Linhart McClain Finlon
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Holmes Report
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Linhart McClain Finlon

Holmes Report

There aren’t a lot of big national agencies in Denver, but that doesn’t mean clients can’t find plenty of big agency experience there. They need look no further than Linhart McClain Finlon, which has brought together veterans of some of the world’s leading public relations firms, including Burson-Marsteller, Fleishman Hillard, GolinHarris, Ketchum and Ogilvy, and some of the nation’s largest PR markets, to offer clients top-notch strategic thinking, creativity, and counsel without the overhead and bureaucracy that would normally accompany such capabilities.
 President and founder Sharon Linhart is a former Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and longtime community activist, and has been incredibly successful (the Rocky Mountain lifestyle doesn’t hurt) in attracting top talent: vice president Dawn Doty joined LMF in 2003 after serving as PR director for Vail Resorts and previously worked at Orbitz, Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum, and Paul Raab joined as senior vice president in April after seven years as communications director for management consulting firm A.T. Kearney and 11 years at GolinHarris.
Since Raab’s arrival, the firm has competed successfully with some of the largest national PR firms for new clients including Frontier Airlines, Wild Oats Markets and the GTC Nutrition unit of Corn Products International, and has grown its relationships with existing clients including Johns Manville, MWH and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. Revenues grew by 15 percent to around $2.7 million, despite the conclusion of a multi-year contract with a state government department that had been among the firm’s largest clients. Other new business included the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Denver Botanic Gardens and A.T. Kearney.
 LMF also celebrated its 10th anniversary with a number of internal intiatives ranging from indoor sky-diving and a white-water rafting trip on the Colorado River to teaching eighth-grade students at an inner-city Denver school about business and free enterprise, in partnership with Junior Achievement. The firm also continued to build its distinct culture, which is marked by a high degree of transparency concerning business performance and a bonus pool, proceeds from which are paid out to employees on a quarterly basis. One of the things that attracts high-caliber employees is that “we are a small firm and don’t get caught up in politics, but we have big time clients,” says a respondent to our Best Agencies to Work For survey. Another employee likes the fact that management “takes concerns, recommendations and praise seriously and strives to ensure every employee, regardless of seniority, finds work both enjoyable and rewarding.”
 Key assignments included assisting A.T. Kearney with the successful launch of the 2006 Global Retail Development Index, an in-depth study of the world’s most attractive investment markets for global retailers and providing external and internal communications support for A.T. Kearney following the election by the firm’s shareholders of a new chairman of the board. For Denver-based building products manufacturer Johns Manville, LMF helped begin a long-term sustainability initiative that included partnering with the City of Denver on energy efficiency and waste reduction programs, and sponsorship of the U.S. Green Building Council’s annual Greenbuild conference, held in Denver.
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