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VML
TOTAL NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
Office Employees201-500
Total US201-500
Total Worldwide500+
Discretionary Comments:
450+ VML FTEs 800+ FTEs for the VML Digital Network including Studiocom
BIOS
Matt Anthony, Global Chairman
Matt Anthony is the driving force behind VML's amazing growth and enduring success. In 1995, when Matt joined the small Kansas City-based agency as its fourth partner, VML had one major client and fewer than 10 employees. Since then, the one-time traditional shop has emerged as one of the most important digital marketing agencies operating today.

With more than 800 employees around the globe, the VML Group provides industry-leading work for some of the world's most recognized and respected brands, including Accenture, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Colgate-Palmolive, Dell, English Premier League, Ford, Gatorade, Hershey's, Kashi, Kellogg's, LG, Microsoft, Nature Made, Sam's Club, SAP, Southwest Airlines, T-Mobile, Waste Management, Western Union and Xerox.

Matt's direct influence on VML's steady expansion has been evident every step of the way. With a deep background in traditional advertising and experience in promotions and media relations, Matt didn't hesitate to explore interactive possibilities during the infancy of the internet. He and his core leadership team – most of whom have worked at the agency for 10 years or longer – transformed VML into a digital marketing force more than 15 years ago.

In 2001, Matt guided VML's decision to join the WPP Group. The result has been unprecedented expansion for VML. Matt holds various leadership roles within WPP and its strategic planning groups; he is a board member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (commonly known as the Four A's). In 2010, Matt was named Advertising Professional of the Year by the American Advertising Federation of Kansas City for lifetime contributions to the advertising and marketing profession.

Throughout his career, Matt has been a tireless supporter of philanthropic endeavors and community causes. In memory of his brother Chris, who suffered from a glioblastoma brain tumor and died in 2003 at the age of 37, Matt and his family established the Head for the Cure Foundation to raise awareness and funding for brain cancer research. To date, the Head for the Cure Foundation has raised nearly $1.5 million for brain cancer research, directed through Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative (BTTC).

Matt is also the motivating energy behind the VML Foundation, which manages the agency's extensive community outreach program, including direct funding, employee volunteerism and pro bono work for charitable organizations. Currently, more than 70 percent of all VMLers are active members of the VML Foundation. Additionally, employees are provided two paid days to volunteer at the not-for-profit of their choice; once a year, on VML Foundation Day, the entire company joins forces in support of a single cause.

Matt has numerous philanthropic volunteer board positions, including the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (Houston, Texas), American Association of Advertising Agencies, Council on Foreign Relations, Head for the Cure Foundation, Turning Point and VML Foundation.

A native Nebraskan, Matt played intercollegiate soccer at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and communications. Away from the office, Matt is an avid cyclist and spends time with his wife, Ann, and their three children, Danny, Mary and Steven.

For additional information, please contact:
Jennifer Puett
Executive Assistant
816-218-3098
JPuett@vml.com
Jon Cook, CEO and President
Jon Cook was named CEO and President of VML in February 2011 after serving as the agency's President since January 2007. Previously, he served as managing partner for several years. Jon joined VML in 1996; since then, the agency has grown from 30 employees to more than 800 around the world and includes principal offices in Kansas City, New York, Seattle, Atlanta, Boston, London, Milan, Geneva and Auckland.

During his tenure, Jon has been one of the driving forces behind VML's dramatically expanded capabilities as part of a leadership team that transformed the agency into a global digital powerhouse. Jon's specialty lies in his ability to visualize, plan and implement enterprise-level digital marketing strategy.

As a VML business development leader, Jon has played a major role in the agency's sustained growth. He dedicates a significant amount of time, energy and enthusiasm to cultivating new and burgeoning client engagements.

Jon is wholeheartedly focused on developing client partnerships, balanced between B2B and consumer-facing client partners. He draws upon years of experience working with VML client partners such as Gatorade, Hershey's, Kellogg's, Microsoft, Sam's Club, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, SAP, Southwest Airlines, Western Union and others.

Fiercely competitive and driven to succeed, Jon embodies the highest level of expertise, passion and commitment. At the same time, he is down to earth and authentic and has found continual professional success by respecting teamwork, camaraderie and personal relationships. Above all, Jon values loyalty and all its characteristics.

Jon graduated from the University of Missouri in 1993 with a B.S. in journalism. Throughout his career, he has encouraged and supported young talent interested in advertising and marketing to join the industry. This leadership extended to the Missouri School of Journalism Centennial and Dedication program as the featured presenter of The Digital Marketer's Web 2.0 Survival Guide. Jon is a member of the leadership board of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA) and a board member of the Advertising Club of Kansas City Foundation.

In 2009, Jon was selected by Ingram's business magazine as one of Kansas City's most successful young professionals and community leaders. He spends his free time with his wife, Lisa, and their daughters, Ellie, Annabelle and Georgia.
Feel free to contact Jon at:
Jon Cook
VML CEO and President
+1.816.218.2800
jcook@vml.com

For additional information, please contact:
Jennifer Puett
Executive Assistant
816-218-3098
JPuett@vml.com
Scott McCormick, Chief Vision Officer
Scott is one of the founders of Kansas City-based agency VML Inc., and currently serves as the agency’s chief vision officer. (VML is the second agency he has grown, having helped take another KC agency, Valentine Radford, from $14 million to $150 million as executive creative director.) A member of the WPP network, VML has offices in New York, Seattle, Portland, Atlanta, London, Barcelona and Bogotá. Forrester Research recently named VML one of the Top 12 interactive firms in the U.S.

A copywriter by trade, Scott’s work has been recognized in competitions across the U.S. and internationally. He is a technology junkie from way back, and moved VML into the interactive arena at a very early date. He shaped the “holistic communications” philosophy that has put VML at the forefront of the industry.

Add to that technology insight his 30+ years of experience in the creative processes of advertising, marketing and sales promotion, and you have the well-rounded expertise and knowledge so necessary to understanding and growing a business in today’s connected economy. Clients such as Sprint, Colgate, Microsoft, Bayer, The ATP and Burger King appreciate the fresh perspectives that Scott’s work sheds on their timeless brands.

He is an active community leader, currently serving on numerous boards as well as holding national and local roles with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Scott was the Kansas City Ad Club’s Advertising Professional of the Year in 2004.
Eric Baumgartner, Chief Creative Officer
Eric steers the creative product of our 90+ creative department. With a broad scope of experience, from traditional to interactive, he pushes the creative wherever the solutions may take us.

Starting out in the big retail brand world at Bernstein-Rein, Eric cut his teeth on "category killer" accounts like Wal-Mart, McDonalds and Blockbuster.

From there Eric joined VML over 13 years ago. He designed and implemented Sprint's very first "official" online presence and was tapped to develop Sprint's first online brand guidelines. He continued to evolve Sprint's presence online over the next nine years.

Eric now leads the way delivering global, creative solutions for some of the world's most distinguished brands including Microsoft, Vanguard, adidas, Bluetooth and Diageo. And his work isn't going unnoticed.

Eric was recognized by .Net magazine in the UK as one of the top 10 interactive designers in the world, and recently, his work for Jarden Consumer Solutions' Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker was awarded two Best in Show winners, visual appeal and branding, by the International Academy of Visual Arts and the W3 Awards. Eric's exceptional work for the American Cancer Society and ERC were also featured in the design annuals of Communication Arts and PRINT Magazine.

Eric continues to stretch the bounds of online design and architecture in online merchandising, B2B and consumer communications, as well as application and viral development.
Craig Braasch, Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer for VML, Craig Braasch leads the Account Management group, Strategic Services, Community Relations and Human Resources/Operations. In this role, Craig manages the resources that direct the growth of VML client business, and he also has the responsibility to ensure VML is prepared to meet the needs of both clients and employees. Craig has a long history with VML as a primary client contact. Most recently Craig spent two years at Burger King in Miami as VP, Global Advertising and Youth Marketing. His duties at BK spanned from advertising, media, promotions and merchandising to online activity supported by VML. Prior to Burger King, Craig held the position of Managing Director, Worldwide Advertising and Sponsorships at Northwest Airlines in Minneapolis. During his 10 years at Northwest, Craig relied on VML to develop many of the marketing and advertising efforts supporting domestic operations. It's no surprise Craig landed at VML; his roots were firmly planted in the agency world prior to accepting his first client-side position. Craig started his career in Los Angeles and spent six years in Account Management, primarily at J. Walter Thompson. Now Craig feels right at home at VML.
Jim Bellinghausen, Chief Financial Officer
Jim joined VML's executive management team in 2007 as the company's new Chief Financial Officer. He is responsible for managing the finance and accounting functions of VML including financial reporting, billing, payroll and budgeting as well as supporting the organization's financial analysis and reporting needs. Jim also manages the financial reporting relationships with VML's parent company, WPP, and with the company's subsidiaries, Studiocom and goodtechnology.

Jim's career spans more than 20 years, most recently serving as Vice President of Finance and CFO for Saia, Inc., one of the most successful regional shipping firms in the United States. His financial experience also includes work for YRC Worldwide, where he managed corporate budget and financial consolidation processes as Director of Corporate Accounting, and Arthur Andersen, where he led recurring audits, financial consulting and other engagements.

Jim is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Financial Executives International.
Todd Kirtley, CTO
As Chief Technology Officer, Todd is responsible for all technical direction and architecture decisions for the company.

Since assuming this position in April 2004, Todd's priority has been to advance VML's technical capabilities beyond strategic initiatives to provide improved technical products and services for VML clients. Todd's 15-year tenure in multiple industries has afforded opportunities and insight to the manufacturing, airline and technology sectors.

Prior to this most recent position with VML, Todd spent two years leading the implementation of an enterprise web portal strategy for one of VML's largest clients. Before joining VML, Todd worked at eSecurityOnline, Ernst & Young LLP where he was the Director of Application Development & Data Services. He managed all software engineering, quality assurance and data management initiatives.
Mike Yardley, Chief Integration Officer
Mike's career at VML began in 1995, joining the company to launch, develop and optimize VML's fledgling web development and digital marketing business. At the time, the internet channel was over-promising returns, and, for the most part, under-delivering in the marketplace. The 10 years that followed shaped a new way of thinking at VML, one that emphasized the integration of marketing and technology, and helped VML grow into one of the world's leading digital marketing companies.

Today, Mike is responsible for overseeing VML's 30-person media and digital content distribution discipline, while also leading some of VML's largest global client partnerships including Colgate-Palmolive, YRC Worldwide and Epsilon.

Mike brings an unyielding passion to his clients, guiding their success and growth in the digital channel by blending marketing and technology to deliver innovative, difference-making programs. Mike transfers this same passion and innovation across VML, and through the work of the 60+ people he oversees on a daily basis. His knowledge of the digital space and ability to provide actionable plans that fully utilize integrated marketing have helped lead the way in providing clients with forward-thinking solutions. Under Mike's leadership, the Colgate Yahoo! Instant Messenger Environment was awarded Outstanding Rich Media Online Ad at Web Marketing Association's 2006 Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards.

Prior to joining VML, Mike held several marketing and business development leadership positions in the software and technology marketplace.

In his spare time, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, reading both fiction and non-fiction novels and playing the trumpet.