hfa remains independent with deep roots in Akron
The advertising industry, like many creative businesses, is typically marked with high rates of turnover and consolidation. Despite this, Akron-based company hfa (Hitchcock, Fleming & Associates) continues to challenge these trends with 75 years of operation and strong ties to the Akron community.
“We’ve tried to be a big part of Akron’s landscape and part of the community,” says Chuck Abraham, partner and chief financial officer for hfa, who adds that the full service, independent agency has grown to almost 100 people.
He attributes a number of factors to the agency’s success: hiring and retaining talented people, good client service and partnerships. And to celebrate its longevity, hfa held an appreciation event at the Akron Art Museum, for employees, clients and community partners.
Along with notable clients like Goodyear and Akron General Hospital, hfa does a considerable amount of pro bono work for local nonprofits.
When the former president retired a few years ago, the company evaluated how many community hours they put into the community during a four-year period, and it was upwards of 300,000 hours, says Keith Busch, partner/client development. “That’s a lot for a business this size, and we are very involved in the community.”
He says he’s personally seen a substantial change in the way customers access information. “I can remember us creating our first website 15 years ago,” says Busch. “We’ve adapted with how consumers want to receive information, because that’s what we are. We’re creative storytellers.”
Social media in particular has put a lot of power into consumers’ hands, says Busch. “They have more information than they’ve ever had before, and they can get it at their fingertips. It’s our job and the industry’s job to make sure they’re picking the right brand.”
Busch adds: “We want Akron to be thriving because that helps us recruit talent and retain talent and it makes Akron a better place to live.
Also noteworthy is hfa’s independence amid an industry where buyouts and mergers are common.
“We want to continue to be independent and to be locally grown,” Abraham adds.
Says Abraham: “We’re very proud to be 75 years old and very happy about our history and our future.”
“It’s incredible to be part of an organization that has this legacy and this heritage and this history and hopefully see it continue to go forward,” says Busch.
For more about the agency, visit teamhfa.com.