St. Louis Ad Agency Doubles Down on Commitment to Growth and Independence

St. Louis Ad Agency Doubles Down on Commitment to Growth and Independence

May 6, 2024

HLK welcomes three new partners and sets the stage for continued growth.

HLK, a full-service creative agency, adds to its ownership group to include Emily Kircher, chief marketing officer; Shelby Georgis, co-chief creative officer; and Brad Overby, chief financial officer.

In their collective 11-year tenure, the agency has won 12 new pieces of business in multiple national and global markets and won over 40 national industry awards.

“Emily, Shelby and Brad have propelled agency growth, innovated their teams and helped expand our operations beyond St. Louis,” said Eric Karlovic, HLK CEO. “As owners of the agency, they’ll continue to drive our vision of powering people to move brands forward and direct the next phase of growth for the agency.”

Kircher earns the title of the agency’s first chief marketing officer. She will oversee the agency’s audience-focused customer experience (CX) and strategic communications groups for clients in the agriculture, environmental science and health care industries in addition to her responsibilities for positioning and marketing the agency. Her promotion signals the agency’s commitment to growth, elevating focus on marketing and new business. Previously as senior vice president, planning, she led strategic work for clients including the Crop Science division of Bayer (Channel® brand and Bayer Traits & Systems), Ameren, Schnucks, and Envu. Kircher’s work has been recognized by industry awards including the Effies, American Advertising Awards, National Agri-Marketing Association (Best of NAMA), B2B Marketing Awards, and Transform Awards.

Georgis’ new co-chief creative officer title will position her to lead both the agency’s creative and production teams. Throughout her 20-year career, most recently as HLK’s senior vice president, executive creative director, she has created fully integrated campaigns, content, promotions and experiences. At HLK, she has led this work for clients including Schnucks, Marriott, Commerce Trust, Winchester and Envu. Under her leadership, the agency became the agency of record (AOR) for Envu Global and Envu EMEA. An award-winning creative director, she has been recognized by Clio Sports, One Show, the Webby Awards and The Shorty Awards.

Overby, chief financial officer, leads the agency’s financial reporting and analysis along with administrative functions, including credit and collections and human resources. He is a finance executive with broad experience that includes public accounting as well as private industry sectors spanning manufacturing, distribution and professional services. He works closely with senior leadership to help optimize client engagements and build specialized analysis aimed at improving internal efficiencies.

Kircher, Georgis and Overby join four current agency partners to round out the expanded ownership group.