Virginia Goldman Miles, the first female senior vice president of the largest advertising agency in the United States, graduated from Wellesley in 1936 at the age of 18. She then went on to Columbia University to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in social psychology, and it was there that she met her husband, Frederick Miles.
Virginia worked in the advertising industry for over 35 years and was critical in the development of the “focus group” as well as the “brand image” concept. During her fourteen-year tenure at Young & Rubicam, Virginia’s clients included General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Chrysler, and Pepsico. In 1972, she was named Advertising Woman of the Year and later helped to establish Wellesley’s Business Leadership Council. Other achievements include being the first woman to be named to the Advertising Research Foundation’s Copy Research Council.
Since her retirement from the industry, she has continued to work as an expert witness for cases involving marketing and advertising concerns and has volunteered for the American Red Cross, the New Jersey Cultural Commission, the New Jersey Public Library System and the local Chamber of Commerce. Virginia is currently enjoying retirement; she has traveled to all of the 50 states and over 53 countries.
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