Kənekts (phonetic spelling for “connects”) is a (very) private company, known in certain circles of C-Suite executives, entertainers, and socialites. Leveraging the trust built with over 20 years in the entertainment and advertising business sectors respectively, Kənekts is the “secret weapon” for clients who cherish their connections. We develop, cultivate, foster and nourish our clients connects, fueling their personal brand persona both online and off.
As power connectors, we create high-quality connections between individuals and their networks. We add value by putting the best people in touch with the best resources, with the goal of creating greater success for all concerned.
I'm Susan Hearn, a creative business-minded person with a knack for making connections on and offline.
I was born in St. Louis and grew in the 'burbs of Chicago, San Jose, Milwaukee and Detroit.
My career spans from Washington, D.C., to New York, to Palo Alto and abroad. I learned early about the value of branding and connections. From the early 70’s through 80’s, my father Albert “Leon” Hearn who worked for the beer-maker Schlitz Brewery. He rose up from local sales to Vice President of Black American Marketing (his actual job title). He was a part of the marketing team who created the iconic Schlitz Malt Liquor Bull brand, producing creative spots featuring top R&B celebrity artists such as The Commodores, Teddy Pendergrass, Richard “Shaft” Roundtree, Kool & the Gang with the Four Tops, the Average White Band and Tommy James and the Shondells, Shabba -Doo and the Original Lockers and many others.
Dad passed away in 1991, but the legacy he left for me was his incredible network of people he’d touched over the years. He was loved by his family, well liked by colleagues, and well connected to business leaders, and iconic, smart people.
Armed with these inherited traits and a strong business network, I launched an amazing career in marketing and advertising, thanks to connects.
Chuck Morrison – Uncle Chuck was dad’s colleague at Schlitz and a close family friend. He gave me my first internship at Burrell Advertising, the largest African American ad agency in the country.
Ron Sampson, my supervisor at Burrell Advertising. The most patient, kind and super-smart person I've ever worked with.
Communications & College Prep Pro/Writer, Robin Mitchell-Henry. She is my Fairy Godmother who I met at Burrell, becoming my mentor/life-long friend.
Thought leader and creative sales genius Louis Carr, President of BET Networks Media Sales. Robin was Louis's client and she gave him my resume, which lead to my first job out of college at Black Entertainment Television.
Curtis Symonds, the hiring boss who was the leader of a staff that loved him. He offered me an assistant’s position, however, I convinced him to give me the marketing coordinator’s spot.
Matilda Ivey, whose cubicle connected to mine, becoming best of friends. I've watched blossom into an executive, standing in her truth as a risk taker and peace-maker.
Kelli Richardson Lawson, who I met at BET as my last boss, but is a boss on her very own. Strapped with confidence and experience, she's strategic, creative and even more passionate about her family and friends.
Billionaire businessman Bob Johnson, founder of BET who employed me the previous three names mentioned. Although I left, I worked for him again for him years later with Kelli at his new company, RLJ Companies.
Juwan Howard, (now former) NBA player and founder of the Juwan Howard Foundation. He was my first client as a consultant. We raised a lot of money for special needs foster kids through a amazing gala, and an epic Celebrity 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in the parking lot of BET in DC, all covered by the popular NBA Inside Stuff television show!
Tony Washington, a sales legend who was like family. Lived life to the fullest.
For a change of scenery, I left D.C. and made New York home for almost 20 years. Working for some of the strongest personalities in business. Big fish. Some would say I was swimming with sharks, however, I always was protected the grace of God and my ancestors. Having Johnnie Cochran as my attorney helped, too.
The leader of social justice Rev. Al Sharpton for introducing me to the who’s who of New York and the power players of Madison Avenue and the media world. A big brother when I need him.
Rachel Nordlinger, the powerhouse of PR behind Rev., and my girlfriend for life.
Dr. Michelle Enix-Kenny, well connect with business and with the Spirit. I am forever grateful for her prayers, guidance, and friendship.
Music and advertising maven Steve Stoute for giving me the opportunity to work with one of the hardest working men in music and branding.
Creative producer and iconic branding ad guru Peter Arnell for showing me what it means to BE a brand.
Denise Kaigler, a beautiful smile with a serious marketing game. We made ripples @RBK.
Dario Spina, Big-time TV branding executive who still makes mixed tapes for kicks. He showed me the importance of bringing good energy and fairness to a team.
Debra Kempker, a forward thinking video game marketing CEO, a sweet spirit who knows the value of treating a team like family.
Menlo Park's Chase McMichael, on the ground floor of building breakthrough intellectual property and social mapping when MySpace was hot.
Frank Cooper, CMO of Buzzfeed, keeps the door open and gives serious consideration to what ever it is I'm coming through that door with.
Ed Boyd who guided me though my first ad agency stint, creating historic brand campaigns with top musical artists, just like dad did.
Ron Croudy, Founder of Smartbomb.net, my friend since college, appreciative of each others' skill sets and always ready to pitch an idea, coming together with the hotness of creativity and dopeness of execution.
And finally, a special shout-out many kənekts private clients that shall go un-named, because that's just how we roll.
20 years of amazing contacts and viable connections from coast to coast, working closely with super-smart and super-connected people and gaining trust and respect over my career.
My life is based on a balance of peace, joy and alignment with God’s plan. I have a loving, supportive mother, who turns 88 in April'16, a network of family, friends and special relationships around the world. I take care of myself, knowing that my body is a temple and work to keep all of my Chakras aligned, which can be a game of whack-a-mole at times. I love my country and city life but also love spending time in the suburbs in St. Louis with the family and at my beach home in the Caribbean with my mate, who is a special man in my life. Paris is in the near future of my very blessed home/work life, thanks to the success of Kənekts Global.
I just LOVE it when a plan comes together!
For more information about my professional experience, check out my LinkedIn profile.