Strengthening Our Nonprofit Community

Denise Tolley, Associate


Denise Tolley has been a writer for more than 25 years, specializing in advertising and marketing copywriting for businesses. After college, she worked for seven years at Radford-Stewart Advertising in Richmond, Virginia, where she was Senior Copywriter and Producer, handling concepts, copywriting, editing, proofreading, and broadcast production for a wide variety of businesses. After leaving Radford-Stewart she launched her freelance writing business, and has done contract work ever since.

Between the agency work and many freelance jobs, Denise has written copy for over 120 different clients, from small local businesses to international manufacturers, spanning the gamut from Accounting Services to Yacht Furniture (almost A to Z!). Locally she has worked for Jennings & Co., Sheer Associates, and Square One Marketing, including some non-profit work. She has also published several articles, some of which include her own photographs, and won many awards in both writing and photography.

She is an avid amateur photographer and stained glass artist, occasionally exhibiting and selling her work. Denise was also a part-time substitute teacher for Durham Public Schools for seven years, focusing on the Arts curriculum, as well as a school volunteer for 14 years. More recently Denise worked part-time for a local publication, Southern Bride & Groom magazine, where she was a writer, marketer, editor and publishing assistant for three years.

She joined moss+ross in 2010 as a part-time writer and communications associate. Denise has enjoyed several interim staffing opportunities with m+r, including: on-site development staffing for eight months with the Durham Arts Council; another eight-month assignment working on-site as interim development/communications staffing at Urban Ministries of Durham; working on-site for four months as interim communications staff at Triangle Land Conservancy; and on-site development assistance for four months with UNC Global.  She is also involved with the firm’s executive search work, report and presentation editing, and client newsletter.

Denise attended Virginia Tech for three years prior to getting married and moving to Richmond, Virginia, where she completed her degree in Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her freelance business was based in Richmond until she moved to England in 1994, then moved to Durham in 1996, where she lives with her husband. They have two grown children and a family farm in Virginia.

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