Peppercomm Appoints Two New Members to Firm’s Laughing Matters Council

by | Feb 8, 2023

Peppercomm, a leading strategic communications and marketing agency, announced the addition of two new members to its strategic advisory council of trusted experts in humor, the Laughing Matters Council. These members include Luvell Anderson, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Faculty in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University, and Malcolm Frierson, Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. Anderson and Frierson and will join Council veterans Clayton Fletcher, David Horning, and Liz Joynt Sandberg in delivering on the Council’s mission to apply the principles of humor to drive positive workplace culture and long-term business success.

As a community of like-minded humorists with diverse backgrounds and thinking, the Laughing Matters Council seeks to help businesses harness the power of humor to support cultural changes and business growth through ground-breaking research and thought leadership.

“Businesses continue to struggle with challenges including engaging a hybrid workforce, building bonds and connections across generational divides, creating inclusive cultures and driving innovative and creative thinking in the face of economic headwinds,” said Steve Cody, CEO of Peppercomm. “Research has proven that applied humor opens minds to new ways of thinking, improves creative problem-solving, builds bonds and speeds the path to trust. As a team, this council is helping businesses harness the power of humor to drive real business results.”

Through its various efforts, The Laughing Matters Council is working to raise awareness of humor as a change agent in the professional world. The following new members of Peppercomm’s Laughing Matters Council members will further expand the agency’s expertise and perspectives in new areas.

Cody is co-authoring a book about the power of laughter in business that will be published by HarperCollins in early September.

Luvell Anderson
Luvell Anderson is an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Faculty in African American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University. His research lies principally in the Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Humor, and Philosophy of Race. He is co-editor of the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race and the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Applied Philosophy of Language. Luvell is finishing a book on The Ethics of Racial Humor, forthcoming with Oxford University Press, and Philosophy of Race and Racism: The Basics, to be published with Routledge.

Malcolm Frierson
Malcolm Frierson is a Visiting Assistant Professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University. His research centers on the politics of African American comedy from the Civil Rights Movement to the present. Freedom in Laughter, Malcolm’s recent book published by SUNY Press, has been credited for highlighting “the connections between artistic expression and activism as a mutual exchange in the process of continuing to enlighten, inspire, and transform a painfully divided society.”

With their unique expertise on race and humor, new members Anderson and Frierson will provide invaluable insight into how humor can promote diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. They join veteran members:

Clayton Fletcher
Clayton Fletcher is an NYC-based stand-up comedian, actor and writer who has been featured on Hulu, Sirius/XM, MSNBC, and ESPN. His intelligent, clean, provocative comedy is geared toward audiences hungry for laughs without the crude shock value that is prevalent in stand-up today. Clayton has taught thousands of aspiring comedians (and thousands of brave businesspeople) how to unlock the prodigious power of truth in comedy. He has served as Chief Comedy Officer at Peppercomm for 13 years.

David Horning
Unlike other leadership speakers and consultants, David Horning’s 11 years of comedy, speaking, and corporate training experience brings an outside-of-the-box, hands-on approach unafraid of challenging leaders to disrupt the status quo. David has worked tirelessly to teach leaders that developing a sense of humor is the secret sauce for building organizations where people WANT to work, with successes including Fortune 2000 companies, nonprofits, DisruptHR, and over 150 conferences, meetings, and retreats. Together with Peppercomm, David has helped develop leadership development training programs that combine a mix of stand-up and improvisational comedy exercises to help teams build resilience, collaborate openly, and boost employee engagement.

Liz Joynt Sandberg
Liz Joynt Sandberg is a comedy writer, performer, director, and educator. She currently serves as the Head of the Comedy Arts program at DePaul University, and as a lead designer, facilitator, and director for The Second City Works, where she partners with organizations like Harvard Business School, Thrive Global, Google, Microsoft, Swing Left, Indivisible, and others to leverage an improvisational mindset to solve real-world problems. She regularly performs in Chicago with Baby Wine at The Annoyance Theatre, Baby Wants Candy at The Second City, and on the road with Second City Works. Her writing has been published online and in print (Rebellious, The Huffington Post, The Second City Network, and the anthology Listen to Your Mother, Penguin 2015). She lives in Chicago.

For more information about the Laughing Matters Council, visit here.

About Peppercomm
Peppercomm, a Ruder Finn company, is an award-winning, strategic, integrated communications and marketing agency headquartered in New York City with offices in San Francisco and London. With 28 years of expertise serving blue chip and breakout clients, the firm has made a science of communication, combining wit and wisdom with proven public relations discipline and innovative offerings to break through, build deeper connections and ensure our clients’ success. Peppercomm has received numerous accolades throughout its history, most recently being named to Crain’s Best Places to Work in NYC, the PRNews Agency Elite 100 and PR Daily’s Top Agencies, as well as recent campaign award recognitions from the Provoke SABRE Awards (Integrated Campaign), PRNews Platinum PR Awards (Media Relations), PRNews Digital Awards (CSR), and the Bulldog PR Awards (Media Relations), among others. For more information visit http://www.peppercomm.com.

Bulldog Reporter
Bulldog Reporter is a leader in media intelligence supplying news, analysis and high-level training content to public relations and corporate communications professionals with the mission of helping these practitioners achieve superior competitive performance.


4 reasons why a crisis communication plan is so important

4 reasons why a crisis communication plan is so important

As negative headlines begin to dominate news outlets, social media buzzes with speculation, and phones ring incessantly with concerned stakeholders from an organization engulfed in crisis. The situation starts threatening the company's reputation, financial stability,...