Keeping Our Eye On: Zakiya Summers
by Stephen McDill
Published: May 16,2010
Education: B.A. in journalism (University of Missouri)
Current position: Press relations manager, Jackson Medical Mall Foundation
Zakiya Summers says that she represents one of Mississippi’s best kept secrets — the Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center. Founded in 2001, the “community-based venture” has become a national model for high-quality, efficient healthcare delivery for the underserved.
Formerly the 5 a.m. news producer for WLBT TV-3, Summers says she relishes her new work hours as a “regular person” along with her transformation from journalist to public relations manager.
In addition to owning her own event coordinating company, Lady Godiva Productions, Summers is an active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Jayne Avenue Neighborhood Association, West Jackson Development Group and the Jackson Association of Black Journalists.
Summers began her journalism career at the Jim Hill High School student newspaper. While studying journalism at University of Missouri, she was elected president of the college chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. In her junior year, she began reporting, anchoring, and producing for local station KOMU.
“I love PR and I get the best of both worlds- writing and promoting,” Summers says. “I get to leave the desk and go out in the community to network, plan an event, or speak to a group of people.”
Mississippi’s best kept secret: Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center
Must-have Mississippi food: “Smokes” from Big Apple Inn
Favorite Hangout: Schimmel’s
Favorite Television Show: “Law & Order: SVU”
Favorite Movie: “Just One of the Guys”
Favorite Band: Mint Condition
Last Book Read: “A Brand Called You”
Best Role Model: My parents
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