NJ Agency BNO acquires Garfield Group

40-year-old BNO welcomes Garfield Group to the family. (Courtesy BNO)

Tom Paine

Garfield Group, the agency that has practically been synonomous with tech public relations in the Philly market, has agreed to be acquired by central New Jersey creative agency BNO (Baldwin & Obenauf, Inc).

The transaction did not require any third-party financing, BNO President Trista Walker told me. Garfield Group, founded by current President Larry Garfield in 1990, was acquired by Ridgefield Park NJ-based OSG Billing Services in 2016. There is a virtual army of Garfield-trained alumni in the Philadelphia business community.

Woman-owned, Somerville NJ-based BNO, led by Walker and Founder Joanne Obenauf, employs 70. The deal includes occupying the 5,000 square feet of office space in Garfield Group’s Old City headquarters on Chestnut Street. (Garfield moved to the city from Bucks County a few years ago.)  Over the next six months, the two companies will be integrated under the BNO name, with a combined BNO and Garfield team in the Philadelphia office. BNO also opened a Tampa Bay area office in 2019.

Walker is no newcomer to the Philly market. She grew up in Lower Bucks, she told me, and is on the board of Jefferson Health.

“The combination of our teams and expanded capabilities made this an incredibly attractive move,” said Walker, “We expand Garfield’s search, media, and analytics capability, and they add Public Relations to ours, exponentially increasing BNO’s ability to service current and future clients.”

No staff reductions are expected. Both BNO and Garfield leadership will retain their current roles in the new company structure. Garfield has 48 employees according to LinkedIn.