Senior living marketing agency Attane abruptly closes, a victim of industry’s slow pandemic rebound

Kansas City, MO, senior living marketing agency Attane on Monday unexpectedly announced its immediate closure, an apparent victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. The news leaves approximately 100 employees looking for work.

Most employees’ employment was terminated right away, leaving “a handful of people around until next week to transition client work and unwind everything,” Vice President of Communications Steve Wujek told the McKnight’s Business Daily on Tuesday.

The bank holding the agency’s debt seized the company’s cash and assets, forcing the immediate shuttering of the business, he said. 

The agency was founded in 1987 and was known as GlynnDevins until June 2021. Its eventual downfall, Wujek said, was the senior living industry’s slow rebound from the pandemic. “The demand for our services was lagging behind that rebound,” he said.

COVID-19 created challenges and shook consumer confidence in the senior living industry. Operators would need to do some “heavy lifting” in its wake, GlynnDevins Chief Customer Officer Susan Bogan predicted during a webinar in 2020 near the pandemic’s start.  

For the past three years or so, Wujek said, the “company evolved beyond a traditional marketing agency, with a stronger focus on data-driven technology solutions and marketing automation, the adoption of that approach and the understanding of how it can benefit the sales/marketing process has been slower than expected.”

Last fall, Attane hired Scott Kokotan as CEO and Lisa Pearre as chief client officer.

Monday, employees were informed about the company’s closing via Zoom, then took to social media to express their dismay at the closure and openness to new work opportunities. Colleagues responded with offers to help them network for new positions.

“Many of my talented friends in the KC (and beyond) ad community lost their jobs in the past 24 hours,” one colleague posted Monday on LinkedIn. “They are an exceptional group and all deserve to find their next great opportunity.”

To that end, according to the post, Kansas City Job Seekers is planning an Aug. 2 networking event to help support the displaced Attane workers and connect them with others in the local marketing community.

“Attane/GlynnDevins has been the leading, and first, full-service marketing agency solely focused on senior living and addressing the industry’s marketing needs. We are proud of our progressive stance and pulling the industry forward … exposing the industry to new, more sophisticated methods of lead generation and lead nurturing. We were the leader, the innovator for senior living marketing,” Wujek said. 

“Also, through the years, we assembled some of the best marketing professionals (client service, tech engineers, data scientists, web developers, digital marketing, creative/design, communications, social media, etc) who had experience from outside senior living. That collective knowledge and experience was important for us to maintain a leading position and help the industry be more progressive with their marketing and sales approaches,” he added.

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