February marks a special milestone for Trilix. Fourteen years ago, our agency was born. What started out as a small, 11-person team has grown five times that size — with three moves in the process — in just under a decade and a half.
Many Trilix employees today know the history of the agency, but you might be surprised to know Trilix was born out of a business acquisition. In 2004, Ron Maahs and Todd Senne of Direct Advantage purchased Porter and Associates. The merger would result in a new name: Trilix, Latin for “three intertwined threads.” Those “threads” are the three founding principles of our agency: relationships, strategy and creativity. Out of the 11 employees that made up Trilix in its infancy, six are still here today: Founders Ron Maahs and Todd Senne, Chief Marketing Officer Brett Adams, Human Resources Director Annette Halbur, Associate Creative Director Paul Burger and everyone’s favorite marketing consultant, Abe Goldstien. In fact, Trilix’s first hire, Janelle Steinkamp, still works in our account services department!
“I was a little bit of everything back then,” says Annette. She wore many hats in the agency’s early days, including human resources, billing and reception.
The growth over these 14 years can be traced to the agency’s first year in business, when it moved from West Des Moines to a new office in Urbandale in 2004. Brett is another example of the agency’s rapid growth. He started in 2001 at Porter and Associates as an intern, remaining on staff with Trilix and doing just about everything before joining Ron and Todd as the agency’s third owner in 2013. The agency then made its second move into its current space in downtown Des Moines in 2014. More recently, we’ve expanded the depth of our departments, from adding more video, social media and PR services to the addition of Jon Miller as our new director of client service. We’ve renovated our downtown office and continued to expand our clientele all over the country.
If you had asked Annette in 2004 how she imagined Trilix 14 years into the future, she says the answer would have been cautiously optimistic.
“Of course you want to see it succeed and grow,” she said. “But you need the right talent, the right partnerships with clients and a little luck for that to happen.”
Thankfully, Trilix had that recipe. From long-term clients like McWane, Inc., Stine Seed Company and the Iowa State Fair to new partnerships with organizations like the University of Iowa Hawkeye Athletics, the NCAA College World Series and Unverferth Manufacturing Co., Trilix shows no sign of slowing down.
So, how do we celebrate the agency’s anniversary? With a “Souper Bowl,” of course! Because Trilix’s anniversary falls close to the Super Bowl, the Trilix FunMittee started a tradition of celebrating both with one big party. The Trilix XIV Souper Bowl Party will offer Trilix employees the chance to face off against each other for the title of “Best Soup” in the office. Not a fan of soup? Don’t worry, everyone will enjoy a slice of Trilix anniversary cake, too.