President Durée Mellion Ross fell in love with public relations at the age of 19 during a fated college internship. Originally a double major in journalism and sociology, she found her place in the world of PR, publicizing and organizing events and fitting the right ideas with the right clients at Zynyx Marketing Communications in Miami Beach.
She has since become an award-winning PR entrepreneur with a broad spectrum of experience spanning the corporate, agency and non-profit arenas for local, national and international clients. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms founded by people who put client service first. The firm was selected as a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies, in 2016.
Durée’s industry awards include:
- 2017 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Bronze winner for Women in Business, Entrepreneur of the Year — Business Services — 10 or Less Employees category
- 2017 Bulldog Stars of PR Silver Award, Small Agency of the Year category
- 2016 PR News’ Top Women in PR
- 2016 Women of Distinction Award from March of Dimes
- 2015 Influential Business Women Award by South Florida Business Journal
- 2015 Gold Coast PR Council Bernays Award for PR Campaign by a Small Company or Firm for her work with the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
- 2014 Gold Coast PR Council Bernays Award for Branding/Image Campaign for her work with Rising Tide Car Wash social enterprise
- 2014 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Silver winner in the Communications or PR Campaign of the Year – Community Relations category for her work with Feeding South Florida™ on the campaign, “When the Government Shuts Down: Feeding South Florida Responds to a National Crisis.”
- 2014 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Bronze winner in the Communications or PR Campaign of the Year – Reputation/Brand Management category for her work with Rising Tide Car Wash social enterprise.
- 2014 Lifestyle Media Group Up & Comer Awards, Public Relations category
- 2013 Sun Sentinel Top Workplaces for People on the Move Award
- 2013 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Gold winner in the Communications or PR Campaign of the Year – Crisis Communications category for her work on the campaign, “Turning a South Florida Crash into a Happy Ending Across the Nation.”
- 2013 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Silver winner for Communications or PR Campaign/Program of the Year – Reputation/Brand Management for her work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
- Named as one of South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 40 Under 40, honoring the best and brightest young professionals in South Florida
- 2013 Gold Coast PR Council Bernays Award for PR Campaign by a Small Company or Firm for her work with Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade
- 2013 BizBash South Florida Readers Choice Awards PR Professional of the Year Finalist
- 2012 American Business Awards, also known as The Stevie® Awards, Bronze winner for Women in Business for Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the category of firms with fewer than 10 employees
- 2012 South Florida Women Extraordinaire Business Leader by Business Leader magazine for being a community leader and major contributor to her firm’s success
Born, raised and now raising a family of her own in South Florida, Durée has inherent talent and a keen understanding of the local marketplace, identifying marketing opportunities, and developing relationships with media representatives. Since incorporating in 1999, Durée & Company has created and implemented numerous inventive public relations and marketing campaigns for an extensive client roster.
Demonstrating range and flexibility, Durée has secured publicity for clients as diverse as Dr Pepper, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Elizabeth Arden, Halston Z-14 Fragrance, the King Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs exhibition, the iconic Miami Beach restaurant Joe’s Stone Crab, NSU Museum of Art I Fort Lauderdale, Plymouth Gin, Wal-Mart, Coldwell Banker, IMAX, SONIC Drive-In, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Titanic: The Artifact exhibition, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Panama Jack Suncare and Clothing, Miami Fashion Week, BRAVO! Cucina Italiana, Broward Health, CVS/pharmacy, Noven Pharmaceuticals, Coconut Grove Arts Festival, Feeding South Florida, Ortho-McNeil Neurologics, SCJohnson, Coral Gables Executive Physicians, Raymond Lee Jewelers, Rising Tide Car Wash social enterprise and Gallery 2014.
A valued PR, marketing and special events expert/speaker, Durée is consistently requested to present at various professional events and has served on a range of marketing panels, including:
- South Florida Business Journal’s Bizwomen Mentoring Monday in Fort Lauderdale, April 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
- 32 Events’ Women’s Meet Up 2015 in Fort Lauderdale, August 2015
- Women’s Success Summit IX in Miami, December 2014
- BRAVO | BRIO Restaurant Group’s corporate meeting in Columbus, Ohio; October 2014
- Association of Bridal Consultants Meeting in Boca Raton, March 2014
- Women in PR Blog Talk Radio show, December 2013
- Femfessionals Fort Lauderdale, “7 Ways to Make Your Business Irresistible to the Media,” December 2013
- Work-Life Integration workshop at Hispanic Unity’s Entrepreneur Summit in Miami, April 2013
- Ongoing guest speaker for several PR classes at University of Miami, her alma mater
A solid foundation
Prior to the launch of her own firm, Durée honed her skills with DindyCo PR & Marketing, where she was responsible for new client acquisition, ongoing business development, media relations, promotions, special events, press conferences, and day-to-day operations. Among some of her clients were Moét Chandon Champagne, Rubell Hotels, Cozumel Tourist Bureau, Chimento Jewelry Corporation, United Distillers & Vintners (UDV) and Hennessy Cognac.
While at Best Buddies International, a non-profit organization founded and operated by Anthony Kennedy Shriver, Durée served as special events manager. She directed and facilitated special events in the top U.S. media metropolises, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Miami, Palm Beach and Aspen. As part of her responsibilities, Durée provided on-site assistance to political, television and film personalities.
At Zynyx Marketing Communications, which became The Nixon Group and is now part of the GolinHarris family, Durée continued valued work and produced successful campaigns for clients such as José Cuervo Tequila, Bass Museum of Art, Ocean Bank and Planet Hollywood.
Actively engaged with the community
A University of Miami graduate with a double major in broadcast journalism and sociology, Durée presently resides in Ft. Lauderdale with her husband, Dwayne Ross, and their son and daughter.
An avid community advocate, Durée chaired the 2012 Go Red for Women, American Heart Association (AHA); and was the Circle of Red Chair for the 2012 Go Red for Women Broward County (Fla.) campaign. She is also a member of the Broward Women’s Alliance, United Way of Broward County’s Envision United group and United Way of Broward County Women United, and the Ghost Light Society at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.
Additionally, she serves on the committee for the American Cancer Society Ball, chairing the PR for the event as well. She is a member of the Diamond Angels of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation committee, and a member of the Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer Corporate Advisory Board. She also served on the host committee for the Broward Public Library Foundation’s 2017 LitLUNCH! with “The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction” author Samantha Ettus, and 2016 LitLUNCH! with “The Princess Diaries” author Meg Cabot.
She volunteers her time and PR expertise to a number of non-profit organizations, including Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer, and MADD. She was a judge for the Florida Festivals & Events Association’s annual awards in July 2017. Selected for her extensive background in real estate PR, she was on the marketing committee for the October 2015 Miami New Construction Show.
In October 2017, Durée was honored by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation at its 8th Annual Comedy Night. In 2016, she was a March of Dimes Women of Distinction honoree. In May 2013, Durée was honored as one of 100 Outstanding Women of Broward County by Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. In 2012, she was part of the team that helped the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade win a BizBash Top 100 event of the year award for its “Wild About Kids” annual gala. In 2011, she was presented with an Excellence in Communications award from Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer for her valued pro bono work.