Virginia Commonwealth University has named a Richmond native with more than 25 years of experience at top advertising agencies as the executive director of the VCU Brandcenter. Vann Graves, chief creative officer at J. Walter Thompson Atlanta, will start Aug. 10 at the highly-touted Brandcenter, which offers a graduate-level program in advertising. An Army veteran who served in Iraq, Graves began his career at New York-based agency BBDO. A Fulbright scholar, he has won a number of industry honors, including Cannes Lions, London International Advertising Awards and The One Show.

Global Association Management company Kellen, has launched SRA Communications, an integrated communications marketing firm, within its U.S.  offices located in New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C.  Expanded services include public relations, digital communications strategy, crisis communications & issues management, employee communications, marketing research, online presence management, creative & advertising, and government & public affairs. According to the Holmes Report, Kellen will also broaden its client base by adding B2B, Consumer and professional services sectors to its trade association base.

Bluetext, a DC based digital marketing agency, recently worked with GE, as it spun off its Rugged Embed Systems to equity firm Veritas launching a new company called Abaco Systems. According to Bluetext, “the new company had less than a month to develop its new name, logo, color and style–literally from scratch. Once the name Abaco Systems was selected, the Bluetext team worked around the clock to create a unique new brand.”

Ovation PR and Advertising LLC., a public relations and advertising company servicing the DC, MD, CA regions, hired Bryce Donahue onboard as its new business development manager and firm accountant. Donahue serves as Ovation’s lead for the development of new client relationships and markets. Previously, Donahue was the sales associate for Aptive Environmental (Las Vegas, Nevada).

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