VCU Brandcenter adds O’Keefe to Leadership Team
University Public Affairs
The Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter, a groundbreaking graduate marketing communications and advertising program, is announcing the expansion of its leadership team, naming branding innovator Kelly O’Keefe to the school’s managing director post starting July 1.
O’Keefe, who has served as a professor and director of the school’s executive education program since 2006, will work closely with Rick Boyko, director of the VCU Brandcenter. Boyko said the addition of O’Keefe to a management position demonstrates the robust growth and changes the school has experienced in recent years.
“Over the past five years, we’ve grown our enrollment, added faculty, added two degree tracks, evolved the curriculum, launched an executive education program, moved into a new building, changed the school’s name and expanded our industry outreach,” Boyko said. “It is necessary that we fortify our leadership team to help stay in front of the opportunities and changes.”
O’Keefe will manage day-to-day operations at the VCU Brandcenter in his new role, allowing Boyko to focus more of his time on industry outreach, development and recruitment. O’Keefe is one of the VCU Brandcenter’s most longstanding supporters, having joined the Board of Directors of the VCU Adcenter when it was launched in 1996 and helping to develop the school’s curriculum. (The school changed its name to VCU Brandcenter in 2008.)
O’Keefe is a highly regarded new media and branding entrepreneur who has served as president of O’Keefe Brands, a brand strategy firm that has worked with such clients as ESPN, Hamilton Beach, Sesame Street and the National Association of Broadcasters. A previous firm, O’Keefe Marketing, was named AdWeek’s Agency of the Year in 1996 for its pioneering new media efforts. O’Keefe has won more than 100 awards as a creative director and been named Virginia Entrepreneur of the Year and Richmond Ad Club’s Person of the Year. He is a frequent commentator in national media on branding and marketing trends.
“Kelly O’Keefe’s industry experience and keen dedication to the VCU Brandcenter and its mission make him an ideal addition to the program’s leadership,” said VCU President Eugene Trani, Ph.D. “Rick Boyko has established that the VCU Brandcenter will set the pace for how advertising is taught in higher education, and Kelly’s new role will help ensure its continued development.”
- About the VCU Brandcenter
Started in 1996 as the VCU Adcenter, the VCU Brandcenter is the first graduate program in advertising to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tracks with a creative program for art directors and copywriters in a business setting. It was formed to develop the skills of talented postgraduates, enabling them to enter the business world with a highly competitive portfolio of collaborative thinking. The VCU Brandcenter is the graduate advertising and branding program for the School of Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. The program offers five tracks: art direction, copywriting, creative brand management, creative technology and communication strategy. VCU Brandcenter students earn a Master of Science degree in mass communications with a concentration in advertising. It is a two-year, full-time program that begins each fall. For more information, visit www.brandcenter.vcu.edu. For more information about VCU, visit www.vcu.edu.
- About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 223 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-eight of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.