2013 Emerging Voice Award Recipient
BA 2002, Brian Lamb School of Communication
MBA 2007, Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University
Co-founder, Digital Brand Architects, New York, NY
Kendra Bracken-Ferguson built her career in public relations as the youngest vice president at public relations agency Fleishman-Hillard New York, then landed her dream job as director of digital media at Ralph Lauren. She became an expert in social media and digital marketing before they were commonplace, but making the decision to leave to become co-founder and chief operations officer of Digital Brand Architects (DBA) was not an easy one.
Bracken-Ferguson is not afraid to take risks, however, and encourages her colleagues, and especially other women, not to be afraid to fail—or to succeed. “I have amazing ‘wow’ work moments literally every day. The exciting thing is the opportunity to be at the front and center of emerging technology,” she explains. “It’s my job to ensure that the clients we service are not only successful within the digital realm, but also generate buzz through first adoption tactics and buzz-worthy campaigns. When we started DBA, there was no Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, or Google+. Now I have a front row seat to every new platform, app, or tool within the space.”
Purdue provided a great foundation for me to really dig into the courses and experiences that have played such an instrumental role in my career as it continues to unfold. From being a Purdue Golduster, president of my sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, an editor at the Purdue Black Cultural Center, and a promotions manager in the Athletic Department, I had the vast opportunity to experience various facets of Purdue life and cultivate relationships on campus and beyond.
Favorite memories include pre-game tailgating and being part of the parade to the stadium on football game days!
When I think of Purdue now, I value the experiences I had and the care and extra attention that the counselors and teachers provided. I still remember sitting with my mom in the office of my academic advisor, Sandy Rawlins, on the first day, mapping out my future. Some of it worked as planned but the majority of it shifted and changed over the years and she was right there with me, side by side, to meet my needs, answer questions, and just be a sounding board.
Building and maintaining relationships.
Person I Admire
My mother: her strength, beauty, and tenacity to always strive for more and do more. My mother is always extremely supportive and positive. She raised me to believe anything is possible as long as you are a good, kind person. She ensured and continues to ensure that I am always in an environment of success and encouragement.
Idea of Perfect Happiness
Perfect happiness is doing what you love with the people who you love around you!! Happiness is a state of being that you create and have ownership of. I try to find happiness in everything I do and every experience I have whether good or bad. I have so much to be grateful for and so much love and happiness around me, I can’t help but be happy.
What I’m Reading
Right now my husband and I are preparing to be new parents in December. It is ultimately a privilege and the most important thing I’m up to right now, so my reading has shifted a bit and been focused on anything and everything relating to parenthood and this awesome journey we are experiencing. My two favorites, which I received as gifts are A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson and Lars Hamberger and Mama Glow by Latham Thomas.
Profession I’d Like to Try
I’d like to run my own bed and breakfast and yoga retreat in Saint Lucia!