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Royal Allen, marketing veteran known for his entrepreneurial zeal, passes at 52

(January 5, 2016) The Chicago-based marketing veteran, Royal Allen, known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his successful work on behalf of major clients, died New Year's Day at the age of 52. According to information issued by the Danielle Ashley Group, where Allen was an independent consultant and director of New Business, the cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Allen began working at Danielle Ashley Group six years ago on the Chicago-based First Ladies Health Initiative, which the company founded. With his assistance, the initiative has expanded to five urban markets hosting annual Walgreens-sponsored First Ladies Health Days that have enabled more than 200,000 individuals in African-American and Hispanic communities to get free health screenings.

"Royal was a treasured colleague and friend who played an indispensable role with the First Ladies Health Initiative," said Tracey Alston, founder of Danielle Ashley Group and executive director of the First Ladies Health Initiative. "His work made a difference in helping save lives in African-American and Latino communities. Our First Ladies Health Initiative family deeply mourns his loss. His family is in our prayers."

"I am thankful for the contributions Royal made to the First Ladies Health Initiative," said John Gremer, Walgreens director of Community Affairs. "His presence and contributions will be truly missed."

Over the 25 years of his career, Allen developed strategies and implemented successful integrated marketing plans for several top-tier CPG brands including Secret Antiperspirant, Honey Nut Cheerios, Yoplait, Reese's Puffs, Grands biscuits and the General Mills' multi-brand African-American platform.

In addition to establishing his own marketing communications firm, Royal Allen Marketing Partners (RAMP) in 1998, he had worked at a number of agencies including Leo Burnett, Equinox and Burrell Communications, and was Director of Marketing for Steadman Graham & Associates.

After graduating from Amherst College with a BA in Economics, and receiving his MBA at Harvard Business School in 1990, Royal began his career as an advertising executive for Leo Burnett Company in Chicago. Next he joined Equinox Advertising, an urban marketing agency. His national and regional programs for Allstate, KFC and Ameritech, targeted both ethnic and general market consumers.

Earlier, as Senior Account Director at Kemper Lesnik Communications, his work helped clients including Coregis Group, Harmony Health Plan of Illinois and Illinois Department of Transportation.

In 2002, Royal co-founded Dine D'vine - The Chicago Food + Wine Festival which celebrated the contributions of Chicago chefs and food professionals to the culinary arts. He conceived, developed, secured funding and participants, marketed and implemented this first-ever three-day high-end culinary festival in Chicago.

The Danielle Ashley Group said that a memorial service will be announced at a future date.


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