than 2% annually. This cuts down on training time as well as expenses that go toward new hires. And The Group’s breadth of experienced talent, in an industry where high turnover is the norm, helps keep the clients coming.
Black, white, and red all over
Burrell believes another great asset of his talent pool is its diversity. The firm offers a multicultural experience at every level of the organization. Of the 131 employees, about three out of 10 are non-African American. The company’s six-member managerial team consists of three men (Burrell and two who are white) and three black women.
“I think people would be very surprised and pleased if they came to visit the agency and just walked the halls. We have almost every ethnic group represented,” insists Managing Director of Marketing Operations Fay H. Ferguson, who has worked at the firm for 18 years. “The company is very youthful, and we have a very broad base of employees. We believe we couldn’t represent our various clients in their campaigns unless we actually got to know the people they’re trying to reach.”
If the uncertain economy has zapped any of the joy out of the Burrell camp, it isn’t apparent. From the top down, the organization continues to foster a creative environment with an energy and openness that overflows into every nook and cranny of the business, from client relations to strategic planning. Currently the firm is relocating “farther down the street to a building that is more contemporary and reflective of the spirit of the agency,” Ferguson points out.
The firm’s departments will be on one floor and under one roof (except for the firm’s Atlanta office, which services Coca-cola, Verizon, Hewlett-Packard, and addidas) covering 40,000 square feet of state-of-the art space. Adds Mike de Maio, director of corporate operations, “It’s very high-tech looking and it’s open so it will encourage a lot more interaction. I’m sure some of the energy from creative will spill over into accounting services.”
That’s precisely the point, according to Burrell, who is just as interested in looking at new approaches today as he was 31 years ago. And although he has a strong management team to take the reins, he doesn’t plan to retire any time soon. Apparently, transforming the world around him is still more joy than work, too.