On Monday, founder of Greenville ad agency Erwin Penland, Joe Erwin, announced his retirement. Erwin launched the agency in 1986 with his wife and one account. Since that time the agency has grown to 1,000 employees with offices in Greenville and New York.
In a note to staff announcing his retirement, Erwin wrote: "While this might seem sudden to many of you, the fact is that Allen (Bosworth, the agency's COO) and I have been talking about succession planning for well over a year. I love Erwin Penland and what we have done for more than 29 years -- a place that began so humbly with a team of just three, where we believed that anything was possible. ... My heart will always be with Erwin Penland, and I will always stand ready to help the agency."
Erwin plans to refocus his energies toward education continuing to work on Food For Thought, a nutrition and health conference he and his wife launched as well as on the Erwin Center for Brand Communications at Clemson University.
Erwin closed his note, writing: "This arena is where I will focus even more energy. Beyond my work at Clemson, I will be looking at other opportunities where my energy as a creator might be helpful to others. So in closing, let me just say thank you for allowing me to work for you. It has been an honor and a privilege."
The agency was acquired by IPG's Hill Holliday in 2004.