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Henderson OKs 2-year deal with Florida-based marketing firm

Updated August 4, 2020 - 6:26 pm

Henderson is charting a new course for its marketing efforts.

City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a new marketing firm to help the city’s economic development department.

The move comes after the city parted ways with the Abbi Agency, a firm that helped Reno revamp its image. That firm’s $2 million contract, which the City Council approved in December 2017, was due to expire Dec. 31, 2021.

A new contract with Florida-based Marketing Alliance, Inc. runs until June 30, 2022, at a rate of $500,000 per year.

The Abbi Agency’s work included the creation a new logo and website for the city’s economic development efforts. City spokeswoman Kathleen Richards lauded the firm for creating “a wonderful brand identity” for Henderson.

“However, with our recent successes in attracting globally recognized companies like Haas Automation, Google, Amazon and the Raiders, we are ready to take our economic development strategy to the next level and there are services that Abbi Agency is not able to provide, most notably lead generation and data analysis,” Richards wrote in an email.

Richards said only a small number of companies have the capabilities the city wanted, and Marketing Alliance was one of them.

Councilman Dan Shaw struck a different tone in a Nov. 13 email to city officials asking when the Abbi Agency’s contract was up.

“We need to not renew it,” he wrote. “They have done us no favors.”

On Dec. 5, Derek Armstrong, who became Henderson’s economic development director last year, sent a letter to Abbi Whitaker, president and owner of the firm, informing her the economic development marketing contract with her agency would be terminated as of the end of 2019.

In a statement Tuesday night, Whitaker said her firm was proud of the work it did in Henderson.

“However, changes in leadership often lead to changes in approach and partners, particularly in governmental organizations,” she wrote. “We built a strong foundation for Henderson and wish them the best moving forward.”

Richards said the terms of the contract allowed the city to terminate the agreement without having to pay anything extra.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter.

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