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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Mike Snyder discusses his departure as Associated’s CEO

UPDATE — Mike Snyder is out as CEO of Associated, the second-largest ad agency in Wichita.

Whether it was his decision to resign or if he was forced to leave is unclear.

“You know, those are internal workings that we just don’t discuss publicly,” Snyder says.

A statement from Associated says:

“Associated appreciates Mike’s innovative, steady leadership, especially during a period of challenges in the overall economy.”

Bill Fialka, who joined Associated in 2007 and is vice president of client service, will be the interim CEO.

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Mike Snyder no longer Associated CEO

snyder.jpgWICHITA — Mike Snyder is out as CEO of Associated.

In response to calls from Have You Heard?, the advertising agency released a statement saying Snyder resigned.

“Associated appreciates Mike’s innovative, steady leadership, especially during a period of challenges in the overall economy,” the statement said.

Snyder, who joined the agency as a vice president in 2003 and became CEO in 2006, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Bill Fialka, who is Associated’s vice president of client service, will be the interim CEO. He joined Associated in 2007.

During Snyder’s tenure, Associated lost some large, longtime accounts.

In 2007, the agency lost Intrust Bank, which had been a client for 26 years.

“This is not anything we’re worried about,” Snyder said at the time.

“In my view, business is business. You’ve got your ups, and you’ve got your downs. . . . You go on and you make your own success.”

Last year, Preferred Health Systems ended its 13-year relationship with Associated.

“Nothing lasts forever but God, a mother’s love and the United States Marine Corps,” Snyder, a Marine, said then.” You know, you move on.”

Associated also landed some sizable accounts under Snyder’s direction, including Wesley Medical Center late last year.