Charlie Tombras (BS/Adv ‘64) is the President/CEO The Tombras Group. After graduation, Charlie served two years in the U.S. Army as an Airborne Ranger assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. He then served as an infantry rifle platoon leader in the 1st Brigade Airborne of the 1st Cavalry Division Airmobile in Vietnam. In Vietnam he won the Air Medal, Bronze Star and Bronze Star for Valor.


He returned to Knoxville from Vietnam to join the advertising agency his father started in 1946. Charlie became President of The Tombras Group in 1980. Under his tenure, the company has grown from 20 to 115 employees making it one of the largest single-owner advertising agencies in the U.S. The Tombras Group, headquartered in Knoxville, is the oldest advertising agency in Tennessee, with offices in Washington, D.C., Louisville, Ky., Nashville and Kingsport Tenn., and Charleston, S.C. It is known for “street-smart” branding, award-winning creative, and digital marketing including website development, social media, video, content marketing, email marketing, SEO, PPC and analytics.

Over the course of his 47-year career, Tombras has been inducted into the Knoxville Chapter American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Bob McCabe Silver Medal Award for outstanding contributions to the advertising industry. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Marketing Professional of the Year award from the Knoxville American Marketing Association. He is the 2013 Donald G. Hileman Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee College of Communication & Information, the college’s highest alumni award.