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Louisville’s advertising firm Creative Alliance has officially changed its name to Scoppechio in honor of namesake founder Debbie Scoppechio. The agency also has launched a new $10,000 annual scholarship for female students at the University of Louisville.

The news was announced this morning at 21C Museum, with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer in attendance — wearing an orange necktie, the official color of the new firm.

The firm also debuted a new mantra: rise above. Which gives the agency just a touch of old school punk rock flair. A new website also launched the same day.

Creative Alliance began 25 years ago and has grown into the largest advertising firm in Kentucky. It has 170 employees and bookings approaching $200 million.

The announcements were made by CEO Jerry Preyss. He said the name change idea was his, not Debbie Scoppechio’s, and is meant to signal the firm is moving in a new direction. Also, it embeds the founder’s name in the firm’s title–which is commonplace in the ad game–and the URL was available.

“Instead of creating ads, we think in terms of customer experiences on behalf of our clients,” he said. Some of these services include digital communications for clients, social media, and marketing.

He said the name Scoppechio would reflect the roots of the agency and its value-added culture.

One teased announcement was that the firm will have what Preyss called “meaningful acquisitions” to announce before the end of the year, but no additional details were provided.

Scoppechio herself sat a bit to the side of the presentation, clad in bright orange and making comparatively few comments.

The announced scholarship is called the Scoppechio Rise Above Scholarship Award, given to a female business student entering her first year at the MBA program at the University of Louisville’s College of Business.

Debbie Scoppechio, and James Ramsay
Debbie Scoppechio and U of L president James Ramsay

James Ramsay, president of U of L, received the oversized ceremonial check.

As for “rise above,” Preyss said it represents that big ideas can win, even with smaller budgets.

Mayor Fischer also took the podium to make a few comments. “The is just another classy move by the Scoppechio team, well done.”

These twin announcements were certainly well planned by the Scoppechio agency. Press materials included branded tote bags, T-shirts, and thumb drives with agency-approved images.

The announcement prompted questions about whether Scoppechio is retiring. She answered she is not. As for the name change, she said she initially was reticent and embarrassed about it, but changed her mind. “Maybe it’s not easy to spell,” she said, “but it’s not easy to forget.”

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David Serchuk
David Serchuk is a staff writer at Insider Louisville. He is a former editor at Forbes.com, and an ex-reporter at Forbes magazine. He's written for NPR, CNBC.com, New York, Pittsburgh, Louisville and other publications named for places. He enjoys writing about business, music and other things as well.