Burrell Communications, new leadership, goals, advertising agency,

 New CEO Maps Out Goals To Prepare Burrell Communications Group For Future Growth 

Changes at Burrell includes restructuring its executive leadership team and promoting many senior-level executives.

As the new CEO of Burrell Communications Group, Tara DeVeaux has some ambitious goals to help the Black-owned advertising agency prepare for future growth.

The Chicago-based firm announced plans to restructure its executive leadership team and promote many senior-level executives. The moves are strategically being made as Burrell evolves in its first year under DeVeaux’s leadership.

She was named CEO after Burrell reported in October 2023 that it was acquired by an equity consortium led by FVLCRUM Funds and Channing Johnson.

Burrell calls itself the largest U.S. Black-owned agency, specializing in understanding and speaking to a market that today is more diverse and multicultural than ever before. It previously ranked regularly on BLACK ENTERPRISE’s BE 100s list for advertising agencies. The agency reports its clients include McDonald’s, Toyota, Comcast, Fidelity, Coca-Cola, Unilever, and the American Red Cross. The business was started in 1971 by Black advertising icon Tom Burrell, who oversaw the company for 33 years.

DeVeaux told BE via email that the goal of the reorganization is two-fold.

First, she says, is to develop an agency structure that creates centers of brilliance across all core disciplines with leaders who are focused on innovation within their discipline and collaboration across teams. “And, if we get that first goal right, I’m able to focus on setting our course for future growth,” she said.

Secondly, DeVeaux talked about how the changes could help Burrell differentiate itself and grow its client base.

She shared that Black people are the most creative race of people on the planet. She pointed out that they create culture, and the entities they build lead in every creative field except advertising. Given that, DeVeaux says there is tremendous opportunity for growth in that space.

“This isn’t just about being Black-owned or having Black representation in our ranks. It’s more so about applying that same ingenuity we’ve exhibited in art, music, and film to our industry.”

She added, “For us, that means proprietary research and strategic processes that dissect culture, disruptive creative that shifts conversations and perceptions, innovative partnerships and collaborations in the media and tech spaces—all executed with the operational brilliance that clients should expect from their agencies, big or small, general market or multicultural. This leadership restructuring is the first of many steps moving Burrell in that direction.”

Revenues for the company were not disclosed.

According to a news release, Burrell’s department leads include Leslie Alexander, director of Project Management; Vicki Bolton, senior vice president and head of Account Management; and Stephen French, head of Strategy. Others are Donna Hodge, head of Media Services; Mike Mitchell, chief financial officer; Tuwisha Rogers, vice president and director of Brand Development; Khari Streeter, chief creative officer; and Ailine Tan, senior vice president of Operations.

In a statement, DeVeaux reflected, “I am truly excited and inspired by these individuals and their strong track records of career success and accomplishment.”

RELATED CONTENT: Burrell Communications Group Shifts To New Leadership