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LarsonO'Brien Announces Retirement, Changes in Leadership

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Article Date: December 16, 2019

PITTSBURGH, PA…LarsonO’Brien announces the retirement of its CEO and co-founder Ron Larson, along with resulting role changes of its three executive leaders.  

Larson celebrates 41 years with the company. In 1978, he was hired as a graphic designer for Hawbaker Communications – a B2B advertising and PR agency. Upon Mr. Hawbaker’s retirement in 1998, the company merged with Jack O’Brien Advertising of Erie, PA, and was renamed LarsonO’Brien to reflect the company’s new leadership. In 2010, LarsonO’Brien became a specialty agency, serving building product manufacturers.

“It’s been a remarkable journey, and one that has allowed me to work with many amazing companies, brands, and people,” says Larson. “I am leaving the company in very capable hands, and you can expect to receive continued excellence in advertising and marketing services from LarsonO’Brien in 2020 and beyond.”

Taking over as CEO of LarsonO’Brien is Kevin Mayer. Kevin brings more than 30 years of building products industry experience — most of which he spent working directly for manufacturers to grow their businesses. However, for the past 7 years, Mayer has helped LarsonO’Brien clients grow, using highly strategic, insightful, and ROI-based methods which have set LarsonO’Brien apart in the industry.

“I am honored to assume the CEO role for LarsonO’Brien,” says Mayer. “I look forward to working with our team to continue to transform the building products industry through seamless interconnectivity between marketing, sales, and channels. Ultimately, we strive to position our clients to impact the advancement of building design and construction in the North American marketplace.”

The new President of LarsonO’Brien is David Sladack. A marketing professional for more than 26 years, David has been on the agency side for the majority of his career. A significant portion of his career has been in the building products category. He's worked on a variety of accounts in a mix of industries – including automotive, healthcare, consumer packaged goods and B2B. Since rejoining the agency in 2018, Sladack has brought significant strategic brand planning and digital ecosystem expertise to the company.  

“Our vertical focus on the building products category presents a tremendous opportunity at LarsonO’Brien,” says Sladack. “In today’s world, clients are looking for specialists who deeply understand their business and the modern marketing needs of a building products manufacturer. Our emphasis on building the digital ecosystem for our clients has resulted in really strong growth with both current clients and new business. And it’s afforded us an opportunity to increase our talent and expand the team.”

LarsonO’Brien’s Creative Director remains Garrett Andrae, who has been with the company for 22 years. His strategic and creative efforts have been crucial to the success of LarsonO’Brien, and the company’s specialization in the building products industry. He has developed effective, strategic marketing campaigns for all LarsonO’Brien clients.

“In 2010, LarsonO’Brien made the strategic business decision to shift from a generalist B2B agency with a strong building products practice, to an agency serving building product manufacturers exclusively,” says Andrae. “It’s proved to be the right move for us. Today, we’re a vertical specialist agency with industry expertise that’s extremely broad and deep, and that’s why we bring so much more value to our clients than traditional generalist agencies.”

LarsonO’Brien’s new leadership team draws on the dedication and success of past leaders, while looking to the future to become an even more nimble, curious, collaborative, and effective agency for building product manufacturers. Day in and day out, all employees are challenged to help solve clients’ biggest challenges and find ways to grow their businesses.

About LarsonO’Brien:

LarsonO’Brien is an ROI-based, full-service strategic marketing company serving building product manufacturers exclusively throughout North America and abroad. LarsonO’Brien offers a comprehensive portfolio of strategic marketing services and implementation capabilities to help client companies achieve growth, efficiency, and profitability. For more information, visit

BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.