Barkley Taps Exec for New Business

CHICAGO Barkley Evergreen & Partners has tapped 20-year agency veteran Mike Swenson to helm the shop’s new business efforts across advertising, public relations and sports and event sponsorships.

“Mike has been a part of the growth and success of Barkley Evergreen for almost two decades,” said Brian Brooker, CEO of the Kansas City, Mo., independent shop. “He knows how to grow a business and he understands how to build a brand. Now he will apply that knowledge directly to our brand and tell the Barkley Evergreen story to prospective clients.”

Swenson, 50, joined the agency in 1987 and founded its PR practice a year later. He’s grown that business to include clients such as Lee Jeans, Sonic Drive-In, Build-A-Bear-Workshop and Farmland Industries.

While Swenson will oversee new business as executive vice president of Barkley Evergreen & Partners, he will also continue as president of the PR division.

“We’re doing great work, but we need to get our story out there,” Swenson said. “We have a great story to tell, but we haven’t been crying it as loudly and clearly as we can.”

In addition, the $460 million agency has designated Andy Ernsting, who had been leading new business efforts for the PR division, to assist Swenson with the company’s overall account acquisition operations.

The shop earlier in May hired Marty Wenzell from Omnicom Group’s Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, as director of client strategy. In that role, he will also contribute on new business initiatives. Advertising new business chief Joe Sciarra remains.