Ketner Group celebrates an honest-to-goodness milestone this month: our 30th anniversary.
Has it really been that long? As one of my favorite clients said, “how is that possible when Jeff is only 29 years old?” (Hint: if you tell me something like this, you, too, can be one of my favorite clients.)
Weathering it all: from the dot-com bust to the pandemic
Three decades means that we’ve weathered the ups and downs of the dot-com bust, the Great Recession, the Retail Apocalypse and the biggest one of all, the global pandemic. Through our history, we’ve managed to thrive and become a stronger, better agency.
We’ve won industry accolades, too, including being named to PR News’ 2020 Top 100 “Agency Elite” list, which recognizes the industry’s most innovative PR and communications firms.
How did we do it? Specialization.
As we celebrate our anniversary, I’ve been asked several times, “how did you do it?” One of the keys to our success is specialization. Ketner Group has never wavered from B2B communications, and in particular we focused on retail technology early on.
We’ve expanded into other business segments, too, but we’ll always maintain a strong practice in retail tech.
Retail is a fast changing, fascinating business, and our team has been fortunate to make lifelong friends among the many clients, editors and analysts we’ve worked with.
But really, how did we do it? A great team.
But I must say, the biggest reason we’re successful is the “group” in Ketner Group. My name may be on the proverbial door, but it’s the team that makes it work, day in and day out.
Teamwork is the key to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s success as the longest-tenured coach in the NBA. And it’s the secret to our longevity and success, too.
From our senior leadership team to our account management staff, they’re whip-smart and a joy to work with.
If Tim Duncan was the X factor behind the Spurs’ five NBA titles, then Catherine Seeds — our president, my partner and a friend and co-worker for over 18 years — is our Tim Duncan.
Simply put, there would be no 30th anniversary without Catherine. We couldn’t have done it without her. She’s a leader who has earned the respect of our clients, co-workers and many friends throughout the industry. I’m thankful every day for Catherine’s professionalism, integrity and “can-do” spirit as her role at Ketner Group continues to grow.
The unsung hero in all of this, though, is Molly, the love of my life. We celebrated our own big anniversary last year – 40 years – and she’s always been my best adviser, most patient listener and biggest supporter through everything. She’s also put up with me working from home during the pandemic, Zoom calls and all. It’s fun to both be under the same roof during working hours.
The future is bright at 30 years young
It’s only natural to look back to your history as you reflect on a milestone, but it excites me even more to look to the future.
Ketner Group has a lot to be proud of, and the best is still ahead of us. Our team continues to expand our capabilities, work with great clients and build a strong foundation for the future. At 30 years young, we’re just hitting our stride.
In case you’re wondering, I’ll continue to be part of Ketner Group for quite a few more years. As one of my guitar heroes, Mark Knopfler (formerly of Dire Straits) said at a 2019 Austin concert I had the pleasure to attend: “what could be more fun than this?”
Here’s to the next 30 years, with a heartfelt “thank you” to everyone who has helped us get here.