Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Sheri D. Neely is CEO and Co-founder of Neely Agency, Brinson Neely Talent Agency, and Brinson Neely Foundation. Sheri's passion to become an entrepreneur formed early in her upbringing. Neely is not only the daughter of an entrepreneur, she is the granddaughter of one as well. Owning a business and being her own boss came naturally to this entrepreneur prodigy. Her ambitions blossomed at early age. She enrolled in courses for business and entrepreneurship in her high school In Lee County, Arkansas.
Later in Neely's senior year of high school, her hard work and dedication would be acknowledged by her social peers as well as public officials. She was awarded the "best business plan" in her entrepreneurship class in her senior year of high school. She received an invitation to attend the Young Entrepreneurs Conference in Washington, DC. Upon the completion of high school and enrolling in college, Neely decided that she would invest in multiple businesses in partnership with other like-minded individuals.
The future executive expanded her credibility and first-hand experience by joining corporate America. It was safe to say that she was a girl on fire! (figuratively speaking). Neely was thriving as she worked in corporate America's Fortune 500 companies in the fields of marketing and advertising and gained fifteen years of productive and successful experience and knowledge.
In Neely’s life's blueprint, she met and married the love of her life. Not only was she prospering in her career, but in her marriage as well. And yet there were still milestones she needed to conquer. She is a woman of color from the south with beauty and significant aspirations undoubtedly. She landed her dream job and felt that she was on a career ladder to success until she hit the glass ceiling. While working in corporate America, she was subjected to being characterized by her gender and treated inferior because of her ethnicity. She made a bold move at the peak of her corporate career and decided to take a stand, and with the love and support of her husband, she decided to re-enroll in college as a full-time student and earn her college degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations at the University of Memphis.
This young lady who grew up on the family farm of 30 acres in Moro, Arkansas was becoming her own woman and paving the way for women as she grew. With an enthusiastic mindset Neely had goals to expand her horizons and decided to enroll in law school. She and her husband uprooted from “Down South” and moved to the “West Coast," specifically Orange County, California. Shortly after enrolling, she realized law school was not her passion and did not suit her character and personality. However, she decided the field of public relations and marketing would suit her perfectly and she would immediately pursue a career in one of the top PR markets in the country, Los Angeles.
It was not an easy career path for her. But then again to become a champion it requires hard work and determination. Neely sacrificed hours and faced many difficult times. However, she was inspired, dedicated and most importantly she NEVER gave up. As she worked her way up to a position directly under the vice president, Neely gained notoriety from one of the largest African American, multi-million-dollar integrated marketing firms and was hired to manage the day-to-day public relations and advertising of the company's most valuable accounts.
Due to the failing health conditions of Neely's father, her and her husband felt the best decision was to uproot once more from their new way of life and be by the side of her most influential figures of her life. Her dad’s illness would bring her back to Memphis, Tennessee. After returning to Memphis, her dad passed away a year later. She feels one of the best decisions she ever made was to be by his side. Although, the decision was bittersweet.
In 2013, Neely and her business partners Selma Brinson and Victor Neely founded The Neely Agency, LLC. Neely works closely with her husband Victor Neely, who is experienced in financial auditing and accounting management and her beautiful aunt Selma Brinson who has 30 plus years of expertise in tax management and accounting.
This woman of faith never forgot her humble beginnings and all of her blessings and where they come from. In fact, her daily regimen consists of meditation and prayer. She believes it’s “a stress reducer” and credits it along with her healthy eating habits to her total wellness. Neely is the CEO of a successful marketing firm and the joy and love she has for her title comes with a job well done. She has concluded that no two days are ever the same while running an integrated marketing firm that also has a casting division.
A day in the life of this modern-day entrepreneur consists of meetings, calls and emails with clients, partners, team members, vendors, and media. It also includes writing, editing, reviewing, and planning PR, marketing and advertising materials, messaging, and campaigns. The fulfillment of being CEO and co-founder of Neely Agency, Brinson Neely Talent Agency, and Brinson Neely Foundation is "the importance of being my own boss, family values and maintaining a healthy social life and being able to vacation whenever I please," Neely said on a personal perspective; However, Neely's business perspective is one of value, integrity and enjoyment.
"The passion in overseeing the creation of positive messaging, campaigns conceptualized, developed and executed for the world to see or hear has always made me smile," she said. The reality of maintaining a successful company is that not every client is of the company's standards. Neely understands this process and holds the company reputation in high regard. She said, "I am a realist, and I understand that every client is not a match for our firm." She is a woman of empowerment, self-love and is a positive influence for women of all nationalities.
Her mentorship is a form of grooming the youth in a productive manner especially in the urban communities of color where they are being marginalized and deprived of the true grandeur. Her mission is to help by contributing and reconstructing the thought process for a more productive outcome and positive efforts as it relates to specific career paths that these individuals would like to take.
Neely’s favorite Scripture is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” She also said, "God is my primary source of inspiration. My mother and father were my first source of inspiration and biggest support system. My siblings were my second. When I married my husband 18 years ago, he became a huge source of inspiration and motivation for me and he still is to this day. He has been a consistent support system for me."
Neely recommends to anyone looking to enhance their career to identify with a mentor or mentors who is/are successful in what you want to become. Also, identify mentor or mentors who are simply successful and can provide you feedback. Become a lifelong learner and If you are not able to go back to school, take independent classes online or go to seminars or workshops. Join professional organizations which also offer classes or workshops.
Bravo to Sheri D. Neely and the entire team at The Neely Agency, Brinson Neely Agency and Brinson Neely Foundation! We look forward to hearing more great things to come!
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