Clayton State University has numerous faculty and staff who empower and provide exceptional service. It is without a doubt that Judiffier Perry Pearson, business consultant of Small Business Development Center, is one of these individuals.
Pearson had the great fortune of being immersed in Atlanta’s television and multi-media community from the day she was born. Just a week before her birth, her father, Ben Perry, made a career transition from WAOK radio as news director to WXIA-TV as director of community affairs. As a child, she spent many years in the studios and offices of WXIA, studying her father and his colleagues at work.
Pearson keeps a photo of her father and one of his protégés, Deidre McDonald, on the set of their weekly TV program “Ebony Beat Journal.” The image reminds her of his journey from newspaper to radio to television, and how many people he lifted as he climbed. He was in the business of storytelling -- across media -- and supportive of the industry ecosystem by mentoring, training, and developing the next generation of multimedia storytellers. Throughout her life, Pearson has run into people who say, “Your father was a master of his craft, and he gave me my start in the business.” That has always intrigued her, and set the standard for many of her professional endeavors.
Twenty-five years later, with two salons, two best-selling management books, and a consulting practice under her belt, Pearson was looking for a point of entry into the world of production, initially as an additional stream of revenue for her businesses. She began working as a freelance makeup artist for Fox 5’s morning show, Good Day Atlanta. A request to fill-in for another makeup artist at another network led her back to the familiar studios of WXIA-TV on a recurring basis. There, she had the great fortune of re-connecting with old family friends and new industry leaders.
While working as a freelance artist, Pearson continued to grow her consulting practice, developing specialized business education programs for the beauty, wellness, and entertainment industries. One Friday afternoon in the WXIA makeup room, a serendipitous exchange occurred with news anchor Karyn Greer. Pearson mentioned that she was researching the feasibility of producing and licensing a series of bio-docs of various entrepreneurs as part of her “Minding Your Own Business” IP library. That conversation led to a series of lunch meetings with Greer, introductions, and industry networking that helped Pearson turn her consulting practice into a multi-media training and development company, offering books, audio programs, videos, webinars, and on-demand learning.
Her freelance work opened the door for her to meet and work with a host of celebrities, producers, and publicists, who eventually called on her for bigger and better jobs with companies like Universal Records, Motown, and BET. She learned the arts of multimedia marketing, storyboarding, and storytelling while working behind-the-scenes of print, television, video, and stage productions as a creative director.
After earning her MBA from Georgia State University in 2008, Pearson dedicated herself to management consulting full-time. In 2012, she joined the Clayton State University SBDC as a business consultant and is now the key strategist for small business development in the film, television, music, and digital media industries. In this capacity, she develops and delivers University-level business courses and programs, as well as one-on-one consulting services. Her functional specialties include: mentor-apprentice program development, mapping collaborative agreements, developing investor packages/ pitches, strategic planning, business storytelling, and content marketing. When working with SBDC clients in other industries, she adapts and employs creative production processes (including jam sessions, storyboarding, and graphic recording) to help executives hone their leadership skills, craft compelling corporate stories, and strategically drive change in their organizations.