Completing agency founder Gail Cooksey’s multi-year succession plan, long-time Cooksey Communications leaders Colby Walton and Jason Meyer have now fully acquired the Texas-based, 14-employee strategic communications firm that she launched 28 years ago.
Walton, who began his PR agency career at Cooksey Communications in 1998, was named a partner in 2015 and most recently served as president, has now been named Cooksey’s chairman and CEO. Meyer, who joined the firm in 2011, also became a partner in 2015 and most recently served as executive vice president, is now its president. Gail Cooksey has been named chairman emeritus in recognition of her agency-founding role and continuing consultative guidance in retirement to the leadership team.
“Over nearly three decades, our agency earned a well-deserved reputation for providing communications solutions with extraordinary attention to detail, and Gail thoughtfully assembled a team of experts with diverse skillsets who are deeply dedicated to their craft,” said Walton. “Jason and I are honored to have been entrusted with leadership roles in recent years and to build on that legacy as she now retires. We are committed to sustaining the agency’s unmatched service ethos and enriching its collaborative culture as we continue helping clients navigate their most critical stakeholder communications issues.”
“Thanks to Gail’s thoughtful succession plan and our talented Cooksey teammates, what clients can expect is stability and a smooth transition with respect to service delivery and their interactions with us,” said Meyer. “Day-to-day account teams remain the same, and our commitment to the agency’s clients absolutely remains the top priority. At the same time, we are closely monitoring the latest issues emerging in each of our core focus areas so we can anticipate and address future communications challenges – including by partnering with high-quality, aligned professional services providers to offer creative solutions that comprehensively meet clients’ evolving needs.”
Further underscoring the agency’s stable, smooth ownership transition, the name and branding of Cooksey Communications will remain the same.
“As I reflect on the last 28 years, it has been a privilege to build Cooksey Communications with Colby’s and Jason’s invaluable assistance, plus the contributions of so many others,” said Gail Cooksey. “I’m thankful for the relationships we have developed and the outstanding reputation we have earned. I am also completely confident that Colby and Jason will provide strong, capable leadership. They have already demonstrated a clear capacity for doing so in recent years, during which time they have been entrusted with significant duties as they became partners and as I eased back from active agency management. There is no doubt that Cooksey’s clients and colleagues are in great hands.”
Walton and Meyer have over four decades of combined experience in public relations and marketing communications. Walton graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in history and public policy studies, cum laude, and received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law before joining Dallas-based Haynes and Boone, LLP’s business development department in 1997. During his 23-year tenure at Cooksey, Walton helped establish and grow the agency’s proficiency in professional services marketing and municipal communications for clients facing an array of complex, high-stakes public relations issues.
Meyer, a U.S. Navy veteran and an alumnus of the University of North Texas, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, came to Cooksey in 2011 after distinguished service in national and local politics, school district communications and at another prominent North Texas creative agency. Meyer draws on this experience to inform his management of Cooksey’s municipal campaign work, as well as its efforts on behalf of transportation advocacy groups and leading commercial real estate firms, among others.
Walton and Meyer have been deeply involved in numerous professional and community service organizations, including leadership positions and memberships in groups such as the North Texas Commission, Dallas Regional Chamber, Fort Worth Chamber, Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Fort Worth, Duke University Alumni Club of North Texas, Virginia Morris Kincaid Foundation and the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
About Cooksey Communications
Founded in 1994, Cooksey Communications is a Texas-based, strategic communications firm specializing in public stakeholder issues-related communications for government/economic development, transportation, water, energy and education clients, and strategic communications for professional services, real estate/development, retail/hospitality/consumer and nonprofit clients. Cooksey repeatedly has been named one of the top public relations agencies in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex by the Dallas Business Journal. For more information, visit www.CookseyPR.com.