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Asher Agency celebrates 50th anniversary

West Virginia Press Association

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In July, Asher Agency will celebrate its half-century legacy and its success as a full-service advertising, marketing, and public relations agency. In addition to its Fort Wayne, Ind., headquarters, Asher has offices in Charleston, W.Va., Washington D.C., and Indianapolis, Ind.

Steve Morrison, Vice President and General Manager, leads the Charleston office. Morrison and Shannon Simon, Strategic Communications Director, were partners in the Charleston-based Arnold Agency purchased by Asher Agency 10 years ago. Mike Fulton, Director of Public Affairs and Advocacy, heads Asher’s Washington, D.C. office and is a native West Virginian.

Morrison said, ““Integration with Asher Agency’s diverse capabilities and multiple offices allows us to better serve our West Virginia clients as well as multiple out-of-state and national accounts.” Some of Asher’s West Virginia clients include Appalachian Headwaters, City National Bank, Concord University, Mister Bee Potato Chips, New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association, West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine, and YWCA Charleston.

Melanie George and Ashley Willard, both Account Supervisors, round out the Charleston office team. National clients the group supports includes the American College of Sports Medicine, Fantastic Sams, Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Responsible Battery Coalition, and Self Esteem Brands (Anytime Fitness, Basecamp Fitness, The Bar Method, and Waxing the City).

Asher was founded by Fort Wayne native Tim Borne in 1974 as a provider of marketing, advertising, and public relations services. Today, Asher is the second-oldest agency in Indiana and has more than 40 employees and 100+ clients throughout the U.S. Over the years, Asher has expanded its offerings to reflect today’s media environment, including digital, social media, and website development. While a lot has changed during the past five decades, Asher owner and President Kara Kelley says one thing has remained constant: Asher’s focus on providing world-class marketing services to its clients.  

“Asher has always been known for outstanding service, smart strategy, and groundbreaking creative,” Kelley says, “and that’s still our focus today.”

Kelley, a Fort Wayne native, and business partner Megan Bennett, who also serves as Asher’s Chief Financial Officer, took ownership of the agency in July of 2022. Asher became an Indiana Women’s Business Enterprise in 2023, which Bennett says reflects its priorities as an employer.

“Only one percent of U.S. agencies are women-owned,” Bennett notes, “and less than 10 percent of businesses make it to their 50th anniversary. We’re proud to be among them, and to provide outstanding career and leadership opportunities.”

Tom Borne, who served as Asher’s President from 1988-2020, has watched the agency evolve from its founding by his late brother to the present day. He believes the agency’s future is bright and that its leadership is well positioned for the next fifty years.

“My brother Tim would be extremely proud of what Asher has become,” Borne says. “The agency can compete with anyone, anywhere, in terms of serving clients’ needs. They truly are the best of the best.”

Kelley believes that the most satisfying aspect of the agency’s work is the outcomes Asher delivers for clients–something that hasn’t changed throughout her career.

“We serve clients in ways that positively impact their communities, their employees, and the overall economy,” Kelley notes. “Exceeding their expectations is as enjoyable today as it was when I started my career.”

Asher will celebrate its 50th anniversary throughout the year with events and community outreach projects. To learn more, visit www.AsherAgency.com.

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Feature image caption: Asher Agency is celebrating its 50-year anniversary and the recent acquisition of the business by Kara Kelley, right, and Megan Bennett, left.

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