than an agency owned by African Americans

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes how she became a media vice president at Leo Burnett Company Inc.

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her career at Leo Burnett Company Inc. after her promotion to vice president

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her roles in management for Starcom North America

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann explains the multiple paradoxes within businesses

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about some of the tactics and beliefs that have made her successful in business

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about modern trends in wealth creation

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her beliefs about viable entrepreneurial pursuits in the modern economy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about her future plans to work in the not-for-profit sector

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Renetta Earldeanne McCann reflects on the qualities that have made her successful in the corporate world

DASession

2$2

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$3

DATitle
Renetta Earldeanne McCann remembers the mass media entertainment she was interested in as a child and a teenager
Renetta Earldeanne McCann talks about being one of the first African Americans in the media department at Leo Burnett Company Inc.
Transcript
Now in terms of television--(simultaneous)$$Yeah.$$You know, since you're in advertising now, but did you pay much attention to radio and television and movies when you were growing up? I know you read a lot.$$I read a lot, listened to the radio a lot, and I think it's just to pick up popular music, so you know WVON [1690AM] and whatever was the precursor of what's now WVAZ [formerly known as WOPA-FM, WGLD, and WBMX] and, and things like that. So I definitely, by time I got to high school, had a preference for listening to black hit radio. Before that, I was, I was probably sort of agnostic and just sort of listened to anything, I wasn't a big media consumer. We didn't go to the movies a lot, and I think quite frankly, I can think about this now in hindsight, it, it wasn't very apparent in the moment. But in hindsight, we were actually kind of poor, so to take all five of us--we would go to the drive-in which is just crazy. And I remember once going to the drive-in to see 'Patton,' which clearly my stepfather picked, 'cause there's no reason why three kids under, I can't remember what year it came out. But three kids under fifteen wouldn't want to see 'Patton' and there some other bad movies at the, at the drive-in. We had this old, red, I think it was a Plymouth Valiant, so it was a four-door and this little red car and I could remember all of us sort of piling in and, and driving to wherever the, the drive-ins were at that point. I think it might've been one on 68th [Street] and Western [Avenue], I don't even remember, but we didn't do a lot of recreation, and I didn't watch a lot of television either. And in fact, just to, just to complete the circle, I grew up at the time of Vietnam War, didn't spend much time talking about that either. Clearly that was real far away, in a different country, you know would come home and sometimes the TV would be playing during dinner. And you realize what was going on, but there wasn't a large hue and cry or outrage in my house over the war. And I think of all of us were pretty--it didn't touch us that way, because one uncle was too old to go, the other one was disqualified from going. So we didn't have anybody who was going to be impacted that way, so it was another thing that happened. But aware of it, but not very involved, and, I watched the usual suspects, so I watched 'Julia' and I watched 'Batman' and I watched probably 'The Beverly Hillbillies', and 'Laugh-In' and whatever. Then by time I got into high school, I was clever enough to watch sports from time to time, so I, being a girl, would watch baseball and basketball, 'cause it helped in the few times that you had to talk to boys. I think I probably started watching a little tennis, but I'd watch a little sports, but I wasn't a big TV viewer at all. But the selection wasn't very good back then either.$$Okay.$So starting in 1978 [at Leo Burnett Company Inc.], decided that--started in media, decided that I liked media and had a philosophy of when you find something that you really like, well you should keep doing it. And elected not to go into client service, I decided on my own that I probably needed more exposure to business and more exposure to business practices. I was twenty-one, sort of fresh out of school, I'm first generation, well, my uncle got pretty far in Commonwealth Edison. But I was sort of first generation corporate, and so there wasn't a lot at home to rely on. I can remember learning at the age of twenty-one, it was fascinating to me, almost crazy to admit it that you could have as many as twelve pieces of silverware on a formal table. And so when you go out to business luncheons, now I commonly have six pieces of silverware, where I didn't grow up in a house where you'd have six pieces of silverware. So there were a lot of conventions of business that I had to learn, in addition to learning the business that I was in. And I would say not a whole lot of, lots of love and support from my family, but not a whole lot of knowledge that could be conveyed. And a lot, each situation was sort a new one for all of us--(simultaneous)$$A new world.$$New world, and in many ways, and I've been called this in many ways, definitely a trailblazer in terms of, certainly my family and what it's like to live in a corporate world. And then eventually, what it meant to be an African American in this industry, and then to be an African American woman in this industry. And with, with all due humility as, as you trace my career, it's a series of firsts, so in 1979, I became the first African American and African American woman media supervisor that the company had ever had. So the company had been formed in 1935, so by time you get to 1979, the company is, what, forty-six years old. And I was the first, you know, African American media supervisor, when I became assistant media director, I was the first one of those. I was the first African American media vice president. At the time I came in, there were other African Americans in a pretty large class that year in 1978, and a number attritioned out, the majority went into client service and had very fine and robust careers there, but on the media path, I was sort of at most points the first one and the only one.

George Beach

Artist and businessman George Albert Beach was born August 14, 1936 in New York City. His mother, Ethel McKinnon, came from Kingston, New York and his father, James H. Beach, was from Montserrat. The family moved to Philadelphia in 1946 where Beach attended William Pierce Elementary School, Gillespie Junior High School and studied art at Fleisher Art Memorial. Beach graduated from Simon Gratz High School in 1954 and earned his B.F.A. degree in advertising design from the University of the Arts in 1958. Beach also studied at L'Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and at L’Alliance Franciase, both in Paris.

He started Beach Advertising in 1974 and his clients have included Pfizer, John F. Rich and Company, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, McDonalds and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. In 1964, Beach was elected as the first African American president of the Artist Guild of Delaware Valley and he served in that capacity until 1967. Beach also joined the American Numismatic Association and founded the African American Commemorative Society (AACS). In 1970, he paired up with Calvin Massey and Robert L. Jefferson to start the fully illustrated African American Historical Calendar, which has been produced annually since.

A recipient of numerous awards including the Addy, Neographic, and Art Directors Club awards and a best of category award from Printing Industries of America, Beach participated in the White House Conferences on Small Businesses and is active with the Small Business Administration. He serves on the boards of the Alliance for Aging Research, the Philadelphia African American Museum, Historic Philadelphia, Inc., the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the National Arthritis Foundation, the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the University for the Arts. Beach, who has two adult sons, lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Mary.

Accession Number

A2005.047

Sex

Male

Interview Date

2/11/2005

Last Name

Beach

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Simon Gratz High School

William Pierce Elementary School

Elizabeth Duane Gillespie Junior High School

University of the Arts

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

George

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

BEA05

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

All

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $500 - $1,000

Favorite Season

All Seasons

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $750-$1200 for half-day, plus travel and lodging expenses.
Preferred Audience: All

Sponsor

Lincoln Financial Group Foundation

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean, Paris, France

Favorite Quote

I'm Loving It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Birth Date

8/14/1936

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Peas (Black-Eyed)

Short Description

Graphic artist and advertising chief executive George Beach (1936 - ) started Beach Advertising in 1974. He was the first African American president of the Artist Guild of Delaware Valley and has served on numerous other boards.

Employment

Beach Communications

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Purple

Timing Pairs
324,0:2376,78:14172,204:20575,278:21240,286:22000,296:22855,308:23900,323:25325,347:28270,378:29410,386:32450,422:37960,506:46990,581:47530,587:63550,817:64450,830:65800,881:77970,974:96800,1196:98606,1234:101100,1281:101444,1286:101960,1293:113890,1450:115474,1467:115914,1473:124895,1592:125479,1602:126720,1622:127815,1641:128910,1650:129494,1663:130005,1671:136250,1733:136625,1739:139625,1792:139925,1797:140600,1807:140900,1814:141275,1820:141725,1827:142325,1836:146675,1895:148475,1947:149150,1957:152440,1962:159574,2049:160312,2061:165314,2134:165642,2139:166790,2159:167528,2172:175124,2239:182040,2316:183712,2353:190780,2463:192148,2473:197450,2499:199610,2535:200170,2543:200570,2549:201450,2563:207770,2668:209210,2704:210810,2722:214540,2749:215350,2762:216340,2806:218590,2836:219760,2857:220750,2869:226690,2954:227410,2963:230560,3070:249041,3375:249349,3380:249888,3388:251428,3415:254200,3452:254816,3462:259139,3479:261267,3500:262780,3525:264738,3553:265183,3559:266073,3574:266696,3582:268832,3611:272214,3679:273994,3709:275507,3735:283170,3794:285620,3840:286320,3853:286950,3867:287440,3876:288840,3897:290170,3928:290800,3941:291500,3953:309617,4249:310100,4257:310859,4277:312850,4292$0,0:5200,163:13940,278:14320,283:21790,322:28438,514:29560,534:30070,540:31600,558:33946,584:34456,590:37516,630:38536,646:43033,685:45274,711:45689,717:48760,807:55732,945:58969,1004:59467,1012:71146,1131:71636,1137:73008,1154:74870,1175:75262,1180:76340,1192:77712,1205:82416,1285:83004,1292:86739,1304:87237,1313:87818,1322:89312,1344:90142,1359:90723,1370:91055,1375:92134,1392:93545,1412:94043,1419:94790,1430:96118,1449:97861,1473:102509,1549:103007,1556:124275,1795:125019,1805:134735,1860:137064,1879:137594,1885:138018,1890:139290,1908:140350,1921:145438,1969:160386,2140:163970,2156:165970,2173:171300,2224:171860,2232:177060,2331:183620,2505:186900,2562:191275,2576:192895,2597:196378,2651:200428,2707:206835,2760:210300,2801:210762,2808:217384,2924:226406,3020:229850,3074:230354,3081:230690,3086:231026,3091:231614,3100:232034,3106:232622,3112:235142,3123:237998,3162:252990,3287
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Beach's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Beach lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Beach describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Beach describes his mother's upbringing and her career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Beach describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Beach talks about his father's immigration to New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Beach talks about how he takes after both of his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Beach describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Beach describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Beach talks about his childhood memories of growing up in New York, New York

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - George Beach talks about the role of music in his childhood in Harlem, New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Beach talks about visiting Trinidad during his teenage years

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Beach describes his experiences at Public School 40 in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Beach describes his artistic interests during his time at William S. Peirce School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Beach talks about his siblings' differing attitudes towards education

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Beach describes his artistic interests at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Beach describes his extracurricular activities at Simon Gratz High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Beach describes his experiences at the Museum School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Beach describes his experiences at the Museum School of Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Beach talks about his internship with Freed Studios, Inc. and winning a design contest his senior year of college

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Beach recalls the advertisements that he encountered during his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Beach talks about the skills and traits that led to his success in advertising

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Beach talks about working as an apprentice at Freed Studios, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Beach talks about opening his own studio as a design artist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Beach talks about his term as president of the Artists Guild of Delaware Valley

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Beach talks about how taking risks allowed him to grow his business during the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Beach talks about how being an African American affected the course of his advertising career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Beach talks about how he recruited members for the African-American Commemorative Society

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Beach talks about creating commemorative medals with the African-American Commemorative Society

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Beach talks about the value of the medal collection created by the African-American Commemorative Society

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Beach describes the black history calendars he produces with the African-American Commemorative Society

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Beach talks about his volunteer work with non-profit organizations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Beach talks about his reasons for researching the lives of early African American leaders

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Beach talks about some of his favorite stories from the African-American Commemorative Society calendar

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Beach describes his struggle to grow his business through working for major corporations

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Beach talks about his battle with rheumatoid arthritis

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Beach talks about some of the treatments that helped him recover from rheumatoid arthritis

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Beach talks about overcoming the prognosis that he would be confined to a wheelchair

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Beach talks about returning to painting after treatment for his rheumatoid arthritis

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Beach describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Beach reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Beach reflects upon his legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Beach reflects upon his legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Beach describes his family's thoughts about his career

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Beach talks about his experience studying at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Beach describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Beach narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Beach narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

4$9

DATitle
George Beach talks about opening his own studio as a design artist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the early 1960s
George Beach talks about his internship with Freed Studios, Inc. and winning a design contest his senior year of college
Transcript
Where did you go [after Freed Studios, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]?$$In January of 1958, I walked six blocks from where we are and I got space in a studio called Cerotti Studios [ph.], and that was owned by Al Cerotti [ph.]. And the arrangement was that it would cost me fifteen dollars a month to be there. In his space, I had my drawing board, I had my telephone, and what my responsibility was, was to give him first preference for my time and talent, that I would respond to whatever his needs were prior to any accounts that was able to muster up for myself. In that first week or two that I was there, looking at the phone, hoping it would ring, I probably lost about eight pounds, but it was a tremendous experience, and from Cerotti, I was able to--after a year and a half, I was able to rent my own space at the Middle City Building [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], again, eight blocks from where we now sit, and that was a very, very wonderful experience to have my own studio.$$So this is in 1960 then, right? When you get your own studio?$$Yeah, 1959, 1960, um-hm.$$Okay. Now, what was the atmosphere here for black artists in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania]? I know we've heard stories since we've been interviewing people in Philadelphia that make us think that this wasn't always Philadelphia, you know it was (laughter)--maybe it was Birmingham [Alabama] or something at one point and it became Philadelphia later, but it wasn't always great for black people in this city in terms of acceptance and so forth, but what was your experience?$$Well, my experience was really quite the opposite in a sense because what I was doing in music, I was playing music that everybody else played. I wasn't playing so-called black music or African American music. I was doing design like everybody else. There wasn't anything that was popular as, you know, black design or black art. That was not the big words in those days. So I was competing with everybody else, and I was very good because I worked hard at being good, and I had the gift of the talent that helped accelerate, you know, my ability to do good work. So when people looked at my work, it was like any--like my counterpart, and that's where I competed. I did things that were market general. There was nothing for the African American community or the Latino community or anything of that nature. That came along in the '70s [1970s], but through the '60s [1960s], I was very, very fortunate that I got busy. I mean, people kept me busy. And there was another thing that was very interesting. The Quakers here in Philadelphia were particularly sensitive to me, and one of the longest accounts I had during that time was from a Quaker run agency. It was called the John F. Rich Company [Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], and I designed booklets for various campaigns. They did fundraising campaigns for various causes like Keuka College in [Keuka Park] New York, the Culver Military Academy [Culver, Indiana], the Einstein Institute [Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey] at Princeton [University, Princeton, New Jersey]. These were all top notch activities, the oncologic hospital here in Philadelphia, the Einstein Hospital [Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], northern and southern divisions. So when I was doing my design for them, it was across the board like anybody else, but it was good. So that gave me a very good edge. As a matter of fact, it was the John F. Rich Company that allowed me to do my first ad. It was an ad for their company in the Trustee Magazine, which comes out of Chicago [Illinois]. I'll never forget it, to buy the media for the trustee and design the ad and send the materials to the publication for the John F. Rich Company. And that was an ongoing monthly ad; we did an ad a month. So that's how I really backed into the advertising business through my experience with the John F. Rich Company and others. I did a lot of work for the major advertising agencies and major companies.$$That's Rich, R-I-C-H (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) R-I-C-H, um-hm.$$Okay, out of Chicago, okay.$$No, they were out of Philadelphia (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) They were in Philadelphia, okay.$$--but the Trustee Magazine was out of Chicago.$$Okay.$After art school [Philadelphia Museum School of Art; The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] I mean, what did you do next?$$It was very simple. I walked four--I walked six blocks and I got involved--I took space in a design studio and started doing design on a work space arrangement deal, and it was the first week I got out of school.$$Okay so you didn't waste (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But I--$$You didn't waste any time (laughter).$$No, not at all. As a matter of fact, I can tell you this. I was in the first class of students that had internships, the first internships that were introduced at the school. It was myself, Jerry [J.] Siano, and [Gerald] Jerry Buckley; there were three students. Jerry Siano went to N.W. Ayer [& Son, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania], which was a large advertising agency here in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania], and he's always stayed in that discipline. He retired several years ago as chairman of the eleventh largest advertising agency in the world. Jerry Buckley went to N.W. Ayer, and he off and on worked inside, then he came outside, then he worked inside, but his whole career, spent it around N.W. Ayer and that advertising concept. My experience was with Freed Studios [Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. It was a design studio, and that was where my orientation was in my senior year at school. I went there on a daily basis and I took my degree courses on Saturdays, and the reason why it worked so well for me, Maurice Freed, who owned Freed Studios, he was chairman of the alumni association at the Museum College of Art. And I got an opportunity to get a jumpstart on my fellow classmates, because I was a professional in my senior year at school. And I could feel a little--I could feel a little rub from that as a matter of fact. Some of my teachers made comments to the effect that I want you to think more like a student as opposed to a professional. And I won a design prize for the first cover for the Academy of Music's [Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] annual ball, which is now in its--it was its hundredth anniversary nearly forty-five years ago. And after I won that award, it--and I'll tell you what it was, it was a hundred dollars and two tickets to the ball. And I--my mother [Ethel McKinnon Beach] was my date for that occasion and I--it was a white tie event and the dinner took place at the Bellevue-Stratford [Hotel; The Bellevue Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania]. There was a red carpet from the Bellevue-Stratford to the Academy of the Music, and my mother and I marched down this red carpet and we sat in the balcony in the first seats in the balcony dead on at the orchestra, so that was a wonderful experience. But what I felt--I felt a little, a few rubs while I was in school because I had won the prize as a, you know, African American person, and I felt that my work--as I began to show my work on the walls for critique, I was criticized a little more than I had been prior to winning that award, which got a lot of notice. So there were things like that that you could sense being in a environment that you were truly in the minority, and, in fact, very few people were in the field itself, so it was unusual to pursue the course of study that I did.

Thomas J. Burrell

As a shy boy growing up on Chicago's South Side, the dynamic advertising mogul Tom Burrell never imagined he would attain the power and prestige he has today. At age 18, he was admitted to Chicago's Roosevelt University. The school stimulated and inspired the young Burrell and he became involved in a variety of activities, including a leadership role with Alpha Delta Sigma fraternity.

Burrell began his career in advertising while still attending Roosevelt University, where he later graduated with a B.A. in English. His senior year, he landed a position as a copywriter with the Chicago division of Wade Advertising, before moving over to Foote Cone & Belding, where he became a Copy Supervisor. He spent one year in the firm's London offices.

In 1971, seeking to spread his wings and responding to the need for advertising that would target the burgeoning African American market, he founded Burrell Communications Group. Many of his initial clients, such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola, still remain clients today. Due in large part to these lasting partnerships, Burrell Advertising grew to become the nation's largest African American-owned marketing firm. Today, with its Advertising, Public Relations, and Consumer Promotions divisions, Burrell Communications offers a wide array of services to an equally broad range of clients. These include NYNEX, Kmart, Polaroid and the American Association of Retired Persons.

Due to his tremendous success, Burrell has become a nationally acknowledged leader in the advertising world. In 1986, he was the recipient of the Albert Lasker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Advertising, and in 1990, he received the prestigious Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism from the University of Missouri's School of Journalism. He has served as the Chairman of the Chicago Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. He currently sits on the National Board of Directors for that organization.

Burrell also devotes much of his time to various charitable organizations. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Urban League as well as the Board of Governors of Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind and the Advisory Council of Howard University's School of Communications.

He lives in Chicago with his wife, Madeleine Moore Burrell.

Accession Number

A2001.007

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

6/5/2001

Last Name

Burrell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

J.

Organizations
Schools

Betsy Ross Elementary School

Paul Robeson High School

Roosevelt University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Thomas

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

BUR02

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

3/18/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hummus

Short Description

Advertising chief executive Thomas J. Burrell (1939 - ) founded Burrell Communications Group in 1971 which grew to become the nation’s largest African American-owned marketing firm with clients such as McDonalds and Coca-Cola.

Employment

Wade Advertising

Leo Burnett Company, Inc.

Foote, Cone and Belding

Needham, Harper, and Steers

Burrell-McBain

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
0,0:436,2:872,7:1962,19:2834,28:7202,58:9341,92:15498,186:16106,195:17702,226:18690,246:18994,251:19830,266:20666,280:21502,293:24920,302:25540,315:25850,321:27834,357:28144,363:28702,373:30004,389:30500,399:30748,404:30996,409:37166,430:37596,436:38112,445:38456,450:39316,462:40778,495:43830,505:44670,520:44950,525:45230,530:47897,579:63190,712:76386,902:86160,1024:86470,1030:86904,1039:87214,1045:87586,1052:90045,1079:94742,1133:97540,1165:97820,1171:98100,1177:101782,1213:103110,1226:103780,1239:108771,1281:109079,1286:109387,1291:110003,1301:110773,1314:111389,1324:114278,1345:115097,1369:124185,1461:124920,1470:126604,1489:127115,1501:128064,1520:129910,1529:130400,1548:130792,1557:137345,1631:138865,1662:139625,1683:140005,1688:140385,1693:140955,1702:144052,1729:145168,1760:145664,1771:146346,1783:147028,1797:148980,1806:150710,1812:151375,1821:151755,1826:154130,1855:155220,1865:155852,1870:157274,1880:159945,1906:160365,1911:166710,1993:170581,2009:172905,2025:176545,2095:177000,2101:184200,2135:185088,2150:185458,2156:185828,2162:186124,2167:187012,2181:187604,2190:188270,2202:191840,2222:192180,2228:192588,2235:194958,2261:195286,2282:197336,2317:197828,2328:198156,2333:198730,2341:199714,2358:202420,2365:204880,2381:205285,2387:206007,2394$0,0:410,23:4346,91:4674,96:5002,101:9594,143:9922,183:10578,199:12136,229:12956,241:13366,247:13940,256:15416,281:16154,296:16564,302:16974,308:24594,382:25588,390:28466,405:28970,412:35350,477:40650,531:41030,538:41410,544:41866,552:42322,559:73140,934:76329,983:76803,991:77593,1005:78146,1015:78541,1022:81069,1067:82333,1091:82649,1096:86650,1121:87240,1127:89883,1147:94146,1190:95028,1197:102640,1259:103180,1269:103480,1275:103900,1292:104140,1297:104800,1309:105520,1326:105760,1331:106420,1343:106840,1357:107560,1369:110162,1390:111774,1472:114051,1485:116760,1496:125894,1575:126486,1586:126782,1591:127448,1601:127892,1609:128262,1615:128854,1625:129964,1649:130852,1670:131222,1676:131518,1681:131888,1687:132258,1696:136638,1714:137382,1724:138219,1735:139056,1746:139428,1751:140079,1760:145402,1793:146084,1805
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Tom Burrell interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell talks about his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell gives details about his mother's origins

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell talks about his mother and her life today

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell talks about his father's origin and family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell recalls his father's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell details the extended family he lived with as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Tom Burrell talks more about his family and his memories as a child

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Tom Burrell recalls his personality as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks more about his childhood personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell recalls how he was influenced by the popular culture of the day

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell talks about his influences and attitudes towards women

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell talks about his mother's influence and the jobs he held while growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell talks about his experiences in elementary school

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell talks more about his elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell recalls his experiences at Englewood High School

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell talks about his experiences at Parker High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Tom Burrell talks about the teacher who influenced him at Parker High School

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Tom Burrell talks about his decision to pursue a career in advertising

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks about his career choice

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell recounts his plans to go to college and his father's interference with his decision

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell recalls his educational problems at Roosevelt University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell details his eyesight problem

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell discusses how his eyesight may have interfered with his education

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell recalls his experience at Roosevelt University in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell talks more about his Roosevelt University experience

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell talks about his leadership in a fraternity at Roosevelt University

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Tom Burrell talks about his career opportunities after Roosevelt University

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Tom Burrell talks about how he gained entry into the advertising field

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks about his first advertising job out of college

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell gets promoted from mailroom to the copy writing department

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell talks about acts of racial discrimination he experienced while at Wade Advertising

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell changes jobs from Wade Advertising to Leo Burnett advertising agency

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell talks about the office culture at Leo Burnett advertising agency in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell details why he left Leo Burnett advertising agency to work in Europe

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell talks about his self-esteem issues in relation to his career path

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell theorizes about race and self-esteem and later his decision to get married

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks about his experience in London with his new wife

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell talks more about his London experience

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell recalls his experience at Needham, Harper and Steers advertising agency

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell details his feelings of inferiority while at Needham, Harper and Steers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell details how he went into business for himself

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell talks more about going into business for himself

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell talks about his first advertising clients

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell discusses other notable black advertising agencies in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Tom Burrell discusses his agency's portrayal of African Americans in advertising campaigns

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks about his business' milestones

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell discusses his agency's alliance with Publicis Groupe, the French communications conglomerate

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell talks about his agency's response to a rapidly changing society

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell talks about the advertising industry's response to a multicultural society and their need to change

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell talks about the advertising industry's resistance to change and the behavior of today's clientele

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell talks about industry trends in the advertising business

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Tom Burrell talks about the legacy of black-owned companies

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Tom Burrell talks about his business philosophy

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Tom Burrell talks more about his business philosophy and the need to change with the times

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Tom Burrell talks about the future of his company

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Tom Burrell talks more about the future of his company

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Tom Burrell talks about his future and his concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Tom Burrell talks more about his concerns for the black community

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Tom Burrell discusses his parents and his life in retrospect

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Tom Burrell reflects on what his legacy might be

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Photo - Tom Burrell with Nelson Mandela, 1990

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Photo - Tom Burrell with Paul Schrage of McDonald's and Douglas Ivester of Coca-Cola, not dated

DASession

1$1

DATape

5$6

DAStory

5$1

DATitle
Tom Burrell details how he went into business for himself
Tom Burrell talks about his business' milestones
Transcript
I kept looking for somebody else to do it so in all of my efforts, I went out to look for a president, someone who could be the president, and I looked out for somebody who could be the creative director, you know, and my job would be to kind of back them up and do whatever, you know, what's needed. That was the whole plan so I put together about two or three different groups before I found one that made sense and out of the three people - what happened is that the guy who was going to be president decided at the very last minute - I mean, the cards were all printed, the name was in the phone book - Mingo, Burrell, McBain - Mingo, Burrell, McBain - Frank Mingo, Emmitt McBain, Tom Burrell. Frank Mingo pulled out at the eleventh hour and decided to stay at J. Walter Thompson [advertising agency in New York]. He and Emmitt McBain weren't getting along even before they got into business so that's how I became president so I was kind of reluctantly pulled into that. Okay, I guess I'll have to try to do this. About seven or eight months later, Emmitt McBain - the pressure of the thing got to him. Oh, I'm sorry, not seven or eight months, but two, three years later, the pressure got to him. He pulled out. That's how I became creative director so by 1974 I had gone from being the third guy to being the only guy, and it was called - that's when it became Burrell Advertising instead of Burrell, McBain, but interestingly '74 [1974] was the point at which I started to attract the people I wanted to attract, started to get the business that I wanted to get, and that's when the agency took off, and so again I started to build up, you know, this confidence, but even with that, of course, you know, you have people saying that you are the best black advertising agency in the country, which again is this whole subcategorization, you know, and that continues today even, you know, and that continues to get to me every time I hear that, best black-owned agency, you know, because are you telling me this subspecies thing is still going on, you know? It's like saying for a black person, "You're not doing bad" so that's how the whole thing came about with my becoming head of the agency, but it took those people dropping out for me to do that, and even after that, I would continue to look for people who were smarter than I was to do things that I wound up doing better.$But can you tell - you know, just talk about some key - what you think are some key things that were milestones along the way?$$Okay.$$Or even some anecdotal things.$$Yeah, the key - some milestones along the way, of course, are getting the first piece of business was certainly a milestone, the first major piece of business which I'd say is McDonald's [fast food restaurant], the ongoing business. The second milestone is when Burrell McBain became Burrell Advertising, and that's when I hired Sarah Burrows and Jean Morris and just a whole slew of people coming in here, Anna Morris, Sharon Kimbrough, and that's when we really took off. We just sailed, and we started winning all the CEBA [Creative Excellence in Business Advertising] awards. That was an award that was established around that time for excellence in black communications. In there were some negative milestones, if you will, key points. We stayed at our 625 space, 625 North Michigan space, up until 1986. When we moved to this space, we made a major error by counting chickens before they hatched, and we got too much space. We had hired the wrong people so we've had several purges, if you will, over the past thirty years, and so that happened. Of course, we're dealing with a milestone right here - I mean, a very significant point, maybe the most significant point, but of course, two years ago we did our deal with Publicis [communications conglomerate, Paris, France], the French-based company, and that was a very important episode when we took on partners, if you will, and we're in the midst of a very difficult kind of thing right now because we're trying to move - I was talking about this whole issue of change, you know, trying to change the company to move into the next level. That's a very tough proposition.