Cleveland Spears III
Audubon Nature Institute Board Member
Cleveland Spears III, a native New Orleanian, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of New Orleans, and ten years of professional experience in marketing, advertising, public relations and event production across a number of industries.
After Hurricane Katrina, Cleveland’s love for the City of New Orleans compelled him to leave the demanding corporate America environment and join an organization that would allow him the latitude to engage in the rebuilding of New Orleans. After leaving one of the largest telecommunications companies in the country, Cleveland joined a locally owned and operated advertising agency executing communications and outreach for a number of post-Katrina rebuilding initiatives, including the Louisiana Road Home Program. While there, he served as Vice President of Business Development, where his duties included identifying new business opportunities and expanding the firm’s existing clientele, supervising daily operations, human resources, client services, strategic planning, and project management.
In July 2008, Cleveland founded Spears Consulting Group. In November 2014 the company rebranded as Spears Group, indicating a more partnership-like relationship with its clients. Located in New Orleans, Louisiana, Spears Group currently operates as a full-service marketing, public relations, and event production firm.
While Cleveland is recognized as a top public relations strategist and practitioner in the market place, his event production creativity and expertise do not take a back seat to PR. He is respected as one of the most creative minds in the market on how to concept and execute amazing experiences. He along with his team have been behind experiences such as; Diner en Blanc, The ‘Last Call’ — closing celebration for the National Urban League Conference, Taste of Mid-City, the Millennials award show and post-party, International Festival, Big Night New Orleans New Year’s Eve to name a few.
Cleveland has also worked on other large scale productions that include ESSENCE Music Festival and executed external activations in conjunctions with Voodoo Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and French Quarter Festival.
Cleveland was named the Agency Executive of the Year at the 2015 American Advertising Awards. Cleveland remains active in the community through volunteer efforts and board appointments with organizations including the New Orleans City Park (board member), Liberty’s Kitchen (board member), GNO Inc. NextGen Council (board member), the New Orleans Jazz Institute, the Metropolitan Crime Coalition, New Orleans Workforce Investment Board (board member), the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation (board member). Cleveland is also a graduate of the 2010 Brian Bell Leadership Forum, the 2011 Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Program, Justice Revius Ortique Leadership Institute, and recipient of the Urban League’s 2010 Rising Star Award.