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Aaron Buckley Purchases SixtyOne Celsius of Hot SpringsLock Icon

2 min read

Creative Director Aaron Buckley bought the Hot Springs ad agency SixtyOne Celsius in November from Stephanie Alderdice, the former debate coach who had bought it in 2016 from founder Kirby Williams and renamed it from Kirby & Co.

Neither Buckley nor Alderdice revealed a purchase price.

Alderdice told Whispers that she started negotiating the sale to Buckley after Stone Bank, one of the firm’s major clients, asked her to join its team full time last year.

Williams was retiring as Stone Bank’s executive vice president for marketing. That’s the role that Alderdice took over on Jan. 2, filling Williams’ shoes again.

“Stone Bank has been a long-term client for 61C. It’s been wonderful to witness its growth as both a community bank with locations across Arkansas and as a nationwide provider of government-guaranteed loans for small businesses.”

Since Stone Bank was using SixtyOne Celsius as its agency of record, Buckley and Alderdice “began the process of transitioning the business into his ownership,” she said, expressing gratitude for her time at the firm and praising Buckley as “a seasoned veteran of the advertising industry.”

Whispers asked Buckley what’s next for the 46-year-old firm.

“We’re doing quite well so far,” said Buckley, a Hot Springs native who spent years doing agency work in Los Angeles before joining a Little Rock firm in 2010 and eventually going home and joining SixtyOne Celsius. “We continue to service our stable of retainer clients, like Stone Bank, Mid-America Science Museum and Levi Hospital, and we have brought on a few additional retainers.”

He said the firm expanded its video production agreement with Visit Hot Springs to include a new series highlighting the city’s unique history. “We are featuring a local talent, Chuck Dodson, as he explores the rich and ‘sometimes sordid’ history of Hot Springs,” Buckley said.

Being a first-time business owner opened his eyes, Buckley said. “Fortunately my first order of business was bringing on my brilliant accountant, Brooke Horvath,” he said.

He hopes to bring on an art director after the first quarter of the year.

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