Holt Hackney bleeds printer ink. The son of a journalist, Holt sold papers on the street corner back in the day before graduating to the mail room, where he stuffed one section of the paper into another on Tuesday nights. By 14, he was writing articles for the weekly paper, a skill he leveraged to help pay his way through school as a journalism major at the University of Florida.
By the mid-1990s, Holt had found a new passion as a marketer. He led the marketing communications effort of an immensely successful startup called CyBerCorp (purchased by Schwab for $500 million) before being hired by Hewlett Packard as a Director of Communications within its Imaging & Printing Group. In 2001, Holt launched his public relations firm, Hackney Communications. The firm has gone on to represent hundreds of clients, from coast to coast, in the area of marketing communications, public relations, and thought leadership campaigns. In the late summer of 2016, Ascend acquired Hackney Communications and added Holt to its team of experienced marketers.