Courtesy of Scoppechio

Debbie Scoppechio, founder and chair of the advertising firm Scoppechio — formerly Creative Alliance — has died after an illness, according to a press release issued by the firm. She was 68.

Creative Alliance was founded in 1987. In 2014, CEO Jerry Preyss announced the name change to honor its founder. The firm has 170 employees and is the largest in Kentucky. The agency says that billings exceed $200 million, with prominent clients including Kentucky Tourism, KFC, GE Appliances and Louisville International Airport.

This year, Scoppechio announced a move from the corner of Jefferson and Fifth to two floors of 400 West Market (formerly the Aegon Center) just up the block.

According to the release, Scoppechio’s career achievements earned her many honors including: Doctor’s Ball Community Leader of the Year award; Top Kentucky Woman Business Owner of the Year; only the second woman ever to be inducted into the Kentucky Business Hall of Fame; the Bittners Award for Historic Preservation by Whitehall House and Gardens; Business Leader of the Year by Business First; Heart of the Community Award by Women 4 Women; and an Entrepreneurial Excellence award from Working Woman magazine.

The release goes on to say: “Debbie served as inspiration to all who met her. Her passion and fierce dedication to service will never be forgotten. Scoppechio sends thoughts to her dedicated and loving husband, Rick Duffy, who was her guiding light.”

The firm says a celebration honoring her memory will be announced soon.

In a statement, Kent Oyler, president and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., said: “Debbie Scoppechio was an innovative entrepreneur, a previous GLI board chair, and continued to be an active, engaged top investor with GLI.  She most recently served on the board of the Greater Louisville Foundation.  This is a true loss for the Louisville business community.  She will be greatly missed and her legacy will live on in the agency that now bears her name.”

This article has been updated.