Robert H. Bolton is an established event planner with a purpose. His years of experience and elite clientele keep his company in demand.
Tell us about your career as an event planner.
I began my career in 1986 as an account assistant at A. Brown-Olmstead Associates in Atlanta. When I joined the firm, it was the largest independently owned PR agency in Atlanta and I was the first minority male to join the firm. During my tenure at ABOA, I worked on numerous events including the First National Black Arts Festival, the re-opening of the Healey Building, and the grand opening of the Cascade Hills subdivision in southwest Atlanta. In 1988, I returned to my alma mater, Morehouse College, as assistant director of public relations and eventually was promoted to director. During my nine-year tenure as a member of the administrative staff, I coordinated all the college’s major special events, [and] assisted with publications and media relations. In 1996, I had an amazing opportunity to assist with the 1996 Olympic Games as a member of Ambassador Andrew Young’s press corps. In 1997, I stepped out on faith and launched my consulting business, R.H. Bolton Inc., [which] specializes in event management and public relations for academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. We have produced events and provided counsel for numerous clients, including the UNCF, Dillard University, Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse School of Medicine, Florida A&M University, Harvard University, Bethune-Cookman University, Johnson C. Smith University, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and the CDC.
What are some of the most extraordinary events you have planned?
I helped to create the A Candle in the Dark gala for Morehouse College. Since its establishment in 1989, the gala has honored hundreds of influential African Americans, including Oprah Winfrey, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, Spike Lee, Muhammad Ali, and Hank Aaron, as well as raised over $10 million for scholarships. I helped to produce the 70th birthday celebration for Congressman John Lewis in Washington, D.C., in 2010. The celebration featured Bill Clinton, Julian Bond, Lalah Hathaway and Yolanda Adams. I helped create the after-party and sponsor events for the UNCF’s An Evening of Stars. The first afte-rparty was held in Los Angeles in 2006. The event was held on the rooftop of a restaurant in Hollywood. Food was prepared by Wolfgang Puck and guests included Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Rickey Minor, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jennifer Hudson. I helped produce a signature wedding for attorney Rita Sinkfield and Rev. Henry Belin III in 1999. The activities included a rehearsal dinner for 300, which featured comedian Jonathan Slocumb, a wedding celebration at St. Paul AME Church and reception for 1,000 guests at the Fernbank Museum. The wedding souvenir was a limited edition original work of art by Georgette Baker.
What would be the epic event for you to plan and why?
I would like to plan an event with a high six-figure or million-dollar budget. When you do projects with significant budgets, it allows you to think outside the box, expand your creativity and “wow” your audience.
What are some of the charities you support and why?
I support The Pink Frog Foundation, Inc. It’s an Atlanta-based breast cancer organization that provides maid service, transportation service and meal support to individuals while they are undergoing treatment. I support Morehouse College because a great education is one of the keys to a successful life. I also support my place of worship Cascade United Methodist Church. Giving back to God allows others to be helped who are in need.
Where do you see your company in the next five years?
In the next five years, I see R.H. Bolton, Inc. expanding into other markets, as well as helping to nurture and develop future practitioners.