After Assembling Accomplished Leadership Team, Tim Dodge Stepping Out of CEO Role
In 2015, Tim Dodge and Ken Hanson devised a five-year plan. Their vision was to build a leadership team strong enough to enable the co-founders to transition out of day-to-day involvement in the business.
Hanson retired in 2017 and sold his interest in the company to Dodge. Today, 24 months later, the plan has come to fruition. During an all-agency meeting, Dodge announced his transition out of his CEO role so that Hanson Dodge’s leadership team can assume full responsibility for guiding the firm.
“As a business owner, I’ve come to appreciate that when you’ve put a powerful team on the field, the best thing you can do is get out of their way and let them excel,” Dodge said. “So that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Agency President Stacie Boney will continue leading the firm. Boney, who joined Hanson Dodge in October 2016 after 32 years with BBDO Energy in Chicago, was named president in February of 2018.
“I believe wholeheartedly in Stacie’s ability to lead Hanson Dodge into the future,” Dodge added. “We’ve assembled the most talented team we’ve ever had here, as demonstrated by the pace of positive change in our business, the year-over-year growth of our legacy client relationships, and our recent spate of new client acquisitions. I’m confident that our clients and their brands are in excellent hands.”
That confidence is evidenced by Dodge’s decision to maintain his principal-owner status in the agency that he and Hanson founded more than 30 years ago.
Promotions and Talent Additions
Earlier this year, Hanson Dodge promoted two key employees to the agency’s leadership team:
- David Pollard, Vice President of Client Leadership, brings 17 years of industry experience. At Hanson Dodge, David leads all aspects of helping clients achieve their goals. Before joining Hanson Dodge in January of 2017, David worked at BBDO and Digitas, and led work for Mars Wrigley, P&G, Henkel and KitchenAid, as well as SC Johnson’s Windex and Ziploc brands.
- Kelly Klawonn, Vice President of Talent and Operations, has spent most of her career building teams, developing talent and helping grow organizations ranging from small startups to global digital agencies. Kelly joined Hanson Dodge in 2014 after serving as Senior Recruiter for Emerging Experiences at Razorfish. Since then, she’s introduced a host of hiring, on-boarding, culture-building and process improvements to the agency.
Rounding out Hanson Dodge’s leadership team are Chris Buhrman, Executive Creative Director, Mike Stefaniak, Chief Strategy Officer and Partner, as well as Boney.
Additionally, Melisa Leonard, Senior Vice President of Business Development, joined the agency in May of this year. Melisa manages Hanson Dodge’s new business pipeline and practice. She is responsible for attracting ambitious clients who are ready for help making the next great leap with their brands. Before relocating to Milwaukee, Leonard held leadership roles at agencies McCann, FCB, Euro RSCG and Havas.
A Well-Earned Sabbatical
Dodge’s first order of business on the heels of this announcement will be a three-month sabbatical to the mountains of Colorado.
“If you know Tim, you know he’s insatiably curious about business, and won’t be sitting still for long,” Boney said. “He will continue to be a positive force in the business world, and Hanson Dodge will continue to draw on his legacy of using innovative technologies to drive our clients' success.”
Dodge’s long list of accomplishments at Hanson Dodge includes establishing client relationships with countless leading global brands, positioning Hanson Dodge for digital leadership in the earliest days of the Internet, developing pioneering approaches to outsourced eCommerce services, and more. Dodge is also known and respected in the region’s business community as a passionate, energetic entrepreneur with a knack for forging innovative partnerships.
“I’m excited—with a touch of bittersweet sadness—to be moving away from a day-to-day role in Hanson Dodge, but I am more confident than ever in the future of the agency,” Dodge concluded. “Putting in place this talented team and letting them write the next chapter in our agency’s storybook history will be my lasting and largest accomplishment.”
About Hanson Dodge
Hanson Dodge has been inspiring consumers and delivering transformational business impact for leading brands on a global scale for more than 30 years. From branding efforts that have evergreen effect to industry firsts including digital product customization tools, omnichannel experiences and social commerce, Hanson Dodge is a fully integrated agency known for helping brands make the next great leap in their businesses.