Phenomenal Women

Published on December 4th, 2010 | by thevyne


Woman to Watch: Jerri DeVard

Photo Courtesy of The Network Journal

Name: Jerri DeVard

Occupation: Recently named CMO of Nokia (starting 1/1/11)

Education: Spelman College – Bachelor’s in Economics, Clark Atlanta University Graduate School of Business – MBA in Marketing

Originally from: Harlem, NYC

Sorority Life: Jerri is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc

Raised by: Her mother, Jean DeVard-Kemp, who demonstrated her value on educating by obtaining a bachelor’s, master’s, and a Ph.D. while being a single mother.

Career Path: Jerri DeVard’s career has included a unique combination of organizations including Revlon, the Minnesota Vikings, Pillsbury, Verizon and Harrah’s. But one thing is quite consistent – her expertise as a senior marketer. With senior roles including SVP of brand management and marketing communications, CMO, and Vice President of Marketing, it’s no surprise that Nokia tapped her to refresh their image in the ever changing wireless industry.

Interesting Fact: Jerri only applied to one college, Spelman College. She visited while in high school when her mother was a teaching graduate-level classes at Atlanta University. She was convinced Spelman was where she was supposed to be. She is now on their board and has donated over $2 million to her alma mater.

Boards: Her board participation includes serving as Vice Chair of the Spelman College Board of Trustees, a director of Gurwitch Products, and a member of PepsiCo African American Advisory Board.

Accolades: “75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America” (February 2005), Advertising Age Power Player (2003), Wall Street Journal Woman to Watch.

Family: She has been married to her husband, Gregg Smith for over 20 years. They have two children.

Quotable: “Life isn’t a dress rehearsal. It’s important to live and enjoy life now,” ~Jerri DeVard


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