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Michigan Shop Creates New Unit To Provide Ad Work for Nonprofits

DETROIT-Hanon McKendry, a 4-year-old agency based in Grand Rapids, Mich., has created a nonprofit subsidiary, Compass Arts, to serve the advertising and communication needs of other nonprofits.
The shop’s founders, Jim Hanon and Bill McKendry, hope the new entity will attract talented creatives from around the country who want to work on nonprofit projects.
“I know a lot of great creative people in Chicago and all over the country,” said Hanon, who left Leo Burnett in 1992 and teamed up with with McKendry in 1994. “They might not volunteer for an agency, but they would volunteer for a nonprofit organization.
“Compass cuts down the normal competitiveness between agencies.
It allows us a platform to invite participation from creatives and strategists beyond the barriers that might exist between competitive agencies,” he said.
Compass Arts will be funded by donors and run by a seven-member board of directors comprised of business leaders nationwide, including Hanon and McKendry. The board has already selected 10 main areas to focus on, including homelessness, racism, violence, disabilities, church/faith and environment.
Compass’ advertising and marketing programs will be syndicated-as a sort of library of advertising-to nonprofits nationwide sharing similar service missions.
Separately, Hanon McKendry has hired Gary Pokorny as chief executive officer, a newly created position. Previously a senior vice president at Noble Advertising in Springfield, Mo., Pokorny has been consulting with the agency and its clients for the past nine months. He will take over many of the business tasks at the shop, freeing up Hanon and McKendry to spend more time overseeing the agency’s creative activities.