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Dia  Simms

Dia Simms

CEO of Lobos 1707, Brand Building & Leadership Expert, Market Disruptor


One of the country’s few female and African American CEOs, Dia Simms is renowned for her expertise in leading brand strategies and launching brands, as well as being a trailblazing leader in the world’s most promising and innovative industries—driving sales, maximizing revenue and creating cultures where people want to work. Read More >

As the CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal, an independent spirits brand that launched in 2020, Simms leads alongside Founder and Chief Creative Officer Diego Osorio with early backing by sports and cultural icon, LeBron James. In 2021, Simms co-founded Pronghorn, a 10-year initiative to drive diversity, equity and inclusion in the spirits industry. Pronghorn, backed by the world’s leading spirits producer, Diageo, seeks to help participants within the Black community achieve the goal of generating $2 billion in economic value in the U.S.

Before joining Lobos, Simms spent almost 15 years working alongside Sean “Diddy” Combs at Combs Enterprises, starting in 2005 as his executive assistant. She grew within the company while building multiple brands and businesses under the Combs Enterprises umbrella. In 2017, Simms was named President of Combs Enterprises, making her the first president in the company’s 30-year history other than Sean Combs himself. In her role as President, she oversaw multi-billion-dollar brands under the Combs empire, including CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka, Blue Flame Agency, AQUAhydrate, Bad Boy Entertainment, Sean John and Revolt TV. Of note, Simms led the transformation of CÎROC Ultra-Premium Vodka, taking the previously unprofitable brand to a $2 billion retail value.

Simms has been listed as “One of the Most Powerful Executives in the Industry'' by Billboard magazine twice, as well as named to the Ebony “Power 100” list. She is the recipient of the 2023 Food and Wine Game Changer Award from Food and Wine magazine, the 2023 DEI Leadership Award from the Distilled Spirits Council and the 2022 Wine Enthusiast Future Award from Wine Enthusiast magazine. In 2018 she was an honoree of the Matrix Awards from New York Women In Communications (NYWIC), as well as named to the 2018 Ad Age “Women to Watch” list and Variety’s “Power of Women New York Impact List.” She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Morgan State University and a master’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Simms is a dynamic keynote speaker with an inspiring story and valuable insights on business, accelerated brand building and operationalizing your dreams, negotiation tactics, diverse leadership, business innovation and succeeding in a man’s world. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Women and Work-Life Balance

Forbes: How Dia Simms Is Leading the Business Empire of Hip Hop’s First Billionaire

Committing to Diversity

Forbes Success in 60 Seconds: How to Take Career Risks

How Does Your Business Approach Diversity?

The Need for Women in Leadership

Know Your Value

Speech Topics

Fueling Your Brand

Content. Entertainment. Fashion. Fragrance. Retail. Now, tequila. Dia Simms has distinguished herself as the visionary creative and marketing force behind multiple global brands in multiple industries. A pioneer in utilizing social media and digital innovation, she has been named both an Ad Age Woman to Watch and a winner of the Diageo Global Marketing Brilliance Award. Now at the forefront of branding for the tequila industry, she shares her insights on what it takes to build, lead and manage successful brands—and how to fuel yours for success.

Dia on Diversity: Stop Seeing It as a Favor. It’s Great for Business

The most recent McKinsey report shows that companies in the top 25% for ethnic diversity at the executive level are 33% more likely to have above-average profitability than those in the bottom 25%. Dia Simms has seen that in action throughout her career. While leading Combs Enterprises, the company garnered a reputation for its ability to see trends, innovate, connect with consumers, retain great employees and achieve enormous business success—all benefits that Dia attributes to both the diversity of the team and leadership. As CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila & Mezcal, she has used the same strategy, making sure women and diverse people are represented while building these two ultra-successful brands. Speaking as a rare African American CEO and from her experience recruiting, building and leading highly effective, diverse teams, Dia provides insightful recommendations to increase diversity and drive success.

The Secrets to Successful Negotiations

As a 20-something working at the Department of Defense, Dia Simms was successfully negotiating $100 million contracts. She credits her skills to the training she received while at the government entity. And it’s something she’s used and improved on throughout her career, helping her launch and build businesses and brands and secure nine-figure deals. She even uses this talent with her husband and daughter. “It comes in handy,” she says. And it’s something we all need for work or at home. In this empowering talk, Dia gives you the essential strategies and skills to successfully negotiate anything, from bedtime for your child to discussing your salary to closing a sale to getting that contract signed to so much more.

Building a Business From Scratch: Operationalizing Your Dreams

One of the many things Dia Simms is truly passionate about is achieving the impossible. And throughout her career, she has done just that: taking brands and businesses from ideas to success and hundreds of millions of dollars in record time. In this talk, she shares her secrets for successfully building a company from scratch and the tools you need to do the same. The time is now to start operationalizing your dreams and Dia will give you the roadmap to get there.

Dia on Disruption: Interrupting the Marketplace

In the business world, there are disruptors. And then, there are DISRUPTORS. And Dia Simms definitely falls into the latter category. Throughout her storied career, she has been able to successfully bring a fresh, innovative, commercially forward and profitable approach to companies and brands, both new and old. And with one of her latest ventures, she has taken it to the next level and beyond. Pronghorn, a 10-year initiative to drive diversity, equity and inclusion in the spirits industry, is regarded as a modern disruption to DEI. It’s a template for how to effectively diversify the spirits industry by investing in black executives and entrepreneurs in a sustainable and scalable way by 2032. In this keynote, Dia shares her knowledge and how you can build a brand business and successfully disrupt the marketplace for the greater good.

Becoming a Trailblazing Leader

As an entrepreneur, brand expert, market disruptor and trailblazing leader, Dia Simms has made a name for herself by achieving the impossible. And that wouldn’t have happened without a great team beside her, she says. So what’s her secret? It all comes down to being a leader who others want to follow. In this talk, Dia gives you the tools she uses to be the best leader she can be while driving demand for her brands and boosting the bottom line.

Unlock the Commercial Power of Diversity

As next-gen owners, we have an opportunity to recruit, retain and advance diverse teams and portfolios of brands, both of which have real positive commercial upside when put into action. Dia Simms, co-founder of Pronghorn and CEO of Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal, will describe how to turn vision into action as we lead diverse practices for our companies.