Stillwell Opens Its Doors

NEW YORK Marketing veteran Matt Scheckner (shown) has launched Stillwell Partners, an independent consultancy here focused on media and communications strategy and experiential marketing.

Scheckner serves as president and CEO of the start-up, and his team will run Advertising Week, the annual industry celebration and conference held each year in Manhattan. Scheckner and his associates Jillian Mellone and Lance Pillersdorf — both partners in Stillwell — have worked on Advertising Week since it debuted in 2004. ( The company name derived from the partners’ affinity for Coney Island, the land for which was assembled by Justice William Stillwell.)

Other clients of the firm include the Apollo Theater, the Association of National Advertisers Alliance for Entertainment, Betawave, the Jim Henson Co., the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, the Paley Center for Media; and the Tribeca Film Festival.

The group’s first effort debuted last night, as Stillwell produced the Paley Center for Media’s annual gala at Cipriani 42nd Street honoring WPP Group’s Martin Sorrell and Scripps’ Ken Lowe. Stillwell is also assisting with tonight’s Library of Congress Gershwin Prize, which will be given to Stevie Wonder at the White House and broadcast on PBS Feb. 26. The Apollo’s 75th anniversary celebration will also be a Stillwell production.

As for starting up in a down economy, Scheckner said, “In any economy, actionable ideas and strategies which deliver are a valuable commodity.” He added: “Things go up, things go down, but delivery of results keeps us on an even keel and the response of the marketplace to us has been very gratifying and validating.”

From 2006-08, Scheckner — with Mellone and Pillersdorf — ran Yahoo Trade Marketing and produced high-profile internal and external events, including Tony Bennett’s appearance at last June’s Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. Scheckner operated his own firm, Empire Sports & Entertainment, from 1995-2006.

There have been several start-up ventures of late, ranging from social-media firms (Two Martinis), creative boutiques (Baldwin&) and full-service ad shops (Gray & Partners).