Multicultural Marketing & Diversity

This event is over.

Welcome and Introductions (11:00-11:10AM ET)

Roundtable Discussion (11:10-11:30am ET)

I. Increasing TRUST in the Black Community:  The Ad Council COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign (11:30am-12:10pm ET)
The Ad Council delivered the most comprehensive and multi-faceted education campaign for the Black community around COVID-19 vaccines in its history; driving unparalleled increases in vaccines in the Black community. Hear how this project  was a labor of love and the one of the most important efforts of our time. Numbers don't lie. Eighty percent of Black America is now vaccinated and we are continuing to drive action, leading with empathy, respect, and understanding.  Hear how to tackle critical cultural nuances to drive action and behavior change to make an informed decision. 

Sherry Thompson, Coalition Lead Consultant - The Ad Council
Kelli Richardson Lawson,
 Founder + CEO - JOY Collective

II. Building A Culturally Fluent Bank (12:10-12:50pm ET)
The multicultural population in the United States is transforming American Culture. This segment is now responsible for all of population growth, all of job growth and a major share of economic growth in the country. The impact of the group of consumers who were once an afterthought of businesses, have now become central to the success of major consumers brands across the country thus, it is important to note that financial brands cannot succeed without including multicultural communities and consumers in their growth strategies.

David Femi, Head of Multicultural Banking & Diverse Market Strategy - M&T Bank

Closing Remarks (12:50-1:00pm ET)

**Schedule subject to change

Speaker Bios

Sherry Thompson
Mental Health Campaign and Coalition Lead Consultant
The Ad Council

Sherry Thompson is an engineer turned marketer, who lives and works in her purpose zone, which is to help people live their best, healthiest life. In 2020, Sherry started Thompson Marketing Solutions (TMS), LLC, where she consults for corporate, philanthropic, and faith-based clients in the health & wellness space, with a special emphasis on developing and executing marketing and social impact strategies for Communities of Color. One particular client of note is the Ad Council, where Sherry served as the Coalition Lead for the Ad Council’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative to reach Black & Latino audiences through community partnerships, events, influencer activations, and educational toolkits.

Prior to TMS, Sherry served in two different capacities for WW (formerly Weight Watchers). One role was Senior Vice President of Diverse Community Engagement & Activation where she developed and executed the company’s strategy to reach diverse
communities, with focus on Black and Latina communities. The other role was Senior Vice President of the U.S. Marketing team, where she was responsible for advertising, social media, public relations, brand influencers, CRM, and promotions.

Prior to WW, Sherry spent 17 years in the beauty care industry, working at Johnson &
Johnson® Consumer Products Company, Elizabeth Arden®, and Revlon®. While at Johnson & Johnson®, she led marketing and innovation initiatives on some of their most strategic skincare brands -- Aveeno®, Lubriderm®, Shower to Shower®, and Ambi®. Given Sherry’s desire to expand her expertise in the beauty category, Sherry moved into the global prestige business with Elizabeth Arden®. Throughout her 8 years there, Sherry held a variety of marketing leadership roles and ultimately was the Vice President of Marketing for their North America Skincare, Fragrance, and Cosmetics business, which included leading the brand’s relaunch and ongoing management of their HSN business.

Sherry received her M.B.A., with a Marketing focus, from the Fuqua School of Business at
Duke University, which has been a great complement to her Systems Engineering degree from the University of Virginia. Prior to business school, Sherry worked at Monsanto Chemical Company and Solutia Inc. as a Marketing & Technical Support Representative at their Indian Orchard plant in Springfield, OH, where she led new product initiatives and provided technical support for customers. Sherry later developed an interest in sales and became an Account Representative for the OH/KY/TN sales territory.

Sherry’s personal life almost mirrors her work life. She enjoys giving back to the community and founded a health and wellness ministry at her church, Agape Family Worship Center, in Rahway, NJ, where she continues to serve in the ministry today. Sherry also co-founded a scholarship in her mother’s memory, The Violette Thompson Scholarship Fund, which has been awarding scholarships to African American students in Linden, NJ for over 25 years. Other personal interests include baking, running half marathons and spending time with family and friends. The biggest joy she has is being a voice of encouragement wherever she goes.

Kelli Richardson Lawson
CEO & Founder
JOY Collective

Kelli is an Emmy Award-winning creative visionary and entrepreneurial business leader with over 30 years of experience in general management, brand building, marketing, communications business development, and content creation. Kelli is Founder and CEO of JOY Collective, a certified Black and woman-owned cultural insights, marketing, and creative agency committed to delivering breakthrough work for brands like Dove, Dove Men+Care, SheaMoisture, BET, ESPN, OWN, Macy’s, The Ad Council, The U.S. Naval Academy, Deloitte, UnderArmour, Tory Burch, Prudential, and more.

An energetic and passionate leader known for her creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, Kelli consistently challenges the norm and drives innovative thinking to create initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. One of the architects of The CROWN Act (“Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair”) to end hair discrimination, the CROWN Act legislation has passed in 16 states and 34 municipalities, positively impacting over 20.6 million Black lives since 2019. She also led the Ad Council’s COVID-19 vaccine education campaign for the Black community to drive action and increase vaccination rates, and has created multiple award-winning campaigns for brands.

In 2020, Kelli founded The SonRise Project, a nonprofit organization that helps parents of children who struggle will mental wellness and addiction challenges. She hosts a weekly Sunday morning call that’s a safe space for parents to share, learn, and inspire one another around the subject of mental health and well-being. The Oprah Winfrey Network of podcasts recently collaborated with Kelli to create The SonRise Project podcast series to amplify the impact of this life-changing initiative nationwide.

Prior to starting JOY Collective and The SonRise Project, Kelli created the first full marketing organization at BET, leading seven divisions, including marketing, communications, creative services, special events, research, publishing, and public affairs/community affairs. As the leader of BET’s marketing organization, she created award-winning creative campaigns that drove record ratings year after year. She also created the infrastructure and led all event-related elements of all the biggest tentpole events in the country, including the BET Awards, Celebration of Gospel, Hip Hop Awards, Spring Bling and BET Honors. Even more importantly, Kelli created BET's Emmy Award-winning HIV/AIDS program "Rap-It-Up”, and the BET Foundation, a 501(c)3 focused on obesity and other health-related issues in the Black community.

Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including BET’s first-ever Emmy Award and several Telly, Promax, BDA, NAMIC, CTAM, CTPAA, ANA, and NAACP Image Awards. Kelli is also a 2021 PRWeek “Hall of Femme” Honoree, and she and her team are recipients of the 2022 PR Week “Best Social Impact Campaign”, 2021 PR Week “Campaign of the Year”, 2021 #EBONYPower100, the 2020 Global SABRE “#1 PR Campaign in the World”, 2020 Glossy Beauty “Best Multi-Platform Campaign”, and ANA Multicultural Awards.

Kelli began her career at Procter & Gamble (P&G), working on billion-dollar brands in the packaged soap and mass fragrance divisions.

A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and an unwavering Cleveland Browns fan, Kelli is a proud graduate of Howard University and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She and her family live in Bethesda, Maryland.

David Femi
Head of Multicultural Banking & Diverse Market Strategy
M&T Bank

David Femi is currently the Head of Multicultural Banking & Diverse Market Strategy at M&T Bank. Prior to taking on this role, David served as the Retail Regional Sales Manager for the Buffalo Central Region of M&T Bank.

An enthusiastic and visionary leader in the banking and financial services industry, David has a track record of building and leading successful teams. David is most fulfilled when helping people to grow professionally. His vision and ability to nurture relationships lead to long term solutions and success.

A change advocate with deep sense of community, diverse market growth expertise and neighborhood revitalization, David is committed to adding strength and resiliency to our diverse communities across the M&T footprint. Throughout his tenure in the financial services and banking industry, David has built a reputation for championing financial services inclusivity aimed at empowering families invariably bringing about financial freedom.

An All-American scholar during his college days, David consistently embraces the core values of integrity, innovation and growth. He is the recipient of the George Washington Leadership Award from Delaware State University and a recipient of the Wilmington YMCA Black Achievers Award in 2015.

In 2019, David was recognized for his work in championing community revitalization efforts via financial wellness programs and working with numerous community and private sector leaders to improve the plight of Buffalo’s East Side community. He was awarded the Buffalo Black Achievers Leadership Award in 2019.

David holds a Finance M.B.A. and bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in Finance from Delaware State University. During his spare time, David is also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Houghton College.