Chase-ing blue skies

After 40 years with W.R. Drake, Elgin Syferd Drake, es/drake, Drake Cooper, Sara Chase has called it a career.

From the announcement and Q&A with Sara on Drake Cooper’s reverb site:

In August of 1981 W.R. Drake & Co. hired a Media Buyer who would become a pillar of the agency for 40 years. Sara Chase has been our mentor, navigator, north star, and sunny side through every up and down of agency life during her dedicated and fulfilling career.

Sara has held several positions at Drake Cooper; she was our Media Director for ten years and our Account Director for over 25 years. She’s also been a Vice President of the agency. She’s been through four agency name changes, three downtown buildings, three ownership changes, and too many timesheets to count. In fact, she’s worked at Drake Cooper longer than our founder, Bill Drake. Sara has led some of our largest accounts throughout her career and those accounts have produced some of our most award-winning campaigns including the Idaho Lottery Commission, The Department of Health and Welfare, and The Idaho Travel Council. Her dedication and commitment to Drake Cooper has always helped us flourish and helped our clients shine.

So we say thank you, Sara, for being the person you are, and for being the person we needed to help us through all those years at Drake Cooper. We say it with a heavy but full heart and with the utmost respect and admiration. We can never thank you enough for all you’ve done for the agency — you built it, you brought it to life and you made it a better and brighter place every damn day. We raise a glass to you and wish you nothing but blue skies ahead.

The full Q&A is a must-read.

So much has already been said about Sara by those who’ve worked with her and know her well. Her influence on the industry, and on those she has worked with over the years, is unmistakable.

I’m certain it’s been said hundreds of times already, but I’ll say it once more:

Thank you, Sara, for all you’ve done.

Enjoy everything that’s next — whatever it may be.

In memoriam: David Levi

Earlier this year we received word that David Levi passed away in late December, 2021, after a ten-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

For over 40 years, David made his career in the radio industry, including time as a Sales Manager / General Sales Manager for Boise radio stations, and later as owner of The Levi Group.

From David’s obituary:

He loved food and spent hours in the kitchen perfecting recipes for his friends and Family to enjoy. David liked traveling and going to concerts. Part of the adventure was finding the best restaurants every new place he traveled to. David was well known for spoiling his dogs.

David is survived by his wife Becky, his son Drew (Charlie), his daughter Lisha (Kurt), granddaughters Opal and Sage, and many friends and family.

We would like to ask you all to give your love ones extra hugs and your dogs a piece of bacon.

How do you sum up a life in an obituary? Really, you don’t. Part of you lives on in the hearts of the people who loved you.

He was held in high regard by those in and around the radio industry, as evidenced by comments from an archive of an Idaho Radio News post, such as:

David Levi is one of those guys people are actually glad to see when they walk into a radio station. His affability and warmth are evident to all who meet him. That he has been a major player in Boise radio since the first days of K-106 speaks to his abilities in sales.

David is a real pro. A real nice person too and you don’t always find that in the workplace. He is one of the best in Boise…

Our condolences to David’s family, friends, and all who knew him.

Arrivals and departures

What can I say, I’ve seen way too many planes overhead the last few months.

There’s been a lot of movement at shops in the past several months. Here’s an undoubtedly incomplete snapshot of things we’ve seen.

At 116 & West:

In: Creative Director Kelly Knopp (who returns to the shop after a period of freelance work that included the launch of Boise OG).

Out: Adam Rosenlund, to a new role outside the agency.


At CLM:

In: Copywriter Cameron Stewart, Account Coordinator Antonio Gallegos, Video Producer Laura Munsil, Digital Media Coordinator Vanessa Almaraz, and Media Planner & Buyer Oscar Mariscal (who returns for a second stint with the agency).

Out: Joelle Alexander (to the Navy), per CLM’s Instagram post.


At Duft Watterson:

In: Account Manager Alyssa Mayer, Account Manager Mckenzie Halling, Content and Digital Manager Cody Howard, Full-Stack Developer and Software Engineer Isaac Borup, Videographer and Photographer Michael Bonocore, and Growth Strategist Jack Loop.


At Foerstel:

In: Junior Web Developer Nathan Montgomery, and Art Director Ricci Gertz, according to recent updates to Foerstel’s website.

Out: Janell Count (Happy Retirement!) and Kaylee Wells (to relocation), per Foerstel’s Instagram post.


At Reynolds + Myers:

In: Director of Partnerships Chris Blanchard.


At Stoltz Marketing Group:

In: Senior Account Manager Kirstin Delp, Senior Account Manager Genny Heikka, Account Coordinator Paige Johndrow, Senior Digital Producer Jeff Mensch, Graphic Designer Deanna Scherrer, and Graphic Designer Clara Thamke.

Out: Katherine Johnson, Jake Smith, and Kyle Fountain, to new roles outside the agency.


Again, this is certain to be an incomplete list of comings and goings. There’s always more happening just under the surface…

In Memoriam: Jeff Harder

Earlier today I came across word that Jeff Harder passed away on Saturday, August 7th.

Jeff was a designer and creative director at Foerstel for more than 15 years before stepping out into the freelance world in 2017. Prior to Foerstel, he was an art director at Creative Source International / Aspen Marketing, and earlier a graphic designer at Typographics in Hailey.

An excerpt from his obituary, recently published online:


Jeffery James Harder
May 24, 1967 – August 7, 2021

Boise, Idaho – Jeffery James Harder: sweetheart husband, number one son, funniest brother, caring uncle, loyal friend, gifted artist, home fixer-upper, snappy dresser, lover of things with wheels, passed away at home Saturday, August 7th surrounded by family and love.

He was an artist in every sense of the word. There were early signs of this watching how he put his Legos together to what ended up on paper when he could first hold a pencil. In fact, his first-grade teacher called Jeff’s mom asking if the drawing of a truck he submitted as an assignment was really done by a first grader. Throughout his life, his talent came through in everything he did.

Jeff was born to Jim and Barbara Harder in Sacramento, California on May 24, 1967. After a move to Los Angeles, the family relocated to Boise, Idaho in 1972. His childhood was filled with bike rides to Delsa’s Ice Cream, road trips in his dad’s orange Chevy K5 Blazer, skiing at Bogus Basin and Baldy, running around with friends, goat farms, lettuce sandwiches, and lots of doodling. But nothing was as impactful as when he walked into English class at Meridian High School in 1982 in his grey Member’s Only jacket and caught the eye of a beautiful blonde who would become the love of his life, Pam Heiken. They dated throughout high school and stayed in touch while Pam attended Boise State University and Jeff went to Illinois to attend Columbia College Chicago, where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Jeff and Pam married at Trail Creek Cabin in Sun Valley in March of 1993. They stayed and lived in Ketchum, Jeff working at a design agency in Hailey while Pam worked at Sun Valley Company. Those years in Sun Valley would cement a bond with the area that started for Jeff in his childhood and would continue for the couple throughout their lives. They moved back to Boise in 1996, eventually settling in the Boise Foothills in a home they loved and were in the middle of remodeling. The couple made friends wherever they went, their infectious laughter when they were together was not only contagious but central to family dinners and holidays. They traveled, often with friends and family from Montana to Mexico to New York, creating the memories of their 28-year love story.


Condolences go out to Jeff’s family, friends, and all who knew him.

Remembering Gary Martinez

Those who have been around this business for some time may remember Gary Martinez.

In 2000, Gary, together with Chad Connally, founded AB Positive — an interactive shop that was subsequently acquired by es/drake (now Drake Cooper) in 2006.

Recently, Chad shared on his Facebook page news of Gary’s passing during the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship St. George.

From Chad’s post:

Sometimes a human comes into your life and changes you forever. Gary Martinez was that kind of guy. Heartbreaking to hear this news. Details from his Triathlon coach below:

Hi all,
Last Saturday, over 2000 athletes toed the line at the water’s edge for the St. George 70.3. One of those athletes was Gary Martinez, from Boise, Idaho. St. George would be Gary’s second 70.3, and like most triathletes who pick up triathlon later in life, the swim start would bring forth feelings of excitement and nervousness. Excitement to get started, and nervousness for the unknown that is inherit to endurance racing.
As his coach, I was especially proud of Gary this season. He had made a concerted effort to confront his fears and obstacles head on. Open water swimming made Gary nervous: so he swam in the pond multiple times per week until open water swimming felt second nature. Hills intimated Gary, so he committed to riding three continuous laps of the infamous “Boise Dump Loop” as a key training ride. What was once intimidating was now just another weekend workout. Over the two years I worked with Gary, I got to know a complicated man who was always clear on his priorities: family, faith, work, and personal fitness. When we first started working together he recommended we schedule a weekly coaching call- just 15-20min to touch base and review the week. At first I naively thought I would be the one teaching Gary about training, triathlon, etc. Instead, during those calls Gary taught me how to be a better coach by simply listening. Half the time we talked triathlon training, but the rest of the time we talked about family, faith, or work. When we first started those calls Gary was a client, but soon he became my friend.
We spoke the day before the race about focusing on the elements of the race within his control: his pacing, his nutrition and hydration, his focus. We agreed that his finishing time will simply be a reflection of how well he manages these elements.
Back in his hotel room the night before the race, Gary spoke with his family on FaceTime. They could not make it to the race, but Gary’s wife, Jessica, had slipped drawings from their two young children into his travel bag. Gary had embraced triathlon as a way to improve his quality of life and to set a healthy example for his three children. Though in this moment he was away from family, triathlon was a way Gary could extend and improve the quality of time with his family for years to come.
On the morning of May 1st, 2021, Gary Martinez toed the line at the water’s edge. He was ready to conquer the St. George 70.3 course.
I was later told approximately half way through the swim course Gary suffered a massive cardiac event. He died soon after being brought onto a race support boat.
Some of you may have know Gary. But for those of you who did not: he was a husband, father of three, business man, friend, and triathlete. His friends have started a GoFundMe for his wife, Jessica, and his three beautiful children, Sam, Elaine, and Angelo. Please consider donating to his family during this time of sudden loss. Gary was self-employed and the primary income earner for the household, and any amount will help build a nest egg to help his family through the future. If you would like to be informed about funeral services or simply want to share a story about Gary, please respond to this email.
Antonio Gonzalez
Tri Town Bicycles

A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up for Gary’s family.

Our condolences go out to Gary’s family, his friends, and all who knew him.