Virginia Western presents 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award to Tony Pearman

ric_adminAnnouncements, Educational Foundation, Roanoke Innovates

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation recognizes Tony Pearman (’10), President and CEO of Access Advertising and Public Relations, with its 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.  Pearman first attended Virginia Western in 1998, later returning for additional coursework in 2008 and 2010. 

Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award was established in 2006 by the Virginia
Western Alumni Association and recognizes Virginia Western Community College
alumni and former students who have attained extraordinary distinction in their
professional field or life. The award serves to honor all the men and women
whose attendance at Virginia Western helped them achieve their educational and
professional goals, allowing them to better serve their communities.

Pearman and colleague Todd Marcum formed Access
Advertising & Public Relations in 1996. Since its founding, the agency has
grown to serve clients throughout the Eastern United States and around the globe,
and boasts more than 450 design and public relations awards for excellence.
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., with an office in Richmond, Access specializes
in regional and national industry relationships that include focused work in
healthcare, higher education and business-to-business. Among its clients are
HCA Virginia, Virginia Tech, Marshall University, TMEIC, Optical Cable Corp.,
American General Life & Accident Insurance Co. and Medeco High Security

Access has been recognized with national Healthcare
Advertising Awards, Cannonballs from The Richmond Show, Telly Awards, hundreds
of local, regional and national ADDY Awards, CASE awards for work in higher
education and Summit Awards from the Public Relations Society of America.

As a leading
industry advocate for creative idea generation and impact, Pearman has served
as chair of the National ADDY Committee, is a member of the national AAF Board
of Directors, and is the recipient of the AAF Silver Medal for lifetime
contributions to the advertising industry. Pearman has received both the Advertising Person of the Year
award and the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal.

“Tony’s story illustrates the best outcomes of community college
opportunity. His accomplishments and service have impacted so many lives – and
his dedication to the success of our students is tremendous. We are honored and
proud to recognize him as a Distinguished Alumni,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel,
president of Virginia Western Community College.

Through philanthropic and pro bono work that supports
the community it serves, Access has been recognized for its impact in child
abuse prevention, with the Roanoke City Police Department, the YCMA of
Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, Habitat for
Humanity and others. In 2006, Access became the first advertising and PR firm
to be recognized with a Perry F. Kendig Award for its support of the arts.

“Virginia Western has
been a trusted source of learning for myself, and for many members of my firm,
for more than 20 years by not only providing ongoing continuing education but
also producing some of Access’ and this region’s most talented marketers,” said
Pearman. “As one of our strongest client relationships, Access has been proud
to give back to Virginia Western by working to support the vital resources they
provide for our community.”

continues to support Virginia Western student success and achievement through
the Pearman Annual Scholarship, which provides assistance for tuition, books
and other related expenses to second-year students enrolled in the College’s
Visual Design Program on a full- or part-time basis.  Heavy emphasis in the award process is placed
on the merit of the student’s portfolio, which receives evaluation by Virginia
Western faculty.  Pearman has also dedicated
focus and energy to higher education as an advertising and design adjunct
faculty member at Virginia Tech.

For more
information on the Virginia Western Alumni Association, see or contact Philanthropy Director Amanda Mansfield at or (540) 857-6962.

Prior Distinguished Alumni

2019 –
Deborah L. Petrine (’76)

2018 –
Elizabeth Testerman (’06)

2017 – Dr.
Carol Swain (’78)

2016 – Dr.
Mary Loritsch (’74) and Chief Michael Crawley

2015 – Debbie
Yancey (’97)

2014 – Chief
Craig S. Harris (’00) and J. David Wine (’73)

2013 – Cheryl
Cunningham (’86)

2012 – Anne
Hogan (’76)

2011 –
Carolyn Webster (’81)

2010 –
Russell H. Ellis (’80)

2009 – Shirl
D. Lamanca (’75) and Dennis R. Cronk (’72)

2008 – Donna
L. Mitchell (’81)

2007 – Dr.
Kent A. Murphy and Charlotte C. Tyson (’84)

2006 – John
B. Williamson III (’75)

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