Connecticut Creatives | Response
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Location: 9th Square, New Haven
Staff: 20 
 11 years
Key Players: Managing Partner: Carolyn Walker; Partner: Paul Lavoie; VP Strategy: David Klineberg; Creative Director: Terry Lush; Director of Client Services: Kim DeMartino; Director of Technology: Bryan Bielefeldt; Teresa Dodson, Managing Director, Silicon Valley 
Key Clients:
 Logitech, McAfee, NETGEAR, Vudu, Stanley Black & Decker (brands include Stanley, Stanley Fat Max, BOSTITCH, DEWALT, Black & Decker, Porter Cable, and PROTO), Sportech (Winners), University of New Haven, Waterbury Hospital, WordLock

How was the agency born?
Response was founded in 2002 by Peter Franz and Doug Conner with Stanley as the first client. In 2005, the founders brought on Carolyn Walker to head up the Sales and Marketing efforts for the agency. The agency steadily grew and acquired new clients including Logitech, BIC, Yale School of Medicine, Star Brand Imports, Pitney Bowes and Assa Abloy. Carolyn Walker was named Managing Partner in 2007 and in 2009 purchased the agency from the founding partners and brought on Paul Lavoie as partner. Since 2009, the agency has grown from 5 team members to our current staff of 20 and we have acquired many new clients, including McAfee, NETGEAR, Vudu, WordLock, Sportech, University of New Haven, Waterbury Hospital, Westerly Hospital, Cisco, and Yale University.

Why do clients hire you and not another agency?
Our strategic, creative and account services are just as good as or better than any IPG, Omnicom, WPP or Publicis agency for a fraction of the cost.

What makes your process unique?
We don’t necessarily have a unique process, but we do have incredibly talented people with unique ideas that deliver great results. What we focus on is delivering a “great experience” to our clients. For each client a “great experience” means different things, however these are just a few tenants of getting it right:
• We communicate well with our clients.
• We immerse our team in our clients’ business.
• We get things done quickly.
• We build long lasting relationships.
• We work well with other partners and agencies.
• We are strategic.
• We are focused on delivering results.

Why Connecticut?
We are from here. We also think that being in Connecticut allows us to better compete with the “big boys” in NYC and Boston — because our clients don’t have to pay for an expensive rent, just great talent.

Describe your ideal client.
To describe our ideal client is to look at our current clients, like Logitech, McAfee, NETGEAR, Vudu, and Stanley Black & Decker. These are all companies that are progressive, innovative, value-minded, smart, creative and appreciative. Our clients have become great partners and friends to us.

Describe your ideal team member.
We are a small team, so hiring the right people is critical. They have to fit in with the culture here. Our most successful team members are those that are self-starters, not afraid to raise their hand if they need help, creative, egoless, fun, appreciative, smart, and confident.

How do you “give back”?
We give back in many ways. We’ve partnered with the United Way of New Haven in a program that supports local education programs. We are highly active within the GNHCC (Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce). We also hire interns from many local universities, including University of New Haven, Quinnipiac, and Yale.

Our strategic, creative and account services are just as good as or better than any IPG, Omnicom, WPP or Publicis agency for a fraction of the cost.

Who are your favorite partners/vendors?
We have worked extremely hard over the past 10 years to find the right strategic partners. These partners, like Mediassociates, PCL, RTO, and others are ones that have values and a work ethic that is similar to ours.

Where would you like the agency to be in 5 years?
We have spent the last year putting the right people in place to grow our mobile (creative and programming/development) and video services (creative, production and syndication). So, we see ourselves leveraging our internal talent and being a much bigger player in both of these spaces.

What is unique about the “culture” of the agency? The physical space?
We are on the top floor of the old New Haven Water Company building, which was built 110 years ago (1903). It is a great, creative space with exposed brick walls, huge wood beams and original wide plank floors. We’ve invested in the space with many renovations that have really made it ours. You just have to see it to appreciate it. We love it here and believe it is a true reflection of who we are…collaborative, creative, innovative, smart, and fun!