Last Updated on September 20, 2002 by Paulette Brown-Hinds

Cecilia K. Carter has been named Executive Director, The Rhythm and Blues Foundation, it was announced by Kendall Minter, Esq., Chairman of the independent non-profit service organization.

Ms. Carter comes to the respected foundation following a successful career as a senior corporate communications and marketing executive. She takes over from Interim Executive Director and Counsel Robert Wade.
As Executive Director, Ms. Carter will oversee the activities of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation including the organization’s popular Annual Pioneer Awards and the administration of medical and financial assistance endowments, The Motown/Universal Music Group Fund and the Gwendolyn B. Gordy Fuqua Fund. Carter will also supervise The Doc Pomus Financial Assistance Program that provides emergency financial assistance to rhythm and blues artists.
Prior to joining The Rhythm And Blues Foundation, Ms. Carter served as Senior Vice President of communications for GE Small Business Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of GE Capital. Her responsibilities included managing all public relations, advertising, web content strategy and customer related events and trade shows.
“It seems as though everything in my life has led me to this moment. It’s simultaneously an extraordinary honor and a challenge to hold this position,” states Ms. Carter. “I grew up with this music, spending hours dancing and laughing with my parents, enjoying everyone from Etta James, Isaac Hayes and The Stylistics, to The Dramatics and Solomon Burke. Just hearing their music evokes some of my favorite memories. My first ‘coming of age’ concert without parental supervision was Isaac Hayes, The Dramatics and The Emotions! I was thrilled! I always wanted to use my business experience in corporate America to work with the music and musicians I love.”
“The preservation and nurturing of this unique American art form is essential to the continuity of our culture,” continues Carter. “The Foundation was established to meet the critical medical and financial needs of artists who didn’t earn what they should have during their peak performing years. I’m pleased to have an extremely supportive board, family and friends who will help me and the Foundation ensure that rhythm and blues attains its proper place in history and continues to influence the music of today and tomorrow.”
Commented Mr. Minter, “Cecilia Carter is the ideal individual to head The Rhythm and Blues Foundation. She is firmly grounded in communications and marketing, has an in-depth passion for music, and possesses a clear vision of our mission. We are proud to have her as part of the Foundation family.”
Carter began her career in 1980 as a sales manager with AT&T in Chicago. She also worked as an account manager in advertising with such agencies as DDB Needham, Saatchi & Saatchi and Lintas Worldwide. In addition, Ms. Carter held key marketing positions for American Express where she received numerous awards for delivering winning direct marketing campaigns.
Carter serves on several boards. She is Chairman Emerita of the Business-to-Business Committee for the Association of National Advertisers, a member of the National Black MBA Association, and Women in Communications. On the civic side, she serves as Financial Secretary of the Fairfield County Chapter of The Links Inc.
Carter received her BA from Northwestern University in 1980 and her MBA in marketing and finance from Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1986. She and her husband Michael have two daughters, Chandler and Camdyn.
The Rhythm and Blues Foundation was established in 1988 to promote recognition, financial support, educational outreach and historic and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music through various grants and programs in support of R&B and Motown artists from the 1940s through the 1970s.
The Foundation’s Annual Pioneer Awards Program has recognized more than 150 legendary artists from the ‘40s through the ‘70s, whose lifelong contributions have been instrumental in the development of rhythm and blues music.