Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship honors former COO - McKinney

Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship honors former COO

May 23, 2016

Aims to help diversify the industry one intern at a time

Durham, NC May 17, 2016 — McKinney has established the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship to help students from unrepresented minority groups learn from working at the agency as interns. The first recipient will be an applicant to the fall 2016 program, though future scholarship winners will work during the summer internships only, allowing more out-of-state candidates to apply.

As chief operating officer from 2003 to 2016, Madison helped create an agency culture that champions diversity. She was a human rights advocate and leader both in the public and private sectors. As a volunteer for Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights agency, Madison served as a member of the board of directors from 2007 to 2014. This month, she became HRC’s chief operating officer and chief of staff.

“I will always cherish being a part of a leadership team that created a dynamic and inclusive work culture, one where you are measured by your talents, contributions and strength of will and character,” said Madison. “It was humbling to have a diversity internship named after me. Perhaps years from now, when someone asks who is Joni Madison and why is this scholarship named after her, someone will say that she believed that there was power in embracing each other’s differences, because we are all unique. She also believed that life would be such a bore if we were all the same.”

Chief Talent Officer Sue Roche said, “Joni’s 24 years at the agency were far more than a career. Her drive and focus on building communities proved foundational to the culture of McKinney and transformative for the city of Durham. Joni makes powerful connections happen and then catalyzes them into unthinkable solutions so everybody wins. There are many chapters still to be written in the Joni Madison biography — HRC is getting North Carolina’s and our industry’s best. Keeping her philosophy and spirit alive via this Mtern scholarship will ensure she’s never too far from us.”

Scholarship recipients are selected by Madison and the Joni Madison Mtern Diversity Scholarship committee based on their participation in campus or community activities and their demonstrated impact, with preference given to first-generation college attendees and applicants from underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities and the LGBTQ community.

The Mternship program is structured for full-time graduate or undergraduate students, or a recent grad who is pursuing a career in advertising or marketing communications. In its 12th year, the program offers students career assistance, training, development, hands-on work experience and a paycheck.

About McKinney

Founded in 1969, McKinney focuses on delivering creativity that drives extraordinary results. The agency’s work has been recognized by Cannes, Effie, The One Show and The One Show Interactive, ANDY, Art Directors Club, CLIO, D&AD and the IAB MIXX Awards. An Advertising Age 2015 Agency to Watch and one of the Best Places to Work in Marketing and Media, McKinney works with the following clients: Samsung, ESPN, Sherwin-Williams, CarMax, Crocs, TuneIn, Sennheiser, Mentos, Big Boss Brewing, Dognition and Urban Ministries of Durham. The agency is part of Cheil Worldwide, one of the world’s leading marketing communications networks with 49 offices in 44 countries. Operating as one agency with two doors, McKinney has offices in Durham, North Carolina, and New York City. To learn more, visit, follow @mckinney and subscribe to Socializ’d, our Monday newsletter covering what happened in social media the week before.