Helayne Spivak, former Chief Creative Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, joined the VCU Brandcenter on August 15, 2012 as its director. Helayne is leading the Brandcenter in its mission of helping the industry navigate change and fueling it with future leaders. She oversees financial and personnel management of the school as well as fundraising and outreach to individuals and firms in the advertising industry and brand community.
Helayne began her award winning advertising career in NY as a copywriter at Ally & Gargano. After 10 years of gaining recognition for her creative work, Helayne went on to take larger and larger roles in the advertising community. Hal Riney hired her to head up the New York office of Hal Riney & Partners. From there, she went on to become Chief Creative Officer of Young & Rubicam NY as well being appointed one of the first women on their Board of Directors. She has since served as Chief Creative Officer of Ammirati Puris Lintas and Chief Creative Officer of JWT, NY. She has created campaigns for Sears (Come See the Softer Side of Sears), Burger King, UPS, Club Med, Kraft, Kodak, Barneys New York, and a U. S. President, to name just a few.
In 1997 Helayne formed her own company HRS Consulting where she worked with agencies such as Hill Holiday, McGarryBowen and EuroRSCG in New York and Chicago. After taking a 2-year break to buy and run a restaurant (long story available upon request), she returned to advertising in 2003 joining Energy BBDO in Chicago as Group Creative Director. In this role she ran Roche and the Bayer account including Aleve, OneADay Vitamins, Bayer Nutritional Science and Midol. Her Super Bowl spot for Aleve, featuring Leonard Nimoy, made USA Today’s Top Ten Memorable spots for that year.
Helayne came back to NY in 2006 and was asked to join Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness to help them improve their creative product and move from an all DTC agency specializing in traditional broadcast advertising to a fully integrated, full channel communications company. In her 5 years as Chief Creative Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness have built their interactive capabilities from scratch, were named Agency Of The Year for 3 years running by MM&M Awards, and have already begun winning awards for their interactive work for a new MS drug, Transitions Lenses, and Durex. The newly formed Clio Healthcare Awards honored the agency’s work for its “Silence Your Rooster” campaign with Best In Category and a Grand Clio.
Her extensive experience in the advertising business has given her the opportunity to work on herself or oversee work on an incredible range of clients in all industries: MCI, ATT, Sprint; UPS, FEDEX, USPS; American Express, MasterCard, Bayer, Bristol Myers, Ciba-Geigy, American Home Products, Reebok, General Motors, Fuji, Kodak, MONY, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Colgate, Philip Morris, Dr. Pepper, Cadbury Schweppes, Club Med, Burger King, Four Seasons Hotels, Andrew Jergens Company, Shiseido, Bill Blass, Vanity Fair Magazine and The New Yorker.
Over the course of the years Helayne has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal’s Leaders Campaign, was honored with The Matrix Award for Women in Communications, appeared on the cover of Working Woman Magazine for which she wrote the cover article, was named one of the top 50 Women In Business by Business Week magazine (1992), served as a judge on the television panel at the Cannes Advertising Festival, was a member of the board of directors of The One Club, and has received many individual awards for her work from the Clio Awards (including best writer), The One Club, Cannes, The Andy’s, and the Effie’s.
I adore a good problem. I'd rather work on the #2 or #3 brand than the #1.
Consumer learning reveals pieces of the puzzle. Collaboration, creativity and intuitive leaps drive to the solution.
Over the course of my advertising career I've worked on a wide range of products across numerous categories. From beauty to banking. Twinkies to telecom. Cruise lines, cars and cameras. Video games to Homeland Security. I'm proud to be a generalist!
It is a distinct pleasure and daily challenge to work at the Brandcenter, surrounded by the next generation of industry leaders and change agents.
In addition to teaching at the VCU Brandcenter, Peter is the President of Coughter & Company, a consulting firm located in Richmond, Virginia. Peter provides many different services to agencies but is nationally recognized for his Presentation Skills Workshops. Peter’s clients include Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, Goodby Silver- stein, Cramer-Krasselt, DDB,Taxi, Butler Shine Stern, Ground Zero, Leo Burnett, Dentsu, Fallon and many others.
From time to time, Peter moves to the other side of the table and helps clients with the agency search process, experience that translates into a unique perspective for his teaching at the Brandcenter.
Peter also works with selected advertising agencies to help develop comprehensive new business development programs, provide assistance on individual new business development projects, develop strategic plans for the agency, and design and implement staff development programs, particularly in the area of presentation skills. He also provides executive coaching for both agency and client personnel.
Prior to founding Coughter & Company in June of 1995, Peter served for 20 years as President of Siddall, Matus & Coughter, Inc., one of the Southeast’s most respected advertising and public relations firms. During that time he developed a reputation as one of the advertising industry’s finest strategic communicators. His account experience ranges literally from aerospace to zoos, and his work has been honored by The American Marketing Association, The One Show, The Clios, Communications Arts, and the American Advertising Federation, among others.
Peter is a former winner of the Richmond Advertising Club’s Man of the Year Award, and the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award for contributions to the advertising industry.
In 1978 he started at a small agency in Atlanta that no longer exists. Then 2 years at a small agency in Chicago that no longer exists. Followed by 5 years at the then largest agency in the world, Young & Rubicam.
In 1984, he went to Zechman & Associates in Chicago, where, he says, “I finally started to do what I do.”
In 1986 he went to work at Wieden & Kennedy in Portland, where he “learned how high to aim.” In 1990 he started the Bomb Factory in Los Angeles, an ad agency/commercial production hybrid. He wrote and directed Van Halen’s “Right Now” music video— which won MTVVideo of theYear and Director of theYear in 1992—directed music videos for the Indigo Girls and commercials for Coke, Nike, Coors Light and others, and at the same time was Visiting Creative Director at Cole & Weber in Seattle as well as an instructor at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena from 1989 to 2000.
In 1995 he became Chief Creative Officer of N.W. Ayer in New York. They fired him in 1996.
A member of the Screen Actors Guild, he has done numerous voiceovers, including Nike, Subaru, and Cheese-It.
He is on the board of directors of two other ad schools: Creative Circus and the Wieden & Kennedy experimental school 12. He’s been teaching at the VCU Brandcenter in Richmond, Virginia, since 2001.
As a director, Wayne has won numerous national and international awards, including two Gold medals in the New York Film Festival and a Gold and Silver in the Houston Film Festival. His work has been recognized by the One Show, CA Annuals, Clio’s, Awards Magazine, Campaigns Magazine, Adweek, Creativity and the Canadian Marketing Awards.
Wayne has been represented by HSI, Populuxe Pictures, The Story Companies and Radke Films in Canada. He has freelanced with numerous production companies such as RSA, EUE Screen Gems and Tate and Partners to name a few. Having directed over 300 commercials, two shorts and one feature, Wayne now owns and operates his own production company, Mad Fish Films.
Prior to directing, Wayne spent several years on the agency side as both Art Director and Creative Director. Most of his career was spent at the Martin Agency but he also worked at Earle Palmer Brown, Tracey Locke, Hill Holliday and Westbrook Inc.
While on the agency side of advertising, he was twice named as one of the top ten creatives in America. As an art director, Wayne received over two hundred regional, national and international awards, including six Gold, three Silver, and three Bronze Pencils at The One Show.
Various other awards include the London International Awards, The L.A. Art Directors Awards, Clio’s and Andy’s. Wayne was one of the first Americans to have work recognized twice in the prestigious British D&AD Annuals. Several of his ads are archived in the Smithsonian Institution.
Wayne is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Advertising. He also has an Associates Degree in Fine Arts.
Berwyn has had an interesting journey so far. He's always been fascinated by how things work. Through the years, many items were taken apart and occasionally improved. He's definitely a tinkerer, but his tinkering is not limited to technology. Every board game had house rules. Every object had dual purpose. Questioning to learn the why was a constant and understanding the why became a necessity. Setting out on a path of art and self discovery brought new insights from within. From master bookmaker and printer to eastern and western paper maker, from the early days of computer programming to a focus on futurism, Berwyn is an amalgamation of very different parts into a somewhat coherent whole. He exists in the now but also looks to the future with AR eyes, constantly picturing how a new reality will affect the development of communication in our society. *
*Oh yea, He's also concepts, designs, has a micro targeting system built into his vision, 3-D rendering machine in his brain, a letterpress studio, the power to find 4+ leaf clovers, heal computers and people without needing to touch them and an overactive EM field. **
**Don't be surprised if he references something he's invented in his head as something that actually exists. The 2 realities he lives in often are hard to tell apart.
Don Just started at the top in the advertising business. In 1982, he went from bank president to CEO of The Martin Agency. At that point, Martin was a small $10 million shop in Richmond, Vir- ginia. Over the course of the next 10 years, Don guided Martin’s rapid growth to make it the most recognized and most talked about agency in the southeast with a full roster of national clients and a network of offices located throughout the country.
After negotiating the sale of The Martin Agency to a global marketing firm, Don turned his attention to two endeavors: owning and operating, along with his wife, a country inn and gourmet restaurant in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and consulting with agencies on their own growth strategies. Agencies throughout the country retained him to assist them in developing strategic business models in tune with the changing realities of the times.
In 1996, along with a group of former Martin Agency colleagues, he founded Just Partners, a strategic marketing and business consultancy, and in early 2001, Just Partners acquired WORK, Inc. and operated an adjunct agency business under that brand. Don sold his interest in WORK in 2004 and formed The Strategy Consulting Group LLC. The company offers consulting services in the areas of business planning, brand development, agency search and strategic facilitation for a range of regional and national clients. And, as an advertising executive who is a former bank president with an MBA in finance, Don provides a unique, multi- disciplined perspective.
Don has counseled scores of companies on the development of successful brand programs, including, Maserati, Bank One, Pet Inc., Borden’s, Wrangler, GM, Marriott, FMC Corporation, ITT, Ethyl, USWest and Cendant Corporation to name a few. At the VCU Brandcenter, Don heads the Creative Brand Management track, a curriculum designed to develop students for both client and agency positions responsible for developing brands to achieve their full potential in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace.
On on any given day you will find Andrew working with others to concept, design, prototype, and bring their original ideas to life. He helps our students make things: ads, interfaces, apps, wearables, robots, flying machines, ... things we haven't yet dreamed of.
As head of the Experience Design track, he helps shape the vision, curriculum and course content. As a professor, he teaches multiple courses focused on strategy, design and technology. Andrew joined the Brandcenter as an adjunct in 2009 where he played a large role in establishing the Creative Technology track (a precursor to the Experience Design track).
In his career, Andrew has worked for top agencies like Razorfish and The Martin Agency. He has also launched and helped grow multiple start-up companies. His brand credits include Barclays, Best Buy, Capella University, Capitol One, Harrahs Entertainment, Hawaiian Airlines, Holland America, Microsoft, Michelin – BFGoodrich, Verizon FiOS, Weight Watchers, among others.
His focus areas include brand strategy, user experience design, information architecture, interaction design, software, information systems and process design, technology and new media, applied research and analytics.
Michael got his start in advertising by bumping into a brand manager from Gillette at a cocktail party. Clichéd, but true. It was 1988, and Michael’s solution to the brand manager’s marketing problem was bought it on the spot.
Since then, Michael has created work for dozens of other big brands such as Career Builder, Cox Digital Cable, Dove, Lipton, Nintendo, and Sony. As both a senior copywriter and a creative director at the Martin Agency, he’s also produced work for Fairfield Inn, Geico, Lender’s Bagels, Network Solutions, Saab, and Walmart. Along the way, he’s racked up thousands of print ads, more than 300 radio spots and over 400 TV/video shoots with budgets ranging from $0 to $1.2 million.
A storyteller to his core, Michael is also a published poet and a produced screenwriter. His 100+ awards and recognitions include Communication Arts, Graphis, the New York Festival, Print Magazine, Shoot Magazine, Adweek, ADDYs, and various film festivals.
Michael has also taught freshman composition at VCU and was an adjunct professor at the VCU Brandcenter for three years before becoming a full-time professor in 2015. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Hampden-Sydney College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Kelly O'Keefe | Professor, Creative Brand Management
Kelly O’Keefe has been a marketing innovator for over 20 years. Prior to becoming a professor and managing director of the VCU Brandcenter, Kelly led O’Keefe Marketing, a pioneer in digital marketing and branding.
O’Keefe Marketing received over 100 major awards and its work is cited in numerous books and journals, including Business @ the Speed of Thought by Bill Gates. The agency was named Southeast Agency of the Year by Adweek Southeast, and Kelly was named Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year and Richmond Ad Person of the Year.
Kelly has been a strategic brand advisor to clients like GE, ESPN, Walmart, Hamilton Beach, Sesame Workshop, National Association of Broadcasters, UPS and The Home Depot. He has served as a founding board member of both the VCU Brandcenter and the Ad:Tech conference, and has been a board member of the Future of Advertising Project at Wharton, Southern Technology Council, FIRST Robotics Competition, September 11 Victims’ Relief Fund, Virginia Council of CEOs, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, St. Joseph’s Villa, Trinity Episcopal School and several corporations.
Kelly’s commentary on branding has been featured in media like CNBC, CNN/fn, Fox, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USAToday, BusinessWeek, Brandweek, Time Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Advertising Age, the Washington Post and the LA Times.
The VCU Brandcenter was named the number one graduate advertising program by Creativity magazine and became the first winner of the 4A’s O’Toole award for the Best Advertising School, a title it still holds.
A creative-driven, technology-loving strategist, Kevin has spent his career working with some of the biggest and most beloved brands in the world. Along the way, he’s worked at some of the world’s most recognized agencies, bringing to bear a strategic toolkit that ranges across brand, digital, communications, and user-experience strategies.
As planning director at the Martin Agency, Kevin drove strategy and thought leadership for clients such as Microsoft, Comcast, Benjamin Moore, Mentos, and PING.
Prior to that, Kevin worked on brand planning and digital strategy for brands like Apple, Inc., Cadillac, and The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation at award winning agencies such as Modernista!, Eleven Inc, and Mckinney.
Kevin proudly holds an M.S. in Strategic Planning from the VCU Brandcenter, which is where it all started.
With 30 years of film and video industry experience Scott has worked in almost every area of production and post-production, from live television to creative editorial for agency work (not to mention 6 “lost” years working in radio). In 2001 Scott was promoted to Vice President of Operations for Henninger Media Services, where he held a leadership role in the company’s five locations across the country.
He returned to Richmond and his creative roots in 2003 to start Greybox LLC, a true creative editorial house located in Shockoe Bottom. In the fall of 2006 Scott branched out again and created 1708 Inc./Editorial. This new company takes full advantage of emerging technologies for creative editorial and eliminates geography as a barrier to the creative process. Scott has won multiple national awards for his work and in 2011 was asked to be a judge for the AICP Awards. He teaches Visual Storytelling, Digital Suite and Digital Portfolio classes at the VCU Brandcenter and also continues to edit professionally for agency clients via 1708 Editorial.
Scott graduated from VCU in 1981 with a degree in Mass Communications.