By TJ Armour
Teena Sloane-Hendricks has a BA in integrated marketing communications and is a marketing professional, event coordinator, youth coach, and innovator of ideas and educational exposure.
She has been invited to speak at numerous engagements around the country including various workshops, seminars, courses and panels. She also has had the opportunity to present and implement programs for The African American Women on Tour, Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, the Corporation for National Service, and the military community as an Ombudsman with the United States Navy.
In 1995, Sloane-Hendricks founded Public Positivity, an organization dedicated to empowering young people by exposing them to educational excursions throughout the country. She organized youth tours and fought to show them first hand how businesses such as Vibe Magazine, Black Entertainment Television (BET), and a host of others are built, managed, and maintained. Additionally, alongside Kenard Gibbs, developer of Soul Train Holdings, she is the producer of the Soul Train Impact, a discussion panel series featuring various professionals who seek to equip young people with career advice, a sense of community responsibility, education, and tools they can use for life
What was your dream occupation as a child and why?
I wanted to be Carol Burnett *laughs* Then I wanted to be a talk show host, but by my junior year at Columbia College Chicago I realized that I was really great at maneuvering the way people could see any vision I had. So communications in Marketing it was.
How did you get started working behind the scenes in the music industry?
I knew the way to reach young people was to get them involved with something they loved, and that was entertainment. They loved anything or anyone connected to music, TV, or radio. So I began asking my friends in the business to come and speak to the young people I was mentoring. I then began to take kids to visit, explore, and cultivate relationships at BET, Vibe magazine, and various radio stations. People in the business began to ask my opinion on how to reach out to young people, and to help produce different events for young people. And before I knew it I was helping to produce Teen Summit Shows for BET in Chicago, and at some Black Expos for them as well.
Tell about the Soul Train Impact and the work that you do with it?
THE SOUL TRAIN IMPACT…is part of the solution in our community. It provides a safe haven for young people to express themselves. This is a place where our young people and adults interact with each other while learning. THE SOUL TRAIN IMPACT empowers, uplifts, and excites people, while sharing ideas and tools for life, education, and career. Our model comes from the original ideal of Don Cornelius. He knew young people were not safe on the mean streets, he also knew something had to be done, and did it. THE SOUL TRAIN IMPACT can and will give our young people an alternative to violence, crime and unproductiveness. THE SOUL TRAIN IMPACT also includes aspects of social responsibility, empowerment, and change. We are passing on ideas of progressiveness, and knowledge, while instilling and implementing these attributes. We are also having a positive, productive impact on our youth with THE SOUL TRAIN IMPACT event here in Chicago. We give young people an opportunity to express themselves, learn, and interact with the best professionals in the business.
How did your recent annual Impact of Media in conjunction with Soul Train go?
The event has always been well received and this year was no different. It is always an experience that is interactive with the professional panelists and the attendees, but this year there was a serious commitment from all of the panel to build together. To combine resources, and individual networks to promote each others endeavors. It was amazing to have a real professional panel know the worth of the person sitting next to them and to be impressed by one another. No jealousy or egos. Just pure and authentic respect and admiration for each other. The audience was an active participant in a conversation of enrichment, upliftment, enlightenment, encouragement, and empowerment. It was all I could have dreamed of and more.
What’s the biggest misconception you think people have in regards to Marketing?
The biggest misconception is that…it is easy and that anyone can do it. People also need to understand that you have to be creative. The amount of creativity in marketing is the difference between being good and being great.
In your opinion, how important is it to have mentors in your career?
Mentors are a gift from the creator for anyone. To have someone to take the time to teach you, to counsel you, to watch you, to criticize you, to be patient with you, and impatient with you…is an immeasurable gift. It will make you great, again the difference between good and great, is the measure of people who had mentors, and those who did not.
Who are three of your personal mentors?
1. Mark Kelly, he is the Senior Vice President of Student Affairs at Columbia College. He taught me the value of me, the value of always doing an excellent job, and not to ever make excuses.
2. Hermene Hartman, she believes in my mission of empowerment.
3. Kenard Gibbs, he is a professional colleague that turned into professional friend. He is one of the most socially responsible people that I know. He keeps me focused on my mission.
Thus far, of what accomplishment are you most proud career-wise?
Being awarded a Proclamation from the City Of Chicago for my work with youth and the community empowerment I have been doing for the last 20 years. I felt very much validated. Also, being an Ombudsman for the United States Military. I served for six years as a Certified Ombudsman and a liaison between the Civilian Community and the Military Command. And the last thing is I am able to teach my children professional determination. They see how dedicated I am to the community and to making it a better place for young people and adults alike.
What’s your best advice for aspiring professionals?
Be dedicated. Always give back, give of yourself, and be socially responsible.
Any affirmations or personal quotes that you live by?
My favorite…”Say what you mean, and Mean what you say”. Also, don’t ask anything of anyone that you wouldn’t ask of yourself.
What’s next for Teena Sloane-Hendricks?
The first weekend in November 2016 is the Soul Train Awards weekend in Vegas and I am producing a showcase for singer Justin Ruff that’ll be sponsored by the Nielsen Company. I’m also producing a show that same weekend with Sherry Gordy Productions. She is the daughter of legendary Motown founder Berry Gordy. I am also starting a Professional Combined Resource Network where professionals can cooperatively bring their Individual networks together to accomplish collective goals. And lastly, a membership drive for all of the events I create along with my new Impactful Cooperative Network.
For more information on Sloane-Hendricks, feel free to connect with her on Facebook @facebook.com/TheSoulTrainImpact and @facebook.com/teena.hendricks