2009 Silver Award


Sharon Napier
President & CEO, Partners & Napier

Sharon Napier Photo

It’s no surprise that Sharon Napier is a successful entrepreneur.
She’s always been creative. And she’s always been a fighter. As the youngest of six children, she had to be. Watching her immigrant father build a business from scratch, she learned most of what she needed to know to develop and maintain the strong client, employee, and community relationships necessary for a business to thrive.
Things like: A promise made is a promise kept. Your handshake is your word. Never ask anybody to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Always deliver more than you promise. How much you give is just as important as how much you make.
At the heart of it all, she learned the importance of courage, ingenuity, and family. These values are the foundation and daily mantra of Partners and Napier. They, along with the brilliant strategic and creative thinking they enable, are the reasons clients and employees choose to join our movement, and to choose to stay with the agency.
Sharon’s values, her relentless energy, her commitment to non-stop improvement, and that raucous laugh, have helped her develop the trust that inspired both clients and employees to take a leap of faith the day she and her three partners announced they had purchased their freedom from the imploding Wolf Group network in 2004—the day she opened the doors of Partners and Napier.
Since then, Sharon has driven Partners and Napier’s growth from a 38-person agency to the creative powerhouse it is today—a 130-plus-person agency with offices in Rochester, Atlanta, and San Francisco, a roster of blue-chip clients, and recognition by such benchmarkers of marketing as the ADDY Awards, Communication Arts, The One Show, PRINT, Photo District News, HOW, and more.
Another reason for the agency’s success is the clarity of purpose Sharon has provided: Partners and Napier’s passion is Liberating Promise. For Sharon, that means doing whatever it takes to set brands free from constraints like lack of knowledge, misperception, attitude, or history that hold them back. The agency applies that thinking not only to the brands we serve, but to our clients, their consumers, our employees, their families, and our community as a whole.
Recognizing that in addition to high-quality creative and strategy, clients value a nimble and agile partner, Sharon built the Partners Group—a business model that brings together prestigious agencies across all disciplines. A model that allows for scalability and ensures that clients have the resources they need when they need them. And a model that many in the industry have since followed.
Because Sharon takes ownership of her clients’ business problems as her own, Partners and Napier is now perceived by icon brands, including Kodak, to be every bit as valuable a strategic partner as the national and global agencies they work with, as well as the agency to turn to for consumer engagement at every relevant touchpoint.
Sharon is tirelessly devoted to our community. Under her leadership, Partners and Napier created and spearheaded We ROC, donating over $250,000 in time and raising over $200,000 for the campaign. Additionally, Partners and Napier has donated millions of additional dollars to our community through other key initiatives, including rebranding and marketing the Little Theatre.
With a seat on the AAAA’s National Board of Directors, Sharon is elevating not only Partners and Napier’s reputation, but the creative reputation of Rochester as a whole.
And though she has accomplished much in a relatively short time, she’s really only just begun making her mark—on this community and on our industry.