Age: 39, Senior Vice President, Integrated Media Group
Weber Shandwick, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kevin Hooks, senior vice president of the Integrated Media Group at the global public relations and communications firm Weber Shandwick, is as passionate about enjoying life to the fullest as he is about achieving his professional goals. He places great store in passion, thanks to the advice of his former professor, Richard Massa, who, according to Hooks, would say, “Mr. Hooks, you must have passion! Success and passion are inextricable!” As a result, “I have left jobs because I wasn’t passionate about them, and that has made me much happier,” Hooks says.
Hooks has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Missouri Southern State University and has worked in entertainment marketing and public relations for more than 15 years. At Weber Shandwick, he uses the allure of entertainment to build relationships between brands and consumers and oversees the development of the company’s suite of integrated media services covering public relations, entertainment marketing and new media.
Prior to joining the firm, he was vice president and general manager at UPP Entertainment Marketing, and before that he managed the African-American gifting portfolio for State Farm Insurance Cos. He longs to expand his work to global markets and dreams of presiding over a global company. “We [African-Americans] have done a good job in delivering on the domestic business front. I want to focus on global successes,” he says.
Active in the community, Hooks served as a board trustee for the National Urban League and as chairman of the National Association of African American Athletes and Inner City Survivors. He is a former 1st vice president of the National Association of Black County Officials’ Business Roundtable and a member of the NAACP’s Business Advisory Board.
What artist would you go on tour with: Jay-Z
Sport you play best: Soccer
Favorite food: Steak
Spectator or athlete: Athlete
Jeans/T-shirt or suit: Suit
Favorite charity: National Urban League