Witherspoon Advertising Installs New Leadership

Witherspoon Advertising and Public Relations has promoted Bryan Harding to lead new-business efforts and hired Kim Speairs to fill his former position.

The moves come shortly after the death of Roger Rienstra, the Fort Worth, Texas, agency’s chief executive officer and chairman, but are unrelated, according to shop president Debra Morrow. Rienstra, 62, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2001 and died Oct. 15.

Morrow said since Rienstra had not been active in the agency’s affairs for over a year, the organization continues to function as it did prior to his passing. She said the shop has no plans to name a new chief executive or chairman.

Demonstrative of what Morrow refers to as a “seamless transition,” the shop has elevated Harding to the new position of director of strategic development from director of client services. Harding, who joined Witherspoon in January 2001, is responsible for pursuing new business, as well as branding and strategic development.

“All of us were utility players in new business, but we see a great benefit in having someone designated to that position,” Morrow said.

Speairs has assumed Harding’s former position and is responsible for managing the agency’s client services department. She was formerly executive vice president and account services director at Stuart Bacon Advertising-Public Relations in Fort Worth, which closed its doors last month.

“[Speairs] is one of the people we’ve wanted over here for a long time,” Morrow said.

Morrow said she plans to continue Rienstra’s legacy of hiring top talent and maintaining the agency’s client-focused culture.

Rienstra joined Witherspoon in 1962 after graduating with a degree in graphic design from the University of Texas at Austin. He took the reins of one of Fort Worth’s first public relations firms 11 years later, when founder Guy Witherspoon retired.

Witherspoon, the largest agency in Fort Worth, reported billings last year of $19 million and revenue of$3 million.