Bill Westbrook may have left advertising, but he's still making his presence felt in your living room. The former Fallon president and creative director, who retired from the Minneapolis shop three years ago, is lending his voice to current Wachovia TV spots from Mullen in Winston-Salem, N.C. Remembering his voice work for Wrangler and Purina, Mullen lured him back to the voiceover business two years ago.
Not that he's bored by retirement: A quick update finds Westbrook happily installed as an owner and creator of The Hope and Glory Inn, a whimsical renovated schoolhouse and gardens that's become a tourist draw in the quaint water town of Irvington, Va. Europe's Tatler-Cunard Travel Guide rates it as one of the 101 best hotels in the world. He also teaches presentation skills and branding at the inn's small retreat and conference center. When he's not there, you might find him nearby at his Trick Dog Cafe, serving up "American fare with a twist," such as toasted coriander-crusted duck breast with dried apricot and cherry basmati rice. (Your pooch, meanwhile, can feast on "Scaredy Cats," gourmet dog biscuits developed and distributed nationally by Westbrook and his son Cabell, a former Wieden + Kennedy staffer.)
Westbrook's latest venture furthers the vertical integration of his hospitality business: He's a partner in an Irvington winery called White Fences, where, for an annual fee, people can be involved in all of the company's operations, from grape plantings to harvesting to the tasting of the first vintages. If Westbrook launches the wine nationally, his moonlighting in voiceovers should serve him well, just as that other great crossover creative, Hal Riney, did in recording tracks for Gallo.