Five-Member Management Team Takes Over at Martin/Williams

CHICAGO-Minneapolis-based Martin/Williams Advertising in Minneapolis has named five partners to manage the agency as its top two executives step aside from its helm but continue to run the shop’s corporate parent.
Dave Floren, 55, retains his titles of chairman and chief executive officer with holding company Martin/Williams Inc. but relinquishes them at the advertising unit. Similarly, Tom Weyl, 54, continues as president and chief creative officer of the parent company while the new partners take command of the advertising unit.
That new management team consists of Steve Collins, strategic client services director; Tim Frojd, finance director; Mike Gray, director of business development; Lyle Wedemeyer, creative director; and Dan Woodbury, director of marketing services.
The partners, all in their 40s, have worked an average of 14 years with the agency, Floren said. “I don’t think the agency’s going to veer off on a new course,” he said.
Weyl will keep a hand in the business of key clients, including First Bank System and Dayton Hudson Corp., he said.
Weyl and Floren both said they have no plans to retire. The new management structure makes official what has been in practice for more than a year as Floren and Weyl spent increasing time on matters involving the holding company and its English owner, the GGT/BDDP Group, the executives said.
In addition to the advertising unit, the holding company oversees five other units: Fame (retail image management); The Edison Group (graphic design and collateral work); Karwoski & Courage (public relations); and Option One (sales promotion and direct marketing).
The new structure of the agency, which reported 1996 billings of $195 million, was necessary because of growth and the changing market, Weyl and Floren said. “Martin/Williams is playing in a different league than [we] ever have been before.”
The executives said that one task ahead will be beefing up the agency’s place in a worldwide organization. “For the type of clients we want, we need to make our international capabilities more real and credible,” Weyl said of the agency’s plans.

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