Monday, January 21, 2013

The Beginnings of BBG&G

I met Deborah Garry at a Chamber Trade Show back in 1995. At the time, we each had our own small businesses that complemented each other. Debbe owned Ideas Design and I owned Rock Bridge Graphic Design. Debbe had already been working with Gene Bove on a large project and pulled me in on another. I had previously been working with a copywriter/illustrator who was intended to be our fourth partner. 

BBG&G was formed in 1997 when the four of us came together. Bisel, BovĂ©, Garry and, well the fourth partner never quite made it through all the corporate paperwork before she realized that being a partner in a corporation wasn’t for her. So, instead of changing the name, we decided to keep the last “G” and let God be our silent partner. We knew he would be anyway.

When we first started the company we were working out of home offices, but it wasn’t long before we found a beautiful office space on 17K in Montgomery. One of our first employees was a seasoned bank professional who we hired for New Business Development. Izzy Lopez was wonderful and brought us our first bank account. It was less than a year that Izzy worked for us when we had a winter storm and he was killed in a car accident just a half mile from the office. It was awful. Izzy was the father of two young children, a good Christian man, and a hard worker. We still think of him often.

The agency really started taking off in 2001 — until September 11th

On September 11th, we were scheduled to sign contracts with a medium-sized, high-profile account in the entertainment industry. The contracts were never signed. As a result of 9/11, many NYC agencies shut their doors or had major layoffs. As a result, many ad executives moved up to the Hudson Valley and this area was bombarded with small start-up agencies. The competition increased tenfold.
By 2004, BBG&G had recovered. Now in business for seven years, the agency was becoming more well-known and respected. In fact, in 2006 we were hired by McDonald’s® to promote the McDonald’s travel plazas along the New York State Thruway. What an honor!

At the end of 2006, our partner Gene retired. The four partners became two (plus our silent partner, of course).

In the spring of 2007, we celebrated our 10-year anniversary with a lovely celebration at the Trotter’s Museum in Goshen. We invited clients, family, close friends, and business associates from the Orange County Chamber, Leadership Orange, our various vendors — heck, even some competitors whom we are friendly with. It was a great night. And although I sprained my ankle while I was down in the paddock feeding the horses that night, it was the best after-party ever, and such a special day for Debbe and I.

It didn’t seem as though we were basking in the glory of being in business for over ten years for very long, when the recession hit. And, what’s the first thing businesses cut back on when money is tight? Marketing.

We are proud that throughout the recession we made no layoffs. Our team is so important to us — and we have painstakingly built this team for 15 years now. We care about them and their families. As partners, we have often done without so our employees would have secure employment. 

With the onset of the recession also came the increase of social media, mobile marketing, and tablet use. Our industry has undergone an incredible amount of change in a short time period. The slower workflow allowed us the time to dig deep into the realm of social media and the digital world of marketing and to be at the forefront of the learning curve in discovering the benefits that abound for our clients.

Two thousand and thirteen is looking very promising for BBG&G (aka “The BGs”). Our long list of successful marketing initiatives, continued involvement in the community, dedication to our team, and reputation for integrity, honesty and hard work are opening new doors for continued success. BBG&G has become a well respected agency in the Hudson Valley by local business leaders, our competitors, and by talented industry professionals seeking employment. We have earned ongoing awards for our work throughout our 15 years and expect to continue to do so. We are currently poised for rapid growth and are looking forward, with enthusiasm, to the next 15 years!

1 comment:

Debbie Kwiatoski said...

It certainly has been an interesting "ride" for you guys, but I can attest to the simple fact that you have handled it all with grace and savvy and a great deal of "class." You have most certainly helped my business, The Business Journal, so much over those years.

Here's to many, many more!