Brand Power Reflections

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Over the past few weeks, I have been hosting workshops both for general market entrepreneurs and creative professionals under the unifying banner of Brand Power.

The reward has been mainly received by our team at R. Butler & Associates, J. Lewis Links, and the Gateway Media Arts Lab as the reception has been overwhelming. I wanted to take the time to thank all who attended both Brand Power in Washington, D.C. and Brand Power: The Creatives in Prince George's County. 

Thank you to PG Parks & Recreation and 39th Street Gallery for the sponsorship support for the month of March. Thank you to Michelle Darden Lee and Pat Thornton of the Gateway CDC and CJ Lewis, Chakita, and Ericka of J. Lewis Links.

I can say with honor that a good percentage of workshop attendees are now client partners or collaborators with R. Butler & Associates and that is what community building is all about. Special shout out to Roy Moment of R. Moment Photography, Jamal Pope of Greenlight Deisgn Studios and Photographer Marvin "King Marvino" Joseph. This is the creative nucleus that makes up our  R. Creative.Concepts.Collective and we appreciate the amazing work you and your teams infuse into each project. We've only just begun! 

Stay tuned for the next round of Brand Power workshops and more coming soon!

Host Life = Still Finding Meaning

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Sometimes, I host events. It is something that I always jump right into because for me, life is about meeting new people.

There is a chemistry that happens when you place sophisticated people in sophisticated locations and totally blow out their expectations. That normally happens when you use the one rule I learned from a former mentor when he said, "when they let you run something, then run it."

I was able to host the Private Shopping Experience at the MGM Men's Store at the MGM Grand National Harbor for the launch of the Benson Watch Co. at the luxury retail destination. Check out the results below but needless to say many watches left the building and it felt amazing to help another amazing business reach their goals.

Reach out to the boss lady, CJ Lewis if you ever need me to assist. Cheers.

Big Boy Branding At A Glance

I have to share news in the ever-evolving corporate branding world as I hear about it. As you may or may not have known, Uber has experienced some scandals as of late.

As a result, they outed their CEO and have lost much of the sacred trust built between consumers and the brand. Enter Bozoma Saint John who has been hired as Chief Branding Officer to save the day. More on my take on this later but you can view the article HERE.

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R. Butler & Associates x The Middle East Institute

On November 14th, I was able to attend the Middle East Institute's 71st Annual Awards Banquet at the Capital Hilton in downtown Washington, D.C.

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Founded in 1946, the Middle East Institute is the oldest Washington-based institution dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East. Its founders, scholar George Camp Keiser and former U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter, laid out a simple mandate: “to increase knowledge of the Middle East among the citizens of the United States and to promote a better understanding between the people of these two areas.”

R. Butler facilitated donations to the silent auctions for its clients and represented for them as well by attending the beautiful dinner and event. It was amazing to meet so many people from middle eastern countries inclusive of royalty, diplomats, and American government employees who ensure that the relationship between the Middle East and America is maintained positively in this negative and tumultuous climate.

Thank you MEI, we were glad to be a part of this momentous occasion and aid your fundraising efforts. We wish you much-continued success in the future!

Gateway Creates Storms Prince George's County, MD

 R. Butler & Associates Digital Media Strategist, Etienne Weaks and I before my Gala hosting duties began (she's also my lovely date!)

R. Butler & Associates Digital Media Strategist, Etienne Weaks and I before my Gala hosting duties began (she's also my lovely date!)

There is a tremble that is slowly erupting into a roar on the route one corridor of Prince George's County, MD. The Gateway Arts District, a stretch of Rhode Island Avenue that metamorphose into route one is the creative economy conduit for the county.

Recently, with R. Butler & Associates' assistance with The Future of Film & Media Conference's 4th year at University of Maryland at College Park in October 2017, we have been apart of the creative branding efforts for the region.

After the succcessful curation and hosting of the conference, we were asked to become the official Brand Manager for the Gateway Media Lab, which is an incubator for creative businesses and offers creative services. As such, I was asked personally to host the Gateway 20th Anniversary Gala at Martin's Crosswinds in Greenbelt, MD where I had the pleasure to work with Gateway CDC Interim Director, Pat Thornton, Gateway co-founder and architect Tony Lee, Howard Ways of the Prince George's County Redevelopment Authority, and Anna Bernanke, educator and wife of former Federal Reserve Chair, Ben Bernanke.

Since then we have taken the lead for an RFP proposal submission to rebrand Prince George's County and I have been asked to moderate a Hyattsville Town Hall Meeting for the Gateway creative economy being held in December by Hyattsville Mayor, Candace Hollingsworth. We launched the #GatewayCreates digital campaign and are activating Prince George's County across all creative cylinders. 

There is a tremble that is slowly erupting into a roar on the route one corridor and we are sitting firmly inside the beauteous quake! 

The Future of Film & Media Recap!

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It was an honor that I did not take lightly and as I thumbed through my digital Rolodex p/k/a, an "iPhone" and began to formulate the panel topics with Pierre, we realized that the framework had an electric synergy and could be groundbreaking.

   FOF Keynote Speaker and General Manager of CityLab, Robert Bole delivers the opening address

FOF Keynote Speaker and General Manager of CityLab, Robert Bole delivers the opening address

Fast-forward again and it did just that, broke new ground for the creative economy of Prince George's County and the surrounding regions. The three-day weekend event did better than any previous years and set the stage for continued programming that enriches the lives of current and future contributors to the creative economy of the DMV.

   Creative Commerce Panel (L-R): Ian Fay, The Lookout, Teo Melchishua Williams, Visual Jazz, Michelle Darden Lee, Gateway Media Arts Lab, Robert Wolgamotti, World MediaNet Studios #THESWITCH   

Creative Commerce Panel (L-R): Ian Fay, The Lookout, Teo Melchishua Williams, Visual Jazz, Michelle Darden Lee, Gateway Media Arts Lab, Robert Wolgamotti, World MediaNet Studios #THESWITCH  

A huge thank you to Rhonda Dallas, Executive Director of the Prince George's Arts & Humanities Council, Carleton Jackson Director of Media Services at UMD Libraries, Donna Foster of the Prince George's Film Office, Pat Thornton, interim Executive Director of Gateway CDC and Michelle Darden Lee, Program Director for the Gateway Media Arts Lab. Also, to all the amazing panelists and Arts, Beats, and Cocktails musical performing artists: NuChoyce and The Mighty Peacemakers. 

   Lance Kramer, Meridian Hill Pictures, Tressa "Azarel Smallwood, Mega Mind Media / Life Changing Books, Karim Mowatt, 100 Films

Lance Kramer, Meridian Hill Pictures, Tressa "Azarel Smallwood, Mega Mind Media / Life Changing Books, Karim Mowatt, 100 Films

Check out the FOF website for images, videos and updates from this amazing experience that I will forever cherish and relish in as we continue its growth. #IAMFOF          

All images courtesy of Sanmi Jinadu

I've learned to truly appreciate all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me, even when I didn't recognize them. In November 2016, I met this group of filmmakers called the Creative Edge Collaborative through my good friend Desiree DuBose and although I appreciated their energy and commitment, my focus was splintered.

   Donna Foster, Programs Director, Prince George's Film Office, Yours Truly, Pierre Walcott, President/CEO, Creative Edge Collaborative

Donna Foster, Programs Director, Prince George's Film Office, Yours Truly, Pierre Walcott, President/CEO, Creative Edge Collaborative

I had the arduous task of galvanizing the entire creative community of Washington, DC under the 202 Creates banner and being an uber communicator (TV hosting, publicity, etc) with a huge government contract. However, even though the timing was wrong for me to be a true member of this collaborative, I attended meetings when I could and stayed in contact with the organization's President/CEO, Pierre Walcott.

   Carleton Jackson, Director of Media Services, University of Maryland Libraries

Carleton Jackson, Director of Media Services, University of Maryland Libraries

Fast-forward to me post-D.C. government contract and eager for new opportunities and as fate would have it one was presented to me by Pierre. He asked me if I could curate the 4th Annual The Future of FIlm & Media Conference at the Hornbake Library on the campus of the University of Maryland at College Park.

   Yours Truly, April Reign, Creator #OscarsSoWhite, Raoul Dennis, Publisher, Prince George's Suite Magazine, Michel Wright, Media Personality

Yours Truly, April Reign, Creator #OscarsSoWhite, Raoul Dennis, Publisher, Prince George's Suite Magazine, Michel Wright, Media Personality