The Fearey Group Announces New CEO and Owner

SEATTLE – November 1, 2013 – Pat Fearey, chairperson and CEO of acclaimed Seattle communications firm The Fearey Group, announced today the sale of the firm for an undisclosed amount to current president Aaron Blank. Fearey will remain on the Board of Directors and serve as “Of Counsel” to help provide continuity for both clients and staff.

On Jan. 1, Blank will assume the position of both CEO and President.  Blank, who joined The Fearey Group in 2006, will expand his duties, focusing on new client development, staff recruitment and financial management for the firm. He will continue to manage and grow the firm’s public relations, public affairs, digital marketing, video and social media business. The Rainier Group provided advisory services on the transition.

“After 33 years of putting my heart and soul into building a business, it was vital that I find the perfect person to continue the legacy of the firm,” Fearey said. “Aaron shares my passion and commitment to excellence, and I admire his integrity, creativity and strategic leadership. Through his leadership, Aaron has grown our revenues by 25 percent, added 15 new clients this year, and assembled a strong staff. With the company experiencing a sharp uptick in business, it’s a good time to step away.”

“I’m excited to lead this incredible team and am inspired by all that Pat has accomplished over more than three decades,” said Blank. “The foundations of The Fearey Group are Pat’s values: honesty, hard work, creativity and passion. She truly cares about the Seattle community, and that, too, will continue to be our hallmark. We have one of the most talented teams in the city and we will continue to provide our exceptional work, underscored by those values, to our regional, national and international clients,” Blank said.

One of Blank’s strengths is his ability to assemble a team of experts that is unparalleled in the marketplace. For example, The Fearey Group’s robust health care practice can call on professionals, including a former emergency room physician, a Ph.D., the former head of a biotech/biomedical association and a health care policy expert. Its real estate practice includes two former senior executives of a subsidiary of Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company, who have joined forces with The Fearey Group to expand its offerings in the built environment.

A graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., Blank began his career as a reporter and producer for CBS Radio in Hartford, Conn. He joined The Fearey Group in 2006, grew the firm’s health care practice, and pioneered award-winning social media techniques that the firm eventually coined as “Social Media Journalism.” He led the development of the firm’s PR-centric digital media and content development division within the company that creates innovative ways to reach audiences using traditional as well as non-traditional tools.

Last year, under Blank’s leadership, The Fearey Group received three major accolades: Best Workplaces in Washington from the Puget Sound Business Journal and Public Relations Global Network awards for most creative social media campaign and the best health care media program of the year.

Blank serves on the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Managers of the Northshore YMCA, the board of America’s Edge and he is a member of Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy. Blank also founded Social Media Lunch, which informally brings together social media influencers and connects them with the community. He co-created Something Larger, a photo story telling organization designed to gift photo sessions for people battling a life altering illness. His current volunteer project is focused on supporting Children's HopeChest by creating a care point site in Wolisso, Ethiopia where he and his wife are working to find 150 sponsors in the U.S. to help highly vulnerable children, providing food, clean water and education with the ultimate goal of preserving families and creating a self-sustaining community.

About The Fearey Group

The Fearey Group is one of the leading independent public relations and public affairs firms in the Pacific Northwest. For 33 years, the full-service agency has provided communications services for some of the region’s leading public, private and non-profit organizations and has strong practices in the areas of healthcare, biotechnology, real estate and land use, sustainability and the built environment, professional service firms, finance, transportation, nonprofit, consumer marketing and crisis communications. The firm is also a founding member of the Public Relations Global Network, an international organization of leading independent, owner-operated public relations agencies. PRGN has extraordinary global reach and includes 50 member agencies hailing from the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Canada, the Pacific Rim, South Asia and the Caribbean.