company: FKQ. Last year was a milestone for the Clearwater-based advertising, marketing and branding company: it celebrated its 60th anniversary. Robert Faller co-founded the company in 1961 in Buffalo, New York. It added some offices across the country in the 1970s, and in 1987 Faller bought his business partners Al Klenk and Lawlor Quinlan and moved the company to Clearwater.
Bob’s daughter, Lisa Faller, was appointed CEO in 2003. FKQ now offers a range of services to clients, from data analytics and digital marketing to creative content and public relations. The company has about 100 employees, and clients include Hertz, McDonald’s, Tampa General Hospital and St. Pete Clearwater International Airport. “We live by the mantra that says we do whatever it takes,” Faller says. “We run like crazy every day to achieve our clients’ goals, and frankly, we are exceeding those goals.”
Chances: Faller, who started with the company in 1983 in Buffalo, sees one big opportunity to continue the mission that FKQ has been on for several years: to diversify its customer base. She’s been doing this for several years, she says, both in the area and outside of Florida. Faller says the pandemic has, in an unexpected way, helped somewhat, because companies are rethinking both how much to spend on marketing and where to spend it. She says one of FKQ’s strengths is “helping customers monitor consumer behavior and make necessary changes” to reach target audiences.
another chance? Hire people looking for new challenges. “One of the big things we want to do in 2022 is grow the talent pool,” Faller says. “We need to add people in every department of the company.”
Faller says the company has high retention rates, even in the midst of major resignations, for people leaving companies en masse. And she thinks part of that is the company culture. And a big part is work. “It’s not a place where people like to do one thing and then move on to the next thing,” she says. “We are all, all the time, non-stop.”
Threats: Having a client list as diverse as FKQ puts Faller in a prime position to know what other business leaders worry about. “There’s a million things going on, with inflation and supply chain issues,” she says. And customers often turn to FKQ in some way. So Valer is keeping a close eye on those threats.
Faller also hears all kinds of threats, and the night’s fears, through the group of CEOs she belongs to with the Entrepreneur’s Organization. “I think I’ve learned more in the last 18 months as a CEO than in the past decade,” she says.