Award-winning brand strategy and creative agency builds on momentum, promotes three to principal.
Two decades ago, partners Diane Seimetz Duncan, David Wilgus and Michael Boone set out on a mission: deploy their years of marketing experience working on high-profile national and international clients to help new brands successfully achieve lift off, and guide mature brands back to the success they once enjoyed. They named the business Launch because it perfectly fit what they wanted to build, a creative company able to give innovative businesses the strategic thinking and creative firepower to launch or relaunch successfully.
And soon after its own launch, the burgeoning agency had built a star-studded roster of dotcoms and startups, including Match.com, Hotels.com and Paris Las Vegas; as well as high-profile relaunches – among them restaurateur Phil Romano’s eatZi’s Market & Bakery, and retail giant Sam’s Club.
Today, Duncan, Wilgus and Boone are making room at the helm for three new principals: Group Creative Director April Steinbach, Account Director Jason Giles, and agency Controller Ray Ives.
“We have always believed – and reinforced to clients – that launching is not just for startups. It’s a mindset. Something you do every day, evolving and innovating your way to the top,” said Diane Seimetz Duncan, Principal and Creative Director for Launch. “Expanding our leadership capabilities with key talent like April, Jason and Ray is putting that deeply held belief into practice in our own business.”
April Steinbach is on her second tour as a Launcher, starting in 2004 as senior copywriter and returning in 2018 as Group Creative Director. She brings with her extensive digital and mass media experience from BBDO/Organic and TM Advertising, leading campaigns for American Airlines, AT&T, Bausch + Lomb, Community Coffee among others, and earning recognition from Communication Arts, Graphis, The New York Times, Muse by Clio and the American Advertising Federation. April currently heads creative efforts for Baylor Scott & White Health along with new business initiatives.
Jason Giles, Launch employee #2, has been with the agency since the doors opened over 19 years ago. Coming to the shop with a strong background in retail, service businesses and automotive, Jason was key in helping longest-standing client, Park Place Dealerships, grow to a more than $2 billion luxury brand powerhouse. He has also been instrumental in new business, and has led strategy and growth efforts for Baylor Scott & White Health, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Texas, since the client joined the roster in 2017.
As the newest addition to the senior leadership team, Controller Ray Ives, lends nearly 30 years’ experience to the agency’s financial and business operations. The USC grad spent more than 17 years at San Antonio-based Bromley and Associates, where he served as Finance Director and Chief Financial Officer during his tenure. Prior to that, he was Senior Financial Analyst at DMB&B, and most recently at Publicis Groupe’s Spark Foundry, NYC, where he was SVP Finance Director.
“We feel very fortunate to have the caliber of talent, integrity, loyalty and work ethic we have in April, Jason and Ray,” said Michael Boone, Principal and Account Director for Launch. “Each has already earned the respect and trust from peers, partners and clients. With the promotion to principal, we are just formalizing the role, and look forward to leading alongside them in the years ahead.”
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