Valentine Radford Backs Knape, Ingersoll in New Agency

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–After nearly five years under the umbrella of local agency Larkin, Meeder & Schweidel, both Susan Knape and Ted Ingersoll are ready to get wet again.

The principals of two LM&S operating units are teaming to create a full-service Dallas agency called Knape. The new shop will be owned by, but run independently of, Kansas City, Mo., agency Valentine Radford.

Slated to open June 1, it will initially be operated with eight staffers that comprised the Knape Group and the Ingersoll Group units of LM&S.

‘We really want to be a superstar, national agency on a creative basis,’ said Knape, former owner of a freestanding agency nearly done in by the early ’90s industry slump.

Ingersoll will be jumping back into the account service fray after several years in public relations, both with the LM&S unit and Richards/Ingersoll, a former Richards Group affiliate. Joining them in the executive suites will be executive creative director Les Kerr and creative director Jim Starr. ‘We’ve been looking (to gain a presence in Dallas) for about a year,’ said Chuck Curtis, VR chairman, who worked at Tracy-Locke in Dallas earlier in his career.

VR was approached by Susan Knape and Ted Ingersoll about backing them in their venture. Ingersoll was Curtis’ boss at Tracy-Locke 20 years ago. ‘It’s not a blind date,’ quipped Ingersoll.

Discussions have been continuing for six months, according to Knape. ‘They wanted a creatively distinct agency that is ‘Dallas,” instead of a branch office, she said.

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