Dia Simms, longtime executive at Sean “P.Diddy” Combs’ Blue Flame Agency, was recently promoted to President, Combs Wine & Spirits.
A 2010 Network Journal 40 Under Forty honoree, Simms began working with Combs nine years ago and rose up through the ranks.
Here, we caught up with Simms to talk about her new role as a key player in Combs’ multi-million dollar empire.
TNJ.com: Tell us about your promotion. What will your new role entail?
D.S.: As President, I oversee all of the Combs Wine & Spirits (CWS) brands; CIROC, Deleon and spirits innovation businesses. Mr. Combs works closely with all his brands – so beyond managing all the divisions and initiatives within the company, a big part of my role is helping to translate his vision into everything we do.
TNJ.com: What, if anything, makes the company unique?
D.S.: We approach our work like it’s our family business. We are a tight knit team – we share a passion for doing great work, and we are all driven to be the best, to win. I’m really proud of our team… it’s a smart, creative and deeply committed group.
We also have a very entrepreneurial spirit. We move very fast. We are learning constantly. And we embrace and encourage new, creative ideas wherever they might come from.
TNJ.com: What are the future goals of the company?
D.S.: We will continue to grow the market for Ciroc. We have had a lot of success over the past few years, but there is more that we want to accomplish.
We just launched Deleon in the United States, so we will be focusing on building the brand. We are particularly excited about that – because DeLeon is incredibly smooth, the bottle is beautiful and it is like nothing that exists in the marketplace.
TNJ.com: In terms of your career, where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
D.S.: I am focused on what we are doing right now, and in the coming months. But I know this: I am excited about being here at the beginning and helping to build CWS – and that will happen over the course of many years.
Over the next five years, I am most excited about being able to empower young people and to share what I have learned. Absolutely anything I can do to help build a workforce that embraces true diversity, I am keen to do.
TNJ.com: What do you like about working there?
D.S.: I learn something new every day. I am part of team of people who are smart, creative and passionate about their work.
I love taking something from concept to execution. We are particularly good at introducing new, unknown brands to consumers – and turning them into a household name and a living part of people’s lives. And there are so many opportunities to do that kind of work that I don’t ever get bored.
TNJ.com: Prior to the promotion, what was your role at the company?
D.S.: I was the Executive Vice President of the Blue Flame Agency – the marketing and creative arm of Combs Enterprises. I oversaw all aspects of strategic marketing, from concept to execution, for the brands that were developed and supported by Sean “Diddy’ Combs, as well as clients and partners.