I am writing this as we are wrapping up our 2019 year in review at R&A and getting prepared to celebrate the holiday season with our team members and their significant others. This time of year and season brings lots of reflection around the many business circles. The end of the year is a time when we reflect on what we went well during this year, what didn’t go so well and how we are going to take those learnings (good and bad) and apply them to a new year. The end of the calendar year also marks significance in our new business as we usually tend to add the majority of our clients during the 4th quarter and into 1st quarter of the following year.
As our leadership sat down to evaluate where we have been and where we want to go, some key things circled around in our minds:
- We started out the year with 13 team members moving the R&A train forward and we are going to end this year with 18 team members helping drive furniture sales for retailers every single day.
- We went from having a leadership team comprised of four to having an executive leadership team of four and then a management team of 7 overseeing nine people who all touch your account every single day.
- We welcomed back an old face from the R&A days who helped usher in a wave of focus and perseverance on business development that we have never had in my 10+ years here and the results are in adding 7 new accounts to the R&A Club.
- We negotiated a national contract with the largest broadcast company in the country and in turn were able to coalesce and pass on a 10% rebate to you for spending the same amount of money you are right now beginning in 2020 while getting lower rates in the next calendar year.
2019 was a great year. A year focused around definition, organizational development and setting up the path to help each of you survive and thrive as a brick and mortar into today’s topsy turvy retail environment. Part of this focus and this development could not of been done without the spearheading and thoughtful course setting of Justin Vandagriff. Many of you receiving this are aware of Justin’s dedication to his craft, his passion for retail marketing and his commitment to making sure you receive results that are long lasting and not in-the-moment victories. That’s why we are pleased to announce that effective immediately we are elevating Justin Vandagriff to the position of President at R&A Marketing.
Over the last five years, we have come to love and respect the work ethic and vision that Justin has delivered to the agency. All of those accomplishments listed above are a direct result of Justin spearheading our efforts to create layered, dynamic strategies that help pinpoint a customer when she is deepest in the funnel and ready to make a purchase. Under Justin’s watch and guidance of our team members, many of you who have been with us for at least two calendar cycles have experienced tremendous growth and hopefully great bottom-line profits. Those that just joined our club will soon learn that success is the expectation and Justin’s team will do everything in their power to ensure that expectation is met.
With Justin’s elevation to President of the agency, we are also pleased to announce that Ashley Athanas has been elevated to the title of Director of Accounts and Media to ensure that our clients strategic media and customer service needs are being met on a daily basis. As most have observed, Ashley is incredibly gifted and skilled in taking what you want and finding a way to make sure the local media partners you leverage are going to give it to you at the best possible value without sacrificing her core beliefs that frequency is king. Ashley will be following up with each of you to walk through how she will approach her role and how we will make sure we are effectively serving your account. With our growth and evolution of our service offering, each new position and person that is added to R&A only enhances the work we can and will do to move your business forward.
What about Kyle and Kevin? Well, we will still be here and dialing into how we can continue to help grow the footprint of this agency within the industry and also how we can forge relationships that will benefit you in the short and long term. We have grown up in this industry and love furniture retail. Since we can remember, the most important people in our lives have been owners of furniture stores and that will continue to be how we approach our lives in the future.
I appreciate your time in reading this letter and for trusting our company and family with your advertising dollars. We don’t take it lightly that our success in executing your plans not only helps R&A and you. But we also realize the amount of lives your businesses influence locally and how us helping you be successful helps those lives as well.
Thank you for the partnership and we look forward to making 2020 your best year yet.