Howard Robertson and Beverly Robertson – principals of Trust Marketing and Communications, Inc. – recently netted the Memphis Chapter of the Advertising Federation’s 2018 Silver Medal Award.

It’s the first time the award has gone to a couple. The Robertsons were surprised with the news during a gathering at G. Alston Restaurant on Monday Dec. 11).

Howard Robertson shared a reflection on Facebook.

“When you’ve been around for as long as us, you become rich in “chirren” (children). All of our chirren are phenomenal, like Jae Henderson, who wrote and submitted the nomination for the Silver Medal Award from the Memphis Ad Fed. She’s a tremendous writer and author with whom we’ve had the privilege of knowing since she was a student at the U of M.

“This award has been given for 58 years. It’s the first time they’ve given it to a couple and Bev is the first black woman ever to receive it. Apparently Jae wrote some powerful stuff! Immense thanks Ms. Henderson.”

The annual Silver Medal Award stands as the highest form of individual recognition by the American Advertising Federation. It is awarded to an exceptional industry leader for a career of outstanding accomplishment and advertising contribution. The Memphis chapter has recognized remarkable lifetime achievements annually since 1960.

The Robertsons will be honored during a formal ceremony at AAF Memphis’ monthly luncheon on January 25 at Ballet Memphis’ Midtown Studios. The luncheon will begin at 11:30 a.m. Tickets for the January luncheon will go on sale in early January.

“This husband and wife team has a combined 80+ years of experience and a laundry list of successes that have made them among the foremost authorities in creating and executing successful marketing/advertising and public relations campaigns that reach and affect the diverse audiences in their area of specialty,” the nomination stated.

Howard Robertson has been in the marketing and advertising industry since 1973, beginning his career as a copywriter/publicist at the legendary STAX Records. He went on to learn all aspects of broadcast advertising as a consultant with Memphis-based Data Communications Corp.

Robertson assisted Memphis radio legend Art Gilliam in developing the plan that led to Gilliam Communications’ purchase of WLOK Radio, making it the first black-owned broadcast station in the South. He was local sales manager at WLOK from 1977 to 1982 before transitioning to WPTY-TV where he became local/regional sales manager for Memphis’ first FOX affiliate through the mid-1990’s.

Beverly Robertson began her career in 1973 as a Special Education teacher in Memphis City Schools, while also working part-time as a reservations agent at Holiday Inns. She left education after being selected for a management trainee program at Holiday Inns and ultimately became director of Internal and External Communications spending nearly 20 years at Holiday Inns Worldwide.

In 1997, Robertson was asked to become the interim executive director and later the permanent president of the National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM). During her nearly 18 years as executive director and president, some of her accomplishments included creating the Freedom Awards and leading a successful $40 million capital campaign for renovations.

In 1991, the Robertsons founded TRUST Marketing & Communications to help fill a void in the market and assist companies with a desire to tap into the African-American consumer market. Since then, they have worked with global and national brands.