Pace, Nationally Ranked Independent Marketing Agency, Turns 50 Years Old 

A visual representation of Pace celebrating its 50th anniversary as a marketing agency.

Pace joins the 3% of businesses that make it to 50 years. Pace founder and owner, Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, is the nation’s longest-standing female agency leader. In addition to its 50-year milestone, Pace was just named 2023 Agency of the Year in the Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing Awards program. 

GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA (October 17, 2023) — This month, Pace, a leading integrated marketing agency, will celebrate its 50th year in business. Pace serves clients—many at three times the industry average tenure—such as Truist, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, AAA Auto Club Group, Brighthouse Financial, Toyota, PepsiCo, Verizon and Workday. The company is also celebrating its recent win as Agency of the Year, its fourth such win in the Content Marketing Awards in 10 years.

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter—who chairs the board of the American Red Cross and is a former United States Ambassador to Finland—founded the company in 1973. Ambassador McElveen-Hunter is the longest-serving female founder, owner and CEO of a large U.S.-based marketing and advertising agency.

“We’re extraordinarily proud to have reached this milestone,” says Pace President and COO Leigh Ann Klee. “Our stellar talent, our amazing clients and our award-winning work are all reasons enough for us to celebrate, but it’s a small number of businesses that grow beyond 20 employees—let alone that thrive for 50 years.”

Pace has continued to evolve its business model each decade since its founding, starting in the content publishing and media advertising space and evolving to a full-service digital marketing and storytelling agency. Pace’s work reaches global audiences every day, serving 30 iconic national brands and multinational companies. Pace has established itself as a leader in marketing services for financial services, technology, healthcare, consumer goods, hospitality, automotive and other industries. Pace’s services include integrated marketing solutions, social media, film and video, digital media, and website design and development.

Pace particularly stands out in its employee and client diversity and its identity as an independent, woman-owned agency. In addition to McElveen Hunter’s unprecedented tenure as a marketing leader, over 66% of Pace’s senior leadership are women—more than twice the average for U.S. marketing agencies.

“We take it as a badge of honor that we’re different from our peer agencies and always evolving with emerging technology and new services for our clients,” says Pace President and CMO Gordon Locke. “We’ve been different from day one, and it’s part of how we deliver standout creative and business wins for our clients. There’s no way to separate our legacy of story inspired results from our distinctive DNA, which includes Bonnie’s leadership and our amazing team across the U.S.”

Pace is a leading marketing agency and digital storytelling powerhouse. Pace specializes in integrated marketing and brand storytelling that moves audiences to action. Pace’s client base includes Fortune 500 brands and category-leading organizations in travel and hospitality, financial services, healthcare, technology, automotive and a dozen other industries. Serving clients regionally and globally, Pace helps move a brand’s customers and employees to action through a potent combination of audience-first, data-driven thinking, smart strategies, technology and amazing creative. With 200+ employees across the U.S., Pace has offices in Greensboro, North Carolina, and in New York City, as well as virtual employees in key client service hubs like Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte and Los Angeles.

Media Contact: Stephen Taylor, 336-378-6065,