Trisect Celebrates Tenth Year with Creative Change

Trisect Dick Thomas

While ad agencies obsessed over maximising scale, the CEO raised a firm which focused on people, work, and client relationships

Chicago-based creative agency, Trisect, adds to a growing list of milestones this month by ushering in its tenth-year anniversary, which is set against a backdrop of radical industry transformation. In 2005, Founder and CEO, Dick Thomas (pictured), saw an opening for change with the support of new players and took it.

While advertising companies were consumed with maximising scale, he conceived a firm which placed the focus back on people, work, and client relationships. The vision attracted top talent, allowing the start-up to build a roster that now includes ConAgra, Kimberly-Clark, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, U.S. Cellular, and Kawasaki.

Its name represents the intersection of three essential traits—fearless, inventive and humanistic—all of which he saw being drained from agencies by the industry’s on-going consolidation at the time. Thomas takes pride in how the company he founded over a decade ago has not strayed too far from its start-up roots.

Trisect describes itself as a blended marketing outfit specialised in omni-channel experiences distributed across multiple brand ecosystems. According to President, Tim Nelson, the network’s centre of gravity has moved from communicating messages to inspiring engagement.

“If there was ever a business where bigger isn’t better, it is an agency. Creative people don’t function well in a depersonalised, financially-driven environment, and eventually clients see that in the work. I wanted Trisect to be an antidote for what was wrong with the industry,” said Thomas.

He added that continuous reinvention is the only way to stay ahead of client demands for new capabilities. The CEO credits his employees for a change-oriented culture that has fuelled the company’s evolution from a start-up boutique into a nationally recognised agency with more than 100 staffers across Chicago and Los Angeles.