Dr. Steven Reece, Sr., who started his diversified advertising, promotions and consulting company more than 48 years ago, was honored on Friday, March 3, at the Cincinnati Addy Awards ceremony at Memorial Hall, where he received the Lifetime Silver Award from the American Advertising Federation.
Reece was nominated by former AAF President Judy Thompson and voted on and selected by the board to receive the highest honor.
The AAF Silver Medal, established in 1959, is the highest advertising honor bestowed on an individual within any local market in the nation. It is awarded for outstanding contributions to the advertising industry, to the local community, and to his or her company.
Reece was the first African American to serve on the board of the Cincinnati Advertising Club in 1978, where he served as the Vice President.
His company, Communiplex Services, started in a one room office at 35 East 7th Street Executive Building in downtown Cincinnati and later expanded to the Reece & Reece Executive Suites building above Integrity Hall Banquet & Conference Center in Bond Hill. Communiplex Services has led some the most ground breaking advertising and promotion campaigns and events for clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati Gas & Electric, Cincinnati Bell, Star Bank, Ohio Tourism, and more.
Communiplex Services a noted as a leader in sports marketing with the promotion of Boxing Hall of Famer the late Aaron Pryor’s first professional boxing matches at the Cincinnati Convention Center, the creation of the Communiplex Women’s Sports Hall of Fame with Inductees like legendary University of Tennessee coach Pat Head Summit, Olympian Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Cheryl Miller, and more.
Communiplex Services hosted the first Black College Basketball Classic at the Cincinnati Gardens as well as televised the University of Cincinnati Women’s Basketball and Central State University first games on cable television.
Reece as the President of Communiplex Services negotiated the $50 million Time Warner Cable Franchise for the City of Cincinnati, and he worked with Dino Santangelo to convince George Wein to change the jazz music format of the Kool Jazz Festival to Rhythm Blues and move from Carthage Fairgrounds to Riverfront Stadium. In addition, he worked to develop the first ever Loan-a-thon at Integrity Hall that generated $7.8 million in loans in one day.
One of his company’s most innovative projects, was development of Federated Department Stores’ (Macy’s Inc.) first ever minority business clearinghouse to connect minority designers and businesses to the company buyers.
Reece received a standing ovation as he talked about the many of these milestones his advertising company developed in a climate that was not diverse and opportunities for Black owned advertising agencies were limited, saying he kept God first and still does today.
“I am Cincinnati advertising,” said Reece as he received his award.