One of the few independent agencies of substance, the autonomous Chicago office of HY Connect, has expanded its Michigan Avenue offices to accommodate larger staff and growth as a consequence of sizeable new business. The agency known for nearly 80 years as Hoffman-York changed its name April, 2011 to better reflect its contemporary model of integrated services.
HY Connect had occupied the 13th floor at 142 E. Ontario since 2001 and was in the process of remodeling it when the 12th floor became available for occupancy last March, giving the agency a comfortable 15,000-sq. ft. over the two floors.
The office expansion is in keeping with HY Connect’s rapid growth in the past three years, says Chicago-headquartered David Sheehan, who presides over the agency’s Chicago and Milwaukee branches. “In the past three years the agency as a whole has have nearly quadrupled our billings to $118 million and more than tripled the number of employees in both offices.
“We now have 60 full time staff in our Chicago office and workspace for freelancers and staff visiting from our Milwaukee office,” he adds.
The 25 person creative department is headed by executive creative director Michael Rivera. New to the agency from McGarryBowen is Steven Anderson, Director of Content Production who is currently building a team including multi-platform production.
Executive and creative services are located on the 12th floor and account services are on the newly built-out 13th floor. Architect was Paul Sherer of Think Drawer, a collaborative design studio specializing in innovative solutions
HYC Connect Chicago can use the new space as it recently became the agency of record for Chicago headquartered Healthcare Service Corp., the parent brand for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Other Chicago clients are Advocate Healthcare System, Arlington Park, Museum of Science and Industry and Design Center at the Merchandise Mart.
Recently, seven-year old agency Houlihan Madison Most joined with HY Connect as each entity was looking to build their capabilities and expand. Brad Most is now HYC VP/account director and Kevin Houlihan, an art director formerly with Y&R and McCann-Erickson, New York, is VP/creative director.
“We expect to be a part of the Chicago marketing landscape for many years,” Sheehan says.