Drake Cooper has new owners. Lots of them.

Earlier today, Boise Dev broke the news that Drake Cooper has been sold.

To its employees.

As noted in the Boise Dev story, the company converted to an employee stock ownership plan (ESPO) structure, according to former majority owner and CEO Jamie Cooper. That means about 50 of the company’s current employees now make up the ownership of the company.

There are 42 privately-held ESOP companies in Idaho, and only a handful that are 100% employee owned. Perhaps the most well known locally and regionally is the nation’s third-largest — WinCo Foods — with 20,000 employee-owners. Drake Cooper now joins approximately 3% of marketing and advertising firms nationwide that are employee owned.

In becoming an ESOP, Drake Cooper preserves local ownership and its independent advertising agency status. The agency’s management team and Cooper’s role as CEO will remain the same through 2022. During that time, they will focus on building a stronger board of directors with advertising industry expertise, and creating a new role for a GM/President to help guide Drake Cooper and its employee-owners into the future.

Read more about the announcement at Boise Dev, or see the full release, swag box contents, and more at Drake Cooper’s reverb on Medium.

Tracy Hitchcock promoted to COO at Stoltz Marketing Group

Tracy Hitchcock

Stoltz Marketing Group recently announced the promotion of Tracy Hitchcock to Chief Operating Offer.

Tracy is now an executive member of the woman-owned and -led agency’s leadership team, which also includes President & CEO Jaime Ekman, Chief Creative Officer Kate Holgate, Chief Financial Officer Julie Stevens, Associate Creative Director Crissie Hoskins, and Director of Business Strategy Katherine Johnson.

Prior to joining Stoltz Marketing Group as Director of Business Development in the fall of 2019, Tracy spent four years as CEO of Boise-based nonprofit Create Common Good, and 17 years in various technical, marketing and global innovation leadership roles at the J.R. Simplot Company. She also supports many social justice and community organizations, serves on the Board of Directors for S H E (Style Her Empowered), and is a member of the Boise Police Department’s Chief’s Community Advisory Panel.

On the move

Senestre Creative recently moved from their first office in the basement of the Garro Building to a new, larger space in the Idaho Building.

At roughly 2400 square feet, the new space includes a film and photography studio, a soon-to-be-completed sound booth, and all the usuals you’d expect to find in an agency office.

29

Oliver Russell turned 29 today. Here’s what Russ Stoddard shared recently on Twitter:

Congratulations to Russ, his team, and everyone who’s been involved with the shop over the years.

A title befitting talent and tenure

Just over a decade ago we wrote about Thomas Walsh joining Carew Co. as a fresh-out-of-school designer.

Fast-forward to today, and he’s still with the shop, though his skills, experience and leadership have all evolved considerably since 2010.

And now, so has his title.

Carew Co. recently announced that Thomas has been promoted to Associate Creative Director. As Paul Carew noted when sharing the news of the promotion, “Thomas is truly the lifeblood of the agency.”

With this expanded role, Carew continued, Thomas will “lead more projects and take on more responsibility in creative direction, interactive and web projects, and project management.”

Congratulations, Thomas.