Gabriel Group announces that it has acquired some assets of Wilkes Group, including equipment and systems, and has begun servicing a number of Wilkes Group direct marketing clients effective immediately. In addition, Gabriel has hired 10 former Wilkes associates who will continue to service the accounts.
Three of these new hires have joined Gabriel Group’s sales team: Jim Poneta as Vice President, and Larry Keatts and Steve Koch as Sales Executives.
Prior to joining Gabriel Group, Jim Poneta successfully led a direct marketing team as President, C.S. at Wilkes Group. With his sales and executive background in the printing and direct mail field, he brings a wealth of direct marketing knowledge and experience.
Poneta has served in leadership positions for various organizations, most recently as a current member of the Board of Trustees at McKendree University. He and his wife, Jan, have three children, Elisabeth, John and Katherine, and five grandchildren, Benjamin, May, Sadie, Owen and James. In his free time, Poneta enjoys hunting, golfing and writing.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Larry Keatts comes to Gabriel Group after being with Wilkes for two years. Working in the direct marketing industry for the past 26 years, he has vast experience working with clients nationwide to develop solutions for their specific marketing needs.
Keatts graduated from The University of Texas at Arlington with a BA in Business Administration, with a concentration on Marketing. He is an active member and previous Board Member of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association. Keatts has a passion for music and enjoys hiking and biking on the trails near his home in Denver.
Steve Koch will be focusing on sales and new business acquisition. Since 2006, he has held a lead position in the Casino Marketing Team at Wilkes. Prior to that, he served in Account Executive roles at various St. Louis direct marketing organizations.
Koch graduated from Southwest Missouri State University, in Springfield, Missouri, with a BS in Marketing. He has two children: Sarah, a nurse at Missouri Baptist, and Sam, a chef at Denali National Park in Alaska. Koch is a tri-athlete and completed his first half ironman in Boulder, Colorado last year. He also enjoys reading, movies and entertaining friends.
“We are very excited to welcome all of our newest team members and clients,” said Michael Peterson, CEO. “We have been diligently working on the integration of these Wilkes accounts over the past several weeks to ensure a smooth transition, and anticipate a seamless transfer of these relationships.”