Cincinnati-Based Creative Solutions Agency Welcomes Harness, Warman, and Walters as Co-Owners
Cincinnati, OH — January 21, 2021 – Cincinnati’s award-winning, independent creative solutions agency, Curiosity, is expanding its ownership with the formal appointment of President and Chief Client Officer Trey Harness, Chief Creative Officer Jeff Warman, and Chief Development Officer Ashley Walters as equity partners. The ownership expansion was made effective January 1, 2021, and comes on the heels of back-to-back record-breaking years for the agency.
Armed with the shared philosophy that asking the right questions leads to the right solutions, Matt Fischer and Greg Livingston founded Curiosity in 2010 after stops at BBDO, Hill Holliday, FCB, and Y&R. The name Curiosity set the vision for a fully integrated agency that is now home to 50 employees and a client roster consisting of some of the nation’s top DTC, CPG and service brands like Procter & Gamble, Native, Charlie Banana, Baby Brezza, Roto-Rooter, and Farmer Focus, as well as Cincinnati icons like Cincinnati Insurance Company, Western & Southern Financial Group, Formica, and Cincinnati Bell. Curiosity’s capabilities span strategy, creative, media, and analytics with a focus on using extreme curiosity to strategically solve business and marketing challenges.
“As we built Curiosity over the past 10 years into a midwest integrated creative agency and one of INC 5000’s fastest-growing businesses, we recognized one day we would need a transition into the next phase of ownership. We wouldn’t settle until we found the right people to carry our company culture forward, nurture our existing client relationships, and be able to grow Curiosity for the next 10 years,” said CEO Matt Fischer. “The company momentum we are currently experiencing is directly attributable to the diverse strengths Trey, Jeff, and Ashley bring to Curiosity.”
While the ownership expansion officially takes effect this month, the five leaders have been working together in preparation for this moment for nearly three years. Harness, former President of Dentsu’s Cincinnati gyro office, joined the company in 2018 as President and Chief Client Officer with a focus on agency strategy and client relationships. He quickly recruited Warman as Chief Creative Officer to bring a bold new vision for integrating strategy, creative, and activation. In 2019, Walters joined to lead the business development and marketing vision for the agency. Since 2018, Curiosity has experienced record growth and recognition, including welcoming 10 new clients in 2020 alone and earning awards such as “Best Social Media Campaign” from the International Webby Awards, a “Best Place to Work” award from Cincinnati Business Courier, and a finalist recognition from the Campaign US Agency of the Year Awards for “Best Business Development Team.”
“In some ways, this moment is 15 years in the making. Jeff, Ashley, and I have worked together over the years at other independent agencies, and while we all went our separate ways gaining valuable experience, we remained friends. We watched carefully as Curiosity grew and made a name for itself in the Midwest,” said President and Chief Client Officer Trey Harness. “There is palatable chemistry and passion for creative thinking between the five of us, and I’m confident that together we will continue to make Curiosity the small agency to watch.”
As the company’s newest co-owners, Harness, Warman, and Walters say they will focus on continuing the growth trajectory Curiosity is currently experiencing while honing in on new service lines and expanded partnerships to support current and future clients.
“2020 put our leadership team to the test in more ways than one. We came out on the other side even stronger with 10 amazing new clients, new hires, an updated brand for ourselves, and a culture that’s absolutely unstoppable,” said Chief Development Officer Ashley Walters. “In the past year, we have overhauled our activation practice, doubled down on our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts via partnerships with organizations like ANA’s SeeHer and One Club for Creativity’s ONE School. And we’re just getting started.”
Under the expanded ownership, Fischer and Livingston will continue to support the company in their current leadership roles, ensuring a smooth transition with current clients, staff, and business supporters. The deal was temporarily put on hold due to Covid-19, but reignited in the Fall and completed in December 2020.
To learn more about Curiosity’s five co-owners, visit Curiosity’s website at www.curiosity.fun.
Curiosity is a fast-growing, independent creative solutions agency with four superpowers: strategy, creative, media, and analytics, all driven by curiosity. We use our extreme curiosity to strategically solve business and marketing challenges for courageous clients such as Procter & Gamble, Native, Formica, and Western & Southern Financial Group. Recognized by the International Webby Awards for “Best Social Media Campaign,” Communication Arts for digital advertising, Campaign US for “Best Business Development Team,” and the Cincinnati Business Courier as a “Best Place to Work,” we ask the right questions to solve the right challenges because we believe curiosity is the key to unlocking the right solutions.
Curiosity is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the branding capital of the world and home to more Fortune 500 companies per capita than anywhere else in the country.