After working as a clay modeler at Chrysler Styling, George Fahrenkopf moved to Florida to help run his father-in-law’s orange grove. He ended up becoming president of one of Tampa’s leading advertising agencies.
“After working in the grove for a number of years, I got back into advertising as a layout artist for Hilton Advertising Agency in Tampa,” said Fahrenkopf. “Over the next 22 years, I progressed from production manager to vice president, and later became president/co-owner. Soon the agency merged the Levy King & White Agency (from Buffalo, New York) who opened a branch office in Tampa.
“I believe my greatest accomplishment was being recognized and rewarded as a valuable productive team-member at the Hilton Agency. It was during this time that I had the opportunity to sharpen and practice my marketing and communication skills on a variety of challenging accounts. I never lost an account because of failed strategies or recommendations.”
During his career, Fahrenkopf oversaw a mixture of consumer, high tech and professional service accounts. His list of clients included A-PlusTax Software, IBM Information Services, Eckerd Drugs of Florida, Jones College, St. Hubert Roasted Chicken, Burger Chef, J. E. Greiner Engineers and Bechtel Civil & Minerals among others.
“Several state and national awards came my way and, while they raised my profile amongst my peers, the clear benefit was my clients’ knowledge that their marketing advisor understood their product or services’ unique selling proposition (USP) and its target market well enough to create, produce and direct the communications materials to the appropriate media within budget,” said Fahrenkopf.
In 1990, Fahrenkopf left the agency and formed Marketing/Communications as a sole proprietor. He mainly planned and coordinated marketing projects for A-PlusTax Software, an accounting software firm in Sarasota (Florida), which was an entity of Arthur Andersen Accounting in Chicago.
Fahrenkopf originally decided to pursue commercial art after serving three years in the military, most of it overseas in Japan with the 11th Airborne in Sapporo, Hokkaido; 24th Infantry Division in Kumamoto, Kyushu and First Corp in Kyoto, Honshu. He returned home and served at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio where he received his discharge.
“Except for my time in the airborne, I served in the Military Police,” said Fahrenkopf.
The GI Bill gave Fahrenkopf the opportunity to attend CCS where he learned watercolor from Frederick Sample, life drawing from Guy Palazzola and commercial art from Richard Kozlow.
“Around graduation time, I displayed several of my commercial art samples in the Student Art Exhibition that resulted in two job interviews: Campbell Ewald Agency and New Center Studios,” said Fahrenkopf. “I accepted a layout artist position at New Center where I developed marketing and communication collateral before moving down to Florida.”
Although Fahrenkopf has retired from professional design, he continues to work part time performing data entries for stock transactions and monitors the archived active accounts for an attorney specializing in estate planning and financial investments. He also worked for Cycle America, a bicycle touring company based in Minnesota for 14 years.
Since getting involved with adventure travel, Fahrenkopf has trekked through the mountains of Norway, Western China’s deserts, Uzbekistan/Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan, Peru’s Andes Mountains, Western Mongolia, the North West Highlands in Scotland, Southern Spain, Northern Portugal and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. He also has been on a 19-day jeep safari in Northern Pakistan, a walk down into the Grand Canyon for a few days of camping and backpacking, and a multi-day walk along Minnesota’s Superior Trail from Duluth to the Canadian border.
“I have no particular favorite destination,” admitted Fahrenkopf. “I loved them all for their individual uniqueness and challenges. My friends often ask me why I go where I go. My answer is: because hardly anyone ever goes there.”
- Graduation Year: 1953
- Major: Graphic Design
- Employer: Hilton Advertising Agency (Tampa, Florida)
- Title: President (retired)
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