Executive Spotlight: Kim Nash
By: Defender Contributing Writer Tiana Pigford
At a young age, Kim Nash knew that she held a passion for marketing and promotion, but never imagined that passion would lead her to become the Illinois marketing manager for Rémy Cointreau USA, the only Bblack woman in the company to hold such title, and one of few in the spirit industry.
Last November, Nash celebrated her tenth anniversary with the French alcoholic beverage brand specializing in cognac, liqueurs and fine spirits. She currently has her hands in many facets of the brand’s marketing and sales promotion.
In her role, Nash manages several high-volume accounts such as with restaurants, hotels and venues. She also oversees sales by the company’s distributor and manages the national program for which Rémy Martin recently produced a video series as part of a Midwest tour. She spends one day a week in her office, while the rest of her time is spent out in the field working with account managers and selling their portfolio.
“I love our portfolio. People think that it’s just Rémy Martin, but we have a host of brands that make up our luxury portfolio,” Nash said, noting Cointreau, Mount Gay rum, and Passao passion fruit liqueur to name a few.
Along the way, Nash was met with some challenges working her way up in a predominantly male industry, but was able to gain the respect of her colleagues and be a role model to young women in her field.
“It’s not that I was proving myself to anyone, I was proving myself to let them know that I am just as confident and capable, if not more than some of the men in the industry. So, I just allowed my actions and my business to speak for itself,” Nash said.
Growing up in Chicago, Nash would spend her free time outside school in her father’s office at Coca-Cola learning the ins-and-outs of brand promotion. In high school, she began working in the promotions and marketing department there.
“I was kind of grandfathered into working for Coca-Cola, so I fell in love with the whole idea of marketing and promotions and working with product launches,” Nash said.
She attributes much of her knowledge and inspiration to her late father, Don Nash, who was the first African– American branch manager for Coca-Cola and later became the first African– American vice president of a major soft drink company in Chicagoland.
“Whenever I had a free day, I was right there sitting in my father’s office, soaking up his knowledge and his wisdom. It’s amazing now because some of his friends who are still alive say how much I remind them of my father, not just by the way I look, but by my overall business savvy and how I handle my business,” Nash said. “He hands-down was and has always been my mentor.”
Outside of her loaded work schedule, Nash places her large family as a priority. As one of five children, Nash finds herself being the recipient of the “best aunt” and “best great aunt of the year” awards each year. She also enjoys travelling with her best friend and stylist and trying new restaurants.
On the heels of Martin Luther King Jr. Day approaching, Nash believes it is important to remember Dr. King’s exhibition of peace and to convey that in today’s world and in the community.
“I am very active in my church working with the youth, because I am a fervent believer of ‘training-up’ a child. Now is the time that we need to implement positivity and peace into these young adults when they’re growing up.”
While she doesn’t believe in setting New Year’s goals, Nash makes it a point to start off every day in the right mindset.
“I wake up every morning first and foremost giving all praise and glory to God, and then I just pray and ask that he makes me a better woman than I was the day before.”