Kimberly A. Blackwell
Chief Executive Officer
The eldest of three children, Kimberly Blackwell learned early from her father, a former mayor of Cincinnati, and her mother, a retired superintendent of the Cincinnati public school system, the importance of servant-leadership. A staunch educator, her mother regularly invited students to join the family for dinner to finish homework – often as disciplinary punishment. Today, they thank their former principal for the time and attention she invested. “The village adage was alive and well in our home,” says Blackwell, founder and chief executive of PMM, a full-service brand management, creative services and communications firm whose clients include Nationwide Insurance, American Express, Macy’s and Dell.
A young entrepreneur, the Harvard and Northwestern trained Blackwell founded PMM in 1999 around a passion for marketing and advertising. “I tell people that I birthed a business that is now a ‘tween-er.’ It’s a labor of love that is quite demanding,” she says. She meets the relentless requirements of time “by working smart and delegating to talented and capable team members.” Blackwell earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a master’s from Xavier University in Ohio, where she has taught in the graduate studies program for ten years.
When time permits, Blackwell enjoys combining her love of international travel with some element of the letter S – spa, shop, sun, and sleep. “For the past several years, Fashion Week in Milan, Italy, has proven to be a great form of respite and rejuvenation,” she says. “I feel blessed to be able to proper in my work and what I believe is ‘in my purpose.’ When you’re fortunate in that way, you never take it for granted. Instead, you overperform, stay humble, stay true to self, treat people fairly, and do the right things for the right reasons. The rest just falls into divine order, with personal peace of mind a priceless reward.”