Fixation Marketing Merges with FORT Group, CORT Makes Acquisition

March 13, 2018

A marketing firm for trade associations and a special event rental company have made some strategic business moves this month.

Fixation Marketing has expanded its services, staff and resources through a merger with FORT Group, a full-service marketing agency based in Ridgefield Park, N.J.

Earlier this year, FORT acquired the company from Fixation President and CEO Jean Whiddon, who has worked at Fixation since 1993, acquired the company in 2000 and will stay on as brand communications strategist, which will allow her to focus on client relationships and business development.

“We are incredibly excited to see this merger come to fruition because it’s been in discussion for a long time,” Whiddon said.

She continued, “We found the right partner, one that would add capabilities in all the right areas – media, digital, video and website development – but still allow Fixation to run as it always has with emphasis on strategy and service.”

Boasting a robust client list across the consumer, healthcare, nonprofit and financial sectors, FORT offers an array of in-house creative marketing services including digital marketing and strategy, web development and design, video production and media buying.

“We’re bringing together two companies with long histories and shared values and it’s just the perfect fit,” said Frank DiGioia, FORT Group president and CEO.

He continued, “FORT will bolster Fixation’s resources in critical areas and Fixation brings a lot to the table in terms of new industry experience and tradeshow marketing. We couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities presented through this merger – for our companies and our clients.”

According to Julie Parsons, Fixation’s managing director and vice president, as a wholly owned subsidiary of FORT, Fixation will be able to retain its own brand and unique culture and has plans to move its offices from Bethesda, Md. to Ballston, Va. in the third quarter of this year.

Parsons’ responsibilities will include leading Fixation’s DC office and interfacing with FORT’s New Jersey office while also lending her strategic marketing guidance to Fixation’s staff and clients.

“Our first priority is to deliver the highest level of service and quality products to our clients,” Parsons said. “Through careful assessment, we determined the immediate need to bring critical services in-house to grow and strengthen our offering to our invaluable clients – our merger with FORT’s team allows us to do just that.”

She added, “It’s really a win-win for both companies in that they get our experience in the trade show space and we’ll be bringing in resources that we had been outsourcing to other vendors. We’ll also be looking at growth in a number of ways by later this year.”

Choice Linens

CORT Party Rental, a division of CORT, a Berkshire Hathaway Company that provides rental furnishings for the meeting, exhibition and events industries, has acquired Seattle-based Choice Linens, provider of fine linen rentals.

“Choice Linens has been the ‘go to’ for high-quality, unique fabrics in the Seattle market for 25 years,” explained Phil Heidt, area manager for CORT Party Rental, a special event rental company based in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in tenting, seating, tableware and décor.

He continued, “We are so pleased to have its owner, Liza Ragan, and her expertise on our team as we continue to grow the specialty linen rental market in the Pacific Northwest.”

Choice Linens joins CORT Party Rental to offer the widest selection of linen offerings including distinctive table linens, napkins, runners, overlays and sashes available in the Pacific Northwest, according to CORT officials.

Choice’s extensive collection of high-end products broadens the variety available to CORT Party Rental customers, who can now rent high-end linens locally, delivered along with the full portfolio of party rental offerings that CORT Party Rental provides.

“I am thrilled to join the CORT team and help launch Choice Linens by CORT Party Rental,” said Ragan, owner of Choice Linens. “With the support and backing of the amazing people at CORT, I know we can provide an even better experience (for) our customers.”

CORT Party Rental has served the Pacific Northwest for 50 years with locations in Everett and Fife, Wash.


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