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TaKeysha Sheppard Jones, CMO
LeaderPROMOS Marketing Agency

HERStory: Unexpected

Meet TaKeysha Sheppard Jones, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for Leaderpromos Marketing Agency, the largest wholly woman owned agency of its kind in North America. Her career pathway to its front door has been a winding road with stops and detours that have helped her gain clarity about her purpose and passion for driving organizational growth through strategic marketing and branding. “I have a bachelor’s degree in criminology because I thought I was going to law school.” says TaKeysha “However, the degree sparked my interest in understanding the sociological and psychological factors that influence behaviors which, is key to success in marketing.”

Instead of becoming a lawyer, TaKeysha earned an MBA, which opened her eyes to various career opportunities including marketing. After a few governmental jobs, she worked in sustainability and external affairs for a major energy company; launched and sold a media company, The Women’s Book, focused on promoting businesswomen; managed enrollment growth for a health insurer; and lead marketing and business development for a major law firm. “While it’s ironic that I landed at a law firm, each of my experiences equipped me with the right temperament and skills to be a marketing leader in a variety of environments.”

As CMO for one of the most successful promotional marketing agencies in the industry, TaKeysha shares more about her story and career advice.

My life story in one word

Unexpected. Who knew that this once little girl raised on the west side of Akron, Ohio would be blessed to land where I am. I’m grateful for God’s grace and my tendency to take calculated risks.

What I love most about our company and brand

I love the creativity of the entire Leader team when finding solutions to customers’ problems. From operations to sales to marketing, we all chip in to pull together ideas that often exceed expectations. I’m inspired by the amazing leadership of our founder Stephanie Leader. She an incredible role model and creative genius.

Most challenging part of my role

Staying focused on the needs of the customer. It’s really easy to get caught up in how creative a design or campaign is. However, great marketing and branding gets a customer to take action because it tells a story and solves a problem.

Best advice for someone who wants to pursue marketing and branding 

Do not stop learning. Read an article, watch a video or listen to a podcast. There are a lot of great, easy to understand tips out there.


I like to DJ parties and events for my family, friends and nonprofits. There is nothing like a good beat to spark my energy.

Advice for my younger self

You might be shy at times but speak up. You are creative and people need to hear your ideas.