We’re excited to announce a full transition of ownership from co-founder Judy Habib to our long-standing company leaders, Sylvie Askins, Adam Cramer, and Michael Panagako, who will serve specific and complementary roles as managing partners. The move maintains our stature as one of Boston’s leading independently owned, full-service, mid-sized brand and advertising agencies.
“Keeping KHJ strong through three recessions, two acquisitions, and a pandemic has been its own success story,” says Habib. “But the stories we’re most proud of are about the clients we’ve helped become industry leaders and the employees whose careers we’ve helped launch and nurture. And now, I am thrilled to pass the torch to the leadership team that has helped make us who we are today.”
“Retaining our total independence was an important factor as we planned this transition,” says Cramer, managing partner/creative.
As managing partner/president, Ms. Askins will take on the daily operations of the agency in addition to her strategic role with clients. “Our approach to branding has always been distinguished by our focus on employees as audience number one,” she says, “and we intend to continue to build upon this. In today’s hybrid work environments and competitive recruitment landscape, organizations are more than ever looking for ways to retain and engage employees. We believe fully activated, purpose-driven brands can be used to attract and recruit top talent, engage employees, and ignite cultures.”
“Part of the magic of KHJ is that our methodical, yet flexible, process was designed to align stakeholders inside and outside of an organization,” says Panagako, managing partner/growth and strategy, “and it can be applied to a wide variety of business challenges. It’s an especially effective approach for organizations and industries facing disruption, which explains our historically strong focus on life sciences, health care, professional services, real estate, and destinations.”
The firm has formed an executive leadership team that will include Mr. Cramer, Mrs. Askins, Mr. Panagako, and Todd Baird, who has been promoted to EVP, strategy & planning and will continue to play a critical leadership role for the agency.
As Ms. Habib transitions to an advisory role with the firm, she’ll continue to focus on her commitments as vice chair of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, president of the International Women’s Forum of Massachusetts, and continue contributions through her writing, speaking, and mentoring. And what she claims is some “long overdue time for play.”