Anita Brightman

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, I reflect on my own journey. I feel our paths reveal themselves to us if we are open to any possibility. In 1996, I took a leap of faith and left my job with a large defense contractor, a comfortable position, to start A. Bright Idea. I took this risk because I wanted more control over my schedule and to advance my career at a quicker pace.

A new mother, I was scared to step out of my comfort zone, but knew I needed to do it.

Starting from scratch, I built ABI motivated by the voice in my head, saying, “I will not fail.”

Stay in the know with the Bright Lights.
Bring bright ideas and more exclusive content to your inbox by subscribing to our e-newsletter, Illuminations, today!


We respect your privacy and will never share your information.

First, I made a plan and followed it. I needed to build a clientele. When things clicked, I worked to replicate and improve processes. When I encountered challenges, I looked for ways to improve, such as building checklists and refining processes to avoid future obstacles. The lessons I learned outside the confines of my comfort zone created the foundation of the A. Bright Idea way and guides how I work to this day. I continue to stay the course, keep my head down and keep marching. Working day by day, I forge ahead and persevere, striving to maximize my potential and create opportunity for others.

I did not set out on this journey with the intent of growing A. Bright Idea into a coast-to-coast, multi-office agency. But by building up my team with brilliant, capable people, something enduring was created. In all endeavors, especially creative ones, collaboration is key. Every day with our combined talents, the ABI team pushes through challenges and identifies opportunities to create innovative ways to support our clients, engage audiences and change conversations.

Directors of A. Bright Idea
Women of A. Bright Idea

The past and present power of the women in our industry, combined with collaboration and creativity, make a positive impact on our families, communities and workplaces. I look forward to all we can achieve and remain steadfast in my commitment to moving the industry forward, investing in the next generation as they create their paths and find their voices.

Anita A. Brightman, APR, Fellow PRSA

by Katie MacNichol

2020 also marks the 100th anniversary of the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore (AAFB). Established as the auxiliary to the men’s-only Advertising Club, the organization flourished thanks to a group of women who wanted their own voices heard amidst the growing advertising scene in burgeoning Baltimore. Just like A. Bright Idea, its creation came out of a desire to make an impact.

Over the last century, AAFB facilitated and connected communications and advertising experts spread out across the Baltimore market, creating and helping generations of professionals grow into the best in the industry.

Our industry relies on empowered team members who feel confident enough to share their ideas and mentors who are readily and enthusiastically willing to provide support.

Every day I see the amazing creative contributions of women in the field and think about the progress since AAFB’s founding. Just like those women who founded AAFB, Anita created a space for all of us to use our voices. Because of her experience starting ABI and the lessons she learned, we can truly make a difference.

Stay in the know with the Bright Lights.
Bring bright ideas and more exclusive content to your inbox by subscribing to our e-newsletter, Illuminations, today!


We respect your privacy and will never share your information.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, our top 10 list for March focuses on the unsung heroes of history and their impact on the world.

1. Susan B. Anthony – Civil/Women’s Rights Activist
Without Susan B. Anthony the lives of women in the U.S. would be significantly different today! An influential American civil rights leader, Susan played one of the most important roles in the 19th century women’s rights movement by introducing women’s suffrage to this country. Susan’s actions lead the way for women’s rights to be acknowledged and instituted into the government we know today. Without Susan B. Anthony Women’s History Month may not exist at all.

2. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – First Lady
First lady to President John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy will forever be remembered for her grace, beauty and elegance, as well as her contributions to the arts and historic architecture. She remains one of the youngest First Ladies in history, with memories of her taste and style, as well as popularity among foreign dignitaries. Among us all, Jackie Kennedy is honored for leading the country in mourning the death of John F. Kennedy in 1963.

3. Barbara Walters – Journalist
Barbara Walters remains one of the most talented and popular broadcast journalists in the U.S. and around the world. With experience on the Today Show, The View, ABC Evening News and ABC World News, Barbara Walters covers interviews with top world leaders, celebrity icons and influential decision makers across all industries.

4. Eunice Kennedy Shriver – Founder of the Special Olympics
Breaking barriers for individuals and families dealing with special needs, Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the Special Olympics in 1968. As a successful advocate for children’s health and disability issues, Eunice also founded the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in 1962, as well as the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Center for Community of Caring focused on education programs on disabilities.

5. Julia Child – Chef
Julia Child is most widely known for introducing French cuisine to America with her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The successful and innovative chef also hosted a popular television program, The French Chef, which was followed by a dozen other widely popular TV cooking series. As featured in Time magazine, Julia Child will forever be remembered as “Our Lady of the Ladle.”

6. Condoleezza Rice – Political Scientist and Diplomat
The 66th U.S. Secretary of State for the Bush administration, Condoleezza Rice also served as the first woman in the position of National Security Advisor during President George W. Bush’s first term. While serving as the Secretary of State, Condoleezza pioneered a policy of Transformational Diplomacy and focused on strengthening democracy in the Middle East.

7. Madonna – Entertainer
One of the most iconic American recording artists of all time, Madonna excels in singing, song writing, record producing, dancing, acting, film producing and directing, fashion designing and writing. What you may not have known – Madonna also plays guitar, percussion and drums, in addition to her vocal talents. Hits including “Like a Virgin,” “Like a Prayer,” and her most famous, Blonde Ambition Tour, rank Madonna as a leader in the music industry, one that will remain on top for decades to come.

8. Sylvia Plath – Poet
Sylvia Plath lived a very short but highly successful life, including a Pulitzer Prize win. Best known for The Collected Poems, Sylvia also wrote The Bell Jar, The Colossus and Other Poems and Ariel. As a poet, novelist and short story writer, Sylvia succeeded in advancing the genre of confessional poetry to the strength it holds in today’s literary world.

9. Sally Ride – Astronaut
A NASA astronaut and American physicist, Sally Ride is anything but ordinary! As the first American woman and (at the time) youngest American to enter space, Sally joined NASA in 1978 and went to space in 1983. After leaving NASA, Sally began working at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control.

10. Georgia O’Keeffe – Painter/Artist
Georgia O’Keeffe remains a major figure in American art in the 1920s. With several technical contributions to art, Georgia is also well known for challenging the boundaries of then-modern American art. Focusing on flowers, rocks, shells and landscapes, Georgia’s interpretation of art included abstract imagery and contoured forms with a wide color palette. Georgia will forever be remembered for her influence in the American modernism movement.