Teresa Coles to Chair CreateAthon National Board of Directors
24-Hour Pro Bono Marathon Transitions Into Nonprofit Organization
Columbia, SC (November 21, 2014) – CreateAthon, one of the marketing industry’s leading pro bono programs, announces that the organization’s founder, Teresa Coles of Riggs Partners in Columbia, will serve as the chair of the newly formed CreateAthon National Board of Directors. Peyton Rowe, associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, has been named CreateAthon’s first executive director.
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 that has attracted more than 99 marketing agencies, universities, corporations and professional clubs as official CreateAthon partners. Cumulatively, CreateAthon has helped more than 1,600 nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom by delivering approximately 3,500 pro bono marketing projects with a market value of $16.7 million.
“As CreateAthon has grown over the past 17 years, it was important to us to find a way to nurture the movement and move it beyond the walls of our agency,” said Coles. “Our goal in developing the national board was to assemble a group that shares the passion and enthusiasm for CreateAthon that all CreateAthon partners have; sees its potential to move more people toward pro bono marketing services; and possesses the mix of talent needed to help evolve CreateAthon from a volunteer-led project to a sustainable nonprofit organization.”
Executive Director Peyton Rowe has been involved with CreateAthon for ten years. In 2004, while teaching at the University of South Carolina, she volunteered with the Riggs Partners CreateAthon, and three years later launched an academic model of the program called CreateAthon on Campus that began at Virginia Commonwealth University and has now expanded to a dozen other colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to serving as CreateAthon’s Executive Director, Rowe is an associate professor of design and creative advertising at VCU.
Board Chair and CreateAthon founder Teresa Coles is a senior partner at Riggs Partners in Columbia, South Carolina. She has coached corporate social responsibility and marketing professionals from leading corporations on how their organizations can embrace the marathon model as an engaging employee/community service initiative. As a charter pledge company of A Billion + Change, Riggs Partners has been an active voice in encouraging small businesses to create or expand skills-based, pro bono service programs. Coles currently serves as a member of the Small Business Advisory Group for A Billion + Change and as a member of the Leadership Faculty for the Corporate Institute at the Points of Light Foundation.
Members of the CreateAthon board include:
- June Bradham, CFRE, president and founder of Corporate DevelopMint, a fundraising consulting firm in Charleston, SC
- Erin Dieterich, Director of Corporate Citizenship at NetSuite in San Mateo, CA
- Cathy Howard, Vice Provost of the Division of Community Engagement at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA
- Matthew Manos, founder of verynice, a global design and innovation consultancy in Los Angeles, CA
- Armin Piálek, Project Manager at the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt in Munich, Germany
- Rebecca Wang, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Hewlett-Packard in Palo Alto, CA