TateAustin Transitions to TateAustinHahn; Kerry Tate Launches Civic Interest

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33-year old firm remains independent with transition and expansion

Local public relations executives Kerry Tate and Jeff Hahn announced today both the expansion and acquisition of TateAustin Public Relations and Public Affairs, an independent agency serving many well-known private companies and public agencies throughout Texas.

Tate announced that local PR veteran Jeff Hahn has acquired TateAustin. Hahn is a former corporate communications executive with Motorola and Freescale who joined TateAustin as Vice President in 2006. The agency, founded by Cathy Bonner in 1974 and owned by Tate for the past 16 years, has been renamed TateAustinHahn.    

Tate described the changes as part of a three-year transition plan designed to ensure continuity for the firm's clients who depend on combined experienced leadership and "new-economy" talent. The firm's leadership team includes Hahn and four tenured employees: Vice Presidents Brian Dolezal and Russ Rhea with 11 years and seven years respectively; Patti Summerville, Principal for the past 14 years; and, Steve Lanier who has served as Controller for the past 12 years.

"I am obliged to make room for the next generation at TateAustinHahn just as Cathy Bonner made room for me years ago," Tate said. "She taught me the importance of preparing for a natural, seamless transition to next-generation leadership for the benefit of clients and the community."

A new affiliate of TateAustinHahn was also announced. Tate remains at TateAustinHahn to become a founding principal of Civic Interest, a group venture for civic entrepreneurs advising clients on local issues and new initiatives. A central focus of the work of Civic Interest is research, including continuing and expanding LeaderTrack, an interactive poll of regional leaders, which Tate launched last year with colleagues Patti Summerville and Mike Clark-Madison.

"A few business and civic leaders helping shape the future of Austin will land at Civic Interest after the new year," Tate said. "The idea is to tap this human capital and spend the mutual interest locally. It's a natural extension of TateAustinHahn and a fun, new gig for me," she added.

While the name changes, Hahn says the strategy does not. "Our work with clients remains the same -- helping them communicate who they are and what they do so they can get what they want. We'll stick with that as our mission." "Another thing that will continue at TateAustinHahn is our internal mantra 'you must be present to win,' since we are known for being present, engaged partners to Central Texas leaders and to our clients," Hahn added.

Hahn joined the 17-person agency after a 15-year public relations and public affairs career with Motorola, Freescale Semiconductor, Lockheed Space Operations and prior service in the U.S. Air Force. Locally, he has served in leadership roles on nonprofit boards ranging from Keep Austin Beautiful to LifeWorks, and is one of the long-time leaders behind the Austin Marathon. He is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Austin and a member of the inaugural class of McBee Fellows at the Austin Area Research Organization.

"Jeff came to the firm a year ago, but I've known and worked with him in the community for more than a decade. His aspirations for the company, his management style and his personal values are a perfect fit here," said Tate.

Originally founded in 1974 by Cathy Bonner, Tate acquired the agency in 1991, renaming it TateAustin. Then and now, the firm has been engaged in dozens of major Austin projects such as the referendum and five year development of the Austin Bergstrom International Airport and its brand, as well as branding Austin itself as "The Human Capital" for Opportunity Austin promoters.

For decades, the agency has represented many of the city's most recognized private companies such as Whole Foods Market, Samsung and AMD as well as public agencies and non-profit organizations. Current clients include real estate giants Catellus Development Group (master developers of Mueller), AndrewsUrban and Novare (the 44-story "360" high-rise), Thomas Properties Group and top-tier clients such as the Regional Mobility Authority, Seton Family of Hospitals, Temple-Inland, Dimensional Fund Advisors and Vinson & Elkins.

About TateAustinHahn - http://www.tateaustinhahn.com
TateAustinHahn is an independent, full-service public relations and public affairs agency in business since 1974. The company builds business for its clients by helping develop stories, brands and reputations. The firm serves private companies, public agencies and non-profit organizations, most often engaged in real estate, energy, transportation, healthcare, consumer and the arts. The firm was awarded the 2006 Ethics in Business Award and was recently recognized for the highest company contributions in its category by United Way-Capital Area.

Kerry Tate     512.344.2012    ktate@tateaustin.com

Jeff Hahn    512.344.2017    jhahn@tateaustin.com

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