VAB Veteran Cynthia Perkins-Roberts Dies

Longtime Video Advertising Bureau executive Cynthia Perkins-Roberts has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer, according to the organization.

Perkins-Roberts, 54, worked at the VAB for 25 years, eventually ascending to the role of vice president of multicultural marketing and sales development, where she initiated multicultural marketing connections among networks, agencies, advertisers and research companies, according to Sean Cunningham, VAB president and CEO.

“What made Cynthia so highly effective in marketing and advertising was her ability to thrive in the art of people immersion,” said Cunningham.

Below is a tribute to Perkins-Roberts from Cunningham posted on the VAB website:

On New Year’s Day, we lost a leading visionary and one of the best in the industry when the VAB’s Cynthia Perkins-Roberts passed away.

Cynthia knew only one way to do anything of importance – she put her full heart and soul into it all.

There was great power in the depth of Cynthia’s unwavering commitment, whether it was to her family, at her church, with her trove of cherished friends, or in all the advances she drove in multicultural marketing. You always knew Cynthia would never settle for just “a job well done,” because nothing was ever done with Cynthia until something remarkable was achieved.

Cynthia was a 25-year veteran of the VAB rising to VP, Multicultural Marketing and Sales Development. What made Cynthia so highly effective in marketing and advertising was her ability to thrive in the art of people immersion. For every one of the multitudes of her professional accomplishments - including many “firsts” and victories - there was always a wonderful backstory of connecting people and personalities to push through to a new high-water mark. Motivating people to break through barriers was always the fuel, and few people I’ve met could fuel a relationship like Cynthia did – every time.

Throughout her career, she was recognized and embraced by numerous industry organizations including being named one of CableWorld magazine’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable,” being appointed to the Nielsen African-American Television Advisory Council and serving as Co-chair of the Advertising Women of New York’s (AWNY) Multicultural Alliance, as well as her many contributions to the ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM).

Her drive to initiate multicultural marketing connections among networks, agencies, advertisers and research companies led to the publishing of a wealth of diversity media resources and invaluable information for industry professionals. Cynthia was also a sought-after speaker for industry events and frequent media spokesperson.

Most importantly, you could learn about what drove Cynthia Perkins-Robert’sindomitable spiritwithin the first five minutes of meeting her: adoring husband Jeffery and her two college-aged daughters Jessica and Lexi, who were her sun, her moon and her stars.

At the VAB we’ve barely begun to calculate how much we’ll miss Cynthia, but we’ll now count every new “first” in multicultural marketing as another win undoubtedly fueled by Cynthia Perkins-Roberts and her endless influence.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.