“Running my own marketing agency was always on the cards for me, the question had always been, when would be the right time?” That was the question Leah Davis, a 20-year marketing executive asked herself. The answer to the “right time” question was, surprisingly, at the start of a global pandemic.
Early last year, Leah decided to launch a boutique marketing firm, Concepts Marketing Solutions. She describes it as “specialising in crafting integrated marketing communications strategies.”
Leveraging her extensive background of marketing experiences across the financial services, hospitality and retail industries, Leah explained the agency’s commitment: “We get to know and understand our clients and their industries, to conceptualise and deliver individualized marketing and branding solutions to meet their unique objectives.”
As someone who always seeks to “make lemonade from life’s lemons”, Leah navigated the challenges and economic realities of 2020.
“I decided I would lean into the aspect of my career that I have always enjoyed most: supporting charitable organisations and community outreach. When I think back to what I had always found most fulfilling during my years of marketing and public relations experiences, I can’t deny that working and supporting organisations in our community that are truly committed to improving the lives of those less fortunate in our society trumped everything else,” she said.
As the 2020 holiday season approached, and the sense of real need undeniable in the country after months of COVID-19, Leah decided to partner with a number of organisations that always held a special place with her. These included Providing Access to Continued Education (PACE), New Providence Community Church, The Salvation Army and Sandilands Primary School.
Utilising her network, and even social media friends, Leah was able to raise donations to support the holiday and ongoing initiatives of these organizations.
“PACE is one of those groups that is often overlooked when it comes to philanthropic giving and even volunteerism, yet they are very much in need. The young mothers in their care are deserving of not only the opportunity to continue their education but the emotional and mental support needed to prepare them to successfully take on the next chapter of their lives. I will continue to lend my voice, and draw on my network, to support their cause and objectives,” said Leah.
In addition to donating to PACE, she also helped them to establish an account with local wholesaler, ASA H Pritchard, to allow for donations to be easily made. These funds can then be used to purchase baby supplies and essential food items for their students.
Another recipient of her assistance was the New Providence Community Church (NPCC).
“Life went back to ‘normal’ after Hurricane Dorian for a lot of people, but not for NPCC. Their hurricane relief team has literally been taking care of families displaced after Dorian since September 2019,” she said.
In the spirit of full disclosure, Leah shared that she has been a member of NPCC for many years, but she feels their commitment to disaster relief in the Bahamas is “so inspiring and beyond compare.”
Team leader of relief efforts, Walter Ferguson, said: “NPCC’s Operation Feed the Needs team is so grateful to Concepts Marketing Solutions for its partnership on its Holiday Meals initiative. They were insightful, responsive and creative with their approach to developing this campaign. Through the overwhelming response to this programme, 500 meal boxes with turkeys (80,000 meals) were distributed just before Christmas to families who remain displaced by Hurricane Dorian.”
Concepts also partnered with NPCC to provide meal boxes for its Sandilands Primary outreach initiative. Building on a relationship established with the school in 2020, the team worked with the administrators at Sandilands Primary to provide 60 food parcels, complete with bread, eggs, fresh fruit and produce to some of the school’s families.
Finally, Leah felt the holiday season would not be complete without the distinctive bell-ringing of the Salvation Army. Given COVID-19 restrictions, the local arm of the Salvation Army’s 2021 bell-ringing was reduced, both in duration and the level of support received, over previous years. However, Leah’s company was happy to help raise awareness for the important ‘Rescue Christmas’ effort and pulled together a team of volunteer bell-ringers for this important source of funding for this valuable community partner.
“To round out the holiday season, I had the privilege of participating in ORG Bahamas’ recent Civil Society Series hosting a virtual seminar on marketing communication for non-profits. I am truly excited about this idea of one’s passion fuelling her purpose and will continue to seek out and lean into opportunities that align with my passions and personal values,” said Leah.
“I am hopeful that as we move into 2021, others may be inspired to trust that little voice inside that says to slow down, share that post, make the donation, lend a hand or just give time to something that matters. My passions will differ from someone else’s and I believe that’s OK, just do what feels good for you.”