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The Martin Agency Inc.
Office Employees500+
Total US500+
Total Worldwide500+
Matt Williams, Chief Executive Officer
As the fifth CEO in the history of The Martin Agency, Matt Williams really knows how to command a room. Guess it doesn’t hurt that he’s 6'3". He’s an avid cyclist, father of two and has a calming presence that makes any goal feel within reach (though that may also be due to his large wingspan).

Matt joined the agency in 1991 as an account executive, but quickly found his niche in strategic planning, leading U.S. and global development for GEICO, Discover Financial Services, Nespresso, UPS, Saab, Credit
Suisse, and Bank One. In his role as CEO, Matt oversees the agency’s work for prominent brands including GEICO, Benjamin Moore, Walmart, Mondelēz, Morgan Stanley and Kraft Foods, among others.

Matt holds a marketing degree from The College of William & Mary as well as an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management; he is also a contributing author to the bestselling book Kellogg on Branding.
He speaks regularly on advertising and marketing topics around the country and has even consulted on communications strategy with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Defense.

All this from a man who made it through college as the lead singer of a band called Flannel Animals.
Joe Alexander, Chief Creative Officer
Joe has been a creative leader to people at The Martin Agency for more than 20 years. Since his promotion to chief creative officer in October 2012, Joe has helped the agency smoothly transition into an entirely new executive leadership team while inspiring our people to produce results-driven, award-winning creative work for our clients. He is one of the most prolific creatives in the business and his copywriting and creative leadership have produced acclaimed work for brands in almost every category and medium.

Just this year, he has overseen the interactive web application for Benjamin Moore, “Design by What Matters,” the continuation of Oreo’s “Wonderfilled” campaign and served as a Cyber Juror at Cannes. In 2013, he headed up “Clouds Over Cuba” that won 11 Cannes Lions and an Emmy; the first time an ad agency has ever won in the news and documentary category. The same year, he also led the charge on GEICO, including “Hump Day.”

A few years ago, the late Mike Hughes said of Joe, “I'm pretty sure no copywriter in the history of Richmond advertising has created more award-winning work than Joe. While other agencies compete with The Martin Agency in the local, national and international shows, everyone in our creative department just wanted to beat Joe. He set the bar. You don't beat him often, but when you do, it feels great.”
Beth Rilee-Kelley, Chief Operating Officer
Beth began her advertising career in account management in 1983 and then spent the next 14 years distinguishing herself as a strategic planner, team leader and goal-oriented manager. Campaigns under her supervision consistently garnered both marketing and creative recognition, including awards from the Effies, The One Show, Communication Arts and the Art Directors Club (NY).

In 1997, Beth made the switch to the creative department, working closely with Mike Hughes, Joe Alexander and other creative directors on developing and mentoring creative talent. She switched departments again in 2004, managing the agency’s human resources group, became a partner in 2005,and in 2011, assumed the role of chief operating officer.

Beth currently serves as a member of the finance committee for the 4A’s and is on the advisory board for Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Media & Culture.

Beth and her husband, Paul, are proud parents to their two adult children, Breeden and Thomasson.
John Adams, Jr., Chairman
John Adams has spent 41 years at The Martin Agency, an award-winning advertising agency based in Richmond, Virginia. The agency has been included on the Advertising Age “A-List” five out of the six years it has been published and in 2013, The Martin Agency won an Emmy for an interactive documentary created for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

John plays a key role on the team that continues to bring national attention to Martin, representing such brands as Discover Financial Services, GEICO, Mondelēz, Walmart, Hanes, Kraft Foods and BFGoodrich.

He is chairman of the board of directors at Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter, and also serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American
History and Hampden-Sydney College.

A member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, John lectures frequently on marketing and business issues throughout the United States.
Liz Toms, SVP Director of Business Development
Fun-loving style renegade by birth; "mad woman" by day, Liz epitomizes the ultimate fashionista and advertising warrior.

After seven years in the New York fashion industry, Liz joined the Agency to manage Hanes and Barely There. Her extensive apparel experience includes creating campaigns for Vera Wang, Chanel, BCBG and The Limited; and working directly with designer Calvin Klein on his global jeans and underwear collections. You can imagine therefore how much of a shock and transition it was for Liz to then oversee the GEICO account.

Liz nurtured some of the most amazing, award-winning work in GEICO’s history, driving press-worthy and pop culture storylines. As a result, GEICO grew from the 7th largest to 2nd largest in category sales, with double-digit growth for 12 years. Liz most recently focused her considerable talents on changing account management into a hotbed of creative entrepreneurialism. She institutionalized a robust organic growth initiative, re-building its learning and development efforts, revolutionized its approach to staffing, and was the engine behind all coaching and mentoring efforts.

Now in her new role driving the Agency’s growth engine, Liz still finds time to love on her niece and nephew, support the Richmond Ballet and write for
Dean Jarrett, Chief Communication Officer
Sometimes unorthodox, but usually entertaining, Dean is known for shredding it on the dance floor, his Southern expressions and his striking resemblance to a modern-day Sir Paul McCartney.

Dean joined the agency in 1989 as a true hybrid of the advertising and public relations communications disciplines. Trained in journalism, he serves as the national media liaison for the agency, working regularly with industry editors and reporters at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Advertising Age and Adweek, to name a few.

Outside of work, Dean is a member of the National Public Relations Committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, a founding member and former chairman of the board of Homeward, Richmond’s Regional Response to Homelessness and served as a board member of The Healing Place, a substance abuse recovery center in Richmond. He also loves golf, cycling and skiing.

In his time at the agency, Dean has taken on a variety of special projects including helping the GEICO Gecko publish a book. That one, Dean would say, “made him as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.”