Cleveland Spears III

Cleveland Spears III

President and CEO, Spears Group

New Orleans native Cleveland Spears III launched his own strategic communications and public relations firm nine years ago. Since then, Spears Group has assisted some of the most well-known companies and organizations in the region — from Ochsner, Entergy and Cox to Habitat for Humanity, Centers for Disease Control and the NBA, who hired Spears Group this past year to lead local, regional and national media relations for the NBA All-Star Weekend.
When it comes to showcasing the firm’s event production skills, however, Spears has also taken things a step further by creating and producing his own events.

Among the firm’s creations is last year’s inaugural Fried Chicken Fest. Held in Lafayette Square on September 25, 2016, the festival’s popularity was beyond anyone’s expectations, drawing over 40,000 attendees during the nine-hour event.

This year, Spears says they’ll be meeting demand with a bigger space — Woldenberg Park, five times larger than Lafayette Square. The festival will spread to two days, and include an estimated 35 vendors, two music stages and a cooking demonstration stage, celebrity chefs and a kid’s pavilion. Attendance for the planned September 23 and 24 event this year is expected to reach over 100,000.

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In addition to the Fried Chicken Fest, Spears Group is also behind Le Diner en Blanc, a pop-up elegant dining event that celebrates its fifth year this year with nearly 4,500 diners.

Continuing with the experiential dining theme, Spears Group launched Savor in March, a four-hour, six-course dining and cocktail experience that sold out to a crowd of more than 220.

This month the firm’s fifth annual Millennial Awards will be held alongside GNO Inc.’s inaugural Emerge Summit for young professionals.

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“The goal is always to find ways to bring people together,” says Spears. “And we’re not done yet. Expect another new event to be announced later this year.”


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