Kelli Richardson Lawson

Founder and CEO

JOY Collective

Kelli is an Emmy Award-winning creative visionary and entrepreneurial business leader with over 30 years of leadership experience in brand-building. Kelli is founder and CEO of JOY Collective, a Black and woman-owned marketing and creative agency committed to delivering purpose-driven work that positive impacts our community.  Kelli is also Founder of The SonRise Project, a safe space for parents of children who struggle will mental wellness and addiction issues. She hosts a weekly Sunday morning call for parents nationwide to find solace and help.

Kelli’s expertise in strategic insights, market research, marketing, advertising, communications, special events, public affairs, and advertising sales has translated to exceptional results for powerhouse brands including Procter & Gamble (P&G), BET Networks (Viacom) and Dell. In addition to driving volume, share, and ratings increases for P&G and BET, respectively, Kelli has created multiple award-winning creative campaigns, including image campaigns, new branding and visual identification systems to drive specific viewership goals. During her tenure as head of marketing, communications, creative services, and events for BET Networks, Kelli led all event-related elements of all of the biggest tentpole events in the country, including the BET Awards, Celebration of Gospel, Hip Hop Awards, BET Honors, and more.  She also created BET’s Emmy Award-winning HIV/AIDS program “Rap-It-Up” and the BET Foundation, a 501(c)3 focused on health-related issues in the African American community. Kelli and her teams have received hundreds of awards, including Emmy, Telly, Promax, BDA, NAMIC, CTAM, CTPAA and NAACP Image Awards for her work.

JOY was named the 6th fastest growing agency of 2019 by Adweek, and recently won the 2019 SABRE Award for the Best Campaign for Dove/The CROWN Act.  Their client list includes Dove, WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Tory Burch, Unilever, AARP, Coca Cola, Williams-Sonoma, among others.

Kelli served as the head of Global Consumer Branding and Advertising for DELL’s Consumer Products division, head of Marketing and Communications for BET Networks, and as a Brand Manager at P&G.   Kelli is also Founder of The SonRise Project, a safe space for parents of children who struggle will mental wellness and addiction issues.

Kelli is from Cleveland Ohio (an unwavering Browns fan!) and is a proud graduate of Howard University.  She is actively involved in several professional and civic organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and is a generous, mother, wife and friend.  She tries to give more than she receives – always with a JOYful heart and positive, passionate spirit.