The first quarter of 2023 is shaping up to be a strong year for independent Addison-based ad agency Firehouse, as it celebrates both the promotion of three powerhouse female leaders in addition to being named as a national Best Places to Work by Ad Age for the second consecutive year. As an agency that views its culture as a competitive advantage these promotions further demonstrate Firehouse’
“Erica, Megan and Emily have truly committed to Firehouse,” said Steve Smith, CEO. “Since day one, all of them used their roles to make the agency and its output better.”
Baker also serves as a Group Account Director. She has climbed the ladder since starting as an account executive more than nine years ago. In 2017, Baker was named Firehouse’s “Agency MVP” and she has led businesses including Baxter Auto Group, Trupanion, Texas Dairy Queen, Bellevue University, and Nothing Bundt Cakes. She is also a founding member of Firehouse’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team.
“I never thought I’d work in advertising and now it’s hard for me to imagine not being part of Firehouse,” Baker said. “It’s an incredibly supportive company where I’ve been able to grow and develop my career.”
Ward serves as Director of Operations. She manages high-level projects, oversees project management, discovers relevant partnerships and is responsible for driving agency success through organizational leadership. Ward has been working with Firehouse for 14 years in multiple capacities. In 2012, she was named Firehouse’s “Agency MVP”. She also received the “2019 AAF Shining Star” award which celebrates leading women in advertising in DFW. Ward is also responsible for spearheading the company’s efforts with Richardson ISD to establish the Firehouse Work Based Learning Series.
“Firehouse is always reevaluating its benefit offerings to make sure everyone here knows the company values us. It’s important for attracting new talent and keeping existing talent. The agency is regularly asking us what we want from our careers, and they help us make it happen,” Ward said.
Black, a Group Account Director, was also named Principal after joining the agency in 2020 to lead the Lennox Residential business. She also oversees the Texas Make-A-Wish Foundation and brings with her more than 20 years of experience in advertising and brand marketing to Firehouse.
“Part of being a great place to work is ensuring the right leadership is in place. For us, that means leaders who share a consistent set of values and who help foster living those values amongst our team. It also means leadership that is focused on developing talent and shepherding careers as opposed to managing tasks,” said Tripp Westbrook, agency President and Chief Creative Officer.
As the agency helps diversify voices in the advertising industry with the promotion of these three talented female employees, Firehouse was recognized for the second year in a row as one of the best places to work by Ad Age. This national ranking considers factors ranging from pay and benefits to corporate culture and leadership. Firehouse was one of only two Dallas agencies to make the list.