Earlier this year, Marty Wenzell was discussing his future with Jeff Goodby, his boss of 17 years. After a 30-plus-year career running accounts from Budweiser to Subway, Wenzell thought that it was time to "reinvent" himself.
"I thought, 'Maybe it's time to look at fresh opportunities,'" said Wenzell, who starts at Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., as director of client strategy, a new position. "It's a really good time in my life."
A self-proclaimed hockey dad, Wenzell, 56, has two sons going off to college this fall (two others are in high school and middle school), which will free up his schedule a bit. Plus, he found the idea of overseeing media and account strategy for an agency with a multitude of offerings—including advertising, PR, sports marketing and interactive—appealing.
"They have what a lot of agencies wish they had," Wenzell said. "The great thing is they're established, but still need to grow."
In his new post at the independent shop, Wenzell will oversee the agency's account management and account planning functions, as well as work on new-business strategies. Wenzell will report to agency president Jeff King.
"Prospecting is a 100 percent full-time job," King said. "What I found happening during a long pitch was that we stopped prospecting."
After graduating with a degree in advertising and marketing from Arizona State University in the mid-1970s, Wenzell returned to his native Los Angeles to work at Young & Rubicam. He later moved to TBWA\Chiat\Day, helping open an office in New York, before moving to the agency's office in San Francisco. He also had a stint at Hal Riney & Partners before moving to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in 1989. "I learned in the best environments with the smartest people," Wenzell said.
Wenzell admitted he'll have to adjust to Barkley's Kansas City hometown, especially with its American League baseball team. "It's going to be hard to go from rooting for the [San Francisco] Giants and the National League [to the Royals]."