Cheryl Ajamu flanked by Zafar Brooks and Stephen A. Smith

Cheryl Ajamu flanked by Zafar Brooks and Stephen A. Smith

Cheryl Parks Ajamu is the founder and CEO of The Ajamu Group, a national media advertising sales and event management firm that aims to increase advertising revenues and brand awareness for THEIR clients. They assess clients’ needs and provide advertising solutions to enhance their print, online and mobile advertising strategies.

Here, Ajamu shares highlights regarding the fifth annual 2015 Multicultural Media Luncheon which will feature a keynote address by Keith Clinkscales, CEO of REVOLT Media and TV.

What are the highlights of the luncheon?
The Multicultural Media Luncheon highlights include: 1) Honoring ethnic groups who have made an impact in the automotive industry. 2) A celebrity as the keynote speaker who appeals to the general public and business professionals. 3) Honoring an automotive executive for their outstanding achievements with the Lifetime Achievement Award. James Colon from Toyota is the Lifetime Achievement Winner for 2015. He has been in the automotive industry since 1980 and has held various positions at Toyota. 4) Everyone likes the Multicultural TV Commercial of the Year award — The Ajamu Group shows the television commercials during the awards program that were nominated by journalists. The judges have a tough job voting for the award winners.

Why did you see the value and need to start this type of recognition program?
There were people and advertising campaigns that weren’t getting a lot of publicity. I decided to create an event with an “Edu-tainment” (Education and Entertainment) strategy that would honor people who were doing outstanding work in the automotive industry and invite a celebrity keynote speaker who would share their journey of becoming a success. Some of our attendees have based their car purchases on the automotive executives they learned about at the Multicultural Media Luncheon. There is a sense of pride when you have seen (and met) the person who designed the vehicle that you or your family and/or friends have purchased.

Powerful speakers captivate audience and share visionary insight. How do you select them and what can we look forward to from media mogul Keith Clinkscales?
I select the keynote speaker based on their expertise and success in marketing and branding to diverse consumers, as well as their public appeal. I want speakers who will share information that can help not only professionals but also business owners and students. Since I created this event five years ago, attendees tell me that they learned something from our keynote speakers that has helped them with their careers or businesses.
Mr. Clinkscales’ has done it all — creating the ESPN “30 for 30” documentary series, being a entrepreneur in magazine publishing (Savoy, Heart & Soul, and Honey magazines), launching VIBE with Quincy Jones, the success at REVOLT Media and TV under his leadership and being a Harvard Business School graduate. He has a wealth of knowledge and experiences he will share during his keynote address.

Share three tips for why a young person should consider sales and marketing careers in the advertising and auto businesses?
1. It’s rewarding — you can provide a different perspective to advertising campaigns and media buys.
2. It can be lucrative if you are an asset to your employer.
3. Careers in implementing marketing events across the U.S. can be exhausting, but fun. Traveling expands your experiences. You also become a brand ambassador for your employer.

How do you stay motivated?
When students who have attended the Multicultural Media Luncheon tell me this event changed their lives, it gives me motivation. When I see the expressions of happiness on the award winners, it keeps me motivated. I also pray a lot.

Munson Steed

Founder and publisher of rolling out's parent company Steed Media Group.

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