Principals Buy TraverRohrback

Bill Traver, founder of TraverRohrback, has sold his majority interest in the shop to the top three senior executives at the agency.

Jim Hurd, managing partner, operations and media; Dean Gemmell, managing partner, creative; and Steve Kunkel, managing partner, account service, have purchased equal shares of the agency.

Jim Rohrback, managing partner, strategic planning, will remain on staff and retain his shares and duties. Traver is opening a firm called Blufish, which will focus on marketing consulting and brand management.

With the buyout complete, the new owners of the Kalamazoo, Mich., shop hope to expand the agency’s creative reputation, Kunkel said.

Currently, the agency has about 40 employees and about $33 million from clients such as M-Care Health Plans, AAA Michigan, Borgess Health Alliance, Community Hospitals Indianapolis and business-to-business category leaders like Bridge-stone/Firestone commercial tires.

Kunkel said he wants to expand the agency’s health-care business. Points of focus for gaining new accounts will include recreation and travel, a regional bank and dot-coms, he said. The managing partners will concentrate new business efforts mainly on Midwestern states, he said.

The agency will also expand its public relations and interactive departments, Kunkel said. “It helps round out our services and makes us a more marketable agency.”