Mrs. Billingsley has more than 30 years of public relations experience in developing and implementing breakthrough programs that meet organizational goals, target audience needs and produce results. In her current role, Lori oversees community giving, engagement and volunteerism for Coca-Cola North America. “I’m extremely passionate about the community so it's a joy to be able to do this work for such a global and iconic brand,” says Lori. “I've always been passionate about helping others and wanted to be in a position to positively impact the lives of others.”
Prior to joining the Coca-Cola team, Lori led her own public relations consultancy, held positions in a global public relations agency and for the government in the District of Columbia. She has also served as professor, instructor and lecturer at two Ohio-based colleges, as well as her alma mater, Howard University.
But with success also comes challenges. As a businesswoman, Lori has had to overcome obstacles throughout her career. “Most of my career challenges have centered around discernment between the ‘good to do’ and the ‘right to do’ opportunities,” she says. “Additionally, as an African-American woman, I have faced challenges that my male colleagues have not. The simple fact that I often enter conference rooms and see no one else of color or no other women creates a unique experience for me. On top of whatever skill set I was called to bring, I have had to also represent the African-American perspective and/or the female perspective. There is automatically an assumption that I am a focus group of one.”
Lori continues to overcome any and every obstacle by being intentional in her actions and making sure that if no one else is going to include other perspectives – she will. Her personal motto is Proverbs 3:5-6, which proclaims, "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path."
When asked what advice she would like to share with other women, she told us: “Do not hesitate in pursuing roles that might be a stretch. Be open to taking risks.” Another piece of advice she gives is: “Don’t waste your time, talent or treasures. You can never get time back;” to “go where you are celebrated, not tolerated;” and to “save early and often.”
A native of Teaneck, New Jersey, Lori received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations at Howard University; and her Master of Arts degree in public communications at American University. She is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s Class of 2008 and of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Georgia Chapter. She has also served on several national and local boards, including the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., Atlanta Mission, PRSA Foundation, International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute, ColorComm, Inc., and Living Water for Girls.
Mrs. Billingsley has received numerous awards, including the Network Journal’s 2015 Top 25 Influential Black Women in Business; Atlanta’s Top 100 Black Women of Influence (2015, 2014) from the Atlanta Business League; and Howard University’s School of Communications (HUSOC). Lori George Billingsley is also an ordained minister and lives in Decatur with her husband, Bishop Jeffrey Billingsley. In her free time, she enjoys regular spa treatments and travelling to sunny beaches.