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Bader Rutter names new CEO as it sets long-term succession plan

Wednesday, February 7, 2018   (0 Comments)

Business Journal
Rich Kirchen

Greg Nickerson relinquished the CEO role at Milwaukee advertising and marketing agency Bader Rutter to president Jeff Young and both will remain with the organization as part of a long-term succession plan.

Nickerson will retain the title of chairman. He has been CEO since 2009, was president from 2005 to 2009 and joined the agency in 1992.

Nickerson was instrumental in the 2016 decision to move Bader Rutter’s headquarters from Brookfield to downtown Milwaukee. The company anchors an office development by Wangard Partners Inc. at 1433 N. Water St.

Young has been president since October 2011 and joined Bader Rutter in 1990. Bader Rutter said in its announcement of the leadership changes that they are part of a multi-year succession plan that accommodates the agency’s significant growth since employees bought the firm in 2008.

"Jeff is incredibly prepared to take on this expanded role in agency leadership and I have confidence in his ability to successfully guide Bader Rutter to the next level,” Nickerson said. "Our plan has always been to provide clear leadership succession; we’ve charted a very aggressive path for growth and are positioning our talent to achieve that goal.”

As chairman, Nickerson will remain active in business development, financial oversight and in industry and civic organizations.

The agency said it has grown 20 percent in the past two years and has significantly increased its staff to serve an expanding client list.

Nickerson and Young also named a new, seven-member executive leadership team. The team includes Bader Rutter veterans David Jordan, JoDee George, Linda Hogan, Patrick Smith and Tom Posta as well as two recent hires.

Ned Brown, former vice president/group director of creative at Cramer-Krasselt, joined Bader Rutter as its chief creative officer. Eric Kirkhofer is Bader Rutter’s new chief financial officer after serving as chief operating officer and chief information officer at BuySeasons.

Bader Rutter had 245 local employees and $260 million in local advertising billings as of the latest Milwaukee Business Journal List of largest area advertising agencies in August 2017. Bader Rutter was the largest independent agency based in metro Milwaukee. 

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