The longest-standing full-service multicultural advertising and communications agency in the U.S. is announcing a new shakeup that will put an African-American female as the new head of the company. UniWorld Group, Inc. (UWG), announced today the retirement of its founder and CEO, Byron Lewis Sr., whose swift thinking and sound ideas led to the company’s founding in 1969. In its inception, UWG was a anomaly working to right the fact that minorities were not represented in a positive manner in mainstream media. Taking that and the seclusion of minorities within Fortune 500 companies into account, Lewis worked endlessly to counteract those negative stereotypes with clients like Ford Motor Company, U.S. Marine Corps, Eastman Kodak, AT&T and Burger King. With over four decades of service under his belt, his well-deserved retirement will mark the end of an era and the beginning of another.

Before stepping down, Lewis announced the appointment of his successor, UWG’s new CEO, Monique L. Nelson. Nelson boasts over 15 years of marketing experience in entertainment, lifestyle and youth marketing, new brand strategies, consumer insights and global brand management. As the new CEO of UWG she will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the agency as well as leading its expansion.

Monique L. Nelson

“Multicultural advertising grew from a need to address the complexities of a unique and underserved market. As this discipline progresses, I am honored to be leading the charge at UniWorld in developing the next evolution of multicultural advertising, not only in the U.S., but around the world,” said Nelson through a statement.  “As multicultural communities increase in size and complexity, never has the need or possibilities been greater for the agency’s capabilities to provide its unique cultural insights for a better understanding of how diversity is reflected in our society.”

Lewis will now become chairman emeritus of the award-winning agency.

UWG is headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., and has satellite offices in Dearborn, Mich., and Atlanta. For his work in the field, Lewis has been dubbed one of the “founding fathers of multicultural advertising and marketing” in the United States. –danielle canada