LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- She started her career as a social worker. But after moving to Louisville from New York back in the 1980s she became an entrepreneur and is celebrating the silver anniversary of the company she founded.
"It feels just so fantastic to be here, but it has gone by so quickly," says Debbie Scoppechio, Chairman and CEO of Creative Alliance.
It has been 25 years since she started the advertising agency with just three employees. Today Creative Alliance is the largest ad agency in Kentucky, with 140 workers and $180 million in annual billings.
One of her first clients was Kentucky Fried Chicken.
"Usually, to get rid of me they gave me projects," she says, "and we delivered them more quickly than any New York firm could."
And that business relationship continues today. "To this day they are unbelievable partners," she adds.
So in an interview with WDRB News on Wednesday, she was asked the secret to a thriving business after a quarter-century.
"I am passionate about the advertising business," she answers. "I am a believer in the advertising business, and have just managed to find some great people to surround us with."
The Louisville Business Hall of Fame is largely a men's club but Scoppechio is one of just a few women members.
"That was a big honor for me because it has to do with business and community," she says. "I am a great believer in the community of Louisville and what it has done for me."
Scoppechio has served on numerous community boards including Greater Louisville, Inc., the regional chamber of commerce, and the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.
She has seen a great change in the opportunities for women in business compared to when she started, but believes there is still room for improvement.
It might surprise those who know her that Scoppechio, a breast cancer survivor, is thinking about slowing down a bit although the word retirement is not in her vocabulary.
"Even when I semi-retire I will remain chairman of the board -- it would be semi," she says with a smile.
A street party along Jefferson Street will mark the 25th anniversary Thursday evening.
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