Ever since I can remember, I was always told that April showers bring May flowers, and now it seems more appropriate than ever. The months of February, March and April were filled with sweat, tears (of mostly joy) and moments of uncertainty that produced enough showers to create what has bloomed into a beautiful flower today.
Having just celebrated ChizComm’s sixth anniversary, looking back at all the milestones and markers along the way, I never anticipated the path would lead us this far. Not in terms of success, but in terms of the continual evolution of what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. It’s with great pride that today, on April 29, 2019, we cross the finish line of our first ever acquisition by completing the asset purchase of Beacon Media.
To the founders of Beacon Media, Shelly, Tom and Lillian. While on paper the Beacon ownership may have changed hands, we are excited to move forward together as we become one big team. Client commitment is written in the Beacon Media Group DNA, and as the new keepers of the Beacon brand we will continue to offer outstanding service to clients, driving results fueled by passion and pride for the work that we do.
A lot went into making this happen. Many leaps of faith along the almost 90-day journey to get here. A lot of help from people old friends, and some new ones met along the way. The process and anguish that goes with making an acquisition was completely foreign to us before travelling down this road, and it has been an incredible learning experience that, I would be lying if I said, didn’t keep me up most nights and didn’t make me question my own mental and physical strength. Scenarios like these have the power to make you doubt yourself in one moment and feel like Superman the next, and the whole experience has been life-changing.
We opened a new US-based company called ChizComm USA, which operates out of New Jersey and purchased the assets of Beacon Media. Beacon Media will remain in New Jersey with the same amazing team, and while owned by ChizComm USA, will operate under the brand Beacon Media. It will also maintain core competencies of media strategy and planning both on linear TV and on digital platforms, with our great media partners Cartoon Network, Disney and Viacom.
This acquisition has also led to some incredible special moments. Since starting ChizComm, one of my greatest mentors and advisors is my Uncle Jay Sonshine. His guidance, wisdom and stewardship helped keep me grounded and focused, even when I began to sweat the small stuff. The process also brought together the ChizComm executive team based in Toronto, who have become more resilient and unified throughout the process, and whose desire to work with each other at a higher level to drive even better results for our clients grows every day.
Personally, one of the biggest transitions was the addition of key personnel with cross-functional roles that will help elevate our capabilities and experience across both organizations. The addition of Dean Shoukas as our new Vice President of Digital Marketing, and his experience as a senior level digital marketer both in the kids space as well as consumer products, will bring our strategies to new heights. His leadership in this ever-changing media landscape sets us up to be sector leaders in digital media.
The addition of Kathleen Campisano brings us an industry all-star. Our new global Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Beacon Media provides leadership in New Jersey, mentorship to our teams within both organizations, and gives us the forward-looking, business development driven functions when consider what is the next step in our evolution to servicing clients globally in the world of kids and children’s entertainment.
All this being said, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t tip my hat to our newly appointed President Donna MacNeil, for without her, our organization would not have been in the position to seize this opportunity. There’s no ‘I’ in team, and without her we could not have done this. Donna, congratulations on your well-deserved promotion to President of ChizComm.
It has also been incredible sharing this monumental moment in time with my life partner and wife, Jennifer. While most husbands and wives share stories of events in the workplace from 9:00 – 5:00 to chronicle their days, I am lucky enough to have my partner in life, parenthood and business by my side for every step, meeting, late-night call and mile traveled along the way.
While today is a new beginning, I really do feel like it’s also another step forward in our continued evolution. Again, we are grateful to clients of both organizations for your amazing excitement and support as we continue to put clients first and fight to save our job every single day.