Rolling Out

Mahogany VP Alexis Kerr ‘super excited’ to host the inaugural ‘Mahogany Honors’

VP cites why Hallmark Mahogany brand will recognize exemplary women while inspiring ‘the everyday sister’ at April 28 affair in Atlanta
Alexis Kerr, VP Hallmark Mahogany

The Mahogany Honors will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28, 2024, at the InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta hotel, 3315 Peachtree Road NE. It’s an event meant to honor 30 Black women who have been trailblazers, community leaders, cultural icons and unsung heroes. It’s meant to inspire countless more to follow in their footsteps.

Alexis Kerr, the Vice President of Hallmark, Mahogany, couldn’t contain her excitement at what will transpire there and talked to Denise Faulkner, EVP of Sales and Partnerships at rolling out.

Denise Faulkner: Joining me today is a dynamic woman who is a trailblazer in her own right. Having walked through the halls of corporate America, she is paving the way through her marketing superpowers. Please welcome VP Hallmark Mahogany, Alexis Kerr.

We love having you. And I think one of the things we wanted to ensure we talked about today is that you have some exciting news to share with us. However, before we get into that, can you share with us your journey to Vice President of Hallmark Mahogany?

Alexis Kerr: Well, first of all, I’m a former Sisters with Superpowers sister and super excited to have the chance to talk a little bit about myself and the role I have here at Hallmark Mahogany. Taking it back 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to work in automotive with the likes of Chrysler, now Stellantis, as well as Cadillac and General Motors. I played the part of head of multicultural marketing.

More recently, but prior to that, I had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East and lead the customer experience and marketing in eight countries, including Saudi Arabia. I talked culture there, how we wanted to deal with our customers and interact with Cadillac. Also, I had the opportunity to work prior to that at Stellantis. I started my career in Atlanta, Georgia, selling cars so that was super exciting.

More recently, I just had the opportunity three years ago to come to Mahogany, lead the team and bring Mahogany into this lifestyle brand. It’s an iconic brand that’s been around for nearly 40 years. Hallmark is a household brand that’s been around for over 110 years, and so I wanted to, in leading multicultural like Cadillac have the opportunity to really sow into Black and brown women, and through that this opportunity became available. I thought it was great, and over the last three years we brought the Mahogany brand alive in movies. Starting last year, we started with the Mahogany Moment, but this year we’re starting with Mahogany Honors, which is coming up in less than a week.

Mahogany Honors will celebrate Malinda Williams, Fantasia, Tammy Franklin and more.

DF: So, that’s the exciting news that we were talking about! Knowing that this is your second year bringing this program to life, what was the inspiration behind bringing this to life in that way?

AK: Yeah, that’s a great question. We looked at nonprofits. We looked at corporate women, but we also looked at entrepreneurs. Pinky Cole [owner and operator of Slutty Vegan restaurants] is an amazing woman. We think about Malinda Williams. She’s an actress, but now she has her own small business, her products. These affirmation cards are the highest-selling products on And so, she has started with us years ago, making sure that she supported the events that we’re doing, and so we wanted to take a pause at this time of the year, and just say, “Hey, let’s honor 30 women from across the U.S. — all ages, all different genres of work. And let’s just salute and celebrate them. Just give them a moment to sort of say, ‘We see you, Sis, we honor you,’ ” and we wanted to make it very different from other events.

DF: That’s going to be an electrifying room … when you were talking about how those custom cards have been curated for these women, that’s so special. That is so touching. And it really does speak to your attention to detail. … So, it’s one thing for you all to honor these women, and you know, bring this to life. But understanding that you have a partner, one of your partners is McDonald’s. How important is it to have those outside entities, those other corporations, to support an initiative like this?

AK: Yeah, I think it’s always important to have strategic partners that lean in to help us to bring events like this to life. I mean, many of us look at iconic brands like Hallmark, and say, “Hey, y’all can do this without any support and help,” but I think opening doors to partners like McDonald’s helps us really lean into the experience that we want people to have. Cadillac [also] is on board.

DF: Can you tell us a little bit more about what you have in store for the women that are being honored during this experience?

AK: Yeah. So, you brought up one thing that I just want to stick a pin in Denise, and that is sort of the Metro Atlanta community. There’s a number of events that always happen in Atlanta as one of the top five cities for African American women. That’s why we continue to have all of our events this year here, but also, when I think about ticket pricing, we have general admission. We have VIP, but we also have a Platinum Lounge.

We wanted to make sure we didn’t price ourselves out for the average hard-working, everyday woman. So, we introduce, even when we are close to selling out of our seats, we make sure that we have enough general admission seats. So again, the average woman can be able to attend and be in this room. And really, speaking of the room, there’s a Platinum Lounge from 11:30 to 12:30 for those who’ve purchased those tickets. They will mingle with our honorees, and then we’ll come into the room sort of get that welcome, but we’ll start with prayer. There’ll be food, and then we’ll have this incredible fireside conversation with the one and only Fantasia.

We’ll have a ton of giveaways. Kenya Freeman is doing as she was on “Project Runway,” season 16. She’s giving away two free custom outfits. We also have a number of other partners who have giveaways. We’ll have a lots of Mahogany giveaways as we change the room over, for really this Honoree sort of conversation, we’ll have five to seven of the Honorees will read their poems. But then, since there’s 30, another group of them, we’ll just have them give us greetings, so we will hear from Pinky Cole. We will hear from Tammy Franklin. We will hear from Alex E. Banks. Just so we can hear those reflections from these amazing women. We thought that was important. You know, we limited it to one to two minutes, but it’s just important for them to talk about what it feels like to be honored by your peers.

DF: I think it’s just important for our audience, particularly for women who are starting their own business, who are in enterprise, maybe starting their way up the ladder, if you will, or climbing their way up the ladder for them to see that there are events like this that celebrate them. So, all of the hard work that you do daily is not going unnoticed, and there is someone who’s always watching and when your time comes, as you said earlier, and you get that that tap on the shoulder, you, too, can be a woman that can be honored by Hallmark Mahogany.

Mahogany Honors is place for everyday woman

AK: I think Mahogany Honors is really going to say that this is a place for the everyday woman to be acknowledged. It was important that we said, every single person can be at the top of their game, but every single person is making an incredible contribution to her family, to her community, to the work that she is producing. And so, I think that’s what makes this event very different from others.

And also, when I think about Mahogany, it is that voice we’re having this interpersonal relationship with the sisters in the room. So, we’re going to have interactive walls where they’ll see pictures of the honorees, and they’ll be able to write a personalized message to them and they will be received by all of the honorees. There’s not too many events that you can go to, and write a message to XYZ, and that you know that they will receive it in the honorary lounge. We’ll have a card-sending station. We have it at every single event that we’re at, you could send the card for free. We provide all the cards, everything you need, including stamps.

But really, we want everybody to just leave feeling so full, and also to feel like next year could be the year for them to be honored by an amazing brand like Mahogany. So, we wanted to make it attainable for the everyday sister. But we also wanted to make it inspirational for her, too. And so, when you think about the breadth and a depth of amazing women that we’re honoring, that’s what we wanted this first class to really be about to put forward a great class, and then you can’t help to think of Fantasia, [who] has leaned into an incredibly hard industry, started from beginnings in North Carolina. But just to see how well she’s achieved, and now to talk about the work she’s doing two decades later to really sow into her business and build an even bigger legacy. That is why we always have a headliner at our events, because we want us all, even the amazing honorees, to be inspired and really have someone to look to and really support, where we also want our sort of special guest headliner to be someone that everybody can relate to. That’s what we love about Fantasia.

DF: I mean, I’m a huge fan. you. You’ve just summed up her story. I know there’s more to it. But what you’ve shared … it’s always just about how she tends to make you feel like you can do anything. And I love the fact that she’s being honored. We’ve all seen her grow and grow and grow, and so I know that she’s humbled and excited for this experience. I know the people in the room are going to be there to celebrate her and others right. … I do want to ask for you to share a little bit more information around how ‘cause I know there’s, you know, tickets are selling fast, if not already sold out. But where can they go? How can they find out more about how they can maybe make themselves or get themselves in the room.

AK: So, we’re super excited to welcome people. [The website is] — really easy, You will see a banner with all of the tickets available. General admission. VIP. We still have Platinum tickets available.

You know,, we created that two years ago as your one-stop shop. There’s a writing community on there. There’s links to our incredible podcast, there’s clips from all of the Mahogany films where, more importantly, there’s tickets to Mahogany honors and So, we’re super excited about that.

DF: Amazing. We love it. We love it. We love Hallmark Mahogany. We love you over here at rolling out. We want to make sure that we support you. That we support the brand that we that we ensure that any information you have to give to our audience, we’re here to collect it and share it. Appreciate your time, but, more importantly, your efforts in the community, your efforts at the Hallmark Mahogany brand are not going unnoticed. And so, we just want to thank you and celebrate you.

AK: Thank you, Denise.

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