This is a blog post about the ad school scholarship we’ve created. But, more importantly, it’s about the history of our agency and how we’re addressing the need for more diverse talent in our industry.
My parents, Jim and Nechie Hall, founded this agency on April Fool’s Day (April 1) of 1970. Neither Jim nor Nechie were likely candidates for the advertising profession, much less for starting an agency.
Jim, the son of a white woman and a Cherokee man, was orphaned when he was very young and grew up in the foster care system. At 18, he joined the United States Air Force as a photographer/videographer. He served in Vietnam, and was wounded and awarded a Purple Heart for his actions, then went on to be a witness to many remarkable historical events as part of the Air Force film crew.
Nechie, the oldest child in a large, boisterous family of Italian immigrants, grew up in rural Colorado. She studied fine arts in college and had planned to be an art teacher. Seeing the opportunity for a marketing job in Colorado Springs, she went to the library and read everything she could about the discipline, and dove in.
The rest is history? Well, not exactly. At least not of the predictable kind.
My parents were confident in their ability to create a new and different type of advertising agency – one that celebrated typical and atypical talent. They welcomed the most highly qualified, most interesting thinkers, regardless of gender, race, background or industry-specific experience. And, bucking both the decade and the industry, the agency had a gender-neutral pay policy from day one.
I know, from my parents as individuals and from the agency they created, that regardless of your past, there is a path to your future, especially when others believe in you too. It is our founders’ legacy that inspired us to establish the Jim and Nechie Hall Scholarship to Denver Ad School (DAD). It’s a program that’s been many months in the making, and we are thrilled to be able to share it with the world now.
With this ad school scholarship, we want to provide an opportunity for someone from any background to enter this industry and thrive. We don’t want debt, fear of not fitting in, or lack of industry experience to hold anyone back from considering or pursuing this education.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with Nechie and DAD leaders to help select the student who receives the ad school scholarship. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Logo design by DAD student Andrew Brown.
Now in our 50th year of business, Vladimir Jones is Colorado’s original independent, integrated advertising agency, with offices in Denver and Colorado Springs. We believe in brilliant brands and love making the world love them as much as we do.