On August 4th, Triad will celebrate its 25 years in business. This milestone has made me think of the many people whose efforts have contributed to the development and sustaining of this organization. Over the next three weeks, I will be highlighting 25 people who have played key roles in Triad’s history.
Limiting the number of people that we acknowledge to 25 has been particularly difficult, and I certainly want to thank all of the people with whom Triad has worked – employees, clients, and suppliers who are not specifically mentioned. Without your support, this agency would have never reached this very significant anniversary.
Creating a new identity for a well-respected company is always a daunting task. However, working with Kenny Wood, the president of the company, and Whitney Bouterie, the marketing director, the task was a very satisfying venture. Both Kenny and Whitney clearly communicated their thinking in a manner that allowed the Triad creative team to focus in on answers that both reflected the true nature of K&B and was motivational to the company’s various markets.
This branding assignment extended to a wide range of marketing tasks, including advertising development, literature creation, public relations efforts, and a wide range of digital activities. Through each and all of this work, we could always can count on the candor and cooperation of Whitney and Kenny.
Honest and forthcoming, and aware of the power of marketing for their company, Kenny and Whitney have been significant contributors to this agency.
Contributor #11 – Don Vogelsang – General Manager of LEWCO Drilling Equipment
The LEWCO product line begin with high horsepower mud pumps used in oil and gas drilling applications. At the time LEWCO was being formed, industry giant National Oilwell Varco (NOV) had over 80% market share in high-horsepower mud pumps. Don launched the LEWCO line of mud pumps based on 5 characteristics that made them superior:
The LEWCO pump sported a fabricated and machined
crankshaft that was inherently balanced.
By comparison the NOV pumps used “wobbly,” failure-prone cast
crankshafts. LEWCO pumps ran so smooth
that one could balance a quarter on their decks while they were running at full
All LEWCO mud pumps employed more bearings than
the competition, and the bearings used on these mud pumps were of the highest
LEWCO mud pumps featured pump-driven
lubrication, which was superior to NOV’s dated gravity system.
The LEWCO mud pumps also featured alloy steel
gears and pinions for long life, a very big improvement over the mild steel
gears and pinions found on the NOV mud pumps.
All LEWCO mud pumps were pressure tested at full
horsepower, a first in the industry.
Don allowed Triad the freedom to campaign the marketing
effort for the mud pumps, with consistent focus on these 5 key points of
After three years of aggressive sales and marketing efforts,
LEWCO had garnered in excess of 60% market share in high horsepower mud pumps.
Don was a great client for whom to work – he was open in the
level of input he provided, he was willing to take chances, he was aggressive
in his approach to the market, and he listened (while not always
All of Triad liked, and more importantly, respected Don
Contributor #10 – Bob Brown, Owner of Berry-Brown Advertising and Mentor
Bob was one of those unique people who, while being very talented, never took himself too seriously. While he was quite capable of making a point when a change was needed in some area of the Business Group, he was able to make his point while allowing the person’s sense of dignity to remain intact. I can still remember how everyone at the Business Group would absolutely light up when Bob would visit.
I owe a great deal to Bob Brown, and I was lucky enough to have been able to tell him as much. Being somewhat self-effacing, Bob sort of brushed off my comment, but I believe that deep down he understood how I felt about him.
Contributor #9 – Ryan Bonner, Alcoa Fastening Systems (now Arconic Fastening Systems)
Ryan is an absolute fastener marketing maniac. He understands the technology of advanced engineered fasteners and the many factors and considerations that drive the specification and purchase of these specialized products.
Until recently, Ryan operated out of a company office in Indianapolis. We would normally meet in person in our offices once a month, although sometimes the meetings were held in Indy. Those meetings would usually include 20+ agenda items, and together we would plow through them in a focused and efficient manner. Ryan was one of the special clients who always liked a good idea. Several of those ideas were award winners that delivered outstanding results. I think Ryan and Triad both take pride in those efforts. However, there were times when we would present something that Ryan didn’t particularly like, and his usual response was, “Well, I don’t hate it.” Hearing that response always told us to go back to the drawing board.
Alcoa (and Arconic) Fastening Systems was a great client for Triad for many years, and Ryan had a great deal to do with that fact. So, he is, indeed, a key contributor to our 25 years.
Contributor #8 – Carlos Kenda, Client and Friend
If you want to know where the oil and gas industry is going from a drilling and production perspective, one conversation with Carlos would clear any questions you might have. From his days of building NOV’s operation in China to meeting the needs of today’s artificial lift industry with wireless monitoring equipment, Carlos is one of the oil and gas market’s true leaders.
Carlos is, indeed, a man of the world, with contacts throughout the Far East, the Middle East, and even in former Iron Curtain countries. His international connections are so broad, Julie Gardner (former creative director at Triad) termed Carlos, as an “international man of mystery.” Today, Carlos’ company, Bright Automation, is setting new standards for reliability in wireless pumpjack monitoring equipment. He saw a market need based on cable issues associated with conventional measurement equipment and applying the latest in solar-powered wireless technology, provided a reliable, cost-effective solution.
More than an outstanding businessman, Carlos is a great friend and supporter of Triad. More than once he has introduced the agency to people who became clients. And on a personal note, one of my favorite things is dining with Carlos at Perry’s in Houston. Carlos does know how to enjoy the finer things in life.
Contributor #7 – Gary Bradbury and Bill Prikryl “The Old Men of Triad”
Both Bill and Gary were looking to provide 3 – 4 more productive years before they took retirement. I knew Gary from his days as a Senior Account Director at Berry-Brown Advertising, and Bill… well, he was my brother, so I knew him reasonably well.
Bill handled the PR, media buying, and database marketing effort for the agency, adding a level of detail and sophistication to these areas. Gary served a wide range of functions including account service, production management, and traffic. Both Bill and Gary were active members of the company’s management group.
These two were both hardworking and strong in their belief in the future of Triad. Gary has moved into a very good retirement, and Bill passed away several years ago. However, both of them will be remembered for their contribution to Triad.
Contributor #6 – Julie Gardner, Creative Director
In 2004, it became apparent to me that Triad needed to “up” its creative game. We had always been a very strong marketing agency, but I felt that to continue to grow we needed to bring our creative services in line with our marketing expertise. Julie Gardner was the key to meeting that objective.
Julie came to Triad from a B2C background, having most
recently worked for Travelocity. I made
it clear to her at the outset that she was walking into a very different
creative world. As was her style, Julie
jumped into the Triad creative effort with both feet. The quality of the agency’s creative product
improved significantly, and before we knew it Triad was winning numerous awards
for the work it produced.
Julie was much more than “just a creative person.” She understood the agency business and was
particularly beneficial in the area of client relationships and new business. She also served on Triad’s management team for
a number of years, adding a different perspective to the operation of the
Contributor #5 – Waynette Ray, Account and Office Manager
Waynette joined Triad in the early 2000s, bringing with her a much more sophisticated approach to our accounting process. Through her 13+ years at Triad, Waynette played a number of roles within the company…in addition to her primary financial role. Waynette often assisted in production and traffic management, and even provided some back-up account management services. In addition, she served on the Triad management team for a number of years.
While a very serious businessperson, Waynette would surprise you with her sense of humor and willingness to move out of her own box.
After having worked together for more than 13 years, Waynette and I sometimes (rarely) had our differences, but I always knew that I could count on her best efforts, her integrity, and her loyalty to Triad.
Triad had been working with Fibergrate Composite Products
for a year when Marty Mauer came on board as Director of Marketing. After the company was sold to Cortech (a PE
firm), the account really took off. I
remember at one time, Susan Worthington, who was the AE on the account, had 27
active jobs on the roster. These jobs,
most of which were multi-page literature projects, could not have been
completed in a quick and efficient manner, if Marty had not driven the projects
A newly minted MBA, Marty was a great combination of
professionalism, competency, and self-effacing modesty. One could not ask for a better client.
Contributor #3 – Dan Eckermann, LeTourneau Technologies
We began working with LeTourneau’s Mining Group, which
manufactured the world’s largest front-end loaders. What a great product line to market!
Soon after, we began working with the Marine Group, which
built the first offshore rig and was the market leader in jack-up rigs. Then in 2003, LeTourneau formed the Drilling
Equipment Group, which also became a client.
In 2006, Triad had the opportunity to brand the entire group of
LeTourneau companies, which turned out to be a very rewarding effort.
One quick story that speaks volumes to the quality
managerial style and quality of Dan. In
1999, our contact in the Mining Group was becoming increasingly difficult,
playing games and beating up our account executive on a regular basis. It seemed that the more our AE worked to
satisfy this client, the worse the situation became. After I learned the details, I immediately
called Dan to ask for a meeting. That
evening I drove to Longview to meet with Dan, who stayed late to see me. After spelling out the details of the issue,
I told Dan that we were a young organization, and it would be difficult to turn
our back on a great account like LeTourneau, but I was prepared to do just
I didn’t have to…Dan accurately read the situation and
immediately took steps to remedy the situation.
Triad worked another 9 years with LeTourneau prior to its being sold to
Today, Dan remains a good friend.
Contributor #2 – Geralyn Harvey, Miltronics
I had significant experience in the instrumentation business, having worked for a major measuring device company, TN Technologies, for a number of years prior to starting Triad. Since I was contractually obligated to not work with TN Technologies, I started out by searching for a similar instrumentation company. I found one in Arlington, TX, Miltronics. The director of marketing at Miltronics was Geralyn Harvey. Geralyn was not only a very savvy B2B marketer, but also a great person with whom to work.
Triad worked with Miltronics for several years, and even produced our first digital program for this client in 1995…a touch-screen activated, interactive instrumentation selection program housed in a kiosk. We developed this program for the 1995 Instrument Society of America Show in New Orleans. I remember all-too-well working with a programmer in a steamy tradeshow venue (the AC is always turned off during set up), just trying to get the device working properly. Eventually, we prevailed, and our interactive program was one of the hits of the show.
Geralyn eventually was married and moved to Seattle. I have yet been able to locate her and thank
her for believing in this young, start-up agency.
Contributor #1 – Rhonda Anderson and Susan Worthington
So, I am beginning with two people listed together as the agency’s first contributor…call it poetic license.
Rhonda was Triad’s first employee (albeit part-time initially, before moving into a full-time role). Having moved over to Triad from a small printing shop she owned with her husband, Rhonda covered a number of functions for the start-up agency – accounting, production management, and general operations management. Rhonda’s ability and willingness to take on a number of jobs, combined with her positive outlook, made her an outstanding asset for the company.
Susan Worthington had worked for me when I operated Berry-Brown’s B2B division, The Business Group. From my time working with Susan at The Business Group, I knew that I could count on her to provide a high level of quality and responsive account service. Early Triad clients knew that they could count on Susan working on their behalf…always able to be counted on to do what she said she would do.
Triad started with my occupying a single office in an executive suite. When Rhonda was hired, I rented another office, which Rhonda later shared with Susan. According to Susan, “We didn’t get a lot of work done, but we did get to know each other well.” Susan was right about getting to know each other well, but wrong on her “work” comment. In reality these two played a great role in helping Triad to get off the ground.
Triad B2B Agency has been a part of the oil and gas world since our inception nearly 25 years ago. We have been a trusted business-to-business marketing partner for countless companies, developing branding and growth strategies as well as creating the materials to help our clients attract and retain their customers.
Many agencies claim to be “in-tune” with their clients but will still manage projects from behind a desk. Triad prefers to see itself as an extension of our clients’ sales force, putting boots on the ground to help them reach their goals. This is what makes us uniquely capable to help the B2B marketer, and what led us to host one of our most successful events to date.
With so many clients and friends attending the DUG Permian Basin Conference in Fort Worth last month, Triad decided to host a fun, casual event to bring everyone together. We partnered with Atlas Sand, CSI Compressco, Fuelco, Impact Selector, Summit Casing Equipment, and Zeeco to throw an evening meet-and-greet for oil and gas professionals attending the conference. After landing on a ‘Southern Hospitality’ theme, we created invitations, signage, and other branded elements. Along with our six co-sponsors, we invited companies we knew, as well as new acquaintances from the conference.
The event was hosted on a large outdoor patio, with live music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails, cornhole, a cigar roller, and raffle giveaways. We had a great turnout with representation from dozens of different oil and gas companies. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive; guests relaxed and had fun, all while meeting like-minded people within the industry.
Conventions and trade shows are a great way to share information, but often it’s the unofficial, more casual setting that is conducive to fostering lasting connections. Triad enjoys being a part of our clients’ lives and a part of promoting innovation within the oil and gas industry, because B2B is our Business™.
If we didn’t see you at this event, we hope to see you at the next!
On the heels of receiving the American Marketing Association’s “Marketer of the Year” honor in Energy Marketing for the DFW region, Triad B2B Agency has earned three new Communicator Awards. The awards were presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, honoring Triad for work on behalf of three of the agency’s clients.
Award of Excellence
The Communicator Award of Excellence was given to Triad B2B Agency in the category of Marketing & Promotion, for its “Bit in a Box” direct mail campaign for Ulterra Drilling Technologies. Ulterra is a leader in drill bit technology for the oil and gas industry. The Award of Excellence recognizes Triad’s entry as best in the field.
Awards of Distinction
Triad also received two Communicator Awards of Distinction for its client work. An Award of Distinction was given to Triad in the category of Corporate Identity for its work for HMI Cardinal. Cardinal is a national powerhouse in shower enclosures, artisan glass, and commercial glazing.
A second Award of Distinction was earned in the Print Advertising category for Triad’s B2B print campaign for Portfolio, an acknowledged innovator in automotive reinsurance.
About the Communicator Awards
The Communicator Awards, now in its 25th season, is the leading international awards program, recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world.
Triad B2B Agency, also in its 25th year of business, specializes in B2B marketing communications. The agency is active in a wide range of markets including oil and gas, aerospace, building materials, financial services, automotive, industrial distribution, control automation, healthcare technology, supply chain management, food and beverage, and more.
The Triad Team (Above): David Hospodka (Creative Director), Joe Sugarek (VP of Business Development), Tony Ammerman (Associate Creative Director/Sr. Copywriter)
Triad B2B Agency was named Marketer of the Year in Energy Marketing by the American Marketing Association’s DFW Chapter.
The award was based on an integrated campaign for the launch of a new product for Triad’s client, Ulterra. The effort included print advertising, public relations, and in-depth feature articles developed in conjunction with leading trade publications.
The product launch for the SplitBlade drill bit broke company records for market penetration, sales, and total feet drilled. Triad’s efforts were a key part of the product launch, resulting in increased awareness of the bit’s design and performance characteristics, reaching key targets within the Oil & Gas industry.
Triad B2B Agency of Dallas has been honored as a finalist in the American Marketing Association’s 2019 Marketer of the Year Awards. The agency is being recognized for its work in the Direct Mail Marketing and Energy Marketing award categories.
In the Direct Mail Marketing category, Triad is being celebrated for its “Bit in a Box” campaign for Fort Worth-based Ulterra. The campaign was devised to raise awareness of among difficult-to-reach corporate level decision makers. The campaign consisted of a 4-color, laminated carrier box containing a scale-model Ulterra drill bit and a 4-color brochure. Messaging highlighted the record-breaking performance of Ulterra drill bits in the Permian’s Midland and Delaware basins, while emphasizing the company’s unique capabilities in the areas of engineering, manufacturing and support.
In the Energy Marketing category, Triad is being recognized for an integrated Advertising and Public Relations effort in support of a major new product launch for client Ulterra. The integrated marketing effort included print advertising, public relations, and in-depth feature articles developed in conjunction with leading trade publications. The product launch of the SplitBlade drill bit broke company records for market penetration, sales, and total feet drilled within the first six months.
“Having the opportunity to work with great clients is always the best reward, and the thing that keeps us inspired on a daily basis,” says Tom Prikryl, President and Founder of Triad B2B Agency, and a 40+ year veteran of the B2B marketing industry. “Being celebrated as a finalist at the American Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Awards Gala is a great recognition of the high-impact work we are doing for our clients.”
The awards will be announced at the Marketer of the Year Awards Gala, hosted by the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the AMA on May 2nd.
About Triad B2B Agency
Triad specializes in B2B marketing communications. Founded in 1994, the agency is active in oil and gas, aerospace, building materials, financial services, automotive, industrial distribution, control automation, healthcare technology, supply chain management and more.
An agency can work to make itself good. But clients make an agency great. Help us be great and provide you the best work possible. Here are 7 ways you can make your agency better.
1. Realize Your Agency Is a Partner, Not Just Another Vendor
Agencies don’t pump out ads and brochures like mass-produced
sprockets. We’re problem solvers. Agency teams are trained to marry creative
solutions to strategic problems. We can do so much more for you. Spend the time
to cultivate a relationship with your agency and take advantage of our
2. Quickly Get the Paperwork and Formalities out of the Way
Getting a joint Non-Disclosure Agreement in place is a first
order of business. It gives you the confidence to freely discuss your
organization and share sensitive information. The client and agency both benefit
when we can quickly get to the specifics of the situation and avoid speaking in
vague generalities. Initial meetings should be followed up with a Request for
Proposal to quickly get the agency engaged on your behalf.
3. Make Sure Your Agency Sees the Big Picture
Once you have an NDA in place, brief the agency on your
business. Get us up to speed on your market position and SWOT analysis. The
faster and better we understand where your business is coming from and where
it’s going, the better our work will be.
4. Teach Us the Details
As an agency we live and die by the quality of input we
receive from you. Detailed input keeps our work on target and meeting your
expectations. We try to ask all the right questions, but we can’t approach your
level of knowledge when it comes to your business and industry.
5. Set Your Creative Expectations
Not every client and project need a full rebranding. You can
help us by setting your creative expectations up front. We want to be on the
same page as you when it comes to creative direction. If you’re not sure if a
new look and feel is in order, just ask. Show us your guidelines and ask for a
6. Plug into the Power of Why
Why is one of the most useful things you can learn when
looking at creative work. Every element in a layout is a result of thoughtful
placement. You can phrase any design change as a why statement. Ask why we made
such a choice. Or, explain why a suggested change would be beneficial to the
overall design. Understanding why helps the creative team gain understanding
and how to create better solutions moving forward.
7. Plan for Greatness
The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling took Michelangelo four years to
complete. Great work requires time. Working with your agency to develop an
overall marketing plan and schedule gets everyone onboard. Last minute projects
are unavoidable, but you get the best work from your agency when you give them
clear direction and plenty of lead time.
Working with amazing clients is its own reward, but recently Triad nominated some of its clients for highly coveted industry honors.
In June, Triad nominated three senior executives of Ulterra (the leading drill bit manufacturer in the U.S., and one of the fastest growing drill bit companies in the world), for Petroleum Economist magazine’s annual awards, among the most prestigious in the oil and gas industry.
These included Ulterra’s CEO, John Clunan, as “CEO of the Year;” Marketing Director, Aron Deen, as “Energy Executive of the
Year,” and Innovation Director Chris
Casad as “Future Leader.”
The winners were announced in a black-tie gala ceremony in London on November 27:
John Clunan – CEO of
the Year Runner-up
Aaron Deen – Energy
Executive of the Year Winner
Chris Casad – Future
All three clients were in attendance in London, England, to
personally receive their recognitions.
Separately, Triad had the honor of preparing nomination materials for Ulterra’s Chief Financial Officer, Maria Mejia, for Oil & Gas Investor Magazine’s prestigious “25 Influential Women In Energy” honors. In November, Oil & Gas Investor announced Maria as a 2019 honoree. She will be recognized for the honor during an awards luncheon in Houston in March of 2019.
Award-winning work for award-winning clients — it doesn’t
get much better than that! Triad is honored
to work with such outstanding clients, and proud to be part of them receiving
the industry recognition they deserve.