Former SBA president and CEO Pamela Sawchuk Brown, now an EMA partner, will co-manage and oversee strategic direction of the merged firms' Albany office. SBA's headquarters were in Albany, NY, while EMA's are in Syracuse, NY. EMA senior partner Robert Bellafiore will co-manage the Albany office with Sawchuk Brown, who has agreed to a “long-term contract” with the firm, according to EMA chairman and CEO Eric Mower, who did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Layoffs, he added, are not expected as a result of the merger.
Mower said that he was contacted about a possible merger by a third party on SBA's behalf. Merger consulting firm Stevens Gould Pincus facilitated the agreement, which closed August 5. Sawchuk Brown said that she first considered her options after her husband and 28-year business partner, David Brown, died unexpectedly in February of last year.
“After 29 years, I started looking at my options, and the conclusion I came to was that Sawchuk Brown needed to be much larger to ensure continued growth and opportunities,” she said.
This is the third time this year that EMA has absorbed another firm; it merged with Mark Russell Associates in June and Clarke Advertising and PR in January.
SBA, which had 13 employees and a client roster including Albany International Airport, KeyBank, and MVP Health Care, has revenues of $1.9 million. EMA has revenues of about $8 million, according to Mower.
Sawchuk Brown said that SBA contacted all of its clients after the merger and “had a great response from them.”
EMA will combine its office operations - which include seven East Coast offices and 275 employees in its PR (60 people), advertising, and marketing practices, - with those of SBA, although a date or office location has yet to be determined, said Mower.