The Next Generation

Published on: August 21, 2018

A look towards the future.

Follow the genealogy of firms started by baby boomers in the 60s and 70s, and you’ll find some amazing stories. Like families, professional practices are comprised of an aggregation of distinct and unique individuals. Unlike families, firm members inevitably join and depart. Over time, the mélange or people and personalities distinguish the character and culture of their firms. Among the greatest challenges facing professional practices is the transition of generations while preserving their culture.  For boomer firms that have endured, most are approaching a half a century of practice.

The GNU Group, born in the early 70s, has seen two distinct generations. As we approach our 50th anniversary, we are on the cusp of transition to our third. Through the ups and downs of the economy, shifts in real estate trends and markets, the coming and going of clients and staff, and the host of other factors that drive a practice, we have endured by adhering to our Pledge.

Simply stated, our commitment to our clients is founded on Thought Leadership, Creative Design Solutions, and a Pain Free Program Management Experience. Rich Burns started the business with precious little business experience but his intellectual curiosity, creativity and commitment to clients, intuitively laid the foundation for our Pledge. When Phil Murphy assumed GNU’s reins 25 years later, he codified the tenants of the Pledge and added the Explicit Culture™.  These seemingly simple Explicit Culture™ precepts guide our performance and have been instrumental in our longevity.  Financial Transparency, Prescribed Processes, Honest Communications, and Personal Responsibility are what we bring to the office every day.

Over the past decade the firm has solidified a powerful leadership team. Andrea Guzman heads our program management team, Dickson Keyser leads our design and creative staff and Rachelle Ageev stewards our business development group. As President and CEO, Phil has been GNU’s guiding force for over 2 decades. Seeking to solidify the practice’s future, GNU has invited Kevin Wilhelm to join the management Team.

From his beginnings in creative services including graphic, web and communications design, Kevin’s career has been a dynamic progression, of experiences, from creative to management and leadership positions. Kevin joins GNU as the Managing Principal to work aside Phil Murphy as the firm prepares for its transition to the third generation. Kevin comes to GNU from a 15 year tenure with a full service advertising agency, where his positions evolved through Director of Creative Operations, EVP of Operations, and ultimately as Chief Operating Officer. In his position at GNU, Kevin is responsible for all aspects of the firm’s professional, financial, administrative and client service performance.

GNU welcomes Kevin as it looks forward to the next 50 years.