Carmen, Founder and President of Solutions Marketing Group (SMG) in Northern Virginia, knows that people with disabilities are a large, yet overlooked, market. She also knows people with disabilities will not be a factor in the diversity equation until corporations embrace them as a viable market segment. Carmen’s passion is to create win-win relationships linking companies and people with disabilities. SMG partners with clients to develop, execute and implement disability marketing programs. SMG’s programs boost sales, build loyalty, and fortify brands, so its clients become the recognized leader.
Prior to founding the SMG in 1998, Carmen was the Vice President of Marketing at Evan Kemp Associates, Inc., and its three subsidiaries. She oversaw marketing and public relations for the company’s national publication, coordinated marketing for corporate clients, and developed marketing for the company’s durable medical equipment and van/vehicle conversion division.
SMG’s client list includes Darden Restaurants, CESSI, AT&T, Universal Designers and Consultants, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, American Express, Visa, UBS, America Online, ESPN, Questex Media, Global Lead, Fleishman-Hillard and al Punto Advertising. Carmen has also conducted workshops or spoken at events for Major League Baseball, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Multi-Cultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, Sodexo USA, the U.S. Business Leadership Network, The Hartford, the National Disability and Business Council Annual Conference, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education Leadership Conference.
Carmen is active in the disability community and holds several leadership positions. She is on the Boards of the National Organization for Diversity in Sales and Marketing, the AT&T Advisory Panel on Access and Aging, Mount Vernon-Lee Enterprises, the Global Universal Design Commission, and Jill’s House, a respite care facility for children with disabilities. In 2008, Carmen was inducted into the National Spinal Cord Injury’s Hall of Fame for the category of Entrepreneur.
Carmen has been featured on On A Roll Radio, CNNfn, the New York Times, Black Enterprise, Glamour, New Mobility and Essence. She is a graduate of Hampton University, with a B.S. in marketing. During her junior year, she was injured in an automobile accident, resulting in paraplegia.