News Release

Long-time Simantel Owners Announce Retirement

Simantel celebrates decades of leadership

PEORIA, Ill.—Top marketing firm, Simantel, announces the retirement of two of its five current owners. Susie Ketterer and Kevin McConaghy have co-owned Simantel since 2003, and after years of successfully building the business, they will retire at the end of 2018.

Ketterer and McConaghy both worked at Simantel long before they purchased the company from founder, Jim Simantel. Under their ownership and direction, the company expanded in capabilities and reach. Ketterer and McConaghy grew Simantel from 15 to more than 70 employees, including remote employees in five additional states.

McConaghy and Ketterer’s retirement is the culmination of a strategic five-year succession plan, which went so well that the two decided to retire a year early. Effective January 1, 2019, Maggie Whalen Misselhorn, Tim Leesman and Misty Dykema will acquire full ownership of the company.

Simantel is very proud of Ketterer’s and McConaghy’s numerous accomplishments and their lasting impact on clients, the community and the marketing industry. Under their leadership, Simantel received the Peoria Ad Club Award of Excellence and was recognized as the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year. Simantel also received the award for B2B Campaign of the Year by Ad Age, the premier publication to the advertising industry.

Although Ketterer and McConaghy are retiring, they will contract throughout 2019 as consultants to the Simantel team.

“Susie and Kevin have been phenomenal role models for everyone in the company,” said Maggie Whalen Misselhorn, owner and executive creative director. “When I joined them in ownership in 2009 and then Tim and Misty became owners in 2015, Susie and Kevin did everything they could to make sure we understood the incredible responsibility and opportunity we had before us. They told us to take care of clients and employees and the agency success will take care of itself. That’s the legacy we wish to continue moving forward.”

While the two are excited to launch the next phase of their lives, both are confident they are leaving the company in capable hands. Ketterer intends to keep Peoria as her home base, travel and remain involved in the Peoria community. McConaghy plans to reside in Pensacola, Florida with his wife and family.


About Simantel: Simantel has delivered over 35 years of roll-up-your-sleeves-in-it-to-win-it marketing. Whether it’s construction, mining, energy, agriculture, transportation, education, fundraising, finance or health care, Simantel helps hardworking and quality of life brands set the bar in their markets. Though our work has taken us around the world, we are happily located in the heart of America. We develop creative solutions online and off, nationally and globally. Simantel was founded in 1980 in Peoria, Illinois and has grown to have more than 70 team members in six different states, and a network of agencies around the world. Learn more at