Ahlilah Longmire

Member Spotlight

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am the Founder/President of The Tesla Group PR & Events in Midtown Manhattan. I am originally from California and have spent the last 18 years in NY on quite the journey that ultimately lead to becoming an Entrepreneur/Business owner for the last 10years. I am now working on my next new venture which is a passion project helping at-risk youth who aspire to play tennis competitively.

How would you define your professional mission?

A mission without a purpose is non-existent to me. I tend to be more purpose-driven by anything that I do, which ultimately shapes my mission or road to success.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Be ambitious, be diligent, don't take no for an answer. You can never be afraid to try or to fail. I find that the key is to work smarter, not harder. You can easily burn yourself out trying to outdo your competitors. Strategy and planning is everything in this business along with trend forecasting.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Ooooh, there's been quite a few that I can honestly say I'm still confused on how I actually pulled that off! Not to mention it would take all day to go into full details. What I can say is that I am big on community initiatives. Some of the branded events we have created for St. Jude's Children Hospital, CancerCare, The Boys & Girls Club will always hold a dear place in my heart. Those were executed within the first few years of opening The Tesla Group and were huge successes.

As a boutique agency when you start pulling off PR campaigns for major sports figures, activations for brands like Pepsico and at worldwide sporting events like the Super Bowl they become massive career moments. From the energy to the blood, sweat and tears you put into that level of thinking, to bringing your vision to life are irreplaceable. However, it has been some of our smaller clients (or at least they started off small) that have not only become globally recognized but have returned back to us for each launch of a new product for the past 9 years. That is almost unheard of in PR.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

Creating new benchmarks to elevate your brand. As much as I preach to my team about proper time management, I have to always remember I need to do the same to be able to always focus on the brand.

We'd love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I worked my way up after college to becoming an Indie Record Label VP. Much of my role was to scout, develop new talent as well as market them. At that pivotal year around 2007 where labels were either folding or merging because music was becoming more digital, I, along with several other VP's, were fired, not to mention other issues I was dealing with at the label. Subsequently, my mother had been diagnosed with lung cancer, had already gone through a series of chemo treatments, and was beginning radiation. After already being completely overworked, unfulfilled and miserable, the decision was easy to return back to Los Angeles to take care of my mother.

To go through the process of recovery with my mom was life-changing. Not only have I always had the entrepreneurial spirit and tried opening a business while still in the music industry, I have equally wanted to use my talents towards helping others across multiple industries and backgrounds. After 3 months of being back in L.A, I made the decision to take my last paycheck and dump it into starting my business. A big prayer went into that and I never looked back almost 10 years later.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Being able to provide jobs, build relationships, partnerships, watching businesses grow. I have past clients that eventually have become very my close friends.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

My level of integrity and passion. I care, I get it. I understand that every dollar you put into something counts. That though this is legally considered a business, it's more of a community of women championing together to help fulfill business dreams.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Maximize your potential. My potential was limited prior to starting my business. I can 100% say it's being maximized, challenged and everything else in between now. Just in a good way!

What is one piece of advice you'd offer working moms?

Oh please, they could probably offer me some advice. They're unstoppable. Go working moms, go!

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

As I have only been a member for about 4months now, my memory would have to be my first luncheon. Why? Because it validated that I 100% made the right decision in joining this network of awesome women.

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