Each year, the Bill Sharp Award recognizes excellence in marketing, advertising and media by presenting a financial scholarship to an up-and-coming industry leader.
The award was established in honor of advertising pioneer and diversity leader William “Bill” Sharp. His efforts to increase industry diversity have provided African American students with resources to find careers in the advertising field. Sharp’s “Basic Ad Course” as well has his book How to Be Black and Get a Job in the Advertising Business Anyway, later inspired the creation of The Marcus Graham Project.
The Bill Sharp Award – sponsored by J. Walter Thompson North America, J. Walter Thompson Atlanta, the 4A’s, and the Sharp family – draws countless of talented applicants each year. In order to be considered for the award, candidates must be alumni of either 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Programs (MAIP), the 4A’s Foundation and/or the Marcus Graham Project.
From left: Tamara Ingram, CEO, J. Walter Thompson Worldwide; Jewell Donaldson, Bill Sharp Award Recipient; Dianne Sharp Parks, Daughter of Bill Sharp; Nancy Hill, President & CEO, 4A’s. PC: Margarita Corporan Photography.
On Monday, August 4, the 2016 Bill Sharp Award was presented to Jewell Donaldson at the 4A’s & MAIP Face of Talent, Society of Excellence Reception. Donaldson’s background in advertising is extensive. She received her degree in Advertising from Colombia College Chicago in 2015 and has been working for Leo Burnett ever since.
As an undergraduate, Donaldson was recognized by the 4A’s and MAFA in addition to being named 2014 Most Promising Multicultural Student. Donaldson’s commitment to diversifying the creative field is ever-evident. She hopes to work as a Creative Director in the future.
During MAIP’s “Excellence” ceremony, J. Walter Thompson New York’s Emely Perez, was lauded as a MAIP Alum to Watch Honoree. Perez was a member of MAIP’s class of 2011 and soon-after secured a full-time position as a Designer for J. Walter Thompson New York, where she has now worked for five years. Through MAIP and J. Walter Thompson, Perez gained experience, guidance and a further understanding of the advertising industry. Perez has continued to give back to MAIP as a member of the alumni committee and as a mentor.