John Drake will add the title of Co-President to his current role as Chief Strategy Officer, which he assumed in 2019. Since his teenage years, John has been around the agency, with his first role being the somewhat less-prestigious “Runner.” His official career began in Los Angeles at Deutsch, then moving to senior positions with WongDoody and leading his own agency, FourStories, in Portland before joining Drake Cooper fifteen years ago. That journey involved working on brands that included Disney, Carl’s Jr., Tillamook, DIRECTV, Nestlé, Baskin-Robbins, UCLA, and more. John’s role will be to oversee the agency’s work product. His teams will include planning & strategy, creative, media, and analytics.
The other Co-President is a new addition to Drake Cooper. After an extensive search process inside the industry, the agency is excited to welcome Mindy Stomp as Co-President, General Manager. Mindy will oversee the agency’s business operations, client success, and business development teams. She most recently held leadership positions with VMLY&R and brings to Drake Cooper a deep background built at agencies large and small. Her significant digital experience ranges from complex website build projects to leading digital AOR relationships. Her teams have led efforts for clients such as Facebook/Meta, SKYY Vodka, Carnival Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Driscoll’s, Haas Automation, and Mazda.
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.
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.
One of the first things that Bill thought about when he got back to work after the accident was the fact that he had never created a succession plan for his business. “Sure, I always thought about it,” he told me. “But life got in the way, and I never got around to it.” He realized that he had not even given a hint of direction to his staff on what to do if he got hit by the “proverbial bus.”
Around the same time, Jamie Cooper was growing restless. Jamie had been a marketing executive at a number of companies, most recently as the marketing VP at ProClarity, which had just sold to Microsoft. Having recently turned 40, Jamie was thinking about “hanging up my corporate badge and having my own business where I could leverage what I’ve learned in my career.”
Bill knew Jamie and was impressed with his thoughtful approach. According to Bill, “Jamie was a client of the firm while at ProClarity, and a tough one. Succession planning was now at the top of my priority list. I wasn’t ready to retire but I was ready to stop and smell the roses a bit more. Because of the extended nature of Jamie’s proposed earn-out, I’d be able to slowly ease out of the business and pass along the knowledge I’ve gained along the way.”
Its a good read, and worth the time to take a look at it.
Also, if you’re in a similar position, something for you to think about: What plans do you have in place in the event that ‘you get hit by a bus’?