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Deane | Smith Names New Owner, CEO

By September 29, 2015 No Comments

Todd Smith takes on additional duties to leverage agency for growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Sept. 29, 2015 – Deane | Smith – a leading public relations, marketing, advertising and branding agency based in Nashville, Tenn. – has announced a new ownership agreement, and Todd Smith, a co-founder and president of the firm, has acquired the agency from Silas Deane, co-founder and CEO. Under the agreement, terms of which were not disclosed, Smith will take on the additional title of chief executive officer to position the firm for future growth.

Deane will transition to senior partner of the firm – which will give him flexibility to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, such as VendEngine, a software company he launched in 2013, and was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in middle Tennessee. Deane will continue to provide senior level counsel and leadership for Deane | Smith.

The agency has experienced rapid expansion under Smith’s leadership and vision in the past seven years – posting 30 percent annual growth since 2009. Formerly known as Logic Media Group, the agency was founded by Deane in 1999 during the dot-com boom, and has maintained a strong technology, health care and entrepreneurial focus.

“From the time I launched the firm back in the late ‘90s, we have had significant expansion and exceptional success fueled by innovation, creativity and imagination,” Deane said. “When Todd joined the agency, he leveraged that momentum to take client service and new business development to new levels. This strategic move will continue to establish Deane | Smith as a leader in the industry and allow me to pursue other entrepreneurial interests. ”

Deane | Smith is consistently ranked among the Top 5 PR firms and Top 10 advertising agencies in the Nashville market – and was recently ranked No. 4 in the annual Nashville Business Journal rankings.

“Since launching the agency, we have cemented strategic partnerships, significantly increased our client roster and harnessed the rapidly evolving digital world to position Deane | Smith for continued success and a bright future,” Smith said. “I am excited about this next chapter in our firm’s life, and together with Si and a talented staff, driving a vision of innovation, passion and creativity for clients, new business opportunities and expansion in the marketplace.”

In the past five years, Deane | Smith has had significant growth. The agency affiliated with Mad Genius, a full-service design, print, digital and video production branding firm based in Jackson, Miss. to leverage growing business across the Southeast and throughout the nation. The two firms now have more than 30 employees in four offices nationwide to serve a growing roster of clients. Deane | Smith also opened a Jackson, Miss. office, to better serve its clients in Mississippi’s capitol and across the state.

Smith is a senior level PR expert with more than 25 years experience, and specializes in public affairs, government relations, branding, crisis communications, media relations, marketing, advertising and reputation management.

A former staff writer for The Washington Times and speech writer for the George H.W. Bush for President campaign, Smith previously served on the executive team of Affinion Group, a global direct marketer, and has held senior public relations, marketing and advertising positions with HCA and Gaylord Entertainment Co. Smith began his agency career at Atkinson Public Relations, where he was a leader in creating the Nashville Health Care Council.

A past president of the Public Relations Society of America | Nashville, he is also a syndicated columnist for the Nashville Business Journal and Mississippi Business Journal, and pens The Spin Cycle, a weekly take on the branding, PR, marketing and advertising industries. Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing and English from Baylor University.

Deane, who also has more than two decades of experience, is known as a “serial entrepreneur,” and has created numerous brands, including the Baden Bath line of bath fixtures and VendEngine, his current software venture. He has led senior level communications and media strategies for clients such as HCA, Hutton Hotel, National Foundation for Cancer Research, John Templeton Foundation and the TriStar Health System. Deane was also the press secretary and legislative advisor to U.S. Rep. Bob Clement in Washington, D.C., and managed various financial and political operations for Senator and Vice President Al Gore, Jr. He also served as the executive director for the International Microelectronics Society, where he was executive editor for Advancing Microelectronics. He holds a master’s in government and business administration (MGBA) from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Kentucky. He also attended The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Deane | Smith creates strategic branding campaigns for numerous clients, including the Butler Snow law firm, ForceX, Waggoner Engineering, Kinder Morgan, C Spire, Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, Magnolia Health, getRx and The Buffkin Group.