On Friday, September 3, 2021, David James Company partners Ron Zywicki, Drew Navolio and Chris Martin closed on the purchase of the agency from founder David Laurenzo. The three of us believe this deal clears the way for some potentially exciting developments in the coming months and years.
This culminates a long-term plan put in place by David in 2016 to make the three (four when you include recently retired legend Anne O’Day) of us partners and succeed him as founder and president of the agency. We are all in debt to David for setting this plan in motion and allowing us this opportunity to continue the DJC/David James Group/Blue Water Communications legacy.
David and his brother Jim started DJG in Jim’s living room (he put the James in the David James Group) in 2002 with one client. The agency has grown year-over-year under David’s leadership and with the acquisition of BWC in 2017 (led by David and Chris) the two divisions now serve more than 30 association, museum, and architecture clients. To say DJC’s success is a small business success story would be an understatement.
Ron will replace David as president of DJC, Chris will continue to lead our PR and social media business, and Drew will continue in his role as head of account services.
As part of our plan for a smooth transition in ownership, Chris, Ron and Drew have taken on a larger role over the last 18 months in the day-to-operations of DJC while David has stepped back. We believe this will benefit our clients and our employees as there will be no abrupt changes in how we do business. As for the question on many people’s minds—no, we don’t plan on changing the agency’s name to some “frankenbrand” mash up of our names (though that would make for a good contest).
We are grateful for our continued partnerships with a wonderful roster of clients and a team of smart, creative professionals second to none. As David enjoys his life in northern California and looks forward to new adventures, the three of us look forward to the adventures that await us. And … we’re certainly glad that we made it through nearly one year of paperwork and the bureaucracy of dealing with banks and the federal government with few visible scars—shout out to our office manager Cindy Van Henkelum for helping make this a little less painful.
Ron, Chris, and Drew