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Friday, June 21, 2024

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CEO + Publisher

Billy J. Strawter, Jr.

Born in Georgia and raised in Midland, Michigan, Billy Strawter Jr.'s southern-born entrepreneurial spirit combined with his Midwestern roots forms the foundation of his humble approach to business. As a result, he has managed to build a diverse portfolio that includes owning MILO, a full-service marketing agency, and partnering in Busted Bra Shop, which has six locations across Detroit, Ann Arbor, Rochester, and Chicago.

Billy's newest project, BLAC Inc., showcases his ability to grow and adapt. Guided by his innate curiosity and passion for improvement, he strives to find the best ways to develop and enhance his ventures. His modest yet effective approach has allowed BLAC to explore new markets and evolve into a well-rounded brand. Through his commitment and quiet determination, Billy Strawter Jr. continues to make a positive impact on the communities he serves and beyond.

Meet the dedicated

Team at BLAC - Black, Life, Arts & Culture

Ann Duke

Associate Publisher

Ann Duke is a veteran of the magazine business with over 20 years’ experience on both the business and creative sides. As one of the founding staffers at Hour Media, she was instrumental in the launch of numerous publications including Hour Detroit and Detroit Home. While marketing director at Tapper’s Jewelry, she developed their very successful Jewelry Stars program for Tapper’s Accent magazine. By day, Duke is the director of philanthropy for Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. For this issue, as feature editor for “A Night at the Opera,” she was able to tap into her love of architecture, fashion and Detroit history.

MILO Detroit, Inc

Creative Direction

MILO was founded by a serial entrepreneur and dreamer who wanted to do cool stuff. Billy Strawter Jr. not only found a way to do cool stuff, but to do it better than anyone else in the digital space. With a traditional marketing background in public relations, integrated marketing and corporate communications, Billy seamlessly translated what he knew about media and messaging into a full-service advertising agency, creating unique innovative solutions for clients.

Victoria Webb

Director Of Business Operations

Most people in business talk about ROI. Victoria believes that ROA (Return On Attention) is what drives consumer behavior. “We need to go from marketing at people to marketing for people.” She is an internationally recognized marketing leader specializing in branding, strategic focus, equity building and growth through business development, integrated marketing campaigns and true innovation. Victoria has worked with companies of all size and scope, including Unilever, SC Johnson, L'Oreal, Hasbro, Lund International, Ecolab, Akzo Nobel and American Axle & Manufacturing.

Samantha Alessaandri

Sales Director

Sam Alessandri is a highly respected and skilled advertising professional with 15 years of experience in the industry. A proud graduate of Michigan State, Sam's expertise has led to the successful execution of numerous campaigns, leaving a lasting impact on the brands they represent. Balancing work and family life, Sam is a dedicated parent to two wonderful boys, showcasing the perfect blend of career success and personal fulfillment.