Power Plays in Conn.

O’Neal & Prelle has shut its doors, but two of the Hartford, Conn., agency’s former executives are looking to play roles in the ongoing review for Connecticut’s tourism business, which had long been one of O&P’s signature accounts.
Bill O’Neal, the former chairman of O&P who served with the agency for 20 years before leaving in 1996 to open a consulting firm in Durham, Conn., said he intends to work with an undisclosed shop to win the business.
Michael Kintner, who had been O&P’s president before leaving two months ago, will work with Mintz & Hoke in Avon, Conn., as that shop pursues the business, budgeted at $6 million for the next 22 months.
“I worked on the tourism account for seven or eight years, and I wanted to make sure that a firm that had destination experience and a good staff would take over the account,” said Kintner. He talked to several other agencies about acting as a consultant on the pitch, but ultimately decided that Mintz & Hoke had “the best creative and strategic point of view to pitch the RFP.”
“Nobody knows more about Connecticut tourism on the agency side than Mike,” Chris Knopf, Mintz & Hoke president said of Kintner. “He’s helping us get up to speed on the issues, background, and dynamics of Connecticut tourism.” Kintner will not continue working with Mintz & Hoke on the account should the agency win it.
O’Neal & Prelle, which had operated since 1934, this month closed and filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 7 of the federal bankruptcy statues [Adweek, July 10].
In a separate development, Kintner is an applicant for the position of president and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery, New Britain, Conn., a position that has seen turnover following the fatal shooting of president Otho Brown and three other employees by a lottery accountant in March 1998. George Wandrak resigned as president and CEO in April of this year; CFO James Vance was named acting president. K