Hartman Group plans to shut down early next year

Media relations firm The Hartman Group, which specializes in Broadway productions and theatrical events, has scheduled its final curtain for January 5, 2014.

NEW YORK: Media relations firm The Hartman Group, which specializes in Broadway productions and theatrical events, has scheduled its final curtain for January 5, 2014.

The agency, which was founded by CEO Michael Hartman in 2009, will remain fully operational with its team of 11 staffers for the next month.

After getting married in September, Hartman decided to move back to his native state of Texas to start a family with his husband.

“The years I've spent in New York as a press agent have been absolutely incredible and wonderful,” he said. “One of the things I'm enjoying about this experience and being on the other side of the announcement is the joy of leaving a company I love so much and had fun building and learned so much from at a moment when it's successful and vibrant.”

When he moves back to Texas, Hartman will take on the role of CEO of Amy's Ice Creams, a business that he worked on while in college when it was a startup. The chain now has 15 locations across the state.

He said the ice cream business' owner, Amy Simmons, “inspired” him to be an entrepreneur and he respects her transparent, open-book management style. Hartman added that every employee at Amy's, no matter their position, has access to financial information, projections, and other data to help them understand how the business works.

“[Simmons'] goal is to spawn as many entrepreneurs as possible into the economy,” he said.

The Hartman Group has represented more than 100 Broadway productions since it was founded in 2009. Current projects are promoting Billy Crystal 700 Sundays, Big Fish, First Date, Rock of Ages, Romeo & Juliet, and Wicked.

Before founding the eponymous agency, Hartman was a partner at the now-dissolved Barlow-Hartman Public Relations for 10 years. 

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