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Member Meet & Greet with The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce — Coal Creative

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Coal Creative – Wilkes-Barre, PA

Photo Courtesy of Brittany Boote Photography

A homegrown, full-service creative agency

The Coal Creative team has the opportunity every single day to tell stories through their primary services. This includes  video, web, design, strategy, and virtual events.

Holly K. Pilcavage, Coal Creative’s President and Chief Executive Officer, expressed that they strive for honesty and transparency with their partners, collaborators, and the community around them. Their work is based on trust and excellence in every encounter, which shapes how they approach every project.

“We’re just like you and your audience – we live, love and change. We’re part of this same planet, and we recognize the power we have to make it better. We use modern tools to practice a timeless craft. We take your audience on a journey. We capture the parts of your vision that resonate. Then we shape them in creative ways to enlighten and inspire,” says Holly.

Photo Courtesy of Coal Creative

Embracing an evolving landscape of communication

In response to the pandemic, Coal Creative adapted their services to accommodate “virtual events.” Especially in NEPA, many of the organizations depend on funds raised at various events, galas, fundraisers, etc. As a result, Coal Creative pivoted their services to promote and produce virtual events that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to date. One example of this was a near-hourlong broadcast in celebration of National Coming Out Day. The project featured important conversations from various members of the community, as well as allies. The inspiring broadcast was produced by the Coal Creative team for the NEPA Rainbow Alliance in 2020.

“These conversations were human, real, and impactful. When watching the video during the premiere on social media, it was impossible to not be overcome with emotion at the importance of what we created,” says Holly. “With our mission being to share stories that matter — we are grateful to consistently have the opportunity to create content that means something while accomplishing the goals of our collaborators.”

Photo Courtesy of Coal Creative

How it started; how it’s going.

Coal Creative grew from a humble portfolio project into a multi-faceted, full-service creative agency. Gerard Durling, the company’s founder, originally set out to grow his freelance profile. Unwittingly, at the time, he wound up starting one of NEPA’s most recognizable media companies.

He hired his first employee in 2016, eight years after launching his online portfolio. Soon after, Holly K. Pilcavage joined the team, which triggered a long season of tremendous growth. Over the next few years, talented creatives caught the vision and climbed aboard. Each new team member brought their own specialty and ability to help the company grow in all the right ways.

Today, Coal Creative produces some of the region’s most compelling visual, digital and written content. They work with a who’s who list of prominent firms, nonprofits and corporations. Coal Creative has gained the respect of peers and community leaders at large because each team member strives for excellence.

Holly Pilcavage, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coal Creative (Photo Courtesy of Brittany Boote Photography)

Always forward-focused

For the past few years, the month of January has been a big deal for the Coal Creative team. In January 2019, they revealed their rebrand. And, in January 2020, they were hosting a ribbon cutting in their new office space. Then, in January 2021, they had the honor of announcing Holly K. Pilcavage as co-owner. Each event marked the company’s exponential growth and progress. Since her first day on the job in 2016, Pilcavage has demonstrated a willingness to lead and the chops to back it up. Her eventual rise to President and CEO was a no brainer and natural transition for everyone involved.

Coal Creative is now officially women-owned, which is an important moment in the company’s history and growth. While there’s still a lot of work to be done and foundational elements to be solidified to better impact our team members, collaborators and communities we serve, we’d be remiss if we didn’t stop to appreciate this exciting next step in our leadership.

Holly Pilcavage, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coal Creative

Photo Courtesy of Brittany Boote Photography


Growing through storytelling

“The team at Coal Creative came together (and continues to come together!) from all different backgrounds, paths, and passions. The one recurring theme is that we all came to Coal with a passion – and we get to show up every day to actually utilize that passion,” says Holly.

Their founder saw an opportunity to create something right here in NEPA that could equate to New York City or Philadelphia. The idea was, and continues to be, that you do not have to leave the area to find bigger, better, more exciting opportunities. You can create them right here, in the place we call home. Holly explains that Coal Creative has stayed because the above still holds true. And, of course, there is still plenty of work to do in the region that the company was created in.

“At Coal Creative, we respect our place as an important cog in the machine that makes this region great for everyone. We see opportunities for growth on an infinite scale, but we always strive to be the loudest cheerleader for our Northeast Pennsylvania home. Both inside and out of working hours, our team plays a vital part in advancing the mission of essential nonprofits and agencies,” says Holly.


Learn More and Connect with Coal Creative

You can find out more about Coal Creative online at their updated website. Learn more about the team, some of their favorite projects, their community impact and more! You can also follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. If you’re a creative (most everybody is!) connect with their community arm, NEPA Creative. You can also sign up for their newsletter for monthly updates.



And, don’t forget to check back here at DiscoverNEPA every month for the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Member Meet & Greet blog series. We’ll be sharing unique stories and introducing NEPA to the Chamber’s many amazing small business and nonprofit members.

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