Meet Project Purple Creative Director Elizabeth Mauldin! Elizabeth has been with Project Purple for nearly a year-and-a-half, and she is often the first person our runners connect with when they join our team.Elizabeth is the creative genius behind all of Project Purple’s graphic art and eye-catching promotional materials. As the daughter of two painters, Elizabeth was introduced to the creative world from birth. She discovered her own artistic abilities and love for the creative process at an early age. Elizabeth was obsessed with horses and spent countless hours drawing pictures of them.She continued drawing and painting throughout her youth. By the time she was ready to apply to college, she had already taken every advanced art class available to her at her high school. Though she had originally planned to pursue archaeology, her plans changed. Elizabeth says, “My high school art teacher was so fantastic that I decided that I wanted to pursue art instead.” Elizabeth attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and earned two Bachelor’s Degrees in French and painting.
After graduation, Elizabeth spent six years working in graphic design for a television station. The life-long southerner ended up in Connecticut when her boyfriend was accepted to Yale University for a Master’s Degree program. Elizabeth saw that Project Purple was looking for a part-time administrative assistant and decided to apply for the position. She met with founder Dino Verrelli and their conversation took a different direction when he discovered that Elizabeth had a background in graphic design.
Elizabeth joined Project Purple in March of 2014 and quickly found herself working full-time for the charity in a wide range of capacities. She creates all of the marketing materials, from the social media postings to the flyers, to the posters and the banners. She is also the ‘go-to’ person for all of the team members. She oversees the teams in a general sense, helping runners register for races and answering questions that they may have about the team. She creates and manages the applications and is the first point of contact for the runners when they sign on with a Project Purple team. Elizabeth also manages the Pioneer Program, which allows runners to run any race of their choosing as a fundraiser for Project Purple. Finally, she enjoys working with the college students who intern for Project Purple.
When not at work, Elizabeth enjoys creating works of art. She and her boyfriend recently acquired their own art studio, where she draws and paints. Elizabeth draws people and animals and also creates abstract paintings “Painting is a physical act. I am not looking for an end goal with painting. I do it because it feels good. Whereas my drawing is more fastidious, my painting is looser,” she explains. She also enjoys reading science fiction and DC comic books in her spare time.
While Elizabeth’s family has not personally been touched by pancreatic cancer, she understands how a challenging medical diagnosis can impact the whole family. When Elizabeth was 12 years old, her grandmother was diagnosed with ALS. “I was very close to my grandma. She was so active, and it was very hard to watch her as she slowly lost her mobility and her ability to speak, “Elizabeth explains. “That experience allowed me to sympathize with people in a similar position.”
Though Elizabeth is not a runner, she enjoys working with the people who run for Project Purple. She says, “My favorite part of the job is talking to people, especially people who are running for us because they are so passionate, kind and have a good sense of humor.” She has also been greatly inspired by Project Purple founder, Dino Verrelli. She says, “Dino is clearly passionate about his mission. He is genuine in his desire to help people.” She adds, “I love what I do. I love the energy of the office and of the people in the office. I love the people on the teams. I have not been touched personally by pancreatic cancer, but I connect with people who have been affected by pancreatic cancer every day.”