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Most Admired CEOs: Stacey Wade


Profile Overview:
Stacey Wade, CEO, NIMBUS

Age: 43

Hometown: Louisville

Lives: Glenview, Ky.

Number of Louisville-area employees for the company: 18

Hobbies: Relaxing

Twitter handle: @helloswade

Company description:
Ad agency combining intelligence with ingenuity to generate and nurture authentic connections between our client’s brands and targeted audiences.

Describe your leadership style/recipe for success.

I believe in teamwork, giving people an opportunity and the space to bring their “whole” self to work. I give everyone the chance to grow and authentically be who they are so they can give 100%.

What are your top few professional accomplishments in the past year?

My accomplishments are really rooted in my ability to change the lives of the people around me. This happens partly by securing clients that truly believe in the ideology of representing the communities they serve. This methodology is how/why we do our best work. I’ve also spent almost 20 years working with global brands outside of Louisville, so to be able to finally represent some of our local legacy brands — Papa John’s, Brown-Forman, Norton Healthcare, and TARC is truly an honor and an accomplishment.

What’s the biggest turning point in your career and why?

To work in an industry dominated by white males, and to always feel underrepresented in marketing and the discussions surrounding it, despite being in the room, to now, being a voice and translator of cultural complexities in the marketplace. Ultimately providing a competitive advantage for our clients; this has been our line of delineation between us and our competitors and the turning point in how we approach business.

Describe a tough lesson you had to learn as a CEO.

I’m not for everybody, and everybody isn’t for me.

If you had to take a three-month sabbatical from work, how would you spend it and why?

Easy, I’d spend it with Dr. Dawn Wade.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. That, and “keep it hot” curtesy of Dr. Dunkenstien.

If you could run any company other than your own, which one would it be and why?

If I had a hot tub time machine I would go back to the ’90s and run FUBU. They understood the value of culture, specifically African-American culture, and what it would ultimately mean to pop culture and the consumption of it. Damon John was ahead of his time in a lot of ways. Or, current day, Tyler Perry Studios. His ability to speak to a group of people and ability to motivate is remarkable.

Who is the CEO in Louisville who makes you say, ‘wow,’ and why?

Carl Brazley. For me, he was/is the gold standard as it relates to how you treat people. He encouraged me every step of my professional journey and continues to be one of my greatest advocates. He’s a true friend, brother, and mentor.

Who would play you in a movie about your life and what would the movie be called?

“Ball till you Fall.” My spirit animal is Killer Mike, but since I look like Boris Kodjoe, he’ll have to do.

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