Reunited

A few months ago we got word that Carew Co. was on the hunt for a Relationship Manager to join their team, and recently we discovered that they found the person they were looking for in Pat Brubaker.

In their words:

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.

You can read more about Carew Co’s new hire here.

Oliver Russell joins The Purpose Collaborative

Last month, Oliver Russell announced that they’ve joined Carol Cone’s The Purpose Collaborative, a growing collective of the foremost purpose-oriented agencies and consultants created by one of the world’s purpose pioneers, Carol Cone.

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.

Read Oliver Russell’s full announcement about the news here.

Big boulder in a little pond

You’ve seen it. And probably done it more than once. You’ve picked up that big, heavy rock and heaved it into a pond.

First there’s the big splash.

Then the ripples spread. And spread.

Ripples in water

As we rolled into 2018, the boulder dropped with the seemingly abrupt departure of Ward Duft and Jill Watterson from Stoltz Marketing Group.

Shortly thereafter, a new player emerged in the Boise agency game, and at least two other shops have been pulled into the fray.

The first ripple: Stoltz Marketing Group

The departure of Duft and Watterson left an obvious hole at the top of the agency, as they represented two-thirds of the new leadership announced in the summer of 2017.

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.

The DaviesMoore association

Similarly, DaviesMoore factors into the drama, as Lisa Cloyd spent a short stint with them as director of client services, before joining Duft Watterson in January.

The rest

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.

 

New hire and promotion at Oliver Russell

Oliver Russell recently added a new face to their team, and promoted another.

Brandon Stoker

Brandon StokerBrandon 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

Shawna SamuelsonShawna 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.

Drake Cooper has added to Andrew Piron’s title

Andrew PironLast month, Drake Cooper announced that Andrew Piron has been named President and Chief Operating Officer. He’ll lead Drake Cooper’s team of employees in both the Boise and Seattle offices, with responsibility for management and operations, and will report directly to the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, Jamie Cooper.

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 gobbles up Pluto

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.

From the press release announcing the acquisition:

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.

CLM launches Fair app

As the 2017 Western Idaho Fair gets set to kick off, CLM and the Fair have added a new feature to give fair-goers another way to find everything that’s happening throughout the course of the event.

The Western Idaho Fair mobile app gives users access to schedules of events, maps, vendor locations, ticket purchasing options, the ability to create their own custom calendar of events and more.

Read more about CLM’s work on the Fair app here.

Wire Stone acquired by Accenture

Last week news came out that Accenture has acquired Wire Stone to expand Accenture Interactive’s creative marketing capabilities and talent in North America.

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.

Stoltz Marketing Group announces new leadership

Stoltz Marketing Group in Boise recently announced their leadership transition, with internal promotions to form a new executive team. That new team is comprised of:

Agency founder Ken Stoltz will remain as Chairman, and will still play an active role in the company.

Full details about the agency’s leadership transition is available here. Congratulations to all.