Well-known Dallas PR agency announces sale, new name and leadership structure
C. Pharr & Company’s owner and CEO, Cynthia Pharr Lee, today announced the sale of the agency to Leah Ekmark Williams, APR, effective Nov. 1, 2017. The full service, Dallas-based public relations agency also announced its rebranding as Dala Communications. Upon the sale, Williams will be named president and CEO while Pharr Lee will remain with the agency in the role of chairman for three years. Dala’s predecessor agency was founded in 1986 by Pharr Lee, APR, Fellow PRSA, one of the Southwest’s leading communications experts. Pharr Lee is also known for spearheading the growth of three of Dallas’s largest public relations agencies including The Richards Group/Pharr Cox Communications, C. Pharr & Company and Tracy-Locke/Pharr.
Pharr Lee and Williams began working together in 2005 and formalized their partnership agreement in 2012. Specializing in an array of industries ranging from real estate, construction and engineering to education, health care, finance and professional services firms, Williams and Pharr Lee have served some of the most respected names in business. Together they have established a reputation for helping executives and their companies build leadership in their communities, professions and industries.
“Cynthia’s influence and reputation in the public relations industry and business community is far reaching. I was astounded when she approached me early on in my career to discuss a business partnership and succession planning for the agency,” said Williams. “I never imagined my first job in PR would evolve into my own agency. I have learned from the best and continue to value Cynthia’s counsel as she continues to be involved in the agency as chairman of Dala.”
“I am very blessed to have such an accomplished entrepreneurial business partner, and it’s been great to work with Leah for more than a decade and gain full confidence that her priorities will remain focused on excellent client service while fostering a professional and collegial work environment for our employees,” said Pharr Lee. “I look forward to continuing to work with Leah and Dala to provide strategic communication services to our clients.”
Dala Communications is taken from the nickname “Dala,” which refers to the Dalecarlian horse, a cultural symbol of Sweden that also represents a legacy of Swedish entrepreneurship, which is a part of Williams’ heritage. Williams’ grandfather built a successful photography business after leaving Sweden and arriving in New York City in 1903 via Ellis Island, and her father is also a successful business owner.
Williams began at C. Pharr & Co. in 2005 and quickly evolved in her leadership role within the agency. She played an integral role in developing and growing the agency’s client base by 100 percent within five years. She was also instrumental in building and guiding clients’ social media strategy, pairing the right social media tools with strategic public relations and marketing initiatives.
The Dala Communications team is comprised of skilled public relations experts whom have fostered a 20-plus-year legacy of trusting relationships with clients, communities, media and other influencers. Dala Communications is certified as a Woman-owned Business Enterprise with the National Women’s Enterprise Certification, and as a Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) with the state of Texas.
About Dala Communications
Dala Communications (formerly known as C. Pharr & Co.) is a results-based, full-service public relations agency located in Dallas. Creating impactful, content marketing formulas that work, Dala Communications is built upon a foundation of strategic thinkers and communicators who take a forward-thinking, proactive approach to achieve clients’ business goals. Whether working alongside B2B or B2C in-house teams, or serving as the marketing and public relations arm, Dala Communications makes the business and community connections that create brand momentum. Dala Communications is a mid-sized agency and certified as a Woman-owned Business Enterprise with the National Women’s Enterprise Certification, and as a HUB with the state of Texas. For more information, visitwww.dalacommunications.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram.