Co-Founders Jocelyn K. Allen and Chandra S. Lewis joined forces to form the firm in 2015 based on the philosophy of 4Ps: Passion, Power, Prosperity and Purpose. They have PASSION for what they do; their combined POWER makes them among the best in the field; they transform pitfalls and prowess into PROSPERITY; they ceaselessly work to fulfill a true and bold PURPOSE. Based in metro Detroit, TALA brings more than 40 years of experience, with a breadth and depth that is unmatched. The duo rigorously applies their relentless drive for excellence to each and every client.
Jocelyn K. Allen (Jocelyn@theallenlewisagency.com) is a marketing and communications expert with more than 15 years of experience working in a variety of roles at General Motors (GM). Most recently, Allen served as the Director of Regional, Grassroots, and Diversity Communications, and Director of the company's Diversity Marketing and Communications Center of Excellence - a role created specifically for Allen to oversee communications strategy for GM's U.S. regional offices and its national diversity outreach.
In this role, Allen shared the company and its brands' stories with African American, Asian, Hispanic, LGBT and military veteran audiences, helping the company gain entree into these markets. She has developed a vast network of media contacts among multicultural news and lifestyle outlets. Allen created the Hispanic Media Immersion Summit. She oversaw the team responsible for GM's "It Gets Better" video contribution to The Trevor Project. Allen headed the PR effort for the GM Foundation's donation to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. She utilized her unique ability of making connections to grow the company's relationship with organizations and events such as the Essence Music Festival, the Trumpet Awards, the Stellar Awards, CAAMFest, Black Girls Rock! and the American Black Film Festival. Her creative saavy birthed signature events including "Cadillac Conversations," "Design by Detroit" and Chevy Urban Style.
Prior to her diversity communications roles for GM, Allen served as Vice President of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications for OnStar, where she led internal and external communications efforts including the launch of OnStar in China and the introduction of a groundbreaking new OnStar service - Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. As Manager of Global Broadcast Media Relations, Allen played a crucial role in helping GM shift its communications mindset to storytelling among media outlets beyond print media.
Allen's foray into communications began soon after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1991, where she began working as a production assistant on feature films including Oliver Stone's "Zebrahead" and Penny Marshall's "Renaissance Man." From film, Allen moved to television, taking on production roles at WDIV, Detroit's NBC affiliate, where she managed daily live newscasts, on-air direction of talent and production for live events including the Detroit Fireworks and North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Allen stage-managed the Detroit segment of the CBS Thanksgiving Day parade for seven years running.
In 2008, Allen received a master's degree in Organizational Communications and Public Relations from Wayne State University, where she has also taught as an adjunct professor. She is a frequent speaker at PR events and on college campuses including her alma maters. Allen is a member of the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), serves on the Wayne State Board of Visitors, and was most recently appointed Vice Chair of the Michigan Women's Foundation Board.
Allen is the recipient of numerous professional and community awards, including the inaugural Michigan Chronicle Women of Excellence Award (2008), the Urban Wheel Awards Minority Executive of the Year (2009), Alternatives for Girls Corporate Role Model Award (2010), the Multicultural Marketing and Communications Award (2011), and the Black Alumni of Notre Dame Pillar Award (2012). In April 2015, Wayne State University recognized Allen with its PR Alumni Award during the university's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) annual luncheon.
In 2002, Allen created Divas4Life, a foundation dedicated to providing positive influences and life skills to young girls in Detroit. The foundation's has earned the admiration of Ladies Home Journal, which included Allen in the "Ladies We Love" section of its website for her work with Divas4Life. Real Simple and Ebony have also profiled Allen and the work of her foundation.
Allen's social media alter ego, TheExecuDiva, maintains a regular web presence. She blogs under the pseudonym on the Detroit entertainment and lifestyle blog "The Social D" and tweets her observations from a handle of the same name.
Allen's many career accomplishments and experiences are a point of pride to be sure, but they pale in comparison to her life's most cherished experiences as mom of son Michael and daughter of Rev. Dorothy Allen and James Carvan.
Chandra S. Lewis (Chandra@theallenlewisagency.com) is a Brand, Marketing, Reputation and Business Growth pro, bringing 20 years of experience working in multinational companies. Recently, Lewis served as Director, Corporate Communications, where she oversaw public & press relations, crisis & change management, brand development, digital & social media, employee engagement, trade shows & events and campaigns for Bosch. During her tenure, Lewis led integrated communications activities during periods of lowest and peak revenue; company sales nearly doubled since her start.
Lewis' ability to meaningfully propel brand identity and stakeholder engagement that generates profitable revenue helped the conglomerate grow both core and untapped business areas, namely multi-million dollar cross-selling initiatives. Using collaboration, bridging strategies, SWOT-based analytics and mobilizing relationships and resources, Lewis achieved year/year increases in company awareness, reach, tonality and mindshare via small-scale and large-scale projects. A stickler for processes, practical solutions and metrics, Lewis' creative flair helped her attain leadership and stakeholder trust for marketing communication programs, while motivating her team and suppliers to deliver above-and-beyond, superior performance.
Lewis has an extensive network of trade, business and technical media and industry contacts within the automotive, industrial, energy and building technology, healthcare and software sectors. She steered differentiating campaigns to promote Bosch's market-changing technologies such as Electronic Stability Control, Clean Diesel and Automated Driving. Lewis conceived the company's entree at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). She utilized her distinctive influential abilities to groom company relationships with organizations, establishing an internal benchmark for pairing revenue development with brand visibility campaigns. Lewis protected company reputation equity through robust crisis communications, serving as company spokesperson for billion dollar acquisitions, divestitures, recalls, reorganizations and more.
In 2010, Lewis lived in Stuttgart, Germany, working at the company's global headquarters, where she further honed her unique global orientation and ability to work across borders and cultures. Her responsibilities were later expanded, managing direct reports in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. Lewis provided astute counsel for the company's global campaigns. In 2000, Lewis participated in the executive development program at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France. She maintains basic fluency in French, German and Spanish.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia in 1995, Lewis began her career joining Osram Sylvania's Management Development program, where she began developing her multi-sector and campaign expertise, analytics and reporting strategies via assignments in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Georgia. Hired as a Product Manager for the company's automotive lighting facility in Indiana, Lewis orchestrated change management strategies to launch the Valeo Sylvania joint venture in 1997. The following year, Lewis joined Valeo as Marketing and Communications Manager, where she sharpened the company's revenue acquisition strategies, launching an authentic, adaptable brand and marketing communications program.
Lewis proudly serves as Executive Director for Divas4Life, a foundation for dedicated to providing positively influence and groom young girls in Detroit. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and various professional and civic organizations. Since 2005, Lewis is a founding member of Testimony Sings, a quintet of five women spanning several musical genres, who have performed at a number of festivals and events across the nation.
Lewis' proudest achievement is being mom to daughter Cydney and daughter to John and Carrie Scott.
Jacquie Goetz Bluethmann is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Metro Parent, BLAC Detroit, Ambassador and The Detroiter. Jacquie's expertise includes speech writing, news and feature story writing, web copywriting and blogging.
Araba Dowell is an experienced communications strategist who has helped more than 20 companies position themselves competitively in the marketplace. With a journalist's edge, Araba finds creative ways to get to the heart of a company's challenges and support their business objectives.
Tiana Dudley is an extraordinary communications and marketing coordinator. A contributing writer for Rolling Out magazine, Tiana recently served as the PR and Marketing coordinator for a successful chemical management company. Tiana' s first love and true passion is in promoting and supporting people, minority businesses, triumphant stories and unique experiences.
Zondra Hughes is a multimedia journalist with 10+ years of experience in news gathering and 5+ years in copywriting and social media marketing. Zondra is the creator of the ground-breaking social media network, The Six Brown Chicks.
Donyale R. Padgett is a communications professional with 20 years of progressive experience in strategic communications planning. She currently serves as the Associate Professor of Diversity, Culture, and Communications in the Department of Communications at Wayne State University. Dr. Padgett is a sought-after speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion and cross-cultural competency.
Aida Phillips is a multicultural publicist and media relations expert with extensive knowledge of US Hispanic and Women's markets. Her expertise includes working with top 25 Forbes 100 companies and creating excellent results with media, influencers and celebrities for each client.
Anita Randall is a marketing expert who provides clients a range of visibility services: advanced administration, event and convention coordination and execution, brand and marketing strategy, and logistics management.
Colleen Robar is a big-thinking communications professional who thrives oninternal and external marketing, public relations, events, corporate social responsibility,market research and branding projects. Colleen has extensive global experience, with professional stints in China, Japan, and Brazil.
Gloria Tostado has worked in various facets of communications/public relations for over twenty-five years: community relations/influencer outreach, media relations, event/project management, social media, speech writing, bilingual (Spanish) spokesperson, video voice-over, event/program emcee. Gloria has worked in the US and Puerto Rico.
Joz Wang is highly skilled in designing and executing traditional marketing and social media strategic initiatives with demonstrated ability to understand and reach the Asian and LGBTQ communities. She possesses strong business acumen; excellent analytical and problem solving abilities with demonstrated superior results in handling multi-million dollar national accounts.
Crystal Wilson is a Communications and Marketing professional with extensive experience in multicultural market engagement for all three domestic automakers. Crystal has worked both on the agency and client side, and most recently served as an after sales marketing manager for a luxury brand.