Community

The founder of a leading Louisville-based advertising agency has died.

A company statement says Debbie Scoppechio passed away Thursday after an illness. She was 68.

In 1987, Scoppechio founded Creative Alliance, which grew from a three-person company to one of the country’s largest independent agencies. The company, now called Scoppechio, has more than 170 employees.

Scoppechio was also active in the city’s chamber of commerce, Greater Louisville, Inc. She previously served as chair of GLI. President & CEO Kent Oyler said Scoppechio continued to be active in GLI, most recently as a member of the Board of the Greater Louisville Foundation.

“This is a true loss for the Louisville business community,” Oyler said in a statement. “She will be greatly missed and her legacy will live on in the agency that now bears her name.”

In a statement Thursday morning, Mayor Greg Fischer called Scoppechio “a pioneering business executive and civic leader” who had a “profound influence” on the city.

“She embodied leadership — huge amounts of energy, enthusiasm, and she brought a can do spirit to every encounter,” said Fischer. “She built an incredible team resulting in a world-class company that generously gave to the community. She was a beautiful spirit and friend.”

Her agency says a celebration of Scoppechio’s life will be held soon.