For Mr. Wieden, Portland has been home for decades. He was a young copywriter when he met art director David Kennedy there in 1980. Their first client? Nike. The then-small agency grew Nike into one of the world's most admired brands, coming up with the "Just Do It" slogan and maintaining one of the strongest ongoing relationships in adland till this day. After Mr. Kennedy retired in the mid-90s, Mr. Wieden grew the agency globally into a micronetwork with hubs in Delhi, Tokyo, Amsterdam, London and Sao Paolo.
While he's grown Wieden & Kennedy into one of the most respected agencies the world over -- and it's now a large agency by any measure -- Mr. Wieden's values continue to be rooted firmly in the power of being independent. When Ad Age named the shop its Agency of the Year in 2011, Mr. Wieden famously remarked: "We'll blow this thing up before we sell."
In addition to speaking at the Small Agency Conference, Wieden & Kennedy is kicking off the event with a party at its global headquarters in Portland. Conference attendees will have a chance to see the inside of the agency and meet other small agency owners and executives during a networking and cocktail event hosted by the agency.
As a reminder, Ad Age is accepting entries for the Small Agency Awards until May 1. Registration information can be found here.