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HughesLeahyKarlovic (HLK), St. Louis’ fastest-growing independent full-service digital agency, recently celebrated 40 years of operations. Since opening its doors as Hughes Advertising, a two-person agency in 1977, HLK has expanded to more than 160 employees who serve a growing list of clients through its offices in St. Louis and Denver.

“HLK was founded on the simple idea of helping our clients succeed. And, despite rapid changes in the advertising industry, that fundamental belief has not changed,” said Eric Karlovic, partner at HLK. “For four decades, we’ve thrived because of our firm belief in the core values that power the success of our clients and employees: to be curious, be thoughtful and be brave.”

2017 has been a year marked with significant achievements at HLK.

  • Posted a fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth.
  • Honored as a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplace for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Added a total of 46 employees, including leadership positions across account, creative, development, analytics, user experience and strategic communications.
  • Awarded six American Advertising Awards (ADDYs), the advertising industry’s largest competition, and placed first in the smartphone app category at the 2017 National Agri-Marketing Association Awards (NAMA), which honors the best work in agricultural communications.
  • Selected as creative agency of record by Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies and a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of commercial and military aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. Pratt & Whitney joins an extensive list of brands, including Monsanto, MiTek, On the Run, St. Louis Cardinals, Ameren, Webster University, Tacony Corporation, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Biogen.

In addition, HLK purchased the historic Art of Living building (1141 S. 7th St.) where it has resided for the last ten years to better house its rapidly growing team.

“We’re thrilled to plant permanent roots in Downtown St. Louis and deepen our relationship with our community,” said Alison Berry, fellow partner at HLK. “As we move into 2018, we’ll continue to focus building on our unique capabilities and team of passionate problem solvers to continue to serve our clients.”