ADG gets creative with new headquarters in Columbia
Times are good for ADG|Creative.
The 40-person marketing and communications agency just dropped $3.5 million on a new headquarters in Columbia. The space in Columbia Gateway is 28,000 square feet – double the size of their previous office a quarter-mile away.
The privately-held company has been on a growth spurt the last several years, doubling its staff and reporting annual revenue gains of 15 to 20 percent. It was ready to move to a bigger home.
“We were out of space – we knew we needed to do something,” said Jeff Antkowiak, 44, a communications veteran who founded ADG in 1991 and is its chief creative officer. (That's Jeff in the photo above.) “My interest is producing the best product, and we have the best people. Now we need to give them the best tools to shine.”
ADG builds websites, crafts videos and music, and works on strategic communications campaigns and e-learning technologies for clients. The room for doing all that work had gotten severely constrained recently, company officials said.
Earlier this month, the firm announced two new clients that exemplify the work they do for both the federal government’s defense agencies and for commercial clients.
The U.S. Navy hired ADG to produce training applications that will educate their personnel on better security practices while at sea. And General Growth Properties Inc. hired ADG for strategic brand development work in connection with the Chicago-based company’s holdings in Columbia, which include The Mall.
About half of ADG’s business comes from government clients, and the rest from commercial – a diversification that’s helped during the recession, Antkowiak said. The company has 50 clients on both the government and commercial sides.
“When one is slow, the other seems to be busy enough,” he said.
The new headquarters features glass-enclosed conference rooms, bamboo flooring, a coffee shop called the Creative Café, exposed brick facades and an exercise room. Dedicated rooms allow workers to focus on audio and video production. There is also a secure area for the work ADG does for federal defense clients. ADG is leasing the space from AMB Property Corp.
“I think it’s a great sign to see companies investing money in their future,” said Mark Shapiro, owner of a Baltimore-based commercial real estate brokerage and development company that’s not involved with ADG. “It’s not typical today because financing is so difficult to obtain.”
Antkowiak said the company has 10 open positions, including copywriter and project manager, and is seeking several people with security clearances.
Right now, Antkowiak sees his company getting more involved in incorporating gaming into the work it does for clients. The company has its own staff that can create web-based games that train and educate people.
“Gaming is the next big thing, in my opinion,” Antkowiak said.
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