Kushell Resurfaces in Minnesota

CHICAGO — Chuck Kushell, who left the agency business more than a year ago to launch Internet company Focus One Media Group, has returned as CEO of Colle + McVoy.

Kushell, 48, joined the $180 million Minneapolis shop last week. He replaces Jim Bergeson, who left in January to become a consultant for the shop’s parent, Maxxcom.

C+M president Phil Johnson said Kushell’s client contacts and reputation as a “problem-solver” appealed to him. The agency was also impressed with his “pedigree,” said Johnson, citing Kushell’s tenure at Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in New York and Cliff Freeman and Partners.

Kushell was president of Hill, Holliday’s New York office from December 1996 to March 2000, when he left to launch Focus One. From 1991-96, he was chief operating officer at Cliff Freeman in New York. He also did a stint at Ogilvy & Mather in Chicago, working on Sears.

“I wanted to get back into the agency business,” said Kushell, calling Maxxcom “an accelerator for entrepreneurs.”

Dominated by B2B clients, C+M hired Kushell to help generate more consumer business. He said his first task is to expand the shop’s knowledge base so it can attract a wider array of accounts.

C+M’s accounts include Pfizer Animal Health, 3M, Cenex, Caterpillar and Idexx Laboratories. Kushell said he expects the agency to use its B2B experience in those categories to land more consumer-oriented accounts. “You’ll never broaden your client base unless you convince people that you know about their business,” he said.