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Dawna Henderson Says GoodBye To henderson Bas Kohn

She came, she saw, she conquered! Dawna Henderson has divested of her financial interest in henderson bas kohn (hbk), the digital advertising agency should founded over a decade ago. Over the years, Dawna and Co-Founder / Chief Creative Officer, Kathy Kohn created an award winning advertising agency which helped to bring some major brands into the hearts and minds of Canadians such as Kraft, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz.  About four years ago hbk sold the agency to MDC Partners and became part of that group of companies which covers a wide range of advertising, marketing and public relations agencies across the globe.

In July 2012, Dawna Henderson and Kathy Kohn had their “divorce” aka the parting of ways, Dawna took on the role of Chair of hbk and Glenn Chilton became the President & CEO of both hbk and kenna (also a MDC Partners company), and Kathy Kohn moved over to kenna. The official statement that was released is as follows:

kenna, one of Canada’s most technologically-advanced marketing companies has merged with award-winning digital advertising agency, henderson bas kohn.  Although the two companies have joined forces, they will continue to operate separately, each maintaining their current leadership.  This merger gives both agencies broadened capability to provide clients with measurable, digitally-enabled marketing communications.

kenna is a marketing solutions agency that combines creativity, analytics and proprietary technology to create meaningful, profitable and sustainable connections with people.  Kenna’s innovative solutions help their clients accelerate the sales cycle, optimize customer value and become more efficient and productive.  Current clients include Nissan, Wrigley, BASF, CIBA, Sonos, Tervita, MBNA and Target.

henderson bas kohn is a digital agency rooted in insight and fueled by creative ideas, strategic precision, and measurable results. Current clients include Kraft, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz, McCormick, Ally Bank, Manulife, Yamaha Motors and The Weather Network.

“Because both our companies are part of the MDC Partners network, kenna president Glenn Chilton and I got to know each other,” said Dawna Henderson, Chair of henderson bas kohn.  “That led to kenna and hbk working together on a few projects.  We found our combined offering had powerful benefits for clients, so we started talking about making the relationship more formal.  Both companies are now in a position to take our services to the next level.”

“This is a marriage of like-minded agencies with a lot in common—great clients, a shared philosophy, DNA and entrepreneurial culture, talented staff and a track record for growth and success, yet each brings complementary skills to the table,” agreed Chilton.

“hbk is known for creative, award-winning digital work and kenna develops innovative solutions that deliver quantifiable business improvement.  Strategically, we believe that analytics and digital are logical partners to build marketing effectiveness in an increasingly digital economy, and together, we have a unique capability, with a sustainable point of differentiation.  Joining forces gives us over 200 people and a uniquely comprehensive offering that will support our clients’ evolving needs in an environment of continuous customer engagement and interaction.”

MDC Partners is one of the world’s largest Business Transformation Organizations that utilizes technology, marketing communications, data analytics, insights and strategic consulting solutions to drive meaningful returns on Marketing and Communications Investments for multinational clients in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

I have to admit, I saw the writing on the wall a few years ago so I was not that surprised when it became official that there would be some type of business split between the partners of hbk.  Both women have very strong personalities and that is a great thing, as it helped to drive awards and business.  It is no secret that Dawna has a reputation for being a tough boss in the advertising industry, but let’s be honest, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg also have a reputation of being tough to work for and look what they have created.  You don’t become one of Canada’s Top 100 women entrepreneurs by being average.  hbk was the type of agency that if you worked there, you learned a lot about the advertising industry and you could go on to do great things in your career, I’m sure under its new leadership we’ll continue to see great things.  To Dawna and Kathy, we say thanks for the great stories that we were able to cover over the years.