Courtney R. Rhodes, a brand strategist and marketing consultant, leveraged the opportunity to start her brand marketing consulting firm after dispelling ethnic and age boundaries during her tenure at Clear Channel Communications, now iHeart Media. As General Sales Manager (GSM) at 32, she was the youngest and only African American to become GSM leading multiple Country Music stations. Courtney recognized early in her career that her natural ability to position and package her capabilities made her personal brand the most valuable asset to her career success. Today she enjoys a fulfilling career leading others to capture, package, position and amplify their business and personal brands.
In 1993, she left her hometown of Shulerville, SC, and moved to Baltimore, Maryland to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from Morgan State University. From 1998 through 2004, Courtney developed core competencies working in corporate development and communications at Gilman School (during the school’s Centennial Capital Campaign), Caves Valley Golf Club (during the 2002 PGA U.S. Senior Open Championship) and The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) National Office of the President in Baltimore, Maryland.
In 2003, after earning a Master of Arts degree in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore, she started a burgeoning six-year stint in media sales and management with Clear Channel Communications. After several promotions managing multi-million dollar radio stations and their digital assets, she landed in Atlanta, Georgia, as General Sales Manager for two Country Music stations. The Bull- 94.9 WUBL, the larger of the two stations at the time, was the official radio broadcast partner for Braves Radio Network. While with Clear Channel, Courtney worked in Baltimore, Tampa, and Atlanta. She was responsible for managing, marketing, training sales teams, building corporate and community partnerships and growing revenue for media properties. Courtney and her sales team serviced major advertising agencies in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, Washington, DC, Baltimore, Tampa, and Atlanta. Having worked extensively with top advertising agencies, PR firms, marketing directors, entertainment executives, sports franchises and business principals, she acquired a niche for identifying and accommodating businesses’ brand building needs; and creating and executing marketing and advertising strategies to deliver on those needs.
In 2011, after spending thirteen years developing strong brand marketing skills and business acumen from Corporate America, Urbanity Communications was born. Her experience in media sales expand across all sectors of media and includes management experience in radio, digital, events, and out-of-home for Clear Channel; television, print and digital sales for CBS, and print and digital sales and magazine experience with Girls’ Life and Uptown Magazines.
Today, Courtney finds herself managing brand marketing and personal branding on behalf of her clients. Urbanity has worked with the likes of :
-Wade Ford (three dealer group/ largest AA Ford franchise)
–The Wade Ford Concert Series (3-5 concerts annually)-
-Steven R. Ewing (CEO of Wade Ford)
– SpineCenter Atlanta-Savannah
-Dr. James Chappuis – CEO & Sr. Orthopaedic Surgeon
-Westside Cultural Arts Center
-Gray & Company
-The Coca-Cola Company
-Miami’s Jazz In The Gardens
-Gallery 88 Miami + Anthony Liggins- Owner & Artist Gallery 88
-Twelve Music Group (Maybach Music Group/ MMG headquarter)+ Dina Marto-Owner & Operator 12 Music Studios
– Reggie Rouse- VP of Urban Programming CBS Radio
Courtney’s day-to-day obligations involve directing strategic planning, brand marketing, organizational training, advertising and/or personal branding opportunities; while managing those deliverables with aligned external affairs for Urbanity’s clients.
She was brand manager of Art Is Love, Love Is An Art, a coffee table book dedicated to the art of Anthony Liggins. The book went on to win the 2014 GDUSA American Graphic Design Award. Later in 2014, marrying her career expertise with a passion for personal style, she birthed The Brandista Guide, a personal lifestyle blog that shares a stylish capture of her favorite fashion trends, beauty discoveries, and everyday lifestyle hacks.
In 2015, she served as a committee member for Ford Motor Company’s Immersion Program, designed to take an intimate exploration into the lives of African Americans as a unique consumer segment; and was featured in the Atlantan magazine as one of “Atlanta’s Women of Power & Influence.” That year, she served as a presenter for Public Relations Society of America’s Regional Collegiate Conference; and served on a personal branding panel for The Pink Power Conference. She launched and hosted the Dream Big Conference, an annual women’s entrepreneur and influencer conference.
In 2016, she expanded to work with digital entrepreneurs and influencers throughout the country helping them grow and leverage their brands. She created services to provide the same high-quality services she’d previously offered companies, but with less face-to-face commitments. She began the Make Your Mark Series and co-presented Brand.Build.BlowUp during the 8th Annual Blogalicious Weekend. In 2017, she published and toured the national conference circuit with her first book, Make Your Mark: Personal Branding Through “On-Purpose” Living.
” While my work philosophy embodies analyzing market trends and research relatable to the strategic growth plan of our projects, with a focus on strong brand identities, sales and training opportunities, consumer/market awareness and engagement, corporate sponsorships, personal brand visibility and overall brand marketing; I’m a shoe snob, dream chaser, and passion pusher. I believe dreams are only born to become realized. Plus, I subscribe to the concept ‘to whom much is given, much is expected,’ so I’m honored to share my time and resources,” shares Courtney.
She is a proud alumnus of the Small Business Administration’s Women Entrepreneurs of Baltimore (WEB) entrepreneurial program and Atlanta’s Jezebel Magazine’s– “50 Most Beautiful.” Courtney serves as co-chair of the annual William “Bill” Clinkscales Memorial Fund Golf Tournament at Clemson University and is a repeat presenter for South Carolina’s Victim’s Advocacy Week. From 2014- 2016 she served on The National Black Arts Festival’s –Gala Committee, and from 2014-2016 on Georgia Entertainment Gala’s -Marketing Committee. In 2018, she’s a committee member of Future Foundation’s –Keep It 100% Luncheon.