Whether you know it or not, you are influenced every day. It can be from an article, a news story or a post on social media. We consume so much information that sometimes we don’t realize that there are brilliant minds at work behind everything we see. Many of the brilliant minds that influence where you eat, what you do, and even who and what you know in Charlotte are women ~ and we couldn’t be happier.
Here are the 26 women you may or may not know who are influencing Charlotte behind the scenes. From marketing and public relations mavens, to writers and editors, to campaign managers and broadcast gurus, they are so good at what they do, you may not realize how much they have affected your day to day life.
In 2017, Pride Magazine celebrated 25 years of covering the achievements of African-Americans and people of color in Charlotte. That same year marked 16 years that Dee, publisher and CEO, has helmed the magazine. Now, well in to her seventeenth year leading the charge, Dee has created a vehicle that gives a voice to people of color in the Queen City by showcasing all the incredible things that may have gone unnoticed in prior years.
Tech journalist and social entrepreneur, Sherrell is founder of daily tech newsletter, ThePLUG, the first daily tech newsletter covering black founders, start-ups and innovators. She is also founder of BLKTECHCLT, Charlotte’s first tech hub supporting entrepreneurs and technologists of color throughout North Carolina.
Natalia Flores, APR
A native of Argentina, Natalia is a public relations dynamo that specializes in developing communications strategies for brands with an emphasis on multicultural markets, including Hispanic and Latin American markets. Natalia is currently the PR Director for AC&M Group, a Charlotte-based full-service marketing firm and helps brands connect with consumers using cultural insights.
Artist, costume designer, speaker, writer, and business owner are just some of the titles that come to mind when you think of Davita. Davita is one of the most dynamic and influential creatives in Charlotte. The co-owner of creative studio, dupp&swat, Davita is committed to sustaining and fostering the creative culture of Charlotte.
Melody currently serves as the marketing and communications manager with the Levine Museum of the New South. She is responsible for campaigns and building brand awareness about the nonprofit’s exhibits and programming. In addition to her day job, Melody has recently founded her own company, The STACII Agency, which offers digital communications services to nonprofits.
During her career, Jill has handled publicity, marketing, and grand opening activities for more than 40 restaurants, and is the co-founder, developer, and ongoing administrator of Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week®. As a published writer, she produces local, regional, and trade industry articles for numerous clients, as well as bylined travel stories and restaurant editorials for local magazines.
Anne Marie Holder
Anne Marie is the Founder, CEO and client expectations optimizer of SPARK Strategic Ideas. From representing restaurants to healthcare systems, Anne Marie and her team create custom campaigns that get clients noticed. For over 10 years, Anne Marie has focused on meeting the high expectations of her clients, while also having high expectations for those she chooses to represent.
Alex Holleman and Lisa Sherrill
The Scout Guide is known for beautifully curated content on local businesses, but do you know who is behind the magazine? Launched in 2012, Alex is the owner and co-editor of Charlotte’s annual guide, which is geared towards highlighting Charlotte businesses to locals and tourists alike. Lisa, new editor of Scout Guide Charlotte, works with Alex to build strong relationships with the businesses featured.
Kim is the manager of investigations and special projects at WSOC Channel 9. She has been with the station for over 20 years working to bring exceptional stories to the Charlotte community. Kim has helped create and execute community initiatives such as School Tools and Steve’s Coats for Kids, but it is the behind the scenes work that sets Kim apart. Her ability to build relationships has led to some key interviews at the station, including Saundra Adams, grandmother of Chancellor Lee Adams, Rae Carruth’s son.
Davida is a digital marketing communications professional with a passion for civic engagement. She is known for building ‘digital’ bridges between people and organizations, especially for nonprofits. Her commitment to furthering brand awareness of businesses and nonprofits continued when she co-organized #GoodCamp, a free non-traditional conference advancing strategic communications for nonprofits.
Tonya, a former journalist with the Charlotte Observer, as well as other outlets, is still a storyteller, but in a different capacity. Tonya is now a campaign manager for many successful political campaigns and candidates. Tonya uses her experience in media to ensure the campaigns she manages are thoughtful, to the point, and authentic to her mission of making Charlotte better.
Erin’s passion for storytelling led her on two professional paths. She owns Blue Tide Creative where she works with companies and brands on creating effective and authentic messaging. Erin has also for the past year been the editor of Carolina Bride magazine and she recently oversaw the publications’ transition from print to digital via a partnership with CharlotteFive. Carolina Bride will now meet couples and vendors where they are and that is online.
Dawn is the owner of Moonlight Creative, an award-winning graphic design, and advertising and marketing studio. An innovator in her field, Dawn has been recognized for her forward thinking work and client campaigns. Dawn and her team love initiating new things for their clients and aren’t afraid to push the envelope.
Theckla is the president and director of accounts with Saturday Brand Communications. Theckla is a strategic thinker who is known for making sales and keeping accounts on brand, often with award-winning results. She also comes from advertising royalty as Theckla Sterrett, founder of Saturday Brand Communication and recently retired, is her mother.
Gwen is the owner of Gwen Poth Communications and is THE public relations professional when it comes to all things culinary. Gwen is known for her ability to multitask, and for her dedication to developing strong relationships in the media and the culinary world, which has benefitted her clients.
Torrie Savage & Paula Bartlett
In Charlotte, when businesses are looking for a creative marketing campaigns and strategies, they call Torrie and Paula. Their business, #thesavageway, has evolved from social media and content to an outdoor media approach through clean graffiti messaging. Clean graffiti is taking a custom message created on a stencil and power washing that message on sidewalks, buildings, and any other dirty surfaces in high foot traffic areas. Torrie and Paula also specialize in moss art for businesses, think unique logos in the reception area.
Wendy is the owner and president of Asterisk Creative. Known for her clients in the food and beverage industry, Wendy also works with clients in other industries, including manufacturing, to create custom marketing and branding campaigns.
Courtney is the founder of Charlotte Lately, an online publication that has recently added a print publication to its roster. Courtney is known for creating a product filled with beautiful photos and for featuring events and creative articles about the people and places that make Charlotte unique.
April, the founder and president of Social Ape Marketing, is known for her social media expertise when it comes to getting client messages out to the masses. Facebook ads, analytics and how to show ROI on a social media campaign may sound intimidating, but not to April.
Corri is the founder of Black Wednesday, a public relations, social media, design and event planning company. Corri and her team create strong social media presences for their clients with quality photos, audience engagement and no two accounts look the same. Interested in learning more about social media for yourself and/or your company? Corri also teaches regular social media classes for all levels through SkillPop.
Leighton is a freelance media buyer who works with numerous agencies around town to get their clients the coverage they need and want. She is experienced in traditional media buying and planning, including television, radio, and digital media for clients. She has strong relationships with the media in Charlotte and beyond and that shows in the coverage she is able to secure.
Rachel is known for her style and passion, which makes sense as she was the Style Editor at the Charlotte Observer before founding her public relations company, Rachel Sutherland Communications. With her background in media, it’s no wonder Rachel knows the ins and outs of getting local, regional and national coverage for her clients.
Heather is the public relations and content director at Wray Ward. Throughout her career, Heather has shown a true understanding of how to create brand loyalty and an understanding of consumer purchasing habits. She knows the importance of having a strategy that is a combination of earned, owned, shared and paid media to reach various audiences.
Stephanie joined the WSCO Eyewitness News team in September 2017 and has hit the ground running. She’s not afraid to tackle uncomfortable subjects such as human trafficking, or ask tough questions to bring the most accurate news to viewers. Her questioning nature and her investigative reporting are breathing fresh air into Charlotte news.
Karen White & Ellery Wilkins
One of the most dynamic mother-daughter teams in Charlotte, Karen and Ellery run White Advertising. Karen is the owner and founder of White Advertising, which opened for business in 1990. She is known for thinking outside of the box when it comes to creating campaigns for clients. Ellery is the president of White Advertising and is a master when it comes to working with clients and employees.
Jameka owns and operates JSW Media Group, a boutique public relations and brand management firm that not only focuses on representing companies and brands, but on representing individuals, as well. Many of Jameka’s clients are in the entertainment, fashion, art and publishing industries. Her work stretches beyond Charlotte and clients include Emmy-award winning personalities and nationally known musicians.
Nikki is the senior community and marketing director with Yelp Charlotte and is probably one of the best party throwers in Charlotte. From her weekly television segments on WBTV to her must attend events, Nikki is committed to showcasing local Charlotte businesses and making sure the general public knows about off-the-beaten path businesses.
This article is one of many in our newest series highlighting the Charlotte women doing great things to make our town the vibrant, growing, exciting place we all call home. If we missed your favorite Behind The Scenes QC female, please do comment with her info below so all can see and share in your pride.