Corky has applied his entrepreneurial spirit to building businesses and brands for over 40 years.
He began his career at General Mills working on the Cheerios, Wheaties and Betty Crocker brands.
In the ‘80’s, Corky was owner of U.S. Communications, U.S. Studios and U. S. Restaurants. U.S. Communications grew into the second largest promotional marketing agency in America and served Fortune 500 clients such as: P&G, Apple, Kraft, Quaker, MasterCard, Coca-Cola Foods, Hasbro and Pizza Hut. He was recognized nationally as a leader in promotional marketing and for pioneering major licensed property tie-ins, including representing George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. U.S. Communications won numerous awards, including: Multiple REGGIE Awards from the Promotion Marketing Association of America and the American Marketing Association; Named one of “America’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies” by Inc. Magazine; Awarded “Minnesota Marketer of the Year” by the American Marketing Association; Honored as “Minnesota’s Most Productive Company” by the Minnesota Business Journal.
In the ‘90’s, after selling the U.S. group of companies, Corky was recruited as EVP of Gage Marketing Group, the country’s largest marketing services company, to create a marketing communications agency. He later founded Corky Hall Marketing, which, together with Chuk Batko, evolved into Hall Batko, a business and brand consultancy.
In 2002 Corky co-founded Stellus Consulting with John Speirs, who had previously been Senior VP of Marketing at Lever Bros, and most recently was President of Pillsbury International, and Senior VP of Strategy and Brand Development, which included responsibility for business strategy, business development including mergers and acquisitions, and global brand custodianship. When Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness to form Diageo, John was selected by the Board of Directors to develop the strategy that would unlock the organic growth potential of their global brands. The outcome of John’s efforts led to the creation of The Diageo Way of Brand Building, the shared business-building platform across all Diageo companies (Pillsbury, Burger King, Guinness, United Distillers and Vintners). Over 5,000 people worldwide from Diageo and their agencies have been trained in this process.
Corky’s role at Stellus is to guide leadership teams to create the Strategic Vision for their organization, and the Brand Strategies that will build strong relationships with their customers/consumers/stakeholders. And, because great strategies are worthless without great implementation, he is committed to building inspired leadership teams who “own” their strategies and feel empowered to accelerate and sustain growth in the marketplace.
Corky is a graduate of Augsburg College, where he played 4 years of football and hockey, was captain of both sports, named to the All American Hockey Team, and signed by the Boston Bruins. He has been inducted into the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame and presented with the Augsburg Distinguished Alumni Award.