February 2004 Member of the Month
Marketing consultant Diana Kimbrell is founder and president of Sausalito's Kimbrell & Company, a marketing and PR firm with a specialty. Kimbrell & Company creates cross-sector partnerships that result in win-win-win scenarios. What does that mean? Kimbrell has specialized in creating "marriages" between corporations and nonprofits or community-based organizations.
"Corporations are recognizing the need to be more strategic in their community involvement and conversely, nonprofits are realizing that they need to create "partnerships", rather than just having a philanthropic relationship with companies," states Kimbrell. "That's where I come in." Kimbrell builds the bridge between these two sectors, creates the strategy and then implements it, so that each partner receives value in the process.
Diana has been doing just that for NAWBO since 1998 as Corporate Partner Specialist. Using this partnership strategy, Diana increased the NAWBO revenue from corporations 363% during her first year and has been able to maintain it each year since. "The reasons that corporate partners stay with NAWBO, especially during these past few years, is that they really understand the value that NAWBO brings to them. In addition to the wonderful inspirational women of NAWBO, they also understand that it makes good business sense for them to partner with NAWBO," states Kimbrell.
In addition to creating partnerships for nonprofits, Diana also uses the same strategy for other clients, such as Caterina Rando (another NAWBO member). Rando, an inspirational speaker and author, has been sponsored this last year by Staples, a partnership that Kimbrell initiated and implemented.
Kimbrell sees herself as an architect who builds a bridge between two somewhat opposing entities. "I often say that I am bilingual because I need to speak both "corporate" and "nonprofit" lingo, and then get them speaking to one another, " explains Kimbrell.
Diana's career began in broadcast, where she enjoyed a 16-year run in media advertising sales that included radio sales in San Francisco for KNBR (NBC), KNEW/KSAN (Malrite) and KCBS (CBS). In 1993, she moved on to PBS, working for San Francisco's KQED.
After working for KQED, Diana realized that she loved working on larger projects that involved all components of a company's marketing, rather than just broadcast advertising. She also loved representing something that involved the community, and this was the impetus for her to begin her own business. In 1996 she opened Kimbrell & Company out of desire to work with exceptional people and projects that held a deeper meaning to her, while taking advantage of her creative and business skills developed in advertising. The slogan of her firm remains "Projects With a Purpose."
In her work with Paul Newman's organization, the Center to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), Kimbrell strives to increase businesses' dedication to community support and involvement. She currently writes articles for their newsletter on corporations that exemplify Best Practices within the community.
Diana has been recognized by the California Coalition on Donation with their Community Recognition Award for her outstanding work on the public education campaign concerning the importance of organ and tissue donation. She was also one of the recipients of the Business Environmental Network's Award for co-producing CBS's Trash Talk, a waste prevention radio show. In 1998, Merrill Lynch nominated her for the National Association of Women Business Owners' Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award for her unique work in cause marketing, which is what led her to join NAWBO.