Associated Integrated Marketing CEO Bill Fialka is out as agency eliminates position

WICHITA — Most people probably didn’t notice when Bill Fialka took over as CEO at Associated Integrated Marketing – and that’s how he liked it – but now he’s gone.

“The position was eliminated,” says Shawn Steward, vice president of client service and public relations.

He won’t say if Fialka was fired.

“I’ll let people draw their own conclusions on that.”

Fialka didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

Steward says the agency is restructuring. He and three other vice presidents will manage the company. They include Dave Stewart, vice president and executive creative director, Luke Gutschenritter, vice president and group account director, and Kim Weprin, vice president  of finance and human resources.

“This is not a financial decision,” Steward says. “This was a proactive decision to better allow us to operate more efficiently.”

He says, “We essentially saw a lot of duplication of effort at the management level. We felt that by eliminating the CEO level of the agency … we’re just getting the management closer to the client level and just streamlining across the board.”

Steward says the agency’s board of directors made the decision.

Fialka has been CEO since January 2010. He followed much more high-profile CEOs, including Mike Snyder and Bruce Rowley most recently. Fialka, though, deliberately avoided media and other attention.

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You don’t say

“We work in advertising! We try to do something free, altruistic and karma restoring at least once a year.”

Sean Amore of Associated Integrated Marketing in an e-mail about the agency’s Care-A-Ton free tree giveaway at 7 a.m. Friday in Old Town Square in celebration of Arbor Day

Associated adds Springfield, Mo., office and changes names

Associated Integrated Marketing's new Springfield, Mo., office is in 1,300 square feet at the 100-year-old Mulhollan-Kelley Building across from Founders Park in downtown Springfield.

WICHITA — Associated advertising, which will now be known as Associated Integrated Marketing, is adding a new office in Springfield, Mo.

“This is our first office outside of Wichita in our 65-year history,” says public relations director Shawn Steward.

The office will be staffed by three people from the Springfield area that Steward says Associated staff knew through previous business relationships.

“We knew that we wanted to find digital resources to bring in house,” he says.

That includes offerings such as web development, social media, mobile marketing, interactive applications and coupon services that Steward calls essential to effective marketing.

He says in the past, the agency — like many other agencies — has sometimes hired freelancers to do that work.

“We’re at a tipping point, I think, where it makes sense for us to bring this type of specialized, highly skilled resource in house,” Steward says.

The Springfield office will have three employees addressing that kind of work:

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