Managing Director of ABCD & Company Corey Briscoe is a “thought leader who transcends industries.” At the company, he “oversees daily operations and human capital strategy.” He also spends a lot of effort in cultivating a company culture that allows everyone to thrive and be successful.
Speaking of company culture, Corey Briscoe helps ABCD & Company through his specialty in “molding leaders and uniting people around common goals.” He shows the consistent ability to “drive strategic agendas,” which has “privileged him to work with leaders across various sectors.” To his role, he brings his mastery in oratory and strategy.
Aside from ABCD & Company, Corey Briscoe has also advised legislators, university presidents, and corporate executives. Throughout his career, he has also built up considerable expertise in “building strategic communication campaigns” that has “served many associations, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education with a significant multicultural presence and target audience.”
ABCD & Company needs Corey Briscoe’s expertise, which he has brought into his engagements with organizations such as The Apollo Theater, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Coppin State University, University of the District of Columbia, and Hampton University. He has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and ABC.
But I think the core of my success comes from my foundation — my parents. My parents, who divorced when I was young are good ole blue collar workers, first generation college, champions of Corey. Corey Briscoe, ABCD & Company
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Corey Briscoe: Besides our quirky name, it’s the experience we give our clients. When you have an ABCD experience, you stay with ABCD. I remember doing a rebrand for a large municipality and in a presentation to the CEO, he had what we call the “eureka moment.” That’s when our client realized that our name, ABCD, is named after the four partners. This culminating presentation became a discussion about the brand genius behind our naming nomenclature. It’s those personal stories and moments that bridge connections beyond the work or better yet, make the work real to our clients that makes ABCD stand out. Every time we saw the CEO after that presentation, he would make a joke about the company name, sharing his newfound epiphany with as many colleagues as he could.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Corey Briscoe: Many people attribute success to mentors and colleagues. I agree with that; there are so many people that are relevant to my success story. But I think the core of my success comes from my foundation — my parents. My parents, who divorced when I was young are good ole blue collar workers, first generation college, champions of Corey. I often reflect on the decisions they made and how it was so important for them to see me succeed. When I was a young child, I remember the sacrifices of private schooling that my mom pushed. I recount the countless leadership lessons that my Dad instilled in me while dropping me off in the carpool line. He would say, “Corey, be the best that you can be.” Clarence and Joyce have been team Corey since day one and I owe my success to their sacrifices and unconditional love.
Jerome Knyszewski: Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Corey Briscoe: Client projects that do good are the most exciting things for me. Our long-term client the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), has been a champion of underserved small businesses for almost three decades. When COVID arrived, Main Street small businesses who already had challenges getting money, got hit even harder. The CEO created large corporate partnerships to help get access to capital directly to small business owners. As a small business owner myself, being a part of the team that awarded over $30 million directly to small business owners and facilitated over $100 million in these trying times is fulfilling. Leading a team whose sole purpose was to build an engagement strategy to give away money to deserving minority-owned small businesses is a dream job.
Client projects that do good are the most exciting things for me.
Jerome Knyszewski: How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Corey Briscoe: I have always believed that the greater purpose of professional wins was to make big impact in the community. ABCD was established with that philosophy in mind. I serve on several boards, but my greatest philanthropic passion right now is St. Jude Children’s Hospital. From serving in leadership positions for inaugural events, I have tried to use ABCD’s brand capital to bring greater awareness to this amazing organization that supports children and families across the country — without ever sending them a bill for service. I serve on the DC’s advisory council and I am committed to doubling down this year in a greater capacity — driving donor engagement to the African American community.
Be gracious on yourself. You don’t know what you don’t know. Corey Briscoe
Jerome Knyszewski: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?
Corey Briscoe: I love leadership books. I strive every day to be a better and stronger leader. I have read many leadership books and self-help books, but find that Sun Tzu’s Art of War (dating somewhere around 5th century BC) still has the greatest impact and influence on my leadership. I remember being a young entrepreneur and bootstrapping our company. I was a very green COO and trying to make decisions of what should be paid and the political implication of each decision. Do I pay staff? Office rent? Contractors? Call it quits? My emotions were getting the best of me, and I could have easily made a decision that could alter the course of the company. However, it was that guiding principle from The Art of War to make an informed decision and not a gut decision, that forced me to sit and evaluate every variable. We made some tough calls, were late paying some bills, had transparent conversations, and doubled the company revenue the following year.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the main takeaways that you would advise a twenty-year-old who is looking to found a business?
Corey Briscoe: Be gracious on yourself. You don’t know what you don’t know. I didn’t even know how to correctly file taxes, and yet here I was starting a company. When I started my company, I was so scared of letting people see me struggle or see me in the “start-up” phase. It was my biggest mistake. You only get a certain amount of time to be the new guy on the block and be “green.” I would argue that’s when you should be the most vulnerable. That’s when you seek advice and ask for favors. You don’t have to know everything, you just have to be thoughtful about finding the information that you don’t know.
Jerome Knyszewski: What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Corey Briscoe: Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @ccbglobal. Check out ABCD & Company @abcdandcompany
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!