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Michelle McKinney Hammond

From Advertising Executive To Author

Having become a committed Christian, McKinney Hammond decided to forego becoming a Playboy bunny and landed a job with the nation's largest minority-owned advertising firm, the Chicago-based Burrell Advertising, where she eventually became an associate creative director. During her tenure at Burrell, her clients included Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Proctor and Gamble, and General Motors. Eventually McKinney Hammond left Burrell to create her own advertising agency, McKinney Creates, providing services as a copywriter, art director, and advertising director. She also produced short films, infomercials, and commercials. McKinney Hammond received a U.S. Television Award for a commercial she produced, more than twenty Creative Excellence in Black Advertising awards, a Windy Award, and both the golden and bronze International Television Association PHILO Award.

Although her professional and devotional life was on track, McKinney Hammond continued to struggle with finding a healthy, positive personal relationship with a man. In the early 1990s she thought she had finally found the right person, but when their relationship ended, McKinney Hammond was once again feeling devastated and alone. Searching for some help, she went the bookstore to purchase a book about being single. Dissatisfied with what she found, McKinney Hammond decided she should write her own book. Although she began writing the book in 1991, she did not actually finish it until 1995, when a bad accident in which she was struck by a car laid her up for a year and a half. The result was What to Do until Love Finds You: Getting Ready for Mr. Right, published in 1997.

The gist of McKinney Hammond's message is that single women must first find enjoyment and fulfillment in their singleness. Writing from her own often painful experience, McKinney Hammond told Today's Christian Woman, "I've found that when we single women stop asking, 'Why am I alone?' and start asking God, 'Why am I here?' our whole world changes. We start rediscovering old dreams and discover creative ideas on how to use our gifts to bless other people. Finding a mate becomes less important when we find joy and meaning, because that hole in our heart isn't about a person. It's about fulfilling our God-given purpose—what we were created to do and be. Only then will you find true peace and satisfaction—whether you're married or not."

At a Glance...

Born in 1957 in London, England; daughter of William McKinney; step-daughter of George Hammond. Education: Attended Ray-Vogue College of Design (now known as the Illinois Institute of Art). Religion: Christian.

Career: Author and motivational speaker, 1997–; Burrell Advertising, Chicago, Associate creative director; McKinney Creates, Chicago, founder and president; HeartWing Ministries, Chicago, founder and president.

Selected Awards: U.S. Television Award (commercial, producer); multiple Creative Excellence in Black Advertising awards; Windy Award; International Television Association PHILO Awards.

Addresses: Office—HeartWing Ministries, P.O. Box 11052, Chicago, IL 60611. Web—http://www.michellehammond.com.

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Bob Graham (1942-) Biography - Awards to Francis Hendy Biography - Born to SewMichelle McKinney Hammond Biography - West Indian And African Roots, Moved To Chicago, From Advertising Executive To Author, Became Relationship Expert - Selected works