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Spurrier Media Group Awards $5,000 Scholarship to VCU Brandcenter Student – Firm has contributed $30,000 for Brandcenter scholarships since 2008

Team Photo Bilal 2Richmond, Va. (Nov. 11, 2013) – Bilal Khan, a second-year student at the VCU Brandcenter, is the 2013 recipient of a $5,000 annual scholarship from Spurrier Media Group (SMG), a creative media shop with offices in the Richmond and Metro DC markets. Since 2008, SMG has presented a total of $30,000 to deserving Brandcenter students who intend to pursue a career in the advertising field, which includes media planning, buying and placement of ad messages.

A native of Pakistan with an undergraduate degree in economics and politics, Khan was a successful singer/songwriter who achieved notoriety in his country for his original songs recorded for a prestigious music program, Coke Studio. He performed on tour in Pakistan, appearing in ads and on billboards. His fan page on Facebook has about 800,000 followers.

However, his passion for creative pursuits included a strong interest in marketing and advertising. Prior to his rise to fame as a musician, he worked for six months at a multinational advertising firm, which fueled his desire for more knowledge about a career in this industry. Ultimately, a Google search of top advertising schools in the U.S. led him to Richmond and the VCU Brandcenter for a master’s degree.

“I always want to keep improving myself and I love branding,” he said. “The decision to continue my education in the U.S. at the Brandcenter was the best decision I ever made. As a foreign student, I’m not eligible for any loans, so winning the Spurrier Media Group scholarship enables me to meet my financial obligations. I’m so thankful for this opportunity. It helps so much and really means a lot to me.”

He praised the Brandcenter faculty for challenging students to dig deep into the research that provides the foundation for every project. “There’s a strong emphasis on attention to detail,” said Khan. “Another skill that I’m learning is how to take something complicated and simplify it into a ten-minute presentation that everyone can understand. Whether I work for a company or decide to be entrepreneurial, I’ll be well-prepared, thanks to the Brandcenter.”

“We established this scholarship to support the rising stars in our industry,” said Donna Spurrier, president of Spurrier Media Group and a guest speaker in some Brandcenter classes. “It’s so rewarding to help talented students like Bilal get a world-class education at the VCU Brandcenter. He’s part of the next generation of advertising professionals and we know that he is destined for success.”

“The annual $5,000 scholarship from Spurrier Media Group demonstrates a level of support that is unprecedented for a small business in the advertising and media industry,” said Caley Cantrell, a professor at the VCU Brandcenter.

Helayne Spivak, director of the VCU Brandcenter, added, “Donna Spurrier takes a personal interest in the scholarship winners and she hosts a reception in their honor at her company. These students know that she will be following their careers in the advertising profession.”

Khan’s Visa will allow him to work in the USA for a year following graduation. “I’ll be able to get valuable work experience for my resume before returning to Pakistan,” he said. And who knows—perhaps he’ll compose an award-winning song about his experiences in RVA at the VCU Brandcenter!

About Spurrier Media Group:
Spurrier Media Group is a strategic media planning and buying agency that collaborates with global, national and regional clients to research, create and launch customized media campaigns that capture audiences and achieve exceptional results. SMG is skilled at developing a strategic business approach to its clients’ marketing needs and then formulating recommendations on what to communicate, where to communicate and how to communicate with target audiences in order to garner maximum visibility, awareness, consideration and response.

Managing multi-million dollar campaigns from its headquarters in Richmond, Va., Spurrier Media Group has extensive experience planning and buying all forms of online and offline media – including television, cable, radio, newsprint, magazine, business-to-business publications, social media, outdoor, cinema, environmentally-targeted media, digital and mobile. For more information, visit www.spurriermediagroup.com.

Speakers Announced for Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit

The 2013 Washington, DC Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit is scheduled for April 19 at the Gannet/USA TODAY headquarters in McLean, VA. With just under one month to go the list of speakers for the one-day event, which will focus on emerging technologies and trends in marketing communications, keeps growing.

So far, 45 speakers have been lined-up for sessions including: New Developments in Mobile Marketing, Public Relations in a Social World, Marketing & Sales: How to Integrate them Effectively, SEO in 2013: Search in a Social World, Federal Marketing and Startup Marketing: Working with a Lean Budget.

The event will also feature two keynote sessions and Joe Rospars, Founding Partner and Creative Director of Blue State Digital will lead one of those sessions. In his role at Blue State Digital Joe is responsible for overseeing all strategy agency engagements. He previously served as Chief Digital Strategist for the Obama for America campaign where he was Barrack Obama’s principal digital strategist and adviser, overseeing the digital integration of the unprecedented fundraising, communications and grassroots mobilization effort.

Joe has also been named to the Advertising Age “Digital A-List,” and Rolling Stone included him among “100 People Who Are Changing America.”

Other speakers include: Amena Ali, CMO, Earth Networks – WeatherBug; Peter Cherukuri, SVP, Advertising & Business Development, POLITICO; Kevin Dando, Director, Digital Marketing and Communications, PBS; and Rob Pegararo, Technology Columnist.

For a full list of speakers and panels, and to register, visit the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit website. Speakers are also being revealed via Twitter @mamsummit and Facebook leading up to the event.

James River Writers

James River Writers seeks Nominations for 2013 Emyl Jenkins Award

The award recognizes a person or group that inspires readers and writers in central VA.

Richmond, VA, February 14, 2013—James River Writers (JRW), the largest literary arts organization in the State, honors the memory of Emyl Jenkins, who died in 2010, with an annual award to an organization or person who embodies James River Writers’ mission of building community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.

“Emyl was an advocate for writers and their readers,” said Maya Smart, former board chair of JRW. “She had a knack for connecting people and organizations, and she shared her time and expertise with everyone she encountered.”

Virginia Pye, novelist and long-time JRW supporter, said, “She wanted us all to shine as she did: with success in publishing and happiness in our lives.”

Award Guidelines:

Who may be nominated: Any Virginia individual or organization that, in the same spirit as Emyl Jenkins, builds community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.
Procedure: Entry must explain in no more than 500 words how the nominee makes Virginia a better place for writers. Entry must include contact information (e-mail and phone) for the nominator and two others who can further illuminate the nominee’s qualifications. Send nominations to info@jamesriverwriters.org or James River Writers, 320 Hull St., #136, Richmond, VA 23224. No entry fee. Deadline for entries is March 31, 2013. Members of the JRW board of directors and the JRW advisory board are not eligible.
Judging: A panel of judges, chosen from the JRW board of directors and membership to represent different levels of writing experience, will determine which nominee best matches Emyl Jenkins’ efforts to build community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia.
Announcement of winner: In addition to a gift reflecting Emyl Jenkins’ style, the winner will receive a free admission to JRW’s nationally-recognized annual writers’ conference. The winner and a guest will be invited to join JRW at its spring fundraiser on June 6, 2013, where the award will be presented.

Questions? Call (804) 433-3790 or e-mail info@jamesriverwriters.org

About James River Writers: James River Writers builds community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia. A nonprofit organization, JRW serves aspiring and professional writers and passionate readers in all genres through a variety of programs, services and events.

About 2012 Emyl Jenkins Award Winners: Poetry advocate Ed Lull and the Virginia Screenwriters’ Forum won the second annual Emyl Jenkins Award in 2012. A driving force in the state’s poetry world, Lull served four terms as president of the Poetry Society of Virginia, as well as six terms as the organization’s executive director. His involvement has been notable for outreach and inclusion of those with a passion for poetry. The Virginia Screenwriters’ Forum has a long history of helping those putting pen to paper in the state. For more than 20 years, VSF has sought to bring writers together to share their love and knowledge of screenwriting by offering support and constructive feedback to members’ scripts in progress. Beyond regular critique sessions, the VSF has sponsored periodic workshops and hosted speakers from the film industry.

Jean Anderson, Richmond liaison for National Novel Writing Month, and WriterHouse, a non-profit writers’ community in Charlottesville, won the first James River Writers Emyl Jenkins Award in 2011.

James River Writers

James River Writers announces the February 2013 Writing Show // Beyond Hollywood:

Local and Indie Filmmakers Talk About Their Craft
Richmond, VA. February 8, 2013- James River Writers, the largest literary arts organization in Virginia, presents a new set of writing and publishing professionals on a panel almost every month in a popular program called The Writing Show. On February 28, James River Writers is partnering with the Richmond International Film Festival to offer an evening with screenwriters, directors and producers.

Movie lovers, aspiring screenwriters, and writers looking to recycle their unpublished novel will enjoy an opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn about the business and craft of getting a script produced, even when you don’t live in Hollywood.

The panel includes filmmakers Imogene Drummond, Michael Gibrall, Brent Martz, Scott Mathias and Ron Newcomb. Julie Geen, local writer and chair of JRW’s Writing Show, will be moderating. Logistics about the February Writing Show are as follows:

Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: The Pavilion Room // The Children’s Museum of Richmond // 2626 West Broad Street,Richmond, VA 23220
Fees: $10 in advance, www.jamesriverwriters.org // $12 at the door // $5 students

Panelist bios are as follows:

Imogene Drummond, artist, writer, filmmaker, paints and makes art films—or visual poems—about creativity. She adapted her Divine Sparks poem into Divine Sparks award-winning film (2013). Currently, she’s developing Divine Sparks Arts, Creativity & Literacy Guide. Her article on cultural transformation “Options for the Future” was the closing piece in the thought-provoking anthology The Rule of Mars: Readings on the Origins, History and Impact of Patriarchy (2006) endorsed by Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist and author Jared Diamond. www.idrummond.com

Michael Gibrall is a two-time Emmy Award winner, once for his work on the NFL Draft for ESPN, and once directing a local newscast. He has written several feature and short screenplays since 2010 in various genres, won eight screenplay awards, and has been nominated six times at film festivals and competitions across the country. Michael wrote, produced and directed the children’s television pilot, “The Learning Curves,” which was shot in Richmond. www.oneofeachproductions.com

Brent Martz, producer of Not Today, is the creative ministries pastor at Church in Yorba Linda, Calif., and no stranger to large-scale entertainment with purpose. Brent co-wrote, directed and produced an interactive musical drama, with a cast and crew of more than 200 members, based on the last week in the life of Christ, which ran for three years and drew more than 10,000 viewers. Outside of Not Today, Brent has also produced four award-winning films, including Day of Reckoning and Deletes. www.nottodaythemovie.com

Scott Mathias has written and co-written several full-length films, including Opening Act Production’s projects, The Fellows Hip: Rise of the Gamers and Eulogy for a Stranger and Fear. He is currently working on a graphic novel and has other projects he is working to publish. Scott has been a journalist and business writer for over 20 years, writing about everything from art to politics to health. He is a communications graduate of Virginia Tech and Wheaton College. openingactproductions.com

Ron Newcomb is a writer, producer and director. He has been a script and production consultant on several projects. He has been a training instructor in several areas of filmmaking. Ron is an alumnus of the distinguished Act One Writing Program in 2004 and the Dov S-Siemens Film School in 2008. He has been involved in several other film events and workshops throughout the DC area. He has worked on features and many short films. www.thefellowshipmovie.com

About James River Writers: James River Writers (JRW) is a non-profit organization of over 300 members that builds community by connecting and inspiring writers and readers in central Virginia. JRW offers an annual writers’ conference, regular panels at The Writing Show, literacy improvement programs for young writers, and writing awards and contests. Since its founding in 2003 JRW has played a key role in expanding the region’s life-long literacy and in adding a vital dimension to Richmond, VA’s cultural offerings. JamesRiverWriters.org

About Richmond International Film Festival: The Richmond International Film Festival (RIFF) is an inclusive and spirited festival designed to honor true film artists. Festival week features four days of film screenings of all genres and niches (features & shorts). From award winning to emerging artists, filmmakers will travel to Richmond for the premiere of their film and compete for top awards with the Grand Jury, as well as international screenwriters. Through its film productions, shot predominantly in Virginia each winter, the festival also provides an additional collaborative platform between local filmmakers and other filmmakers from across the country. www.themixshorts.com

About The Writing Show: The Writing Show, held the last Thursday of almost every month, features panels of authors, editors, agents, librarians, booksellers, illustrators and other literary professionals. Each show includes a moderator whose expertise is tied to the show’s topic. Previous topics have included Trends in Publishing, Memoir, Plot Structure, and Writing for Children, to name a few. The Writing Show routinely draws nearly 100 attendees. In 2012, nearly 1,000 people were served by the series.

Sponsored By:

Art Works
Richmond Times Dispatch
Children's Museum