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WVU School of Journalism distinguished alum to speak to classes today

Ray Gillette

A West Virginia University Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism (SOJ) 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award winner will speak to two classes about advertising Thursday, Sept. 20.

Ray Gillette, president of the independent advertising agency Downtown Partners Chicago, will present a lecture titled “So, You Want to be in Advertising” to an SOJ advertising copywriting class and an advertising and society class.

A 1971 SOJ graduate, Gillette began his advertising career as an account manager at McDonald & Little Advertising in Atlanta, Ga., after serving two years in the U.S. Army.

He joined DDB Chicago in 1978 and infused a results-oriented vision to all DDB Chicago teams. He worked on DDB’s largest accounts, ranging from Busch Beer and State Farm to Discover Card and Qwest Communications.

In addition, Gillette was a visionary in integrated marketing, bringing its benefits to DDB clients long before it became standard industry practice. He was appointed President of DDB Chicago, DDBWorldwide’s largest office, in 2000.

In 2004, to take advantage of Gillette’s entrepreneurial spirit and love of building new business, Gillette was named president of Downtown Partners, an independent agency owned by Omnicom.

Gillette serves on the Board of StreetWise – a newspaper for the homeless – and the SOJ’s Visiting Committee. He is a member of the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and a life member of Trout Unlimited.