Tiffany R. Warren created her first ad on behalf of diversity at age 12, encouraging African-American women to become ballerinas. The Class of 1997 alumna remains as passionate as ever about the cause – specifically, about bringing more people of color into the advertising industry and showcasing individuals who have achieved success.
“My job is to make other people’s dreams come true,” Warren says of her work as vice president and director of multicultural programs and community outreach for advertising firm Arnold Worldwide, which she joined in 2005. “I don’t think there’s a higher calling.”
Most recently, her contributions led Advertising Age to name Warren one of 30 Women to Watch. She also appears in the 2008 Pepsi Black History Calendar.
Warren is quick to credit Bentley for smoothing her path to professional success. “The faculty and staff instilled the notion that I could do anything, and they gave me amazing support,” she says. “That alone prepares you to think, to believe, and to achieve.”
Indeed, Warren was speeding toward achievement even before receiving her BA in liberal arts. The American Advertising Federation named her a Most Promising Minority Student (MPMS) in her senior year. In November, she was appointed to the federation’s board.
Her proudest accomplishment to date may be the AdColor Industry Initiative, which she established in 2005.
“The AdColor Industry Coalition is a collaboration of trade associations and Arnold Worldwide,” Warren explains. “It examines why people of color aren’t staying in the advertising business – and if they have achieved success, why?”
The group presented its first awards in November 2007, to people of color working in advertising, marketing and the media. “We had 108 nominations in five categories . . . 108 people that the industry claims do not exist.”
Based in New York, Warren oversees all eight of Arnold’s diversity programs there and for its offices in Boston and Washington, D.C. She also represents the company on many industry boards and committees, and mentors 90 individuals of all races who have sought out her help and advice.
“When you are engaged in something that doesn’t feel like a job, your energy comes from another place,” observes Warren, whose goal is to be a chief diversity officer at a holding company. “There are successful people of color in advertising, and their stories must be brought to light so others can learn from them.”
For more information, go to www.adcolor.org.