It is no easy task to marry business and philanthropy but Andrea Bullens is successful in creating this union.
Her passion for promotion started early. As a teen, this British-born Jamaican-raised newcomer to the U.S. started with a partner her first business — a promotion company.
Her ardor for marketing and promotion grew and she studied business at Baruch and events and marketing at NYU.
After several years working with advertising powerhouses, she left corporate America in 2003, to open her own marketing events and promotion company — BullZii Marketing, LLC. This firm creates and executes marketing, publicity, advertising, media and promotion campaigns particularly for a long-list of Caribbean-based companies, wishing to promote their products and services in North America.
BullZii is now certified by New York City and New York State as a Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) and is eligible to bid on city and state contracts.
Bullens has been an integral part of several major cultural initiatives. Since 2011, she has been a co-producer and marketing executive for the Queens “Groovin’ In The Park,” an annual reggae, pop, and r&b concert, the largest outdoor concert in Queens. In 2015, more than 22,000 were grooving.
“I also work with the Grace Foods’ sponsorship of the Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the largest field event outside of the world championships,” she says. Grace Foods began to sponsor young Jamaican athletes’ travel, food and other expenses, so they could attend Penn Relays.
This year there were 600 competitors from the Caribbean, mostly Jamaicans. Grace Foods evolved to being a corporate sponsor, the only Caribbean company, of the event. “This is a great opportunity for the Caribbean young athletes,” says Andrea. “College scouts are on the look-out. Fans from across the country hold up high the green, gold and black (Jamaican) flag.” The three-day weekend event attracts 120,000 track enthusiasts.
Andrea also co-founded and co-produced the one-hour Caribbean Lifestyle TV, covering social and political issues, cultural, business and community events, on CIN + NYC TV cable channels in the New York area and also the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2007 and 2011.
On the non-profit side, she leverages her corporate connections to help gain sponsorship for non-profit initiatives. Friends of Mustard Seed Organization is especially dear to her heart.
“My mom was a woman of strength, determination, passion and dignity,” she says of one of her main inspirations. “She was my first role model.”