Kinnard & Associates is celebrating a milestone of 25 years. For two and a half decades, Kinnard & Associates, a marketing communications agency, has worked with an array of companies across the country to help them become more inclusive.
The vision to help promote a more inclusive city environment was ignited when Kinnard & Associates joined the ranks as a Nashville minority and woman-owned business in 1997. Founder/Chief Executive Officer Rhea Kinnard began offering services designed to help companies become more inclusive. During that time, she also introduced The African American Guide To Nashville. The publication soon became a marketing tool used by many Nashville corporations, organizations, and institutions. It was the first of its kind which highlighted contributions of African Americans to the city, while also helping minority-owned businesses leverage their brand to visitors in Music City.
According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Black or African American entrepreneurship comprise of more than two million businesses in the United States leading to a rise in Black conventions and consumer spending. Additionally, the buying power of this demographic is now in excess of $1.6 trillion, making it the 20th largest economy in the world, according to a recent CNBC consumer report.
“Embracing diversity has many benefits. Not only does it give all businesses an equal opportunity to participate by leveling the playing field, but it also broadens the pool of qualified businesses thus adding to a stronger economic and a more successful diverse community,” said Rhea Kinnard, president/CEO. “As we gain a stronger understanding of our differences, only then can we begin to see them as assets and not liabilities. This is what creates stronger communities, cities, and a global economic world.”
Today, the agency has and continues to work with a plethora of companies around the country to help them incorporate diversity initiatives or programs within their corporate culture. She credits her success through hard work, building great working relationships and developing an understanding of the client’s needs and tailoring initiatives and programs that help get results.
Since starting the agency in 1997, Kinnard has extended her services beyond the corporate walls to serve on a number of boards and initiatives, including: the March of Dimes, American Diabetes Association, Renewal House, United Way, The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), and American Diabetes Association to name a few. In 2012, she established the Dorothy Marie Kinnard Foundation dedicated to raising awareness with the escalating rise of diabetes among African Americans. Since its founding, the foundation has raised nearly $100,000 to help continue its efforts for the cause.