Joe Smith brings a seasoned team of brand professionals to expand and enhance PadillaCRT's existing expertise in brand strategy and execution. Joe Smith co-founders Barry Saunders and Christian Markow will join PadillaCRT's executive leadership team. The seven-member firm will be the brand consultancy of PadillaCRT, operating under the Joe Smith name and taking advantage of PadillaCRT's full suite of creative and digital capabilities.
"We're thrilled to bring the talents of Barry, Christian and the Joe Smith team to PadillaCRT," said Lynn Casey, PadillaCRT CEO. "This acquisition aligns with our growth strategy and with our commitment to helping clients achieve their purpose and make strong connections with the people who are important to their success."
PadillaCRT's Kelly O'Keefe, who also chairs the creative brand management track of the nationally acclaimed Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter graduate program, will continue to work closely with Joe Smith.
Prior to forming Joe Smith, Saunders and Markow led the Richmond office of Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy. They founded Joe Smith in 2013 to build purpose-led brands that deliver meaningful experiences and noteworthy business results. Over the course of two years, Joe Smith has delivered brand development, experience and engagement programs for GE, Chick-fil-A, BH Media Group's Richmond Times-Dispatch, The College of William & Mary, and Keystone Insurers Group, among many others.
Saunders said that Joe Smith considered PadillaCRT a kindred spirit in both culture and aspirations. "As part of our growth plan, Christian and I imagined partnering with a very human and highly acclaimed organization like PadillaCRT," he said. "This acquisition expands opportunities for both of us to do work that matters."
"Joining forces with PadillaCRT was timely as growth was accelerating rapidly at Joe Smith," Markow said. "Both firms are dedicated to helping clients develop meaningful brands, so it felt like a natural next step. We share an unwavering focus on defining a brand's purpose and on crafting the story and experiences that bring it to life for our clients and their customers."