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SW Virginia company owner to be guest at tonight’s Obama jobs speech

When President Barack Obama addresses the nation tonight with his long-awaited jobs speech, David Catalano, co-owner of up-and-coming Blacksburg digital ad agency Modea, will be sitting in the box as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Jeff Sturgeon of the Roanoke Times [1] noted:

Catalano said he and his wife will attend a White House reception in the afternoon before he heads to the Capitol for the speech. She will stay at the White House and watch on TV.

“It’s a huge honor to be invited to be a guest of the first lady,” Catalano said. “I’m just going to enjoy it.”

Modea received statewide recognition earlier this year when Governor Bob McDonnell announced the planned $10 million expansion that would create new jobs in the southwestern Virginia college town. That was after they were featured by Inc. Magazine [2] in 2010 who ranked the company 221st among the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the country with revenues growing 1,335% ($3.3 million) the past three years.

Within the advertising and marketing industry, Modea ranks 27th in the country. In August, they won Advertising Age‘s “Small Agency Best Culture of the Year” [3] award at the small agency conference in Denver, Colorado.

In tough economic times, Modea is a shining example of a company that is not only surviving but thriving, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the White House. Aneesh Chopra, the chief technology officer for Obama, visited the company at its headquarters on a recent trip to meet with business leaders in southwestern Virginia.

Unconventional, hip, and cutting edge, they are proud to be tucked away from the big city-bright lights of other advertising agencies. Read more about this young, growing company here [4] and here [3]. To paraphrase Chevrolet, they’re not your father’s ad agency.

Cross-posted at SWAC Girl [5]