RICHMOND, Va. (June 4, 2012) – Kelly O’Keefe, professor and former managing director at the acclaimed Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter and CEO of O’Keefe Brands, has joined CRT/tanaka as chief creative officer in the agency’s Richmond office.
In his new role, O’Keefe will lead the agency’s branding capabilities, as well as oversee the award-winning agency’s Interactive and Creative Design Practice. His company, O’Keefe Brands, also has been folded into CRT/tanaka. Patrice Tanaka, the agency’s other chief creative officer, will continue to lead agency promotion and new business development efforts from the agency’s New York office.
“CRT/tanaka hoped to attract someone with a strong national branding reputation, a keen understanding of digital and interactive applications and a strong track record of strategic and creative work,” said Mark Raper, chairman and CEO of CRT/tanaka. “Kelly is a perfect fit. His leadership will be a great addition as we expand nationally and internationally.”
O’Keefe was a founding board member of the VCU Brandcenter, named the #1 graduate advertising program in the country by Creativity magazine and the first winner of the 4A’s O’Toole award for the Best Advertising School. In addition to helping establish the VCU Brandcenter, O’Keefe was a founding board member of the Virginia Council of CEO’s and the ad:tech conference.
While working for CRT/tanaka, O’Keefe will continue to teach at the Brandcenter.
He is currently a board member of the Future of Advertising Project at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, the Richmond Future Think Tank, Maymont and Make-A-Wish Virginia. He is a past board member of the September 11 Victims Relief Fund, the FIRST Robotics Regional Competition, the Southern Technology Council, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond and several corporations.
O’Keefe has been a keynote speaker at high-profile branding and business conferences, and his commentary has been featured by CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, PBS, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Time magazine, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. O’Keefe plans to publish a textbook about branding later this year.
CRT/tanaka is an award-winning public relations and marketing firm known for its whatcanbeSM workplace culture and approach to business. Headquartered in Richmond, Va. and New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Norfolk, Va., CRT/tanaka features four integrated specialties –Food/Beverage/Nutrition, Health/Healthy Lifestyles, Consumer and Corporate/B2B. The agency has been recognized with more than 325 national and regional awards for its strategic counsel, creativity, workplace culture and community service. Clients include Air New Zealand, Barnes & Noble College, BISSELL Homecare Inc., Cambria Suites (Choice Hotels International), Charles Schwab & Co., Council of Better Business Bureaus, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, Girl Scouts of the USA, Network Solutions, Sprint Nextel and Wines from Rioja (Spain). More information about CRT/tanaka is available at www.crt-tanaka.com.