If you haven’t witnessed the sexy side of philanthropy, you haven’t met Latoya A. Henry. She’s made her mark in public relations, fundraising, special events, and marketing and communications for over a decade, all the while reconstructing the perception of altruism for young professionals in New York City.
After breaking ground in the corporate world as a Public Relations Specialist at Citigroup Smith Barney, her entrepreneurial spirit led to her first non-profit experience at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. As an independent consultant for the organization, Latoya spearheaded brand management and media relations. Dedicated to the mission of providing funding and programmatic enrichment to public Historically Black Colleges and Universities, she eventually took on the role full-time. To wit, serving as Interim Director of Marketing. She shaped the brand and hit essential financial targets, leaving not a single medium untouched: web, print, television, radio, publishing, retail and event management.
Latoya’s forte for event production would steer her back to the helm of her own endeavors. Transitioning to a full-fledged creative while running her own consulting business allowed her to assist an array of worthy initiatives. She has lent her public relations expertise to children and education focused non-profits like SFK – Success for Kids, A Better Chance and Children of Promise; planning Young Leadership functions, award ceremonies and managing community relationships. She was instrumental in creating Swing!: A Summer Cocktail Party with Jazz at Lincoln Center and has also been active in producing and serving on host committees for fundraising affairs like the National Urban League Young Professionals' Black & White Brunch, Haiti Is Me campaign launch, Haiti Cherie benefit, Haiti Shines Bright event and the Haiti Rebirth Brunch, in the wake of the country’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake.
Although honing in on the sexy side of things is a strong suit, time away from the hustle and bustle would reinforce that being in service and support of others is her true motivation. A year-long stay at the ISKCON of Bay Area Temple in Berkeley, California prompted Latoya’s deeper connection to and focus on community and relationship building. While there she continued flexing her PR and marketing expertise within the Temple—from producing events and marketing collateral to launching web overhauls and email campaigns—all the while bettering her spiritual practice. She emerged from this time of restoration with a recentered perspective, clearer priorities and a renewed energy for Haute Giving.
Latoya’s return to New York was christened with her production of Art + Jazz; a collaboration between Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The Schott Foundation for Public Education’s #PublicSchoolGrad art showcases which she brought to Atlanta and Los Angeles. Today, she remains active in fundraising with a host of clients including Bridge Philanthropic Consulting, LL Cool J’s Jump & Ball, The Hunter Foundation, Usher’s New Look Foundation and the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. She also been tapped by Usher's New Look to build infrastructure for the chapter, raise awareness and funds for the organization's New York Chapter.
Latoya chooses her projects with a social conscience, yet she keeps a finger on the pulse of the corporate world. “Money sustains our lives and creates opportunity—it’s our responsibility to use that support to give back,” she shares. She has worked alongside powerhouse sponsorship partners for her charities from the likes of LVMH, JP Morgan Chase and Mercedes to Jaguar, Deutsche Bank and JetBlue. Pairing industry leaders and lifestyle luxury brands with choice, relevant causes is part of her niche. Coining the phrase “party with purpose,” Latoya has mastered the fine art of raising funds and awareness with panache through provocative, experiential events.