Principal, Valerie Graves Creative
Valerie Graves, founder of Valerie Graves Creative and winner of the 2007 ADCOLOR LEGEND AWARD, has more than 25 years of experience developing campaigns for African American, urban, female and general market consumers. Valerie’s responsibilities as Chief Creative Officer of major advertising agencies included serving on executive strategic teams and providing overall direction of the agencies’ award-winning creative product for Fortune 500 corporations in wide-ranging categories.
Most recently, Valerie served as Chief Creative Officer of Vigilante, the New York urban subsidiary of Leo Burnett Advertising. Previously, in a two-stint total of 14 years with New York’s UniWorld Group, Valerie progressed from Vice President, Associate Creative Director to Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer. She created award-winning campaigns for Ford Motor Company, Lincoln, AT&T, Kraft, Microsoft, Pepsi and Burger King Corporation.
From 1995-1997, she was Senior Vice President, Corporate Creative Services at Motown Records, where she developed new business and corporate imagery campaigns. Campaigns created under Valerie’s leadership have dominated the Association of National Advertisers Multicultural Excellence Awards, winning the African American category from 2001-2003. Ms. Graves' individual awards include honors from the Art Director's Club of New York, the Boston Ad Club and the Maine Ad Club. She is the recipient of a Creativity Magazine Award, the Chicago Radio Festival Award and is a 15-time winner of the Creative Excellence to Black Audiences (CEBA) Award and 11-time winner of the Davey Award (for small agencies.) Advertising Age also has honored Valerie as one of the 100 Best and Brightest.
Ms. Graves began her career as a copywriter at the D'Arcy MacManus and Masius, BBDO and Ross Roy communications agencies in Detroit, and moved to the East Coast to work at the J. Walter Thompson and Kenyon & Eckhardt agencies. As a creative consultant, Ms. Graves served on the national advertising team of the Clinton/Gore '92 campaign
Valerie serves on the prestigious Creative Review Committee of The Partnership for a Drug-Free America and on the Campaigns Review Committee of The Advertising Council. She sits on the Board of Directors of
The Advertising Club of New York and chairs its Diversity Committee.
Ms. Graves attended Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, participated in a community and student theater program at Harvard University and studied screenwriting, directing and film production at New York University.