NEW YORK: Strange Brew Strategies has launched Redwood Climate Communications, a climate technology and climate change policy agency.
Redwood was built around Josh Garrett, a 17-year PR veteran with a background in climate advocacy, who is Redwood's CEO. Garrett was most recently VP of clean tech and client success at Antenna. He also spent time at Equitable Origin, The Nature Conservancy, EarthJustice and as an energy blogger at The Huffington Post.
The idea was to offer experts like Garrett financial resources and back-end support such as lawyers and accountants to eliminate the up-front work of starting a new agency, said Strange Brew cofounder John O'Brien.
"I originally spoke with [Garrett] as a potential candidate for Strange Brew, but he told me he only wanted to work on climate tech or clean tech, which I thought was really bold," O'Brien said. "So we came up with the idea of helping him start an independent agency that has an affiliation with Strange Brew."
As a Strange Brew affiliated agency, Garrett and Redwood can instead focus on hiring and adding clients. In fact, Redwood will launch with two clients and is actively hiring for positions.
"Being able to take this new company in the direction I want to and bring all of my knowledge and experience to bear has really been ideal for me as a professional," Garrett said. "This presents the best opportunity to make the kind of positive impact on climate action that I hope to make with my career moving forward."
O'Brien said Strange Brew plans to continue using the model of building an agency around experts in certain communications verticals in the future. Possible future focuses include healthcare and public policy.
With this strategy, Strange Brew will act as a holding company, but grow a network of agencies that have full autonomy to practice in their specialized communications fields, said Dave Donohue, Strange Brew cofounder.
"We wanted to create a system in which we can establish domain expertise and market share, but also a degree of autonomy," Donohue said. "So we will be acting a little bit more like a holding company than a large agency with vertical practice areas."
In July, Strange Brew brought on BCW's New York tech lead Laura Anderson McGrath as EVP to grow its San Francisco operation. And this month, Strange Brew also brought on Drew Olanoff as VP of media strategy.