Longtime Cooksey Communications execs Colby Walton and Jason Meyer kicked off 2022 with the full acquisition of the Irving-based agency launched by Gail Cooksey 28 years ago. It’s the final step in a multi-year transition plan for the firm.
The duo will build on founder Gail Cooksey’s legacy and focus on integrated PR and marketing for professional services, real estate, and government clients.
Walton will serve as chairman and CEO, while Meyer will serve as president of the 14-employee strategic communications firm. Founder Cooksey was named chairman emeritus and will provide consultative guidance to the leadership team.
Walton and Meyer call it a smooth and stable transition. Underscoring that succession, the name and branding of Cooksey Communications will remain the same.
“Over nearly three decades, our agency earned a well-deserved reputation for providing communications solutions with extraordinary attention to detail, and Gail thoughtfully assembled a team of experts with diverse skillsets who are deeply dedicated to their craft,” said Walton in a statement. “Jason and I are honored to have been entrusted with leadership roles in recent years and to build on that legacy as she now retires.
Walton values the agency’s “unmatched service ethos” and plans to further its collaborative culture as he and Meyer continue to serve their clients.
Walton, who most recently served as president, began his PR agency career at Cooksey Communications in 1998 and was named a partner in 2015. Meyer, who served as executive vice president, joined the firm in 2011 and also became a partner in 2015.
Together, the PR veterans have some four decades of combined experience in public relations and marketing communications. Both are involved in numerous local organizations.
Walton, who graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in history and public policy studies, earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law before joining Dallas-based Haynes and Boone in 1997. During his 23-year tenure at Cooksey, Walton helped establish and grow the agency’s proficiency in professional services marketing and municipal communications for clients facing an array of complex, high-stakes public relations issues.
Meyer is a U.S. Navy veteran who earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of North Texas and joined Cooksey in 2011 after service in national and local politics, school district communications, and at another prominent North Texas creative agency.
Meyer credits Gail Cooksey’s “thoughtful succession plan and our talented Cooksey teammates,” for the ease of transition. Clients can know what to count on “with respect to service delivery and their interactions with us,” he said in a statement. “Day-to-day account teams remain the same, and our commitment to the agency’s clients absolutely remains the top priority.”
At the same time, he adds, the partners are “closely monitoring the latest issues emerging in each of our core focus areas so we can anticipate and address future communications challenges – including by partnering with high-quality, aligned professional services providers to offer creative solutions that comprehensively meet clients’ evolving needs.”
Founder Cooksey says the agency is “in great hands.”
“As I reflect on the last 28 years, it has been a privilege to build Cooksey Communications with Colby’s and Jason’s invaluable assistance, plus the contributions of so many others,” said Gail Cooksey. “I’m thankful for the relationships we have developed and the outstanding reputation we have earned. I am also completely confident that Colby and Jason will provide strong, capable leadership. They have already demonstrated a clear capacity for doing so in recent years, during which time they have been entrusted with significant duties as they became partners and as I eased back from active agency management.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
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