Persistence and dedication define Gilbreath
The story of Gilbreath Communications starts with its founder, Audrey J. Gilbreath, who launched the Houston-based agency in 1990 closely assisted by her husband, Wardell. The family home was the company headquarters until Audrey eventually opened a small office with a staff of three — herself, her husband, and one account services employee. To make things more interesting, Audrey had launched Gilbreath right after becoming a mother.
Audrey and Wardell received a lot of crucial early support from close family members. “My parents were the very first investors in the company,” Audrey says. “My sister, Debra, played an instrumental role in helping us gain new accounts.” In short, the support system Gilbreath had in the early days was priceless. Talk about defying huge odds: Audrey was a young African-American woman launching her own company in an industry where older males directed most of the firms. Another challenge was making sure Gilbreath, although African-American-owned, would be categorized as an agency targeting all multicultural and general clientele.
A decade later, with a staff of about a dozen people, Gilbreath Communications had become a full-service integrated communications firm offering a suite of advertising, public relations, marketing and graphic design services while doing business with prominent international, regional and local clients. Gradually, clients began to know and appreciate the Gilbreath staff professionally and individually.
Today, Gilbreath’s portfolio spans 31 years and includes work for over 400 clients, including, Amegy Bank, Center Point Energy, City of Houston, Houston Airport System, Prairie View A&M, Reliant Energy, Shell Oil Company and the Texas Department of Agriculture among many others.
“We learned something from each of those clients, many of whom were generous enough to share knowledge and advice that helped us improve as we grew as an agency,” Audrey says. “Some became our long-term clients and ultimately, our advocates. When I say ‘advocates,’ I mean those who helped us build new partnerships and make inroads into new industries.”
Established in 1990, Gilbreath has successfully conformed and excelled amidst a myriad of changes in our industry and in society. The best part has been helping hundreds of clients do the same.
Contracts and certifications
Gilbreath Communications is certified as a HUB, MBE, WBE, WOSB, ACDBE, DBE, SBE and Hire Houston First and is pre-certified with the Texas Department of Transportation. Additionally, Gilbreath is an approved contractor of the HGACBuy Cooperative Purchasing Program. The agency holds certifications with the City of Houston, City of Austin, Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), Port Houston, State of Texas, SBA, South Central Texas Regional Certification Agency (SCTRCA), National Minority Supplier Development Council and Women’s Business Enterprise.