July 20, 2021 Hart, one of Ohio’s largest independent marketing and advertising agencies, has announced the promotion of Marc Paulenich to president. Formerly chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategy, Paulenich will succeed Mike Hart, Hart’s president and CEO since 1993. Mr. Hart will continue to serve as CEO of the agency, where he remains focused on the viability of the business and upholding the agency’s values established by the company’s original founder, his father Tom Hart.
Paulenich has more than two decades of agency management and marketing strategy experience, and nearly 17 cumulative years at Hart. During his role as COO and SVP of strategy, the agency more than doubled in revenue, expanded from 40 to more than 70 employees, opened its Columbus location, relocated its headquarters within Toledo, and acquired Columbus-based marketing and design firm Conrad Phillips Vutech (CPV). As president, he will lead growth and advancement of service offerings that mirror a new agency vision and prioritize data-driven marketing, integrated marketing and creative excellence.
“Since his first day at Hart in 2002, Marc has had an unrelenting focus on strategy, consumer insights and analytics, as well as the utmost dedication to our clients,” said Mr. Hart. “I’m proud to elevate Marc, a trusted leader within our own ranks, to president of Hart as we look to build on the successes of our past and forge ahead in our next generation as an agency.”
In their new roles, Paulenich and Mr. Hart will work side-by-side to reaffirm the company’s 56-year commitment to remain an independent agency. Their partnered leadership offers Hart’s clients, employees and the community the firm’s legacy hands-on, accessible and service-oriented approach, while ushering in the next era of talent, services and technology.
Paulenich reflected on his time in marketing and on this new role:
“When I joined Hart as an intern decades ago, I immediately knew it was a special place, with a forward vision and an emphasis on results. Eventually landing the role as vice president of brand strategy, I spent almost six years moving up through the agency, cutting my teeth on over 100 brands with diverse marketing challenges.
“In 2008, as many do at this point in their career, I made the decision to expand on my experience and accepted a position as managing director of insights for Teach For America, as well as a part-time professor at the University of Toledo. During my time at Teach For America, we were able to double our staff and Corps members, allowing me to experience first-hand how to scale rapidly at a high-growth organization. Additionally, because Teach For America is focused on a youthful target, specifically college-age students, developing a digital-first marketing approach was instrumental. Finally, the role gave me a keen understanding of the client-side point of view, making me a better, more well-rounded consultant overall.
“I returned to Hart in January of 2011 as its chief operating officer and senior vice president of strategy, a position I served in until this current promotion. Throughout all of these years, it’s been incredible to both witness and participate in an agency that, even with its monumental growth, never loses sight of the original values it has in unfeignedly serving its clients, employees and the community.
“As I look ahead to this new chapter, first and foremost, I am dedicated to preserving those values that Mike Hart and Tom Hart set before me, which include remaining steadfast in maintaining Hart as an independent agency, a rare and valuable quality in today’s evolving marketing landscape. Mike, whose passion for the agency will remain as unyielding as ever, will continue his distinctive laser focus on achieving results and providing white-glove service to our clients, a characteristic our agency has become uniquely known for. I’m proud to be working closely together with him as we move forward in this next stage for our agency.
“In my first initiatives as president of Hart, I’m honored to build upon the advancements that we have made together over the past decade so we may better serve our clients and deliver the most effective marketing possible.
“The pandemic has certainly forced our agency, our industry and our clients to face many challenges over the past year, but I am humbled to be leading a driven, intelligent and dynamic team that stands firm in its dedication to our clients, and puts forth passion in every aspect of our work. I’m honored to hold the title of president of Hart, and am excited for what the future holds for our agency.”
Hart is an independent, full-service marketing firm with offices in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio. True to its founding principles, for 56 years the agency has integrated unique talents and perspectives to create a client-first mentality. Deeply rooted in Midwestern values, it is small enough to ensure the involvement of senior team members and responsive service, yet large enough to provide the team depth, specialization and broader capabilities required by its local, regional and globally recognized clients. Hart’s thinkers, creatives and builders have expertise spanning strategy development, advertising, media services, video production, digital marketing, public relations and content marketing. hartinc.com