Boulder Creative Agency Vermilion Transitions Ownership to Internal Leadership Team

Founder Bob Morehouse sells the purpose-driven agency to long-standing executives Susan Touchette Aust, Thaddeus Napp and Sarah Halle

Vermilion's New Owners

Boulder creative agency Vermilion begins an important new chapter as it transitions ownership from local icon and community philanthropist Bob Morehouse to Vermilion's long-standing leadership team — Susan Touchette Aust, Thaddeus Napp and Sarah Halle — for an undisclosed amount. 

After nearly 20 years as a seasoned Account Director for the agency, Aust is named Partner, CEO. Napp becomes Partner, Strategy after 12 years at Vermilion and will continue to lead strategy and positioning for the agency. Halle has been Creative Director at Vermilion since 2019 and is named Partner, Creative. Morehouse will continue to be involved in the business as an advisor with the newly created role of founder. 

"I've been involved in many inspiring projects over the years, but perhaps the most important has been helping to create a strong transition of Vermilion's leadership to a new generation,'' said Bob Morehouse, founder of Vermilion. "As we step into this powerful next phase of the agency's history, we're committed to retaining the company's values and DNA as a community resource and creative partner. I could not be more proud." 

Being a community leader, resource and partner is nothing new to Vermilion. After 42 years, the Certified B Corp has built deep roots with clients making a positive impact. From equality and mental health leaders like The Gill Foundation and Caring for Denver Foundation to conservation and sustainability champions like Leave No Trace to socially conscious CPG brands like jack & annie's, Vermilion's dedication to do good is reflected by the organizations it serves.

"It's inspiring to deepen our transparency, trust and respect as partners, and exciting to live into this transition with the support of our team and clients," said Aust. "Bob founded Vermilion to use the power of smart communications to make a positive difference in our world, and we are humbled and excited to carry that promise forward," said Napp. "The work we do does more than win awards; it helps address the big problems of our day. It's a privilege — and we're ready to continue that charge," said Halle.

Over the years, Vermilion has created a culture that is grounded in more than creative work but in building teams that are rooted in shared values and open communication. In an industry with notoriously high turnover rates, Vermilion has a reputation for retaining team members for decades. A testament to this is that the new owners, Aust, Napp and Halle, have been at Vermilion for a combined 40 years. 

About Vermilion:

Vermilion is a full-service, creative agency based in Boulder, Colorado, that provides distinctive and effective solutions exclusively to organizations that make a positive impact. As a Certified B Corporation, the agency is focused on helping purpose-driven brands grow and make a difference, supporting organizations advancing health and well-being, and connecting conservation and recreation in outdoor and environmental brands. Vermilion is also a Public Benefit Corporation, a specific type of corporation that allows for public benefit and social impact to be a charter purpose in addition to traditional corporate goals. More information:

Denise Day 

Source: Vermilion