Icons & Rock Stars – Valerie Graves

Valerie Graves recipient of the 2007 ADCOLOR “LEGEND” AWARD, has more than 25 years of experience as a Creative Director of award-.winning campaigns and events for African American, urban, female and general market audiences.

From 2005-20010, Valerie served as Chief Creative Officer of Vigilante, the New York urban subsidiary of Leo Burnett Advertising. Previously, Valerie was Senior Vice President, Chief Creative Officer Of UniWorld Group (UWG) in New York. Ms Graves provided overall direction of the agencies’ award-winning creative product for Fortune 500 corporations ranging from General Motors and Ford Motor Company to Bank of America, AT&T, Burger King, Pepsi and many other blue chip brands.

Today, Valerie Graves sits on the steering committee of i’mPART, the landmark diversity initiative of The Advertising Club of New York, where she served on the Board of Directors for 16 years and chaired its Diversity Committee. Ms Graves is a creative consultant to The National Basketball Association and provides creative oversight to The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of Pennoni Honors College of Drexel University. She has recently been a featured speaker at The 3% Conference, The IPG Summit on Black Women in Advertising and Marketing, The Advertising Club of New York 2017 Masterclass and the Omnicom Media International Women’s Day, as well as appearing on panels at Advertising Week New York 2016 and 2017.

Valerie holds awards from The Association of National Advertisers, (2001, 2002,2003) The Art Directors Club of New York, The Boston Ad Club, The Maine Ad Club, The Public Service Advertising Awards, and is a 15-time winner of the famed CEBA (Creative Excellence to Black Audiences) award. In 2017, she won the African American Literary Award for “Pressure Makes Diamonds…” a memoir of her life and career in advertising.

From 1995-1997, Ms Graves was Senior Vice President, Corporate Creative Services at Motown Records. As a creative consultant, Ms. Graves served on the national advertising team of President Bill Clinton’s campaign.

Ms. Graves attended began her advertising career at multinational agencies such as BBDO and JWT.

Valerie resides in Harlem, New York City.