NEW ORLEANS, LA - October 22, 2009 - Since 1997, Trumpet has been a formidable player within the New Orleans marketing arena and beyond. Continuing to build on its legacy of innovation, the company recently launched affiliate Trumpet Ventures, which will be led by Trumpet founding partner, Robbie Vitrano. Trumpet Ventures will work exclusively with selected start-up companies, assuming a financial and operational role, offering executive leadership and coordination with the investment community. Trumpet will continue to be led by co-founding partner and Executive Creative Director, Pat McGuinness, and a long-established five-person executive leadership team who will now acquire ownership in the company.
Vitrano will remain in the role of chairman of the original organization, while Chief Operating Officer Jude Chauvin will maintain overall responsibility for business operations and profitability. Additionally, Malcolm Schwarzenbach and Jenny Dalton will shepherd client relationships as Director of Account Service and Director of Project Management, respectively. Matt McGuinness, Creative Director, will share overall creative responsibilities. Scott Couvillon will contribute to strategy and client development. This reorganization and distinction of disciplines will allow Trumpet to continue its focus on creative business solutions and customer development for established marketers while Trumpet Ventures serves the special needs of fledgling businesses.
“Instead of simply providing a menu of marketing services, Trumpet Ventures will facilitate proof of concept for start-ups. We help craft the entire go-to-market plan, and leverage our relationships in the investment world to form a much more complete partnership with our client,” said Vitrano. One prominent example is NakedPizza, with whom Vitrano has taken an active role in overseeing the branding and marketing-related activities in order to help this promising New Orleans-based concept reach its full potential. “It’s a concept that cannot only have significant impact for New Orleans, but in our society at large, where our current eating habits are the root of much bigger social and economic problems.”
The Trumpet Ventures model is not new to Trumpet, but rather an organic outgrowth of long-held business practices. “We’ve always said our best fit is with businesses that think like a start-up. They’re ambitious, personally invested in the business idea and understand the market value of attention. Their status definitely isn’t quo. That could be a funded start-up or an established brand launching a new product, facing a market challenge or needing to turn things around,” said Trumpet co-founding partner, Pat McGuinness. “The bottom line is that they are still heated by the fire that started the business and welcome us upstream, where we not only effect external communication, but collaboratively impact internal operations or product development, because in today’s transparent market business strategy is marketing strategy.”
Trumpet was founded during the dotcom boom of the late 1990s, and that entrepreneurial DNA has matured into a company with a reputation for helping to grow local businesses onto the national stage. Early clients include iSeatz, 2009 Inc. 500 Honoree (#67) and TurboTrip, which was acquired by Hotels.com in 2002. Also that year, Trumpet began to incubate and was instrumental in the successful development of The Idea Village, the organization that has played a critical role in the growing entrepreneurial community in New Orleans.
As evidence of their commitment to the New Orleans region, after Hurricane Katrina Trumpet resigned its largest client, California-based Real Mex Restaurants- the world’s largest casual dining Mexican restaurant group- in order to return to its roots and help New Orleans plant new ones. “That’s what a near death experience does to you. It puts into sharp focus the things that are important,” stated co-founder Pat McGuinness. “Shouldering up with ambitious people and organizations that were focused on the ‘Category 5’ silver lining of Katrina is where we needed to be.”
That clarity led to Trumpet’s nationally award-winning work for the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation (NOPJF) “Get Behind the Badge” police recruitment campaign (2009 National Gold Addy©) and the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) “24Nola.com” efforts, earning national accolades in both traditional and digital media categories. It also led to activity and partnerships with the new businesses that have succeeded in reshaping the national reputation of the resilient city into a place that is reinventing itself, drawing a new wave of energetic young people seeking an opportunity to make their mark. This has been documented in recent articles from Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times and more.
Today, Trumpet owns and operates the Icehouse, a renovated 12,000-square-foot entrepreneurial hub located in the historic neighborhood of Faubourg St. John. It is home to six start-ups with whom Trumpet is building on its legacy of taking companies “from IOU to IPO” as Robbie Vitrano states. Additionally, Trumpet currently leads a roster of local clients who are each gaining national attention and distribution, such as thriv Natural Performance (athletic apparel), iChill (relaxation shot), Bruise Relief (family remedy turned medical solution), as well as established brands like Church’s Chicken, Rehage Entertainment (producers of Voodoo Experience and Essence Festival) and Renaissance Hotels (Marriott-owned properties).
From his desk in the Icehouse, Trumpet Ventures chief Robbie Vitrano is working on an aggressive plan to address the overwhelming interest in franchise opportunities for NakedPizza. “The hope with all [Ventures] clients is to get to a spot where we can utilize Trumpet more than we already are. I’ve always liked those guys.”
Designs connections between brands and communities, providing a range of advertising and marketing services to traditional and nontraditional clients. The focus at Trumpet is simple- identify and activate market opportunities that earn advocates, create momentum and achieve cultural influence on behalf of the brands we represent. We are editors, curators, designers, anthropologists and inventors. Trumpet delivers key insights, actionable definition and a clear foundation for communications strategy that allows for authentic branded communication.
Focuses on go-to-market strategy, proof of concept and investor relations for select start-up companies, assuming a financial and operational role, offering executive leadership and coordination with the investment community.
Phone is 504-525-4600
2803 St. Philip Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
Faubourg St. John