“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou
When I have the pleasure of meeting powerful, dynamic and inspirational women, I immediately gravitate to them. I am intrigued and fascinated by the characteristics these women possess. I ask, what allows her to achieve unspeakable goals and operate at sustained levels of greatness? This was definitely the case when I met my soror and mentor, Kenyatta Bynoe. This Detroit native is an unstoppable trailblazer. She is never afraid to work hard and has proven herself in an industry that has not always been as friendly to women. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Central Michigan University and went on to earn her Master of Science degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Eastern Michigan University.
An accomplished marketing executive with a 20-year career that encompasses impressively demanding leadership roles. With a solid track record of engineering innovative, 360-degree marketing strategies, she is very much at home delivering campaigns across advertising, digital, social media, PR, and experiential disciplines. Additionally, Kenyatta is known for being a thought leader that challenges conventional thinking. Her accomplishments are evidenced by her selection for key industry awards including Adweek “Most Powerful Women in Sports” and Sports Business Journal “Game Changer.”
When she is not serving her community as an illustrious member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. —she also enjoys mentoring, live music, sporting events, traveling and culinary arts.
During my Nashville adventures, I was blessed to be able to learn more about this dynamic women. Iron sharpens iron.
Meet Kenyatta Bynoe.
DOM: What was your "ah ha moment"? This can be categorized as a time when you felt you realized your purpose or a moment where you realized that you could make a living pursuing your passion and purpose?
KB: Honestly, that moment did not come until just a few years ago. Between the time frame of 2013 – 2016, I lost all five of my immediate family members. Dealing with one devastation after the next put me in a dark place that forced me to pause and take inventory of my life and purpose. I asked God why he took my family and left me here and his answer was “you still have work to do.” That’s when I realized that it was time for me to come from behind the curtain and take on more of a visible leadership role. And to be an example for young women pursuing careers in male-dominated industries such as automotive and sports. My talent is marketing, but, my passion is the thrill of the road less traveled.
In my career, I have been fortunate to receive a handful of industry awards and honors. But the honor I hold most dear is one that was recently bestowed upon me from a non-profit organization called Play Like a Girl®. This organization believes that young girls who are given the opportunity to play on a team become women with the confidence to stand on their own. This year they selected me for the Trailblazer Award in recognition of my leadership in breaking gender barriers in sports and representing new possibilities for young women who desire to pursue careers in my field. This means everything because it represents a step toward fulfilling the purpose that I identified in my “ah-ha moment.”
*Kenyatta will be honored this November 2018 at their honors ceremony!*
DOM: What is it like being a leader for women in the sports industry? How does it feel to know you are motivating the masses to tap into their potential and take action toward achieving their dreams?
KB: Working in the sports industry affords me the luxury of being able to tap into one of the most passionate cultures there is and utilize that as a marketing platform. The game of basketball and the culture that surrounds it has been uniting athletes and fans across the globe since its inception more than 125 years ago.
DOM: Your advice to young people (especially women) aspiring to achieve similar career goals as yourself? Words of wisdom to individuals that want to break barriers and achieve things that others could never fathom?
KB: Realizing your full potential requires unwavering faith and a degree of fearlessness. If you don’t trust yourself, who will? There will be times when you are unsure, afraid, hesitant, etc. And there won’t always be a clear path. But when you put in the work to prepare for that moment, trust that you are ready.
Secondly, one important lesson that I had to learn over the course of my career was to be more expressive in business meetings and not be afraid to confidently share my perspective. I can’t tell you how many times I have been the only woman or the only African-American in a meeting. It’s has been more often than not. It can be intimidating to be the only one – but that essentially means I am the one. And I’m in the room to offer my valuable expertise in a professional way to impact to the eventual outcome.
DOM: As a leader in the Marketing industry, what are the most pressing goals and challenges facing a dynamic and intelligent leader like yourself?
KB: The biggest challenge is staying connected to our savvy, ever-evolving consumer. I enjoy marketing because it does not allow you to become stagnant. Or to be satisfied with status quo. If you don’t learn, grow, take risks and change, you will be eating dust. For this reason, I continue to network, take courses, attend conferences as well as stay plugged in digitally and culturally so that I can be a student of learning and not lose my professional edge. And when it's time for me to present a strategy, be heard in a meeting, speak at an event etc. I can do so as a thought leader because I am fully invested in my craft.
DOM: Your top five favorite things to do in Nashville (Or favorite Restaurants).
KB: I have to say, Nashville has been one of my most pleasant surprises. When I moved here almost 4 years ago it was sight unseen. I had never been to the city before and only associated it with country music. But it has so much more to offer and is thriving in a way that I never could have imagined. For the most part, I enjoy listening to live music, trying new restaurants and attending comedy shows or sporting events. Some of my faves include:
Tavern at Bobby
Music City Food and Wine Festival
And of course, any gym or football field where a good game is being played.
DOM: How do you define what it means to leave a legacy?
KB: As I have progressed in my career, I have given more and more thought to the notion of leaving a legacy. I believe my professional legacy is what I will leave behind for the people I serve – colleagues, partners and those who aspire to walk a similar path. I believe it’s made up of a series of bold ideas, accomplishments, and experiences that have molded me. I also feel it doesn’t represent an ending but someone else’s beginning. The key themes that I hope to leave as a legacy are courage, accountability, and creativity.
Click on the video below to hear more from this dynamic leader or follow her via social @mskenyattab
Edited by Joy Davis