Sundial Brands names AmEx, Edelman veteran Smith-Wilson as first comms lead

The company makes beauty products under brands including SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage.

AMITYVILLE, NY: Beauty and personal care product company Sundial Brands has hired Latraviette Smith-Wilson as its first communications leader.

Smith-Wilson, who previously served as senior adviser to the president and CEO of the National Urban League, joined Sundial at the beginning of this month, reporting to founder and CEO Rich Dennis. The company is known for its SheaMoisture and Nubian Heritage brands.

Dennis said he is excited to have someone onboard to "tell the story that we’ve been writing here for the past 24 years" and to carry on the legacy of his grandmother, Sofi, who created Shea butter products and sold them in Sierra Leone to support her family.

When Denis launched Sundial Brands in 1992 in the US, he started off selling products on the street in New York City. Today, they are available in retailers such as Target, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Duane Reade, CVS, and Vitamin Shoppe.

In addition to leading all aspects of PR, Smith-Wilson is developing the company’s communications infrastructure and strategy to elevate the company and its products.

She said the role will be challenging because it is new, but she is looking forward to the opportunities of "executing on the vision of what we can do here."

Smith-Wilson added that she is in the process of determining the in-house and external comms structure, and whether or not to have an AOR. She added that she was attracted to the role because of the company’s entrepreneurial spirit, international reach, and leadership team.

Prior to the National Urban League, Smith-Wilson served as VP of global diversity and inclusion at American Express for more than a year. Before that, she was SVP of global communications at Edelman. Smith-Wilson has also worked at Deloitte & Touche.

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