Jeff is surely one of the few ad guys to start his career as an intern at the same agency where he later became CEO. We always remind our interns of that. Most of them seem to work harder afterward.
Jeff’s journey to the helm of Barkley wasn’t without a few swerves and valuable pit stops along the way, including GSD&M in Austin and Fletcher Martin in Atlanta. He then became a partner at Three Wide Marketing, which Barkley purchased in 2003, finally bringing Jeff back. In 2009, he was named CEO.
He and his team have transformed the 50+ year-old agency into one of the most sought-after experts on brand modernization and future-proofing clients. He has helped build a purpose-driven culture that inspires our partners and enables great work. Since 2011, Barkley has enjoyed its most rapid growth in the company’s history.
Outside of Barkley, Jeff is active in YPO International (Young Presidents’ Organization), serves on the regional Board of the 4A’s and is a regular 4A’s speaker. He supports the local community as an advisor to several non-profit organizations including The Brand Lab, Super Hero Yoga and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
After two decades in the business, Sara has learned one central lesson: it’s all about the people. Whether working with pet food, telecom, power tools or women’s lingerie, it all comes down to the people you work with and the people you’re serving.
This passion for people has led Sara to co-found the Barkley women’s group, offering networking opportunities and leadership training to encourage the female staff to grow and learn in their careers. She also leads the agency’s culture team, creating an energetic, positive environment that keeps Barkley on Best Places to Work lists in Ad Age and Kansas City Business Journal.
In addition to heading an account group with Vanity Fair, Children’s Health System of Texas and H&R Block, Sara oversees training for all account teams at Barkley. On her lunch hour, she runs stairs—but to us, she’s already at the top.
Katy has a unique, positive energy that supercharges everything she does. One of her favorite terms is “kick-ass,” and she tries to bring that spirit to every brand she works on, every idea or piece of copy she touches and every meeting she’s in.
Maybe she picked that up in Boulder at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, working on brands like Old Navy and Baby Carrots. Or in Boston at Mullen, creating campaigns for Zappos.com and Jet Blue. Or maybe she was born with it. Wherever it comes from, it’s that relentless positivity that has led to numerous industry awards and to being named one of Business Insider’s most creative 30 under 30.
Katy is currently the creative leadership on Hershey, Anheuser-Busch, Cargill, Noodles & Company and Vanity Fair, as well as a number of other brands since joining Barkley.
An avid tennis player, Suzanne likes to add in as well as Add Good. Her years on the corporate side give her a unique perspective on working with clients and running a tight ship. And serving on the boards of nonprofits has informed her ideas of how to recession-proof brands and maximize their impact.
She came to Barkley from Sprint, where she served most recently as Vice President of Finance, Planning and Analysis, and Operations. She has deep experience in audits, internal controls, investor relations, cost reduction and financial forecasting, and was involved in the SoftBank acquisition of Sprint.
At Barkley, Suzanne is all about planning the agency’s future while making sure we’re billing in the present.
The challenge of building underdog brands is what drives Jason as a strategist, collaborator and prime mover of new business at Barkley.
Jason is one of the agency’s many boomerangers, starting his career here, but jumping off to other opportunities before coming back home. In a 5+ year stint at Adamson, he worked his way up to partner, cultivating just about every brand in the shop.
Among other awards, Jason was named by Ingram’s as one of Kansas City’s 40 most influential business leaders under 40. He’s used that influence here for more than a dozen (cumulative) years, leading strategy for brands like Hershey, Target, ESPN, Dairy Queen, Nestlé Purina and H&R Block. Jason oversees all account leadership and agency relationships, but sees his main job as making sure everything we do for each client drives business results.
Ask Amy about the weirdest legal issue she’s had to deal with in her career and she’ll probably mention bat guano. You don’t want to know. (Yes, you do.) This just hints at the vast range of her legal experience.
Before joining Barkley, Amy spent 13 years in private practice, most recently as a partner at the law firm of Lathrop & Gage. Her focus was on commercial and employment litigation, including false advertising, trade secret and non-compete, and breach of contract disputes. She has first-chair experience for both plaintiffs and defendants in courts across the country. Notably, Amy was one of Barkley’s outside attorneys from the first day of her legal career as an intern until she came in-house.
She now serves as our Chief Legal Counsel/EVP Human Resources, overseeing and handling all things legal, human resources, facilities and IT.
According to Jeff’s mom, he is the leading thinker on millennial consumer trends in the city of Leawood, Kansas, and generally plays nicely with others.
Jeff has 25 years of hands-on consulting experience across brand categories. He is the author of “Marketing to Millennials” as well as the new book, “Millennials with Kids.” He is also a contributing writer for Forbes. Jeff has given roughly 400 keynote talks to major brands and associations in the past five years on consumer and innovation trends.
Jeff graduated with a dual major in marketing and beer pong from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also attended The London School of Economics. In addition to his day job, Jeff is on the board of directors for Three Dog Bakery, Tickets for Less and an Israeli tech start-up called Change.
After graduating from Boston University with a degree in Film & Television, Dan spent six years in production at ESPN. As a feature producer, Dan wrote and produced stories on a range of topics from Mascot School to the Daytona 500 and a lot of things in between.
Dan then combined his love for sports and business to co-found Three Wide Marketing, where he served as President for seven years. Dan and his partner sold the company to Barkley in 2003 and Dan has been with the agency ever since in a number of roles.
Since 2012, Dan has served as President and COO, working with clients and internal teams to help deliver breakthrough work to drive business results. Through his work in consumer insights, innovation and integration, Dan has helped position Barkley as a leader in the agency landscape. In 2016, Forrester recognized Barkley as one of the top Lead Agencies in the country; well suited to help brands build their business through consumer-driven strategies, experience design and communications.
To understand what Paul is all about, you might pick up one of his handmade banjos. The materials, attention to detail, and sense of the maker in the object, all suggest unique qualities of design thinking.
Paul applied his MFA in visual communication to various illustration and art direction jobs before becoming founding Creative Director of a successful start-up agency. Since then he’s been an Interactive Creative Director and ECD, landing him One Show awards, National Addys, and recognition in Creativity, How, and Print annuals.
At Barkley, Paul is the driving force behind bringing a defined design approach to all the work that comes through the agency. He’s used this expertise to elevate brands to new levels. He’s also an agency mentor, developing creative capacity not only in design, but storytelling and presentation skills. Through all of this, he works to create more natural, genuine, and emotionally effective communications.
Brad is into brands—how they develop, how they connect to consumers through products and service as well as marketing and how they stay relevant.
He started his advertising career over 25 years ago on the retail side, working with clients such as Walmart, Sam’s Club and Payless ShoeSource. In 2004, he transitioned to the CPG side of advertising and was responsible for building Barkley’s CPG team from one account to several.
His experience includes Blue Bunny Ice Cream, Weight Watchers, Mueller’s Pasta, American Italian Pasta, Dawn Foods, Cake Boss Cakes, Cargill Red Meat, Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms, Minute Rice, Daisy Cottage Cheese and Tetra Pak. Brad is an expert in millennial marketing, having led the first millennial study conducted by Barkley. He is the publisher of CPGTrends.com.
Brands live and die by the power of their ideas. The right ones can future-proof a brand for years. Getting to that takes vision, collaboration and craft—and Tim’s approach is to explore the intersections, work forward and backwards and smash things together to discover something new that, ultimately, creates a brand’s biggest possible future.
Tim’s unique philosophy and skills were honed at TBWA/CHIAT/DAY, Leo Burnett, Team Detroit and JWT, creating powerful brand ideas for Microsoft, Ford, GM, Reebok, Dannon, Nestlé and Kimberly-Clark.
As Chief Idea Officer, Tim guides our Red Thread development for each brand, harnessing the power of strategy, creative and engagement while constantly working to reinvent what a creative idea company can and should be.
Chris connects things; culture to business, strategy to creative, brand to consumer. This restless interest in how things fit together drives everything he does.
He works with agency teams to connect insights to creative ideas. He leads strategy for brands including Dairy Queen and Noodles & Company. He navigates across brand, consumer and culture to find the insight that fuels the right idea, whether it be a creative, media or business idea.
Chris believes that advertising can always be more human and the business world can always be more creative. He puts those beliefs into practice every day and champions efforts to achieve those ends. He’s been at Barkley since 2010 and has worked in several spaces, including restaurant, retail, travel and CPG. He’s worked on clients such as Spirit Airlines, Ball Canning, Marmot, Missouri Lottery, Dice, Lee Jeans and Blue Bunny.