- Above: Laura Scobie and Alec Bardzik
Kansas City-based independent agency Barkley has expanded their strategy team by hiring four senior strategy leads from both Fortune 500 brands and traditional agencies.
Laura Scobie returns to Barkley as SVP group director after more than seven years with H&R Block where she most recently served as VP of strategy and innovation, working on strategic partnerships with brands like IBM Watson and launching TaxPro Go, one of the industry's first remote tax services. In her new role, she will be responsible for several key clients and helping to grow the agency’s experience strategy and design offering. A veteran of Fallon and Carmichael Lynch before that, Laura initially spent five years at Barkley earlier in her career as a strategist.
VP Intelligence director Alec Bardzik arrives as a former management consultant and from consumer goods giant The Wonderful Company, where he focused the brand and consumer insights practice and launched several key products in his tenure. At Barkley, Alex is tasked with growing the strategy consulting offering in the Colorado office.
Other arrivals include SVP group directors Vaughn Allen and Andy Woolard. Vaughn arrives at Barkley from his previous role as VP strategy director at Fitzco. Vaughn is also an agency veteran of Arnold, Droga, and BBH where he worked on accounts like Coca-Cola, Axe, Jack Daniels, Prudential, Kraft, Bing, and McCormick. Andy joins the agency from brand consultancy Monigle, where he served as a senior director of strategy and innovation. He has worked with brands like Absolut Vodka, Bank of America, Anheuser-Busch InBev, The North Face, Frontier Airlines, and Nestle.
The latest hires are part of Barkley’s commitment to building whole brands — brands that win across a spectrum of business ideas to marketing ideas. This requires a strategy coalition made up of agency strategists, client-side marketers, and management consultants.
“Our role is to make art and science fight in the most productive way possible for our brands,” says Chris Cardetti, executive strategy director at Barkley. “So we are looking for the generalists and specialists who can guide that tug-of-war, deeply understand both sides of the agency and client business, and ultimately prove how imaginative and effective strategy can be."
The expanded headcount in the agency’s Kansas City headquarters and Denver offices is a result of the increased account growth. In the past 24 months, Barkley has added 19 new accounts to its roster, including brands like Planet Fitness, Winnebago, Haribo, Delta Faucets, Terminix, ShopRite, Select Health, Taco John’s and Fogo De Chão.