Horizon Media has named Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson its first chief marketing and equity officer.
The U.S. media agency decided to combined the lead marketing and equity roles to embed diversity, equity and inclusion into the core of its business, it said in a statement. Smith-Wilson joins Horizon having previously been chief strategy and engagement officer for Essence Communications Inc., the 100% Black-owned media, technology and commerce company. She will join Horizon on February 14 and will report to the agency’s CEO, Bill Koenigsberg.
While at Essence Communications, Smith-Wilson played a key role in transforming and reorganizing the company to drive growth and led sales, marketing, content, creative, experiential, video and stakeholder engagement.
“There is no better way to show that DEI is a central element of our business strategy than to create a unique leadership role and add a business and marketing senior executive who has executed on the vision of driving growth through a DEI lens,” said Koenigsberg in a statement. “DEI is an integral part of who we are and of our cultural makeup. It’s in our client work—it’s in our understanding of the consumers our clients are trying to reach—and it’s core to our innovation. Beyond her track record of successes, her engaging leadership style and the platform and recognitions she’s earned, Latraviette brings a transformative nature; she’s an exceptional addition as we continue to drive industry change.”
In the new role, Smith-Wilson will serve on Horizon’s executive board and global task force, and will lead its marketing committee. She will unify marketing and DEI to raise awareness of the company and its inclusive environment and will also provide direction to Horizon’s equity and belonging team, impact team leaders, executive-sponsored business resource groups and several communications functions. Last year, Horizon launched Project Embrace, an initiative to ensure that its clients invest in minority-owned media. The agency has also invested in data and analyses as part of that initiative to find clients new opportunities to connect with cultural audiences.
“I’ve always focused on creating opportunities that empower people to elevate themselves, provide platforms for their voices to be heard and encourage them to discover their unique superpowers—all to drive team successes. Horizon Media has done the same with an industry-leading commitment to the betterment of its business and the belonging of all of its people,” said Smith-Wilson in a statement.
“DEI at Horizon is more than numbers. It’s reflected in who Horizon is, how they work and why they win, which is why a structure that inextricably embeds DEI into enterprise marketing and client solutions is vital. I look forward to working with Bill, the leadership and the entire Horizon team on this game-changing effort as we collectively lead by example with even greater impact for our clients, employees and industry.”
Previously, Smith-Wilson was the chair of the board of Harlem United and currently sits on its board. She also previously served on the board for the PRSA Foundation. Smith-Wilson was one of Forbes’ Black Women Leaders to Follow, received the Powerhouse Award from Café Mocha, and made the Next Generation: Women of Power list by Black Enterprise.
Earlier in her career, Smith-Wilson held leadership roles at Sundial Brands, National Urban League, American Express, Edelman and Deloitte.