Johnnie Lovett

2011 honoree

My acceptance into the Marcus Graham Project was the defining moment in my collegiate career. With Public Relations as my major at Illinois State University, I developed a passion for communication that was quite different than the professional path I was carving in this field. With extensive research and the referral of a good friend and fellow MGP Alum (Johari Huggins), advertising unveiled itself as a sexy, competitive, and challenging field that drove my interest like none other. Having the ability to help brands and clients understand their target market, solve business challenges driven by strategic insight and creatively execute it, while uncovering intuitive ways to connect and engage with their audience was a rush - and I wanted more.

As a Sr. Strategic Planner today at TEN 35, I intend to continue pursuing my passion or strategic planning with hopes of becoming a Director in the near future. In addition to my passion for advertising, I am the managing partner of The Fresh Connection Brand Group, a business strategy and creating consulting company that works with small clients, and also houses a street-wear fashion brand called Fresh Connection Brand.

I would tell anyone looking to break into this industry and truly make an impact to think outside of the box and not be afraid to make decisions that are different from their peers. Often times we start out ambitious and creative, yet we set up these imaginary reservations in our mind that hold us back. Focusing on a clear end-result and goals can help bypass and silence these reservations. It's okay to reach out for guidance. In fact, I feel that everyone should. Just be sure that you are challenging yourself each step of the way.

I am honored to be the inaugural recipient of The Sharp Award because he stood for evolution, innovative, and progress among African Americans with this industry. His legacy shall continue to live on through the networks MGP and others are building to uplift and elevate the spirit of Multicultural people within this industry, and that's what drives me to continue doing what I do, everyday.

Past honorees