By Walter Ohlmann, President
As of December 31st, we closed the books on our 35th year in operation. Most were great years; a couple only near-great. But all spiked with the excitement of developing creative solutions to marketing communication problems.
We’re a mite larger than we were in 1949 when Bob and Jean Penny founded the agency as Penny & Penny. When I joined the company in 1964, it necessitated the addition of a chair on the other side of Bob’s desk. That made two chairs, one desk, one two-drawer file cabinet and a clothes rack in the corner.
From that single room office on Monument Avenue, we graduated to 700 square feet on Salem Avenue and stayed put for a couple of years ‛til we moved to Main Street and 6,000 square feet, two-thirds of which were promptly rented out. In 1969, Ralph Neiman joined our growing group adding a full service art department for the first time. We continued to grow until there were more people than space. So, in 1982, we started our new building project, which doubled our size to 12,000 square feet. Today, 18 months after completion we don’t have an empty square foot.
From Bob and Jean, we’ve grown to 42 seasoned pros – a growth that is gratifyingly impressive. And we have a client roster to match.
In addition to adding people over the years, we’ve also added capabilities like our in-house audio studio, our computerized typesetting operation, and our on-line media services. We’ve added departments such as Public Relations, National Yellow Pages, and Special Projects. And, of course, we’ve added clients. From $150,000 in billings in 1964 we’re now billing at the rate of $13 million plus annually.
Looking back, it’s been a challenging and satisfying road we’ve travelled. A lot of people have helped us along that road; our staff, our clients and our suppliers. God bless you all.
Looking ahead, we’re structured for accelerated growth and we view the future with optimistic anticipation.