Today is a day of celebration tinged with nostalgia and awe, as Fred Yaffe, the leader of agencies with his name on them, including this one, for more than 50 years, is stepping aside as the Yaffe Group's Chief Executive Officer. The operating and executive responsibilities for the company now shift to his long-time partners and Yaffe executives.
Fred Yaffe said he is not retiring but will remain Executive Chairman and continue to work with clients in the Yaffe Group, which is composed of Yaffe Direct, a database management and predictive modeling company handling all aspects of one to one communications and Yaffe & Company a full-service, data-driven strategic marketing firm.
"When people have asked me 'why' I simply answered, 'it's time,'" said Yaffe. "We have very talented people in the company and it's their turn to take the reins. I have had a very fruitful and productive career. I am very proud of what the company has accomplished over the last 50 years and what it is set up to achieve in the future." Yaffe is also Founder of the University of Michigan Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication, part of the Ross Business School.
The Yaffe Group under his watch has represented nationally prominent businesses as well as some of the best known companies in Michigan, including: Art Van Furniture, Perry Drug Stores (now Rite-Aid), the Michigan Lottery, ABC Warehouse, Farmer Jack's, Murray's Discount Auto Stores (now O'Reilly Auto Parts), Powerball Lottery and The Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
John Cassidy, currently our Chief Financial Officer, will become President and Chief Executive Officer of the Yaffe Group. Cassidy has been actively involved in the operations of the company and has served in a strategic role with key clients across the country for much of the past two decades. "This is a natural transition for the company," explained Cassidy. "Together, Fred and I have worked tirelessly to support the needs of our clients. I am excited to add my vision to what has been so successful over the past 5 decades."
Michael Morin, Executive Vice President, becomes President of Yaffe Direct. Both, Morin and Cassidy have been with the company more than 30 years.
Mike McClure, also a 30-year veteran, continues as Executive Creative Director and Chief Social Media Officer for the Yaffe Group.
Buffy O'Connor will continue in her duel role as media director for both Deutser and the Yaffe Group.
Yaffe holds a Bachelor's degree and an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. He served in the U.S. Army and after being discharged, he worked briefly for an advertising company before launching his own business in 1960. During the years, Yaffe led companies which included Yaffe Stone August, Barkley & Evergreen and Yaffe Berline.
At the same time, Yaffe announced the sale of a majority interest in Yaffe Deutser based in Houston, Texas, to Brad Deutser, the company's president for the past fourteen plus years. Yaffe will serve in an emeritus position for Deutser LLC, formerly Yaffe Deutser, as the companies continue to leverage each other's expertise.
Regarding Deutser, Yaffe said, "We have shared a great and rewarding relationship. Now, both companies have the opportunity to focus their energies and resources in the areas in which they have become leaders – Deutser on improving performance by creating organizational clarity through its work in leadership, culture and engagement and Yaffe in traditional and digital media as well as marketing and analytics – for non-profit organizations, prominent retailers, healthcare providers, education institutions and government agencies."
"We are excited for what this will mean to both organizations," said Brad Deutser. "I will forever be grateful for the partnership we have shared over the past 15 years and the transformational work and thinking we have collectively provided companies across the globe. I can only believe the future will provide the same opportunities for both companies to continue to do great and focused work together."
Yaffe concluded, "This is an exciting time for everybody, we have always worked to stay ahead of the curve. Things have certainly changed and we've changed with them. I am excited for what the future holds for all of us, and our clients."
All of us here at The Yaffe Group would like to thank Fred Yaffe for being a wonderful part of where we've been and are glad he will still be a part of where we're going. We look forward to the new plan for our future and the future of our clients!