Since taking over the reigns of the agency his father founded in 1984, Ged King, CEO, has transformed the small company into what is now the largest privately owned marketing agency in the region. Bringing more than 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing communications and branding insights to the table, King employs a scientific process to ensure his clients win in the marketplace. His belief in questioning standards: Why are we doing it this way? Is there a different, better way? Why can’t we…? continually evokes new ideas and positive change for his clients.
Ged graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in industrial engineering and began his career at Swing-N-Slide, growing the business from a $5 million to $50 million company. Today, Ged leads the SFW executive team and is also an adjunct professor of marketing, teaching second-year MBA students at Wake Forest University School of Business.
Both Ged and SFW are the recipients of many awards across various categories.
An active community leader, Ged has served on numerous boards and established SFW as the largest nationwide participant in the annual 24-hour CreateAthon event that provides pro-bono marketing services to non-profits.
A devoted road cyclist, Ged spearheads healthy living initiatives both within his company and the community. He and his wife and two children live in Greensboro, NC.
Matt King, Chief Marketing Officer of SFW, joined his family’s business in 1996 after graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. He worked his way through accounting, account management and sales positions within the company, but his ultimate goal was to be on the creative side of the business. After learning the ins and outs of the agency, Matt moved into management and spent five years as creative director before being named vice president of customer strategy in 2007. Now, as the agency’s chief marketing officer, Matt directs major creative projects, develops teams and oversees new business development.
Matt embodies the philosophies and principles learned from his father, namely that relationships are at the core of every successful working partnership. He has played an integral role in developing SFW into the successful agency it is today.
A board member for the Greensboro Children’s Museum, Matt enjoys spending time with his three daughters and will rarely say no to an invitation to play golf.
President of SFW, Peter Mitchell has more than 30 years of experience in branding, advertising and integrated marketing. After graduating with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication and with an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School, Mitchell spent 20 years working in NYC at Jordan McGrath Case & Taylor and Saatchi & Saatchi. There he supervised EFFIE award-winning campaigns for companies such as General Mills, Quaker Oats and Pepperidge Farms and rose to the position of executive vice president, group account director. In 2001, Mitchell moved back to North Carolina to eventually become President and CEO of Woodbine. Woodbine merged with The Sales Factory in 2013 (which rebranded to SFW soon after) with Peter assuming the role of president.
Peter is an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University teaching graduate school Consumer Behavior and also Writing for PR & Advertising for undergraduates. He serves on the board of the Carolinas Council of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As). He and his wife live in Winston-Salem, NC and enjoy worldwide travels.
Ryan Neely is the Director of Digital for SFW, where he leads a 10-person cross-functional team specializing in web development, user experience, CRM and email marketing, social media, content and PR. Under his leadership, SFW has grown its digital capabilities, reflected in clients’ websites, social media, display marketing, e-commerce and more.
Ryan previously worked with SFW as a research manager before joining a venture-capital backed technology start up. There he honed his skill at developing and implementing inbound and content-driven marketing strategy, helping to pave the way for a successful exit.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Ryan is married with two small children. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, cooking and Virginia Tech sports (Go Hokies!).
As Creative Director at SFW, Vickie oversees a team of designers and copywriters responsible for the development and execution of high-level concepts that best represent a company or brand’s identity. A designer by trade, Vickie’s path began immediately after college. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from East Carolina University, she accrued more than 20 years of experience at several regional agencies, working on national accounts like Northface, Wrangler, Jansport, Lee and Nokia. At SFW, Vickie takes her wealth of experience and translates that into strategic, creative solutions for our clients.
We often compare Vickie’s role to that of an orchestra conductor. They know how it feels to direct not only people, but the tools and instruments those people use to create something beautiful. For the vast majority of us who’ve never conducted an orchestra, well…Vickie’s work speaks for itself.
As Vice President of Marketing, Juan Hernandez is SFW’s official problem solver. Juan began his career at SFW as a research manager and quickly gained a reputation as a research strategist, recognizing early on the connection between the number crunching and storytelling elements of research. He developed a research team and honed SFW’s research into a process, creating a standardized way to build information. In 2013, he was promoted to VP of Strategy and Insights. He has since continued to build his team, creating synergy between the creative minds and the researchers.
Juan received his bachelor’s degree in informatics engineering and his MBA from Wake Forest University with a concentration in marketing and business analytics. He and his wife and son live in Greensboro, where Juan is an avid (some may say “aggressive”) soccer player.
As the CFO of SFW, Rob is responsible for cost accounting, purchasing, budgeting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, human resources and financial reporting. He received his bachelor’s degree from Guilford College and his master’s degree from UNC-G. He is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. A long-time friend of the King family, Rob started working with SFW in 2007 and came on full-time in 2011. Know for his attention to detail, Rob was honored as a Triad Financial Executive of the Year in 2014.
Rob lives in Greensboro where he enjoys spending time with friends over good food and drinks. A voracious reader, Rob is the person you want on your Trivial Pursuit team.
By the time George King opened the doors to his marketing agency, “The Sales Factory” (TSF) in 1984, he had amassed more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience. The first King to graduate high school, George began his career in the mailroom at Seagrams Tower in New York. He delivered the mail twice as fast as anyone else, leading to an entry-level position in the art department where he hand drew labels for market testing.
After several promotions, George began a 15-year career with Black & Decker, working in everything from merchandizing and sales to executive management. When he founded TSF, it was with the goal of implementing what he’d learned over the years for clients.
Many of the tenets used by SFW today—including store walks and a focus not on “advertising” but on facts and research—began with George King. On a personal level, he valued loyalty, self-reliance and hard work. He insisted his sons make their own way, refusing them employment until they’d gained sufficient experience elsewhere.
Within a year of his oldest son Ged joining the business, however, George was diagnosed with lung cancer. George King passed in 1996. His youngest son Matt joined the business soon after and both sons have since worked together to grow the agency into the success it is today.
George King’s legacy of fact-based marketing is ever present in all SFW sets out to accomplish. More important, however, is the standard of caring and personal involvement set by George. Ged and Matt King honor their father’s legacy daily by delivering superior levels of personal commitment to clients and employees alike.
We’re an agency of cyclists, authors, teachers, volunteers, students, pilots, parents, gamers, musicians and coaches.
Driven, smart, versatile, united and rowdy, we are lifelong learners who play to win at everything we do, both in and out of the office.
WHO LIKE TO WIN.