Special/Signature Issues » Top 40 Under 40

Jake Crocker, 32

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Partner and Brand Marketing Director,
Martin Branding Worldwide/
Managing Partner, Prodigy Partnership

If ever Richmond's had a cheerleader, his name is Jake Crocker. "The whole core of everything I do centers around the fact that I love this town," says Crocker, co-owner of Martin Branding Worldwide. "Call me crazy, but everything I do professionally promotes Richmond."

While promoting such clients as the Richmond Ballet and the Greater Richmond Partnership in 2006 with fellow Virginia Performing Arts Foundation member Hayden Fisher, Crocker helped found Opus, a nonprofit networking organization designed to support the performing arts around Richmond and increase involvement from the under-40 set. With a membership of more than 700, it seems to be working.

Crocker's also one of five founders of Prodigy Partnership LLC, whose goal is to revitalize downtown through the renovation of dilapidated buildings. "Richmond is a fantastic town, but people get the wrong impression," Crocker says. "You shouldn't come out of a convention center and be scared to death. We want to create this jewel on Broad Street that serves as a catalyst for the whole area."

Crocker's mission is to help Richmond realize its potential. David H. Martin, his partner at Martin Branding Worldwide, says, "He might even do it on willpower alone."

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