Kirshenbaum Taps 2: ‘Associate Partners’ to Receive Equity Stakes

By Teresa Andreoli

NEW YORK–Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners is reorganizing its management team to reflect a stronger commitment to integrated marketing.

The $200 million shop has created the new title of ‘associate partner’ and has elevated Felicia Stingone, vice president and director of public relations and promotions, and Barry Lowenthal, vice president and associate media director, to the post. Each will receive an equity stake in the agency.

‘We are doing this to increase the number of people who have shares in the company,’ said Jon Bond, co-chairman of the agency. ‘The best people in advertising have to feel that they are working for themselves,’ Bond said, referring to his belief in the importance of profit sharing. Others may be promoted in the future, but he declined to give any names.

‘Felicia was chosen because she built our public relations/promotions department from zero to a (full-time) staff of 10, and Barry because he helped define our media philosophy,’ Bond said.

Shop president Rosemarie Ryan said the two were an ‘integral part of (the development) of the agency’s services, culture and direction.’

Stingone joined the shop in 1992 after serving in a public relations capacity at retailers such as Conran’s Habitat and Barneys New York. ‘When I joined there was no public relations function, but it was that challenge that has made my experience here more rewarding than a more traditional public relations role,’ she said.

Her department currently works for more than half of the shop’s clients, she said, such as U S West’s local on-line service in Denver, called DiveIn, and Target Stores.

Lowenthal joined the shop five years ago and has helped implement some unconventional media placements, including ads for client Citibank, which ran in about 500 high school yearbooks around the country. He also helped launch the shop’s interactive media division and the agency’s first client Web site.

The promotions ‘show the agency’s commitment (to the industry) that we are a communications company and not just an ad agency,’ Lowenthal said.

The equity stakes of founders Bond and co-chairman Richard Kirshenbaum have been reduced so that each now holds 40 percent of the agency’s shares, Bond said. The remaining shares are split among the two new associate partners and four managing partners: Ryan, executive creative director Bill Oberlander, director of brand planning Nigel Carr and director of media and interactive services Steve Klein.

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