Derrick J. Hollie '89 - 2007 Award of Honor

It was his passion for football that brought Derrick J. Hollie to ETSU in 1985. During his high school years at Deep Creek High School in Chesapeake, VA , he knew that obtaining a football scholarship would be his ticket to getting a college degree. So he worked hard on the field to make sure his talents would not go unnoticed. It was this inner focus and determination that would lay the groundwork for the man he is today. From the moment he opened his football scholarship letter, he knew that his future was in his hands and it was up to him to fulfill his destiny. This dedication and drive for success was a testimony to the entrepreneurial drive that would later lead him to starting his own company.

From a young age, Hollie had also developed an interest in broadcasting and was intrigued by the advertising world. While majoring in communications at ETSU, he immersed himself in his broadcast management studies. Not only did he keep his grades up while playing football, but he also found time to fully embrace the life as a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He was always on the move and wanted to take advantage of his college years to absorb as much knowledge and experience as he could to help prepare him for the work world. Even though he knew in the future that he wanted to work behind the scenes, he got a taste of being on-air when he hosted the only urban radio show on WETS-FM for two years.

After graduating from ETSU with a solid foundation in broadcasting, Hollie began his career in radio at WHFS 99.1 FM (now under Infinity Broadcasting Corporation). He excelled at WHFS and quickly grew from an entry level position to becoming one of their top sales executives in the advertising and new media sales division. During his four year tenure at WHFS, he managed local and regional accounts, while honing his skills in management, sales, marketing and promotions. Not only was Hollie WHFS's top sales person, but he was the only African-American selling the eclectic, Modern Rock format.

The radio industry took notice of his achievements and he was recruited by Radio One, Inc., the nation's seventh largest radio broadcasting company and the largest company that primarily targets African-American and urban listeners, to head up their sales division as National Sales Manager. During his six-year tenure at Radio One, Hollie generated over $12 million dollars annually during a depressed market period. In addition, he managed a sales staff of more than 50 people in 13 major markets nationwide while implementing effective marketing campaigns for national clients such as Reebok, 7-Up, Miller Brewing Company and Mercedes-Benz. The ad revenue that Hollie consistently generated helped to better position Radio One financially during their IPO launch and was instrumental to their overall success.

In 2000, Hollie founded Global Advertising 1 st, a full-service media solutions firm dedicated to providing corporate clients and government agencies media advertising and non-traditional marketing solutions to deliver their message to a targeted audience. In just seven years, he has positioned GA1 as a leading full-service, minority-owned advertising and marketing solutions firm. In 2004, GA1 received 8(a) certification from the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a qualified minority-owned business for government media placement. Most recently, GA1 has also received certification by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for Advertising & Integrated Marketing Solutions (AIMS) – Schedule 541, minority business certifications from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program, the Local Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (LDBE) program with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).

With over 17 years of experience in advertising and marketing, Hollie's business acumen and creativity have earned him many accolades and Fortune 500 accounts – US Department of Housing and Urban Development Gillette, Dodge, Jeep, and many others. In recognition for his trailblazing in the business world, he was selected in 2006 as one of the "Fifty Most Influential Minorities in Business," by the Minority Business & Professionals Network, Inc. (MBPN). He was chosen from a pool of over 1,200 high-profile nominees from around the nation for being "one of America 's most respected marketers and ad executives."

As an avid athlete and proponent for helping others and giving back to the community, Hollie has participated in Washington, DC 's Aids Ride for several years. In addition, he helps raise money each year for the Max Robinson Center , an organization that provides services for individual and families who have AIDS in Washington, DC. Each Christmas, in conjunction with a local radio station, Hollie sponsors a toy drive and over 500 families receive bags filled with toys.

Hollie is a member of the Radio Advertising Bureau, Chamber of Commerce of Washington, DC and Prince George 's County, The Washington, DC Ad Club, The Baltimore Ad Club and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Hollie and his wife Jacquannette are the proud parents of Derrick Jr., and Jayla, and reside in Fort Washington, MD.