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Corporate Engagement in Cultural Moments – Less Statements, More Impact


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Corporate Engagement in Cultural Moments – Less Statements, More Impact

Whats Working, What’s Needed

Each February, we see companies present talks on Black history and every June, companies in mass turn their logos rainbow (for 30 days). When thinking about operating inclusively, these efforts are steps in the right direction but do they actually create a meaningful impact? How can companies both create a tangible impact within the communities they touch and consistently celebrate and elevate the cultures and identities of their employees in meaningful and impactful ways. We have gathered a roundtable of business leaders who are ready to ask the tough questions to themselves and each other. Elle Arlook, APCO Worldwide North America Equity & Justice Practice Lead will moderate this conversation with Erin Goldson – Brand Manager for Dove Hair Innovation and Dove Masterbrand (Purpose) Engagement; Angel Anderson – Founder and owner of The Spice Suite; and Dominique Scott - Employee & Sustainability Communications Lead for Vimeo.

Erin Goldson

Sanmaya Mohanty

Erin Goldson is a Brand Manager at Unilever – where she is in a hybrid role working on both the Dove Hair Innovation and Dove Masterbrand (Purpose) Engagement teams. In her current role helps lead Doves purpose driven communications, with a specific focus on championing the CROWN (Creating and Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act. The ambition of the CROWN ACT is to foster beauty inclusivity and to prohibit schools and workplaces from discriminating against people based on their natural hairstyles. To date, the CROWN Act has been passed in seven states, including California, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Colorado, Washington State and Maryland. Erin is extremely passionate about her purpose work on Dove and is committed to making the CROWN Act Law nationwide. In addition, Erin led the creation and development of Amplified Textures, a new range of haircare products from Dove crafted specifically for black women with textured curls, coils and waves. In her hybrid role Erin’s work spans new product innovation and development, brand communications, grass roots events and legislative strategy. Prior to joining Unilever, Erin worked at American Express on the Platinum Card, where she helped develop premium benefits for card members and helped create marketing campaigns for Platinum card members. She began her career on the agency side at Ogilvy & Mather where she worked on the Marketing Strategy team on brands such as IKEA and British Airways. She was also a founding member of OgilvyCulture, a new division that focused on serving multicultural consumers, something that did not exist prior to her joining Ogilvy. Erin was featured in the New York times along with the other founding members for her work on this. A native of Washington, DC, Erin graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She also attended Columbia Business School. She currently lives in New York City and loves to travel. Some of her favorite destinations are the Philippines, Bali & Martha’s Vineyard!

Dominique Scott

Sanmaya Mohanty

Dominique a collaborative, detail-oriented communications professional with a passion for data and people-first storytelling. She specializes in strategic corporate communications, helping organizations navigate the challenges of today, solve problems, act with agility, anticipate social risk, and build admirable reputations, relationships, and solutions to succeed. In her roles to date, she has spearheaded thought leadership programs, driven employee engagement programs, and assisted in developing impactful communication strategies on issues related to ESG, social impact, philanthropy as well as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

Elle Arlook

Bridget Finkeldey

Elle Arlook is a senior associate director in APCO Worldwide’s Washington, D.C. office. As a leader in the corporate communications practice, she has a depth of experience in managing traditional communications and media relations strategies for corporate clients.

Ms. Arlook previously served as director at a boutique public affairs and crisis communications firm in Washington, D.C. In this role, she managed national partnerships, strategic influencer relations, multi-cultural communications, grassroots marketing and reputation management for clients including the National Urban League, Walgreens, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation, Toyota, YMCA of the USA, and the Connecticut Health Foundation. Her experience also includes a role as division lead at a boutique media relations agency where she managed media strategy and thought leadership for non-profit clients including Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the U.S. Soccer foundation.

Ms. Arlook received a B.A. in marketing communications from Columbia College, Chicago. She was a founding member of the Junior Executive Board for Knock Out Abuse, a leading Washington, D.C. non-profit that raises over $600,000 annually for survivors of domestic violence.

Angel Gregorio

Sanmaya Mohanty

Angel Gregorio cut her teeth in education as an assistant principal before launching The Spice Suite, a retail shop based in Washington, D.C. that sells spices and kitchenware. The company doubles as a dream incubator for Black female entrepreneurs, or SpiceGirls--each of whom sells handmade or specially sourced products through regular popups hosted by the store. Members of the SpiceGirlin' club benefit from monthly educational webinars and workshops led by business experts. The Spice Suite generated $1.5 million in revenue for 2020--more than a million dollars more than in the previous year. The Spice Suite and Gregorio were recognized in in Beyonce’s The Black Parade Route, is a featured in Hyundai’s The Journey to Excellence campaign and just completed a nationwide Black History Month partnership with Nordstrom Cafes and Restaurants.

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