It's always a significant loss when we lose a pillar of our society who has contributed to the collective advancement of our people.

Last month, Linda Jefferson, senior vice president of Group Media Services for Burrell Communications Group, passed away suddenly due to a short illness. Throughout the span of her four-decade long career, she changed the media landscape through her innovative and analytical business practices and thought leadership.

Today, on the day of her funeral, EBONY remembers her legacy.

Burrell Communications Group is one of the oldest and most prestigious Black-owned media firms in the country. With it's commitment to leading the way as a full-service marketing and communications agency, Burrell rose to prominence in the 1970s for its efforts to bringing the Black experience to mainstream American consciousness.

In 1984, Jefferson started her tenure with Burrell and continued to advance its missions profoundly, solidifying its mark in the world of communications and media. A graduate of both Loyola University of Chicago and Northern Illinois University, Jefferson became well-respected for her ability to shift the mindset of Black consumers and conceptualize the data in a way that encouraged companies to see them differently and with more potential. Her distinctive professional accomplishments and acumen throughout her career promoted not only a greater understanding of the Black consumer market, but also helped fuel its growth. Some of the strategic accounts that Jefferson spearheaded for the agency included Comcast, American Red Cross, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, General Mills, Toyota and Coca-Cola.

EBONY is proud to have awarded Jefferson, a recipient of multiple honors and awards, with the Advertising Agency Award for “Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications in 2004.

In addition to her career accomplishments, Jefferson was on the board of the Chicago Children’s Choir board and a founding board member of Targeted Advertising Professionals (TAP).

In a statement released by Burrell Communications regarding the passing of Jefferson, McGhee Osse, co-CEO stated, "She was widely respected by our clients and her peers across the advertising community as a trusted authority. Linda helped to establish the science of targeted media, as well as its effective implementation, but more than that she was just a good person and one of our finest. We are heartbroken by this loss."

To Linda Jefferson: the media business that you served so eloquently, now is honored to serve your legacy and tell your story.

EBONY sends our heartfelt condolences to Jefferson's family and all who loved and worked beside her.