Kinnard & Associates celebrate 20-year anniversary helping businesses promote corporate diversity, inclusiveness

Rhea Kinnard, founder and chief executive officer of Kinnard & Associates. (courtesy photo)

Rhea Kinnard, founder and chief executive officer of Kinnard & Associates. (courtesy photo)

Kinnard & Associates is celebrating its milestone celebration of 20 years. For two decades, Kinnard & Associates, a marketing communications agency, has worked with an array of companies across the country to help them become more inclusive.

The vision to help promote a more inclusive city environment was ignited when Kinnard & Associates joined the ranks as a Nashville minority and woman-owned business in 1997. Founder and chief executive officer Rhea Kinnard began offering services designed to help companies become more inclusive. During that time, she also introduced The African American Guide to Nashville. The publication soon became a marketing tool used by many Nashville corporations and institutions. It was the first of its kind, which highlighted contributions of African Americans to the city while also helping minority-owned businesses leverage their brand to visitors in Music City.

Soon a partnership was forged with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., which still remains in effect and serves as one of their major marketing tools to attract Black conventions to Nashville.

“Embracing diversity has many benefits. Not only does it give all business an equal opportunity to participate by leveling the playing field but it also broadens the pool of qualified businesses thus adding to a stronger economic and a more successful diverse community,” said Rhea Kinnard, president/CEO.

“As we gain a stronger understanding that differences should be perceived as assets and not liabilities, we will also gain stronger communities, cities, and a global economic world,” she said.

The 20-year journey at Kinnard & Associates has also included partnerships with other companies, which helped land contracts with the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Tennessee Lottery, Metro Transit Authority and Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority among others.

Today, the agency works with a plethora of companies around the country to help them incorporate diversity initiatives or programs within their corporate culture.

Kinnard credits her success through hard work, building great working relationships and developing an understanding of the client’s needs and tailoring initiatives and programs that help get results. In 2012, she established the Dorothy Marie Kinnard Foundation dedicated to raising awareness with the escalating rise of diabetes among African Americans. Since its founding, the foundation has raised nearly $10,000 to help continue its efforts for the cause.