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Third time’s a charm for DGC and the Inc. 500|5000

Growth in a business is always something to be excited about, but when that growth is recognized, it makes the long hours and continuous hard work all the more rewarding. As a testament to that hard work, we’re happy to announce that DiGennaro Communications made its way onto the 2013 Inc. 500|5000 list for the third year in a row.

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Compiled by Inc. magazine, the Inc. 500|5000 list ranks the nation’s fastest growing private companies, spanning all industries, states and revenue brackets. It’s a big list, but every year we get a little closer to the top.

Getting on the list is no easy feat and just having a bumper year does not necessarily secure you a spot. Inc. looks at a set of criteria that includes sustained revenue growth over a three year period and, of course, you must be a U.S.-based, privately owned entity. Solid growth really is that defining factor that sees a business play an essential role in the broader economy.

Other notable list makers include top marketing and advertising agencies like TargetCast, Pandora, Droga5, as well as McAfee Institute and the number one winner, Fuhu, which makes kid-friendly tablets.

Our founder, Samantha DiGennaro, remarked, “For the third year running, we’ve proudly been part of the Inc. 500|5000 list, which is a testament to our smart, savvy and hardworking team, and unbelievable clients who allow us to experiment and push the boundaries in PR.”

DGC has seen consistent year-over-year growth since its founding in 2006, and we will celebrate our eighth anniversary in January 2014. Over the past year we have added new top notch clients including Pandora, Microsoft, Omnicom’s DDB, Ringling Bros. Circus, South Carolina Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism.

We even added another rung to our international reach, forging a strategic partnership with Sydney, Australia-based Access PR. In 2012, we formalized a partnership with London-based Eulogy!, which has helped solidify our shared global client accounts, and taken employees across the pond on both ends through our exchange program.

Samantha credits DGC’s spot on the list to the hard work we do every day. “My name may be on the door, but this honor is shared with each and every one of DGC’s 35 team members,” she said. “I look forward to the continued growth of the agency.”

The full list, searchable by industry, size and location, can be found at Inc. 500|5000 list.

Poly Prep Recognizes Alumna Samantha DiGennaro with School Service Award

Four Alumni Honored with Distinguished Achievement Awards

Sam DiGennaro, Service Award recipient with Nick Gravante and Larry Brandman, each Distinguished Achievement Recipients

Sam DiGennaro, Service Award recipient with Nick Gravante and Larry Brandman, each Distinguished Achievement Recipients

Last Saturday, DGC founder/CEO Sam DiGennaro had an appointment to have her hair cut before attending her 25th class reunion. Alas, her plans changed abruptly when, the night before, a classmate informed her that she needed to arrive at Poly Prep, her alma mater, in the morning – considerably earlier than anticipated–to be recognized at an Annual Awards convocation.

DiGennaro would receive the School Service Award, given annually on “Reunion Day” to a member of the faculty, alumni, a parent or other member of the school community for distinguished service to the prep school over a period of years. We’ve been told she is the first female recipient in the history of the award.

Headmaster David B. Harman delivered opening remarks at the April 27 event and shared an impressive list of universities to which this year’s graduating students were accepted – from the Ivies to Duke to The University of Chicago, among others.

Sam DiGennaro with Jeff Ferraro, former president of The Poly Prep Board of Governors, Erika Boccio Farrell, former member of The Board; each class of '88

Sam DiGennaro with Jeff Ferraro, former president of The Poly Prep Board of Governors, Erika Boccio Farrell, former member of The Board; each class of ’88

A member of the class of 1988 at the Brooklyn-based independent high school, DiGennaro has spent the past 20 years on the Board of Governors and is now a Board Member Emerita. Through her work with the Board, DiGennaro was involved in mentoring, networking, fundraising and fostering deeper and lasting ties between Poly Prep and its alums. She is currently “class agent” and was reunion co-chair for the Class of ’88.

Several years ago, DiGennaro was part of a group that led the charge to establish the school’s Spirit Award and Rising Star Award. She won the latter in 1998.

“I’ve always believed in the importance of giving back,” DiGennaro said in her acceptance remarks. “To the school, to the neighborhood, to the larger community. We all have a stake in the world around us.” She encouraged all attendees—faculty, alumni and current students—to give back.

DiGennaro, who founded PR firm DiGennaro Communications in 2006, last fall, rented a yellow school bus for a full work day to take volunteers from her company’s staff to help with the clean-up after Hurricane Sandy in Rockaway Beach—where she grew up and travelled by yellow school bus to Poly Prep every day.

Lisa Della Pietra, class of ’86 and now Director of Alumni Relations at Poly Prep described DiGennaro as “tireless in giving her time, expertise and love to this school.”

Poly Prep alumni who received the school’s Distinguished Achievement Award at the April 27 program are as follows:

Located in the Dyker Heights section of Brooklyn, Poly Prep was founded in 1854.

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Poly Prep’s Commons Hall, site of the Distinguished Achievement and School Service Award Ceremony. Headmaster David Harmon addresses attendees.

The 2013 Ad Age A-List is out. What does it take to make the grade?

A-list-badge-generalIn one of the most anticipated unveilings each year, Ad Age yesterday released its annual Agency A-list issue, which highlights the industry’s top agencies and talent from the previous year. We’re thrilled to announce that two of our clients (and many other industry friends) made the list – TargetCast for “Agency to Watch,” and Translation Founder & CEO, Steve Stoute, for “Executive of the Year.

While the A-list is undoubtedly one of the ad industry’s most coveted honors, few people know how much time, effort and strategy it takes to secure a spot on this list. One would think that because agencies are in the business of selling products and services, that it should be a breeze to promote themselves. Truth is, it takes a strong new business record, standout talent, memorable and cutting-edge work, and most importantly, a strong story that ties it all together and catches the attention of Ad Age’s editors.

This year’s A-list Agency of the Year, 72andSunny, had what it took to land at the top of the list. Not only did the shop make waves for  bold Samsung work that took a direct hit at rival Apple, it grew billings by 66% and invested in top talent. One big hire was  Scott Trattner, an ECD who previously worked on Apple’s advertising at TBWA\Chiat\Day.

New business track records were common among this year’s winners: Agency 360i, number two on the list, brought in over $600 million in billings with business from Hanes, Verizon, Trident and H&R Block.  Grey, number three on the list, won an astounding 21 of 23 new-business pitches in which it participated– Whole Foods, Marriott Resorts, Olive Garden, EmergenC, Radio Shack — worth more than $450 million in billings.

Innovation is important, too. Our friends at La Comunidad, one of DGC’s launch clients and number seven on this list, created the “Volvo in Every Car” app. It lets users zap badges of rival car brands to see all the Volvo-created technology inside other cars.

For agencies that may not have won hundreds of millions of dollars in new business, but are showing promising momentum, there is the “Agencies to Watch,” category, to which our own Targetcast was named. This mid-size media agency’s “David vs. Goliath” story combined with a growing new business pipeline and a sale to global holding company MDC Partners all laddered up to a well-deserved place on this list. A shout out goes to DGC friend and client JWT for also making the watch list on the back of standout work for Band-Aid and Macy’s, and a slew of key hires over the last two years that included Jeff Benjamin, Mike Geiger and Ryan Kutscher. DDB New York was named Creativity’s Agency to Watch in 2013 for its mantra of reinvention and stand-out work including Tropicana’s morning commute campaign and a pro-bono social media campaign for Water for Life centering around the hashtag #firstworldproblems.

Agency executives, too, are honored for their leadership, business results and out-of-the-box thinking as part of this list. This year, no one other than our own client Steve Stoute, CEO of Translation, could be more deserving of honor. Steve’s “outsider” perspective (he spent years in the music biz), experiential approach to marketing (Translation was behind Budweiser’s Made in America festival with headliners Jay Z and Pearl Jam), philosophy on why hip hop culture has become mainstream (he wrote best-selling book “The Tanning of America”), and extensive new business successes (Translation has 60% revenue growth in 2012 with work from clients like McDonald’s State Farm and A-B InBev) have all proven Steve is not just capable of launching music careers, but has a long road ahead in the ad business, as well.

This year’s A-list is comprised of an exciting and innovative group of companies and people, some of whom we’re proud to call clients and work with day in and day out. We’ll be following this group and their creative endeavors closely this year, and can’t wait to see what they do next. Congrats!

You can see the full wrap here (or in this week’s print edition): Ad Age 2013 A-List

DiGennaro Communications Nabs Small Business Leadership Award

Agency honored by the NY Enterprise Report (NYER) for attracting and retaining an empowered workforce.

It’s an exciting time at DGC. On Wednesday night, the team was honored at this year’s NY Enterprise Report Small Business Awards. This prestigious event honors the achievements and accomplishments of the more than 500,000 small businesses throughout the NYC-area.

Selected as winners in the Leadership Category, the nomination was based on DGC’s ability to “identify, attract, retain and motivate a workforce that establishes a culture of empowerment.” And that’s exactly how we at DGC see it!

Winners! DGC’ers Erin Donahue, Jordan Katz, Meg McMahon and Christine O’Donnell

From the moment our doors were opened, CEO Sam DiGennaro has made it her mission that every employee feels as though his or her voice matters. Our culture is based on collaboration, motivation and interaction. Best of all, DGC cares about the importance of work-life balance and have made sure we sprinkle our work weeks with a little fun (hello, wine-o Fridays.)

In fact, this isn’t our first rodeo with NYERwe picked up their Top 10 Great Entrepreneurial Places to Work in 2011; another great honor.

The awards dinner was a great opportunity for us to meet, mingle and celebrate with the who’s-who of the tri-state’s SMB community. Succeeding in small business is no mean feat so a big congratulations also to our fellow nominees and winners.

Earlier this week we found out that we have been named finalists in two Stevie Awards (the world’s premier business awards) categories and our fingers and toes are crossed for the November 9 announcement. Our nominations are in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year—Business Services with more than 10 employees and the Company of the Year—Business Services with more than 10 employees categories.

Here’s to another great year at DGC.

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