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Connolly & Company celebrates its second anniversary
San Antonio Business Journal

Connolly & Co. is celebrating its second anniversary with an eye to expanding its office space and adding a few more support staff and services, including a customer service specialty.

Agency founder T.J. Connolly, says "We've got 1,300 square feet and will pick up another contiguous 850 square feet. We plan to cap the agency at 10 people eventually. We don't want to go back to managing people; we want to stay in a position where we are working directly with our clients. Our clients want this service. It allows all of us to provide services at rates that are below many of our top competitors. We service the clients directly and offer extremely competitive pricing".

Tracie Taylor Ochoa, creative director of Connolly & Co., also runs her own firm, Taylor Ochoa Design specializing in a full-range of creative services with a strong emphasis on collateral design. And Debra Nicholas, vice president of Connolly & Co. also operates DuganNicholas Public Relations, a company which concentrates on PR and organizational planning and positioning clients, from the Connolly office complex.

The beauty of this plan, according to T.J. Connolly, is that these principals operate out of Connolly & Co.'s Broadway digs and are available to service his clients as well as their own individual clients.

"This system is working well. We all care about bringing the business in and serving the client. Everybody joins in together and it has worked so well," Connolly adds. "It gives us a competitive advantage to have people of Tracie and Debra's caliber on board".

By creating an infrastructure of offices, equipment and support staff, Connolly says he was able to attract Ochoa, who has 15 years experience; and Nicholas, with 20 years. Both principals wanted to have the independence to pursue their own clients and run their own businesses in addition to teaming with Connolly & Co. on numerous projects.

Brooke Connolly, vice president of Connolly & Co., keeps her focus on business facilitation, marketing analysis, writing the marketing plans, and general business analysis, while supporting Nicholas and T.J. on PR projects.

Clients of whom the Connolly team does work include the Martin, Drought and Torres law firm; Vista Solutions, a consulting company developed by two former Pace Foods executives; Macro Management Services, a restaurant management company in Texas and Arizona; Fresh from Texas, a San Antonio-based produce company; San Antonio Credit Union; and the Medical Center Alliance.

The most recent addition of the agency client list is Yanaguana Cruises, which retained the agency about a month ago and is working with them to get the fact out to the general public concerning Yanaguana's operation with Dreamland Photography. "We don't charge a crises management fee," says T.J., adding that his agency charges regular rates to work with clients who encounter difficult situations.

"One reason that people are calling on us is because they are dealing directly with principals," says T.J. "We are not handing off the work to others. Recently a hospital hired us and the key factor for them was our assurance that we are the folks who will talk care of the account. These clients appreciate the fact that an agency will take care of them."