He’s a whiz at client and customer management. He’s a master at agency flow and schedules. He’s able to see the big picture and develop processes that work. He figures out people’s best qualities and plays to them. And he’s a smart strategy guy.
In other words: He’s a catch.
This also reunites Brubaker and Carew Co. founder Paul Carew, who worked together at Oliver Russell in the mid-2000s.
Oliver Russell is the first Idaho-based company to join The Purpose Collaborative, and is among more than 37 agencies and subject matter experts with significant experience in–and an authentic commitment to–purpose. The Purpose Collaborative’s services include the discovery and definition of an organization/brand’s purpose, culture development, employee and customer engagement, sustainable product sourcing and innovation, social issue identification and partnerships, storytelling and marketing communications, multimedia and digital activation, and program effectiveness analytics.
The vacancy was short-lived, however, as SMG recently announced that Jaime Ekman has taken the helm of the company as president and COO. This marks Ekman’s second go-around with the company originally founded by her father, Ken Stoltz. She most recently spent the past eight years with Castor & Pollux, now a Nestle Purina brand.
Shortly after taking the reins, Ekman appointed Kate Holgate creative director, and announced that Crissie McDowell will be rejoining the agency as associate creative director. Holgate has been with SMG for 16 years, progressing from art director to associate creative director and now to her current role. McDowell rejoins the agency, having been an art director from 2006 to 2015.
The second ripple: Duft Watterson
Shortly after their departure from Stoltz Marketing Group, Duft Watterson emerged as a new addition to the agency lineup in the Treasure Valley.
According to their website, Duft Watterson is led by Ward Duft as co-founder, CEO and creative director, and Jill Watterson as co-founder, COO and head of client service. Joining them are two other former SMG colleagues, Marc Cowlin as director of content and digital, and Tony Hart as associate creative director.
Rounding out the Duft Watterson team is designer Madeleine Godwin, Kesey Badgett handling branding and digital, accounting specialist Talia Spencer, and Lisa Cloyd as account manager.
Duft Watterson is based in Boise, and also has a presence in the San Francisco bay area.
The Oliver Russell connection
How does Oliver Russell factor into all of this, you ask? The answer, of course, lies in the moves outlined above. At the end of her first stint with Stoltz Marketing Group in 2015, Crissie McDowell departed to join Oliver Russell, where she’s spent the past three years as a senior art director.
Time will tell what — if any — other fallout there will be as a result this shakeup in the Boise-area agency scene. Is there more to the story? Most definitely. But those are details that are best left to the parties involved to share (or not share) as they see fit.
On a personal note:
As some may know, I spent several years at Stoltz Marketing Group, and have worked with many of the people mentioned here. That being said, I’ve done my best to be as impartial an unbiased as it relates to these changes. Hopefully it came across that way.
Brandon Stoker joined Oliver Russell as a graphic designer. He brings experience in app design, paper goods, branding, illustration, video editing, print design and sculpture. He’s helped clients like Yard House, Olive Garden, Scholastic, Boise State University, Corkcicle, Full Sail University, as well as a string of startups. Most recently, Brandon worked as a Junior Art Director at Push, a digital creative agency based out of Orlando, Fl. He also spent nine years at Apple, teaching customers how to use Apple products and gaining valuable insight into the mind of the American consumer.
Shawna Samuelson has been promoted to Account Services Director. Previously, Shawna worked as a Senior Producer at Oliver Russell. In the new role, she will apply her 10-plus years of client experience to handling all aspects of contract execution, managing the agency’s account services team, and playing a greater role in business development. Shawna graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2006.
Prior to joining Rizen, Inglis worked as a marketing co-op specialist at Balihoo, where she was responsible for managing client co-op marketing campaigns for national advertisers, and has also held positions at HP and Scentsy.
Piron, who joined Drake Cooper in 2016 as COO, picks up the addition to his title from Jamie Cooper, who now serves solely as CEO. Cooper will focus on leading the agency’s vision for creativity and innovation, as well as continuing to be a key advisor and strategist for the agency’s clients.
Ventive, a custom software, platform, website, and application development, UX/UI design, data acquisition, Business Intelligence & CRM customization firm based in Boise, announced yesterday that it has acquired Pluto, an interactive product design, web development, digital strategy, and ecommerce product and service agency.
The purchase of Pluto, based in Boise, Idaho, further increases Ventive’s share in the digital product and custom software development markets. “Welcoming Pluto’s talented team will provide our clients with an even higher level of innovative product design and support,” said Jonathan Cardella, CEO of Ventive. “The acquisition is also expected to result in greater operational efficiencies and significantly increase our market share,” added Andrew Beck, COO of Ventive.
“A partnership was formed with Ventive to help Pluto broaden its ability to serve larger global clients,” commented Justin Yonk, Managing Director of Pluto. “Our expertise in open source development, creative execution, and complex project management will complement Ventive’s growth strategy, and we’ll benefit by joining a larger firm with access to more resources.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Ventive has agreed to acquire the assets of Pluto. Pluto will cease operating as a separate company upon completion of the integration and Ventive will serve Pluto’s existing clients.
Wire Stone as founded in 2000, when five independent digital shops – including two in Boise – merged to form the company. Today, Wire Stone has nearly 200 employees in offices throughout the United States and works with clients such as Microsoft, HP Enterprise and HP Inc., PayPal and eBay. Dan Lynch, Wire Stone’s CEO, recently shared his thoughts on the acquisition on their blog.
This acquisition is Accenture’s fifteenth in last five years, and Accenture Interactive is ranked the world’s largest digital agency in the latest Ad Age Agency Report.