Moving on

People in the agency business come and go on a regular basis. For any number of reasons. While the trends may not be as pronounced locally as they are at a national level, it certainly happens.

But every once in a while there’s a departure that makes us stand up and take notice. In recent months, there have been two.

In late November, Marc Cowlin exited his role as VP of Content and Digital Marketing at Duft Watterson, and in doing so effectively shuttered the shop’s San Francisco presence. A little digging around LinkedIn in the weeks that followed revealed that he is now with BlueOwl, a San Francisco-based technology company.

Separately, in late December Jeremy Chase left Drake Cooper (again), this time to take on the role of VP of Business Development at Salt Lake City-based Love Communications. The update came a couple weeks after Drake Cooper’s announcement that agency ownership had been converted to an ESOP structure.

I do not presume to know the reasons behind either of these departures, as there’s always more to the story than what may be shared publicly.

I’ve known both Jeremy and Marc for many years, and wish them nothing but the best in their respective new roles.

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 (ESOP) 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.