Helen Vollmer’s agency has transformed itself over the past three years, from a well-managed but not particularly well-known Houston firm to one of the dominant firms in Texas, riding the technology boom and opening satellite offices in Dallas and Austin to provide blanket coverage of the Lone Star state. And while the bursting of the dot-com bubble may have a short-term impact on the firm’s expansion, Vollmer has built the kind of reputation—regionally and nationally—that should equip it to withstand the market vicissitudes.
Ask clients what they like about Vollmer and they cite two traits not always found even in successful agencies: the ability to listen, and a passion for the work. The former translates into a thoughtful strategic approach and the latter leads to big creative ideas across a wide range of disciplines, from straightforward media relations to special events, trade show management, industry analyst relations, and investor relations. The firm also has an in-house training division, Shelton & Caudle, which helps clients prepare for media interviews, conference presentations and trade show networking, as well as providing crisis communications counsel.
Growth for most of 2000 was over 40 percent, with more than new business highlights include the addition of Norwood Promotional Products—for branding and message development, media relations, and e-commerce support; portal site Fuelquest.com; Stick Networks; and HealthCentral.com. The firm positioned itself for further growth with a restructuring of its senior management team. Helen Vollmer became CEO and Carolyn Mayo was named president, while senior VP Denisha Stevens assumed general manager duties for the Dallas office. Two new additions added depth to the management team: Jennifer Tweeton as head of the IR group; and Brenda Harrison, who provides additional technology expertise in the Austin office.