When Tom and Adele Connors founded Adworkshop in 1977, Jimmy Carter was President, gas was $0.65 a gallon, and the first Apple II computers were coming to market. With a few hundred bucks and a fierce determination to live in the Adirondack Park, Tom and Adele took a risk, betting that a traditional print and advertising shop would succeed in the next host city of the Winter Olympic Games. Nearly four decades later, their two-person team has grown into a full-service marketing agency with more than 30 employee-owners, hundreds of clients, a satellite office, and plenty of awards scattered about our 5,700-square-foot headquarters in Lake Placid.
Adworkshop is the only employee-owned company in the Adirondack Park. Employees share ownership of the agency through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which was initiated in 2007 as a way for Tom and Adele to transition out of the company they built, while keeping the talented team living and working in the North Country. Beyond economic security and retirement benefits, the ESOP model gives employees a financial stake in the growth of the company and nurtures a culture of shared ideas and goals.
We’re also a women-owned business. In 2010, we became a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) through The Empire State Development Agency of New York and New York State's Division of Minority and Women Business Development.
We have a four-person executive team: Founders Adele and Tom Connors, and senior directors Sandra Gagnon and Darcy Norfolk. Sandra joined Adworkshop in 1999 after 10 years in the banking industry where she managed the day-to-day accounting operations at a commercial bank with over $150 million in assets. She has worked in many of Adworkshop's departments including operations, media, and account services. Sandra currently oversees finance, HR, and office management, and chairs the ESOP committee. She holds a degree in Business Administration and has been certified in Agency Financial Management by a leading advertising industry association.
Since 2008, Darcy has held key leadership roles at Adworkshop including Executive Director, General Manager and PR Director, and has been instrumental in the overall operations and management of the agency. Today, she focuses on business development, long-term relationships, partnerships, and new opportunities to help grow our business. Darcy graduated from Hofstra University with a MBA and Canisius College with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and Business Administration.
Together with Adele and Tom, Sandra and Darcy provide leadership and operational direction to the Adworkshop team.