Lewis Communications - Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Few advertising professionals stay with the same agency for more than 20 years, much less 40. Larry certainly did not imagine he would become the leader and owner of one of the South’s oldest agencies when he started at Lewis Communications in 1974 as a production/traffic manager, his first job after earning a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design with a minor in advertising from the University of Alabama. Larry worked in almost every department at Lewis, including eight years as the agency’s creative director. At age 36, he led the expansion of the Lewis Birmingham location to a full-service office with now-Executive Creative Director Spencer Till and later became agency owner.
Larry has increased Mobile and Birmingham office capabilities and added an office in Nashville, growing Lewis staff to more than 100 among the three locations. In 2015, Lewis opened 1951— a digital media division, becoming the first agency in Birmingham, Mobile and Nashville to open a best-in-class trade desk for digital display, mobile, Facebook Exchange and video ad campaign management.
Under Larry’s leadership, Lewis Communications has gained international attention for strong creative informed by in-depth research. Graphis has named Lewis one of the top 15 creative firms nationally and Communication Arts magazine published an eight-page feature about Lewis in a recent issue, highlighting work for clients ranging from Stony Brook Medicine on Long Island, New York, to Good People Brewing Co. in Birmingham.
Larry attributes the agency’s success to a principle he learned as a young boy: Believe in people and their potential for good. Larry gives his staff room to do great work and to pursue projects about which they are passionate. It’s part of his 80/20 philosophy: 20 percent of profit and work produced by Lewis supports nonprofits, ranging from The Joseph School, a nonprofit school for children in Haiti, to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Birmingham, for which Larry is on the board of directors.
When not working with Lewis staff and clients, Larry enjoys traveling, working with his wine club and welcoming clients and friends to the new Lewis headquarters, a downtown Birmingham building renovated to a mid-century design. The office includes an in-house photography studio and more than a dozen meeting spaces.