The advertising community in Houston recently lost a good friend. Rich Klein passed away Sunday, October 12, 2014. This blog is a big believer in creativity and nurturing that in students and young professionals (and pros from all age groups for that matter). Rich was a valiant supporter of young people’s dreams and aspirations, and encouraged many to enlist in the advertising profession.
Jay Hagins, a longtime friend as well as a believer and supporter of creativity, had this to say about Rich:
Rich’s passion for the advertising industry was unparalleled; he mentored literally thousands of advertising professionals and with his partner, Bill Fogarty, built an advertising agency that attracted clients from coast to coast bringing national attention to the Houston advertising industry. Rich and Bill won national and regional clients such as Chef Boyardee, Ranch Style Beans, Waste Management, Advance Auto Parts, Popeye’s, Builders Square, Mattress Firm, BFI, Randall’s Supermarkets, Shiner Beer, Mission Foods, Amegy Bank, ConocoPhillips and many others. Rich and Bill nurtured the industry’s future with a highly competitive internship program with teams of college students that would actually get to present their own strategies, plans and creative to real clients.
Rich was recognized as a Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame member, AAF-Houston Silver Medal award winner and Living Legend. Rich and Bill began giving scholarships to qualified college students in 1991 and later established the Rich Klein and Bill Fogarty Communications Scholarship within the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston where Rich became Chairman leading the foundation to unprecedented growth. This year Rich and the Foundation awarded $30,000 in advertising scholarships to students throughout the Southwest.
From the unlikely pairing of a seasoned packaged goods brand manager and an ex-journalist-turned advertising maven it has been a long voyage from the day Rich Klein had to break it to Bill Fogarty’s wife that the pair was leaving their jobs to start a business with no business in hand. Lucky for advertising in the Southwest, Rich Klein and Bill Fogarty stayed true to their vision and made it happen, creating the best, darn agency in Houston, one with a rich legacy of innovation and accomplishment, integral community work, and programs to inspire future ad folks like themselves.
Rich will be truly missed but to further his legacy and to honor Rich’s passion to further the education of young people, the family is requesting that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
The Rich Klein Communications Scholarship
P.O. Box 27592
Houston, Texas 77227
I would encourage all who may read this to consider donating to this very worthy scholarship.
Thanks for reading and your interest. Thank you, Rich, for your advice, friendship and guidance over the years. We’ll miss you!