Critics thought she was crazy, Scoppechio said, when she moved here from her native New York in the 1980s and started Creative Alliance. But she told a group of small business owners Wednesday that she never wavered as she led the firm through some lean times, transforming it into an agency with $185 million in billings and a client list that has included Yum Brands Inc., Humana Inc. and Churchill Downs Inc.
Building Creative Alliance, particularly in the early days, required lots of long hours and late nights, Scoppechio said. But a commitment to service got the young firm the attention that it needed.
“We never say no,” Scoppechio explained. “We don’t say no to clients.”
Scoppechio talked about building her company, changes in the advertising industry and her courageous battle with cancer during an event this week at iHub, a shared workspace for start-up companies in downtown Louisville.
The iHub is operated by Nucleus: Kentucky’s Innovation Center. Nucleus is the development arm of the University of Louisville Foundation Inc.
Scoppechio’s talk was part of the Entrepreneurs Meet Innovators series through which Nucleus is connecting start-up business owners with corporate leaders. The hour-long discussion with Scoppechio was recorded by KET and will be broadcast at a later time.
Scoppechio, a former member of both the University of Louisville’s board of trustees and board of overseers, discussed how much she loves her work, her employees and her adopted hometown. She encouraged her audience to pursue things that they love.
“Be passionate,” she said. “Love what you do. Remember integrity above anything else.”
Scoppechio is just the second woman ever inducted into the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame, but she spent much of her time Wednesday commending her employees for continuing to drive Creative Alliance’s growth – especially when she was sick. Newer and smarter workers, she said, have helped the agency to thrive during the digital age. And they bring her a lot of personal joy.
“They make me healthy and whole,” Scoppechio said.