It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since we opened our doors at Allison+Partners. I remember it like it was yesterday – the excitement, the nervousness and thrill of starting something new. Scott Allison and Andy Hardie-Brown had the notion of acquiring the West Coast offices of our previous agency, and Jonathan Heit, Matt Lorenz and I all jumped on board. 20 years later, we are all still here. What was a 20-person agency is now a global firm with more than 500 people from around the globe.
As we set out to build this agency, we didn’t plan to grow to this size. What we hoped for was to build a best-in-class agency. We wanted to create a culture where people wanted to produce great results for their clients, not only by working hard and collaboratively but being creative and having fun.
It’s nice to reflect on the agency accomplishments, major wins and new office locations. But the front and centre of all of this has always been our team – the people who spend so much time working together, growing the company, building brands and relationships that have lasted for years. We take time to volunteer and make a difference in the communities where we live, work, play and sleep and celebrate our annual Global Day of Giving.
Even with all this accomplished, there is still so much more to do. It’s been a roller-coaster year and half since COVID-19 started. Social justice and health inequities abound, and we still work from home. There was no time to rest on our laurels then, and there still isn’t time now. We roll up our sleeves and remember why we built this company and the culture that has made us a best place to work for so many years.
To become the best agency, you must always continue to strive, ask the hard questions and know some of the answers aren’t easy. But to strive, you must grow, and to grow, we have to continue to bring in the best talent, add more diversity to our teams, continue our entrepreneurial vision and develop new services that help our clients thrive and grow as well.
I want to take this moment to recognise the accomplishments of the past and look to the future. Thank you, Scott and Andy, for taking the time to sit down on a bench in Belden Alley in San Francisco to map out what the best agency could be. Thank you for the numerous lives and companies you have impacted and careers you have helped start for so many.
Allison+Partners has always been about growth and looking to the future. This agency has constantly evolved from its people, services and numerous locations. I can’t wait to see what it looks like 20 years from now, as we continue to strive to be the best.
Scott Pansky is a co-founder of the agency and leads Allison+Partners’ Social Impact group. He supports the agency’s education, culture, volunteer and mentorship initiatives.