Aker Ink appoints managing director to drive digital innovation

Lauren Garstecki

Aker Ink PR & Marketing, a full-service agency helping companies increase brand awareness, enhance thought leadership and generate leads, has hired industry veteran and expert digital strategist Lauren Garstecki as managing director. In addition to overseeing account teams and developing creative, results-driven marketing programs, Garstecki will help to scale the firm’s operations and expand its market presence.

With more than two decades of experience, Garstecki has steered cross-disciplinary teams and guided business development strategies for organizations at all levels – from Fortune 500s to early-stage enterprises. Her far-reaching expertise spans a variety of industries, including healthcare, consumer packaged goods, financial services and manufacturing.

“Lauren isn’t just an executive who’s content to distantly manage teams from on high,” said Aker Ink CEO Andrea Aker. “She’s a marketing leader who is unafraid to get into the weeds with her team. She is passionate about devising clever ways to get results for clients and eager to take on the most trying challenges. She’s a perfect fit for our high standards, work ethos and reputation for excellence.”

Before joining Aker Ink, Garstecki served as the senior vice president of client services for a prominent Milwaukee-based digital marketing and advertising agency, where she was responsible for growing profitability, driving market expansion, leading organizational change and introducing new, results-getting techniques to client campaigns. Additionally, Garstecki served as a digital strategy consultant for enterprise-level organizations, advising on digital transformations and high-impact solutions yielding business success.

“I was drawn to Aker Ink’s overall drive for excellence,” said Garstecki. “The entire team is truly dedicated to executing PR and marketing strategies at the highest level. The agency is poised for incredible growth in the near- and long-term, and I welcomed the opportunity to lead such a talented team through this expansion.”

READ MORE: Az Business Leaders: Andrea Aker, Aker Ink PR & Marketing

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LAVIDGE annouces top leadership restructure

LAVIDGE Founder and CEO Bill Lavidge has announced a top leadership restructure that raises CFO and Executive Vice-President Sandra Torre, and Chief Creative Officer Bob Case, to the dual roles of Co-Presidents. Alicia Wadas, who has been leading the agency as COO and Executive Vice-President alongside Torre for almost two decades, and who is planning to retire at the end of 2024, has been named President Emeritus. She will continue as a leadership development consultant for the agency after her departure in December. Bill Lavidge will stay fully active as agency CEO with a focus on his commitment to client partnerships and growth.

What’s more, Tim Trull, whose tenure has expanded the agency’s research and marketing strategy for its diverse client base, has been promoted to Chief Strategy Officer; Stephen Heitz, Chief Innovation Officer, who has substantially amplified the LAVIDGE digital roadmap, will concentrate on innovation and product development with an emphasis on AI and its implications for the firm, clients, and industry.

Both Torre and Case joined the agency more than 20 years ago. Their co-presidential partnership merges Sandra’s sharp business acumen with Bob’s unparalleled creative talents. This synergy ensures a competitive advantage through balanced and forward-thinking stewardship.

“These well-earned promotions reinforce my vision for LAVIDGE that’s as critical today as it was when I founded it 42 years ago: that a company’s strength is its people,” Bill Lavidge said. “My top leaders are award-winning, savvy professionals with a passion for their work; I feel assured that we have the most capable team to advance the agency’s goals into the near and distant future.”

The agency Lavidge launched in 1982 has also distinguished itself with firsthand community leadership and contributions to Greater Phoenix – Bill is a Phoenix Thunderbird, serves on several business and nonprofit boards and retains close ties to his alma mater, ASU.

Marti Weinstein promoted to partner at Diversified Partners

Marti Weinstein

Diversified Partners, the leading Scottsdale real estate brokerage and development company, is proud to announce the promotion of Marti Weinstein from retail leasing and sales associate to partner. Weinstein will work alongside current partners Kelly Gantner, who also serves as CFO and controller, Robert Mayhew, Rafat “AJ” Abdeljaber and Scott Hintze, under the leadership of CEO Walt Brown Jr., further strengthening the executive team at Diversified Partners. 

Weinstein has been instrumental in driving internal leasing efforts for new developments at Diversified Partners, serving as a dynamic team leader while nurturing and mentoring junior agents within the office. In her expanded role as partner, she will maintain responsibility for overseeing a majority of Diversified’s third party leasing and sales business across numerous shopping centers throughout Arizona. Additionally, she will continue to represent tenants on a national scale, providing strategic guidance for their growth plans and offering vital support in securing capital to facilitate the expansion of their concepts.  

“Marti embodies the spirit of a true go-getter, consistently exceeding expectations and driving results,” said Walt Brown Jr., CEO and designated broker at Diversified Partners. “Her promotion to partner is a well-deserved recognition of her hard work and dedication. We are proud to have her on our team and excited for the continued impact she will undoubtedly make in her new role.” 

Weinstein’s tenure at Diversified Partners has been marked by notable successes, including her pivotal role in leasing the highly anticipated Cannon Beach, a 37-acre mixed-use development in Mesa, Ariz., anchored by a two-acre surfing lagoon called Revel Surf. Other recent projects in her portfolio include leasing The Block at Pima Center, one of North Scottsdale’s largest and most successful mixed-use projects, and Carefree Quarter, a distinctive retail and dining destination nestled in the heart of Carefree, Ariz. Prior to joining Diversified Partners in 2021, Weinstein worked as an agent at Zell Commercial Real Estate in Phoenix, where she honed her skills and expertise in the real estate industry.  

“I am honored to step into this elevated capacity at Diversified Partners,” Weinstein stated. “We are building a young, hungry and vibrant team, redefining the way real estate is done and prioritizing relationships to provide our clients with the highest level of service and dedication.” 

Weinstein’s promotion comes at a pivotal moment for Diversified Partners, as the company continues to expand its presence and influence in the real estate market. With an impressive portfolio of $400 million in active development projects across Arizona and approximately $125 million in out-of-state developments, the company is seeking ambitious and driven individuals to contribute to its growth. To learn more about Diversified Partners, its projects and career opportunities, visit www.dpcre.com

Wilde Wealth Management names first-ever chief growth officer

Jeffrey Anthony

Wilde Wealth Management Group is pleased to announce Jeffrey Anthony CFP® has been named chief growth officer of the firm. In the newly created C-suite role, Anthony will lead organic and inorganic growth strategies for the firm, focused on client and asset as well as advisor mentorship, management, and development. He will also partner with fellow advisors on succession planning programs that fit both their needs and those of their clients.   

“Since joining our firm in 2019 as a wealth management advisor, Jeff has been a key leader in multiple facets of our business,” said founder Trevor Wilde. “We created this role with only him in mind, knowing his prowess for developing and nurturing strategic, responsible growth through dynamic leadership, mentorship, networking, and market expertise. In our nearly 25 years in business, we’ve been able to grow from one to seven offices across Arizona with sister locations nationwide, and with Jeff on our executive team, the sky is the limit for us in the next 25 years.” 

Prior to joining Wilde, Anthony worked for more than a decade at JPMorgan Chase.  From 2014 to 2018, he ranked in the top 10% of client advisors for JP Morgan and also ranked among the top Private Client Advisors in the areas of customer retention and satisfaction. Anthony earned his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies Business/Communication degree from Arizona State University and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. He holds Series 7, 63, 65, and 66 securities registrations, as well as the Arizona Life and Health Insurance Producers License. 

Within the community, Anthony is an appointed member of PCH 50, a remarkable group of 50 community leaders who tirelessly advocate for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Through fundraising efforts since 2016, PCH 50 has raised more than $6.7 million for Phoenix Children’s as it continues to deliver innovative and impactful pediatric care to Arizona children. He is also a volunteer with Junior Achievement’s BizTown, and contributor to the Knights of Columbus as well as the Turnbow Foundation, is committed to improving the lives of disadvantaged children and their families through charitable giving. A leader within Wilde for Arizona – the firm’s community giving division – Anthony has also rolled up his sleeves on a number of firmwide volunteer and philanthropic initiatives, notably projects for Feed My Staring Children and Chrysalis. 

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