HUDSON — Jan Gusich, founder and CEO of AKHIA, a 55-person communications agency based in Hudson, Ohio, will transfer majority ownership to the firm’s president, Ben Brugler. 

Brugler, who has been with AKHIA for 16 years, will now be president and CEO. Gusich will serve as senior counsel and strategist, maintaining a minority shareholder position. In this role, Gusich will lead corporate communications strategies, crisis communications, brand protection, internal communications and international integration, largely through the agency’s membership in the International Public Relations Network, a global organization with representation in 39 countries.

"With the agency in Ben’s experienced and capable hands, I’m excited to move into my new role as strategic advisor in these key practice areas," Gusich said. "I’ve never been more confident about the quality and level of service we are providing to customers."

As president and CEO, Brugler will continue to focus on challenging AKHIA and its clients to realize the full potential of a strategic communications program.

"Communications programs are no longer exclusive to the marketing department," Brugler said. "So many of our clients have pushed, internally, to have greater collaboration beyond marketing and, as a result, a larger impact on the business goals overall."

Brugler, who joined AKHIA in 2001, holds a bachelor of science degree in public relations from Kent State University. He served in various account service roles before leaving the agency in the spring of 2004 to become the director of public relations at Malone Advertising (currently Geometry Global) only to return in the fall of 2005 as vice president of business development. 

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