Annual ColorComm Conference Moves From Miami To Hawaii This Year With A Focus On “New Horizons”
Some of the biggest names in communications will be gathering in Hawaii for the Fifth Annual ColorComm Conference this summer. And Soledad O’Brien and Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nastygal and Girlboss Media, will keynote ColorComm’s Conference, which will be held June 4-7, 2018 at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, in Maui, Hawaii.
“New Horizons” is the theme for this year’s conference. And among the others scheduled to speak are: Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation; Luvvie Ayaji, New York Times best-selling author; Eliana Murillo, Head of Multicultural Marketing at Google, Inc; Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter; Joy Reid, MSNBC Political Analyst and host of “AM Joy”; Jason White, EVP, Global Head of Marketing of Beats by Dr. Dre; and Johanna Fuentes, EVP, Corporate Communications of Showtime Networks.
ColorComm, a company focused on advancing the visibility and accomplishments of women of color in communications, expects more than 400 senior executives in public relations, marketing, advertising, media, and digital to attend. The event will include an awards ceremony as well as sessions on leadership training, executive positioning, business development, and expanding financial literacy.
ColorComm was founded in 2011 in by publicist Lauren Wesley-Wilson, who has been named by PR Week as one of the 50 Most Powerful in PR. Today, ColorComm is a community of women and men with more than 40,000 professionals throughout the ColorComm Network (a national professional membership organization).
Wesley-Wilson told MadameNoire more about this year’s event.
MadameNoire (MN): Why did you decide on Hawaii for this year’s conference?
Lauren Wesley-Wilson (LWW): This year, ColorComm will commemorate its fifth conference anniversary by moving the annual event location from Miami, Florida to Maui, Hawaii to live out the theme Hawaii 5-0.
I wanted to change the venue and bring the ColorComm community to an entirely new city. We still wanted to stick with the tropical, fun, and laid-back atmosphere of previous conferences, but with the added bonus of Maui, Hawaii’s culture and vibrancy. The Ritz Carlton Kapalua is the perfect backdrop for our attendees, and we hope to provide an experience of a lifetime at this year’s conference.
MN: What do you hope to accomplish with this year’s conference and for the organization overall?
LWW: The theme for this year’s conference is “New Horizons.” We will focus on current events of today with empowering movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp. The goal is to touch upon these important issues along with diving into industry topics such as media training, business development, social media branding for executives, and much more. It’s important to touch upon topics and themes that enhance career and personal growth. We want to provide the skills and resources for women of color to advance professionally and to become even more valuable in the places where they work.
MN: Talk to us about your selection of guest speakers.
LWW: Our speaker lineup is diverse by ethnicity, industry, and age. We want to showcase a variety of people from the corporate/agency sector, media correspondents, entrepreneurs, and executive leaders. We invited Soledad O’Brien back, as she was part of our first-ever conference and it truly felt like a full circle moment and celebration for our fifth year. Uber’s Brand Officer Bozoma Saint John, Carnival Cruises CEO Arnold Donald, Girl Boss Founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso, Showtime Network EVP Johanna Fuentes, CBS Entertainment Diversity EVP Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i. Carol’s Daughter Founder Lisa Price and many more will be joining us this year. We are absolutely thrilled to hear from this amazing range of speakers.
Speakers are selected through an invite-only process. While we are interested and open to receive suggestions, we do not select speakers through an application process.
MN: Why is the conference necessary for the growth of women of color in communications?
LWW: You often have to find resources outside of the office to advance inside of the office. ColorComm’s Annual Conference is one of the most sought-after and enlightening experiences attendees will have. We focus opportunities for not only learning, but building meaningful and lasting relationships with leaders and decision-makers in the industry.
Our team has worked hard to provide programming tailored for various tracks and we are welcoming some of the best and the brightest industry thought leaders. From our conference, women have won new business accounts, have gotten bigger and better job opportunities, have become contributing writers at major media brands, and have learned how to advocate for themselves in the boardroom.
MN: What can we expect from ColorComm in the upcoming year?
LWW: ColorComm is excited to expand to men of color. We have launched a Men of Color in Communications community and are engaging powerful men in business. We are doing a series of luncheons before we roll out other plans. Our next Men of Color Luncheon will be held in New York on Friday, April 20 at Wayfarer Restaurant featuring Errol Cockfield, SVP of Communications, NBC/MSNBC. We are thrilled to continue building this community and are looking to expand internationally towards the end of the year.