Barkley, originally called “Barkley Evergreen,” was founded over 50 years ago. The firm’s original name was an ode to its origins -- on the cross-streets of Barkley’s first offices in Kansas City. The company’s founder, Bill Fromm, built the agency from the ground up. Before retiring from the company in 1997, Bill sold the agency to his employees, making Barkley the largest employee-owned marketing agency in the country (a title the company holds to this day).

A Full Service Agency

Barkley strives to develop relationships with a diverse set of companies. Lambert explained that the agency has the capacity to “specialize in any industry.” Currently, Barkley partners with clients across industries such as retail, restaurant, healthcare, agriculture, and financial services. The focus, and ultimate goal, of every client relationship is to transform the client’s business. Barkley’s motto is to “add good,” and this credo drives the company towards exceptional work.


While founded and headquartered in Kansas City, Barkley has expanded to 3 new markets: Boulder, Pittsburgh, and New York City. Today, Barkley employs over 400 employees, or “partners” as they’re referred to by the company. They expanded based on opportunities driven by market attractiveness, potential growth, and the company’s existing client base. Barkley saw its Boulder office as not only a way to better engage existing clients, but as a gateway to new customer acquisition in the Western U.S. Having “boots on the ground” in their high-growth markets facilitates collaboration, creativity, and success. 

This expansion has come with challenges of scalability, but Barkley made sure to invest in the right people and tools to allow for more seamless growth. The agency credits its partnership with Cisco as a main driver behind the smooth transition. The tools provided allow for instant data sharing, significant reduction in travel, and an overall increase in collaboration.