Capitol Communicator is running “Up Close and Personal” profiles of communicators in the mid-Atlantic. In this profile we feature Dionne Kumpe. Photography for the series is by Cade Martin, wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire and Sybil Street for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup by Patti D Nelson, Janice Kinigopoulos and Lori Pressman for THE Artist Agency.
Dionne, please provide us a short bio.
I consult with B2B, B2C, and nonprofit organizations on strategic branding and marketing initiatives. I launched my business after years of leading marketing and communications teams at single and multi-office independent and publicly-held advertising agencies. My experience covers 15 industry verticals and 40+ brands such as McDonald’s, Pampers, Duracell, Iams, StraightTalk Wireless in Walmart, Allegis Global Solutions and WestRock.
Are you involved in any other organizations?
As a volunteer with the Richmond chapter of the American Marketing Association, I help plan and execute Teach Me How Workshops and the Summer Book Club. I am also a regional and chapter leader for Propel Women, a global organization empowering women leaders.
What are the things you are most proud of?
I am most proud of being able to use my ideas and influence to create a positive impact no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Who are your personal role models?
I am inspired by the strong women in my family. My paternal grandmother exuded self-confidence. She was a state government employee, hairdresser and businesswoman. After being widowed, my maternal grandmother worked in a factory to help her daughters attend college. She had an incredible work ethic. I grew up watching my mom teach school and volunteer at church. She was a seamstress and now she paints and performs in a rock n’ roll band. From her I learned to make the most of every moment. Finally, I look to my teenage daughters, who are expressing themselves through music, art, design, and social media. By chasing after their dreams daily, they challenge me to do the same.
Did your role models offer professional advice that helped you in your career?
Breathe deeply, face your fears, give grace, keep learning, and communicate well.
What professional advice do you have for others?
Identify your talents and nurture them. Make a habit of taking creative risks. Continually invest in your professional development. Make a plan to reach your goals. Be honest with yourself. Look for evidence of growth. Learn to say no.
What’s on your Spotify and Pandora playlists?
Christian pop, but I listen to podcasts more than music.
What’s your favorite restaurant?
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?
As an account coordinator in my early 20s, I talked to my creative director about moving into an entry-level copywriting position. He encouraged me to stay in my lane because there are two types of people—account people and creative people. One group identifies the problem and the other solves it. I accepted this at the time, but I reject it today. Creativity is a thread that runs throughout our lives. We are all creative. We are all problem-solvers. We can all learn to write.
Today my creativity takes many forms. In the office, I enjoy developing brand strategy and communications that are as elegant as they are effective. I also have a deep appreciation for well-executed packaging and retail merchandising. In my personal time, I experiment with storytelling platforms and content development. Lastly, whether personal or professional, I love the energy of workshops and conferences.