updated 5/27/2011 10:46:42 AM ET 2011-05-27T14:46:42

CORAL GABLES, Fla., May 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- VSBrooks Advertising in Coral Gables is the winner of the South Florida Business Journal's esteemed 2011 Business of the Year Award in the 1-25 employees category. Diana Brooks, co-founder, chief client services officer, and managing partner of the agency, accepted the award at the Business Journal's awards program at Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, Fla.

Ranked on the Business Journal's list of largest advertising agencies, corporate givers, and women-owned businesses, VSBrooks is celebrating its 15-year anniversary this year.

In introductory remarks, Business Journal President and Publisher Melanie Dickinson told attendees, "The companies we honor tonight have been equal to challenge of digging deep into their core missions and values for the inspiration and creativity to survive and thrive in the downturn and beyond." The program emcee was Rick Schneider, president and CEO of WPBT Channel 2 and the Community Television Foundation of South Florida.  AvMed Health Plans and Gunster, Templeton & Co. sponsored the event.

"We're extremely honored to have won this award, especially as we celebrate 15 years in business," said Brooks. "With our strong goals and values, we strive to be a leader in the community."

In 1996, Brooks and VSBrooks Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner Vivian Santos, two Hispanic women who at the time had worked together in the ad industry for five years, created the agency in Santos' kitchen with a $10,000 loan. Their goal was to build an agency where all staff members worked for the greater cause. They also wanted it to be an agency where clients would be treated fairly and considered hands-on partners, where employees would be happy to give it their all, and where all involved would come together to produce the best possible advertising, just because they were in love with what they were doing.

Today, in a down economy, VSBrooks, which serves both the general and Hispanic markets, has increased its total billings by 85 percent over the past three years. In the past year, VSBrooks has tripled its staff and doubled its office space. The average staff member's tenure is 10 years; many staff members have been with VSBrooks since its doors opened. Several of the agency's clients have been with them since the beginning.

Mirroring its emphasis on the "greater cause," VSBrooks donates 100 percent in-kind services to Feeding South Florida™ (formerly Daily Bread Food Bank), South Florida's leading hunger-relief organization.

"At VSBrooks, we strive to be respectful, nourishing, upfront, passionate, and give back to the community," said Santos. "We're thrilled to be among the honored winners of the Business Journal's Business of the Year Award."

Among the agency's and founders' many other accolades and awards are Florida's Top Business Women Leaders award by Florida International University's Commonwealth Institute for Leadership in 2008, 2010, and 2011; and Business Leader's 2011 Top 100 Florida Small Businesses and Top 300 Small Businesses of the South awards. In addition to these corporate recognitions, in 2011, the agency was recipient of prestigious Addy creative award. Also in 2011, VSBrooks won the W3 Visual Appeal award and three Summit Creative awards for its pro-bono work for Feeding South Florida.

About VSBrooks Advertising

VSBrooks ADVERTISING, a Coral Gables, Fla.-based integrated marketing firm, was founded by Diana Brooks and Vivian Santos in 1996. Serving both the general and Hispanic markets, it offers advertising, the in-house broadcast production company Inspira Films, strategic planning, brand identity, consumer insights/analytics, creative design, media planning/buying, interactive/digital, public relations, broadcast services, event planning, healthcare advertising, and B2B communications. VSBrooks is located at 255 Alhambra Circle, Suite 835, Coral Gables, Florida 33134. For more information, visit www.vsbrooks.com , or call (305) 443-3500.

Media Contact:
Duree Ross, Duree & Company, Inc.
Ph: 954-723-9350

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The following pictures are available for download:

[Image] VSBrooks Advertising

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