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October 2, 2012

Dix & Eaton Marks 60th Anniversary With Community Service

Dix & Eaton is celebrating its 60th anniversary in a spirit that honors its namesake founders – by giving back to the community.

“John Dix and Henry Eaton were passionate not only about serving their clients but also about serving the community that provided the foundation for their business,” said Scott Chaikin, chairman and chief executive officer.  “Out of appreciation for the outstanding example they provided, we have made community service the central focus of our anniversary commemoration.”

Reflecting that commitment, D&E recently fielded a team and was a corporate sponsor of the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes, and it will staff the phone bank for this week’s kickoff of the WCPN Membership Drive.  More significantly, the firm is launching “60 for 60,” a pro bono program through which it will contribute 60 hours of professional services to a single organization.

“Through 60 for 60, our goal is to help a not-for-profit organization, small business or start-up in Northeast Ohio by providing communication counsel or services that enable it to achieve its mission,” said Chaikin.  “We believe doing so is in keeping with the community-minded example that our co-founders set for us and that we strive to follow.  Collectively, D&E employees serve on nearly 50 boards and commissions and volunteer countless hours with civic, charitable and educational organizations where they have an interest and where their involvement can have a positive impact.  Altogether, we expect to provide approximately $400,000 in pro bono time to such organizations this year alone.”

Information about 60 for 60 is available at, at or on Twitter (@DixandEaton). Applications must be received by October 26.  Five finalists will be announced November 5, and the winner will be chosen through social media voting on Facebook continuing through November16.

As Dix & Eaton celebrates its 60th anniversary, it has become an integrated communications consultancy specializing in public relations, investor relations, crisis communications and marketing communications, serving a core group of about 65 client organizations throughout the United States.

Over the years, the firm has played a key strategic role in major announcements and corporate events, including high-profile corporate takeovers, mergers and other transactions, airline and mining accidents, and more.  Building upon its longstanding strength in global communications, earlier this year the firm became a member of Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s leading partnership of global public relations firms.  With more offices in more cities and countries than any multinational firm, the new relationship gives D&E more than 100 global partners in more than 50 countries around the world.

The firm was established in 1952 when Dix and Eaton – co-workers at Industrial Publishing Company – invested $1,500 each to form their own industrial advertising agency.  It gained its first two public-company clients – White Consolidated Industries and Van Dorn – in the late 1950s, and with the addition of Scott & Fetzer in 1970 reached a critical mass of public-company clients to build upon.  As the firm’s business emphasis shifted to corporate communications, its creative origins as an ad agency made annual reports a natural fit, a strength that remains today.

Dix retired in 1982, which would make Eaton the sole owner by 1987.  Expansion of ownership began in the mid-1990s, and by the end of the decade employees owned a combined total of 83 percent of the firm, with the four Eaton children retaining the remainder; today, their holdings are approximately 12 percent.

Chaikin was named chief executive officer in 1998 and, following Eaton’s retirement at the end of 1999, became chairman and CEO.  Eaton died in 2003 at age 77, and Dix in 2006 at age 89.

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