Edward A. Cates
Managing Partner, CEO
After more than 10 years at Bank of America Corp. and Carter Brothers L.L.C., much of it spent as an executive in marketing, communications and supplier diversity roles, Edward A. Cates wanted a more entrepreneurial experience. In 2007, he founded Nuance Marketing, a marketing, communication and advertising agency, in Stockbridge, Ga., just south of Atlanta, and assumed the roles of CEO and managing partner, with responsibility for its direction and strategic growth. With an approach that encompasses “listening to the client to meet them where they are and take them where they want to go,” the agency has built up a blue-chip clientele that includes Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Avis Rent-a-Car and Delta Air Lines Inc. and is poised to expand.
Managing your own business is time-consuming, but gratifying. “It is overwhelmingly the most rewarding experience to create and work on innovative projects for a customer that I believe in and who believes in my agency,” says Cates, who has written numerous articles on business, politics and supplier diversity for such publications as Savoy magazine, Hispanic Network Magazine, MBE Magazine and Minority Business News USA.
Cates served as a White House intern in the Office of Advance & Scheduling during the Clinton administration. He is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, with particular emphasis on corporate purchasing from minority- and women-owned businesses. “We have to break the mindset that [minority- and women-owned] businesses will compromise quality and pricing,” he insists. To that end, he has become involved with national diversity organizations. In 2009, The National Council of Asian American Business Associations awarded him its “Minority Business Advocate of the Year” honor.
Cates earned a bachelor’s degree in communication, with a minor in political science, from Emporia State University. He looks forward to growing his agency, which he sees as a legacy for his sons.
Last movie: “Inside Job”
Favorite comedian: Dave Chappelle
Favorite song: “Planet Rock” by Afrika Bambaataa