Taneshia Nash Laird offers more than two decades experience in strategic communications, marketing, media production and business development, and currently holds executive positions for a trio of entrepreneurial companies that, in part, advocate positive media images of African Americans. As Founder and Principal of Legacy Business Advisors, Laird provides branding, business development, marketing and PR counsel and training in arts & entertainment, consumer goods and real estate development.
In addition, she is Chief Marketing Officer for My Image Studios (MIST), a $21 million state-of-the-art entertainment center set to launch this November in Harlem, with the goal of helping fortify the neighborhood’s ongoing gentrification. The 20,000 square-foot facility, developed in a partnership with minority-owned real estate development firm Full Spectrum of NY LLC, was co-founded by Laird’s husband, Roland, who serves as CEO. In total, it comprises a 130-seat restaurant, 162-seat auditorium and two 91-seat theaters, and will provide a forum for live music, spoken word and comedy—as well as a means of distribution for independent filmmakers—from the Black and Latino creative community. It also offers post-production film and digital media facilities. Among her duties in that role, Laird will parlay live performances into web and TV broadcast content.
Further, Taneshia and Roland co-own development and TV/film/book enterprise Posro Media, where she is Chief Marketing Officer. Posro was founded in 1989 by her husband as one of the first Black-owned independent comic book publishing companies in the nation, with the series “MC Square: A Man with a Serious Game Plan,” and the nationally syndicated comic strip “The Griots.” Since its expansion into multi-media, the firm has been profiled by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Source, Black Enterprise, NBC’s “Sunday Today Show” and MTV’s “Yo MTV Raps.”
The couple also co-authored the book “Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans,” released most recently by Sterling Publishing, which delivers the history of Black America—from the arrival of the first Africans in America in 1619 through Barack Obama’s groundbreaking presidential campaign—via a 216-page graphic novel. It has been heralded by both the New York Review of Books Readers Catalog and Entertainment Weekly, while syndicated columnist Kam Williams named it “one of the Top 20 Best Black Books” of 2009. The text has been utilized in numerous educational curriculums, from middle schools to universities, in subjects ranging from history and English to sociology.
In previous corporate positions, Laird dedicated herself to serving the community of Trenton, whose Black and Latino populations dominate the capital of New Jersey. This is where she and her husband live with their two daughters, Imani and Naima. From 2006 to 2011, she was Executive Director for the non-profit Trenton Downtown Association (TDA), which manages the city’s special improvement district. There, she created Destination Trenton, a citywide marketing program that fostered tourism, film, TV and video productions. Destination Trenton won the NJ Travel Industry Association/NJ Restaurant Association Diamond Award in 2011. Before that, Laird was Director of the Division of Economic Development for the City of Trenton, overseeing economic development activities for the capital city with a focus on business attraction, retention, expansion, and job creation.
Her board service includes the Art Pride of NJ Foundation, Henry J. Austin Health Centers, and the NJ Urban Enterprise Authority, an appointment personally sponsored by the state governor. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Eastern Regional Network of the Environmental Leadership Program, a network of visionary, action-oriented emerging environmental and social change leaders. In 2006, Laird was honored by Network Journal magazine as one of “Forty Under 40” for her business achievements and outstanding community service.
Laird’s career began in the entertainment industry as Director of Media Relations for a record label owned by hip-hop legend Afrika Bambaataa. She has also held positions in the arts as Development Director for an African American women-owned design company (with corporate clients Bad Boy Entertainment, Essence, Fila, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Vibe/Spin Ventures and Walt Disney; and residential clients Sean “P-Diddy” Combs and Queen Latifah), where her marketing strategies more than tripled revenue.
Laird’s entrepreneurial and civic-centered endeavors date back to 1999, when she launched New York marketing consultancy The M&M Group, with a focus on real estate and sports entertainment. Among accomplishments, she created communications programs that led to the rehabilitation of a number of mixed-income, mixed-use real estate developments in Harlem and Brooklyn, including more than 200 condos and cooperatives, two- and three-family homes and negotiated contracts for projects with budgets of $50,000 to $3 million. As Principal of M&M, her achievements were profiled in Black Enterprise and Working Woman.
Likewise, with Keith Brown, she formed real estate development consultancy NLB Development, whose “Back Home” program brought together athletes and entertainers to sponsor community-minded development projects in their hometowns. NLB’s contributions were featured in Real Estate Weekly, Urban Affluence and NV Magazine.
Laird earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baruch College. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Communications from Columbia University.
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