Statewide Image Campaign Features Businesses That Are Giving Back

A statewide multi-media campaign designed by Daniels-Brown Communications launched this week to demonstrate how employers in Washington state are strengthening communities and giving back in compelling ways. The campaign features MOD Pizza, Lampson International and Alaffia and includes TV and radio spots, online native content and video and social media placements. DBC client AWB (Association of Washington Business) retained DBC to help create a greater awareness of employers’ contributions to job creation, economic development and community giving through a multi-year image campaign.

To learn more, see this post by AWB.

Alaffia Founders Receive Corporate Excellence Award in Washington D.C.

News Release                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Alaffia Founders Receive Corporate Excellence Award in Washington D.C.

Founders Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde recognized for women’s economic empowerment efforts in West Africa.

Washington D.C – Under Secretary of State David Hale and Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh presented Alaffia co-founders Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde with the 2018 Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on Friday, Oct. 5.

Tchala spoke of the influence his mother, Ina Agbanga, had on his view of humanity and in the formation of Alaffia. “She helped me see the suffering of many, and that suffering is the reason we do what we do today.” 

“It is clear that aid alone cannot bring safety to the world and eradicate suffering,” said Tchala. He and Hyde called on businesses across the country to engage with and help African women enterprises participate in the global economy to alleviate poverty. “What is there to being a human being if we can’t contribute to another fellow being?”

The award ceremony was attended by State Department officials and U.S. and foreign diplomats including Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Tibor Nagy who oversees the Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Ambassador David Gilmour who serves in the Togo Embassy and Togo’s Ambassador to the U.S., Frederic Hegbe. 

Earlier in the day, Tchala and Hyde were invited to the White House to meet with Ivanka Trump who is spearheading a global women’s economic empowerment initiative that will be announced later this year. Ms. Trump congratulated Alaffia on the State Department award during a 30-minute meeting in the West Wing.

“We had a very productive meeting with Ms. Trump discussing how Alaffia’s business model is helping reduce poverty in Africa through sustainable, fair-trade trade enterprises,“ said Tchala. “We explained how this is empowering women and making education and health care more accessible.”

“We appreciated the opportunity to share our beliefs that Africa and our people are a vital part of our global economy. Women in Africa have witnessed enough pain. We must get to the point, which is why we felt it was important to engage with the White House.”

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The award ceremony may be viewed at the U.S. State Dept. YouTube channel here.

Photos of the October 5 events may be downloaded here.

Photo Cutlines (Credit: Alaffia)

Photo 1:(l-r) Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh, Under Secretary of State David Hale, Alaffia Co-Founder Prairie Rose Hyde; Alaffia Co-Founder Olowo-n’djo Tchala, 2018 Award for Corporate Excellence Awards, U.S. State Department, Washington D.C. Oct. 5, 2018.

Photo 2:2018 Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Photo 3:The Benjamin Franklin State Room as guests are seated for the 2018 Award for Corporate Excellence Awards, U.S. State Department, Washington D.C. Oct. 5, 2018.

Photo 4:Alaffia Co-Founders Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde, 2017.

Photo 5:Alaffia co-founder and CEO, Olowo-n’djo Tchala, at an Alaffia women’s cooperative in Togo, West Africa, September, 2018.


Alaffia Named Winner of the 2018 U.S. Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence

Alaffia’s women’s economic empowerment programs will be recognized in Washington D.C. ceremony

Washington D.C. – The U.S. Department of State announced today that Alaffia will be awarded the 2018 Award for Corporate Excellence in Women’s Economic Empowerment at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on October 5, 2018. The award will be presented by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh, who oversees the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs at the State Department.

Alaffia founders Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde will travel to Washington D.C. to receive the award.

Tchala, who is currently traveling in West Africa, expressed his gratitude for the prestigious award. “All of us at Alaffia are humbled to receive this recognition from the U.S. State Department and its wonderful embassy officials who serve around the world.”  

“We are especially grateful this will shine additional light on the need to create economic opportunity for women and better education for children, something Alaffia has worked tirelessly to do in West Africa,” said Tchala. 

“Economic engagement in our collective poor communities means a safer, more peaceful world. On behalf of the more than 14,000 women who are members of our fair-trade cooperatives in Africa, and our U.S.-based employees in Tumwater, Washington, we express our deepest appreciation for this tremendous honor.”

Alaffia employees and contract “gatherers,” who are mostly women, number more than 14,000 in West Africa. They collect shea nuts, coconuts, herbs and grasses, and, at Alaffia fair-trade cooperatives in Togo and Ghana, create shea butter, coconut oil, baskets and essence used in Alaffia beauty and body care products. These raw materials are then shipped to Alaffia’s manufacturing plant in Tumwater where 145 people are employed. The materials are refined, packaged and prepared for distribution throughout the U.S. and 10 countries. 

Alaffia’s non-profit empowerment and sustainability initiatives have resulted in 59,775 trees planted, 34,640 school supply recipients, 8,253 bikes distributed, 25,588 eyeglasses donated, 12 schools constructed and more than 4,800 babies safely delivered in West Africa.

About Alaffia

Alaffia was founded in 2003 in the Olympia, Washington garage of husband and wife team, Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde. Alaffia crafts popular beauty and body care products using traditional African methods. Alaffia is “Fair for Life” certified by the Institute for Marketecology (IMO), one of the most renowned international inspection and certification agencies for organic and fair trade accountability. To learn more, visit

Download a photo of Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde here.

Image campaign for AWB named national finalist for PR News Platinum Award

A statewide image campaign designed by Daniels-Brown Communications for its client, the Association of Washington Business (AWB), has been named a top-ten finalist in the Public Affairs category of the PR News Platinum Award. The GrowHere campaign seeks to authentically position Washington employers and employees as socially-conscious, community-focused leaders who create jobs and opportunity in our economy. 

"The finalists of the Platinum and Agency Elite Awards represent the innovative, risk-taking and strategic communicators setting the benchmark of excellence in the communications arena," said Amy Jefferies, vice president of marketing for PR News, in announcing the finalists.

The winners will be announced Sept. 21 at an awards luncheon at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. To learn more visit AWB's blog.

News Release: Alaffia founder Tchala appointed to U.S. trade advisory committee

Congrats to client Alaffia and it's founder, Olowo-n'djo Tchala for this recent appointment to the United States Trade Representative's Advisory Committee on Africa:

Tumwater, Wash. — Olowo-n’djo Tchala, founder and CEO of Alaffia, has been appointed by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to serve a four-year term as a member of the Trade Advisory Committee on Africa (TACA). The committee provides general policy advice and guidance to the U.S. Trade Representative on trade policy and development matters that have a significant impact on the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. 

The TACA also facilitates the goals and objectives of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and assists in maintaining ongoing discussions with sub-Saharan Africa trade and agriculture ministries and private-sector organizations on issues of mutual concern. TACA was authorized by the Trade Act of 1974.

The committee is currently composed of 22 members who have expertise in general trade, investment, and development issues and specific knowledge of U.S.-Africa trade. Members of the committee represent industry, organized labor, investment, agriculture, services, non-profit development organizations, academia, and small business.

Tchala hosted Ambassador Lighthizer at Alaffia’s cultural center in Lomé, Togo last August during the AGOA conference in Togo. U.S. Ambassador to Togo David Gilmour and Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Donald Yamamoto, who leads the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, also visited Alaffia’s headquarters located in Tumwater, Washington in April, 2017 and March, 2018, respectively.

“It is an honor to serve alongside other TACA members to help thoughtfully guide U.S. trade policy related to sub-Saharan Africa,” said Tchala. “Trade between the U.S. and Africa is vital to helping people on both continents rise up out of poverty through fair private enterprise, something we work on every day at Alaffia.”

Assist. U.S. Secretary of State visits DBC client Alaffia; sales in 3,600 Walmart stores announced.

DBC principals managed the visit of Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Donald Yamamoto to Tumwater, WA on March 20, 2018. Yamamoto visited Alaffia to learn more about their fair-trade enterprises in West Africa. During the visit, Alaffia founder, Olowo-n'djo Tchala announced to a community and business leader roundtable that Alaffia has begun selling their popular body care products in 3,600 Walmart stores throughout the U.S. Press release announcing the new relationship with the retailer follows:


News Release
March 20, 2018

Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State visits Alaffia as products launch in 3,600 Walmart stores across the U.S.

Alaffia growth expected to add 60 jobs in Tumwater, Washington, thousands in West Africa, and increase funding for women’s empowerment projects.

Tumwater, Wash. — Alaffia’s women’s empowerment programs will get a significant boost with a new relationship with Walmart, Alaffia’s founders, Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Prairie Rose Hyde announced today.  Alaffia body care products made their debut in Walmart retail stores earlier this month, and are being distributed to 3,600 locations around the U.S.

The new relationship was announced as Acting Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Donald Yamamoto visited Alaffia’s headquarters in Tumwater, Washington, on March 20. He traveled to the company’s headquarters to explore what Alaffia is doing to encourage trade and create jobs.

“Rose and I founded Alaffia to alleviate poverty and empower women and families in Africa and the U.S.,” said Tchala. “This partnership with Walmart puts more of our fair-trade products in the homes of U.S. consumers. That means even more women and children will have access to education, medical care and the ability to be self-sufficient by working in Alaffia enterprises.”

“Our products are handcrafted using unique West African traditions that retain the natural qualities of indigenous shea nuts, coconut oil and herbs,” said Hyde, who has overseen the development of Alaffia product formulas. “This is all done with sustainable harvesting and fair trade practices that ensure people are paid fairly and treated ethically — a mandatory for us.”

“Having these socially-responsible products in Walmart stores will help bring greater awareness to fair trade and women’s empowerment issues, and we think that’s great for everyone,” said Hyde.

“Our customers have told us that second to price, where products are made influences their purchase decisions,” said Cindi Marsiglio, vice president, U.S. manufacturing, Walmart. “We are focused on buying great quality products that create jobs in communities across the U.S. It makes sense for our customers, our communities and our company.”

Based on data and analysis by Boston Consulting Group and published in Walmart’s Policy Roadmap to Renew U.S. Manufacturing, it’s estimated that 1 million new U.S. jobs will be created through Walmart’s American Jobs Initiative, including direct manufacturing job growth of approximately 250,000, and indirect job growth of approximately 750,000 in the support and service sectors.

Alaffia employees and contract “gatherers,” who are mostly women, number more than 14,000 in West Africa. They collect shea nuts, coconuts, herbs and grasses and — at Alaffia cooperatives in Togo, and Ghana — create shea butter, coconut oil, baskets and essence used in Alaffia products. These raw materials are then shipped to Alaffia’s headquarters and manufacturing plant in Tumwater where 145 people are employed. The materials are refined, packaged and prepared for distribution throughout the U.S. and 10 countries.

“We are very grateful to Walmart for making this opportunity available and to Ambassador Yamamoto for visiting our headquarters,” said Tchala. “This will positively impact our common mission to create opportunity and help relieve human suffering here and in my native country of Togo.”

Associated news coverage:

The Olympian: Tumwater-based Alaffia body care products will be sold by the largest retailer in the country

Association of Washington Business: Growing the good

TwinStar Credit Union turns 80 in year DBC celebrates 20th year as ad agency

TwinStar Credit Union was born in a room in Olympia High School 80 years ago this year, founded by a small group of school teachers who banded together to help fellow teachers weather the financial storms of the Great Depression. TwinStar celebrated their 80th anniversary this past weekend at their annual meeting in Olympia.

It was just over 20 years ago, in 1997, when then-Twin County Credit Union, retained Daniels-Brown Communications as their ad and PR agency of record, a relationship that continues today. In 1997, TwinStar held $251 million in assets. Today it holds more than $1.2 billion. DBC has deeply appreciated our relationship with such an outstanding financial institution that has always placed its members first. Congrats TwinStar!

DBC client, Alaffia, honored at Thurston Chamber Distinguished Leader Awards

Congrats to Olowo-n'djo Tchala and Rose Hyde, founders of Alaffia Skin Care Products for receiving the Thurston Chamber Distinguished Leader Award on Feb. 8 in Olympia. They are leading by example in their business, helping empower women in Togo, and here in the United States, through socially-responsible private enterprise.

To view a video profiling Olowo-n'djo and Rose, click here.

DBC provides communications and government affairs counsel to Alaffia's CEO and executive team.

DBC manages visit of U.S. Ambassador to Togo for client Alaffia

News Release
April 4, 2017                                                                  

U.S. Ambassador to Togo to visit Alaffia headquarters in Tumwater ahead of AGOA Summit

Ambassador to meet with federal, state and local elected officials and business leaders April 11-13, 2017 to promote trade between WA and Togo.

Tumwater, WA – U.S. Ambassador David Gilmour, who represents the United States in the nation of Togo, will travel to Tumwater April 11-13 to tour the headquarters of natural body care products company Alaffia. The company has been selected to present their success story at the 38-nation AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) summit being held in Togo in August.

Ambassador Gilmour will participate in a number of events while he is in the Olympia area to discuss why Washington state and the nation of Togo could mutually benefit from a stronger trade relationship. Alaffia’s founders, and the Alaffia Empowerment Council, made up of four women leaders from the nation of Togo, will join him.

Alaffia is a fair trade organization. Raw materials for its body care products are derived from the shea nut that is collected and refined into shea butter in Togo, then sent to Alaffia’s Tumwater manufacturing facility where it is turned into popular shampoos, lotions, soaps and other natural body care products.

Alaffia was founded by Olowo-n’djo Tchala and his wife Prairie Rose Hyde to create a private enterprise that could sustain villages in Togo where Tchala was raised. The products became such a hit with socially conscious consumers; the business quickly grew from their garage in Olympia to a 100,000-square-foot facility in Tumwater.

More than 120 people are employed in Tumwater. And 11,000 villagers in Togo work directly or indirectly as shea nut, grass and baobab collectors, basket weavers and other cooperative members.

Since its launch in 2004, Alaffia’s empowerment initiatives have resulted in 57,575 trees planted, 32,842 school supply recipients, 7,482 bikes distributed, 24,927 eyeglasses donated and more than 4,463 babies safely delivered in Togo.

Alaffia’s fair trade practices, which include paying four times the current wage in Togo, are seen as a model for advancing gender equality. This has led to an invitation to Alaffia to showcase their uniquely successful cooperative at the AGOA Summit.

News media is invited to attend two events being held during the ambassador’s visit:

Alaffia Headquarters Tour and Roundtable Discussion on Trade

Wednesday, April 12, 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

8109 River Drive SE, Tumwater, WA (near Olympia Airport)

                                                                                                                                                                         Event Details: Participants will include Ambassador Gilmour, U.S. Representative Denny Heck, WA Secretary of State Kim Wyman, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal, federal, state, and local officials, and business association and chamber representatives.

Community & Student Symposium at Saint Martin’s University

Wednesday, April 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

Norman Worthington Center

5300 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 

Event Details: Washing Away Poverty with Socially Responsible Soap is a free community symposium. Panelists will include Ambassador David Gilmour, Olowo-n’djo Tchala, Prairie Rose Hyde and the Alaffia Empowerment Council made up of four women leaders from the nation of Togo.

To learn more about Alaffia, visit

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News Coverage Roundup

KING5 News Seattle

The Olympian / Story on the Alaffia tour

The Olympian / Video of the tour

Thurston Talk Article on Ambassador Visit

The Olympian / Saint Martin’s Symposium Announcement

The Olympian / Ambassador’s visit announcement

Statewide campaign produced by DBC shows green side of Washington businesses

What do a steel mill in Seattle, a cidery in Auburn and a print shop in Tacoma have in common? All produce great products (and jobs) for Washington, while being thoughtful stewards of the environment we all love. A statewide campaign to tell their stories, and others, was recently launched by DBC’s client, the Association of Washington Business (AWB). Campaign components developed by DBC include TV, radio, newsprint, online, and outdoor advertising vehicles. To view the video components of the campaign, visit DBC’s Vimeo channel. To learn more about AWB’s GrowHere campaign, visit

DBC develops brand for new LASIK surgery center

The first LASIK surgery center to offer blade-free LASIK surgery using the Wavelight Refractive Suite is opening in Lacey, WA. And DBC was retained to develop the center’s brand, website and other collateral materials including signage, patient welcome packets and invitations to grand opening events. DBC is also managing the center’s ongoing advertising campaigns.  Dr. Jay Rudd, Aurora LASIK’s founder is a well-known eye surgeon in Thurston County. He continues to see surgery patients at Clarus Eye Centre while performing the all-laser LASIK procedures at Aurora. Dr. Rudd also offers KAMRA lens inlays which allow you to see up close and far away more clearly. Who isn’t ready to ditch those readers! Congrats to Dr. Rudd and his team!