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VCU Professor Peyton Rowe Named CreateAthon Executive Director

CreateAthon, one of the marketing industry's leading pro bono programs, has named Peyton Rowe, an associate professor of advertising in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences' Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture, as executive director. The organization also formed a charter board of directors, which includes VCU Vice Provost of Community Engagement Catherine Howard.

Founded by Riggs Partners in Columbia, South Carolina in 1997, CreateAthon is a 24-hour pro bono marathon in which marketing agencies, universities, corporations and professional clubs donate their time and talent by working for 24 hours straight to develop marketing strategies and creative materials for nonprofit organizations in their communities. CreateAthon partners help nonprofits meet specific marketing objectives by developing branding initiatives; marketing, public relations and fundraising plans; creative materials in print, digital, and broadcast formats and more.

Since its founding, CreateAthon has grown from a single-market event in Columbia, SC to a 501(c)(3) organization based in Richmond, VA. Rowe was instrumental in bringing the event to Richmond. Now in its eighth year at VCU, 68 nonprofit organizations have benefited from VCU's CreateAthon, and in total, the work is worth more than an estimated $1.3 million in pro bono services. To date, 469 volunteers have taken part in the event.

CreateAthon recently received a $25,000 grant from VCU's Quest Innovation Fund to support its plans to expand and to fund internships for VCU students. The event has also been an integral component for many Service-Learning courses.

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