AAC sale the end of an era for Emmerson
For Rhona Emmerson, the sale of advertising agency AAC to Premier Tickets Ltd marked the end of an era.
Ms Emmerson retired from the agency in March 2018, but retained an ownership interest. That stake has now passed to Michael Branco's Celeste Group of Companies, which includes AAC, Premier Tickets, Fireminds and Innovation House.
After more than 35 years in the advertising business, Ms Emmerson said it was difficult to cut ties with AAC — but she is convinced that both the time, and the new ownership group, was right.
“There is a time to bow out gracefully and allow the business to reinvent itself,” Ms Emmerson said. “It was that time for me. I felt I had contributed all that I could. John White did that for myself and co-owner Cathie Mahoney many years ago — and now we have passed the baton.
“Michael and AAC was the right fit. The timing was perfect. He has the drive, understands the challenges, and is a team builder. He understands the value of great communications and has invested in a well run company, with a very professional, creative team, and many years of experience to build on. He has the sheer energy and partner companies to guide and build the company going forward.”
While her head told Ms Emmerson that it was time to sell, her heart took some convincing.
“It was difficult, and took a few years to really come to terms with fully leaving and letting go of all AAC,” she said. “I loved the company we collectively had built, I looked forward to going to work — yes, some days more than others — and I still loved a good challenge.
“The company was driven to make a difference and grow ‘Bermuda Inc', and that I feel we have accomplished. It was a privilege to serve so many great clients over the years. They taught me so such, they trusted our partnerships.
“I have met and worked with so many clever people, great supporting vendors and very interesting local and international companies, some of them clients for over 20 years.
“The bonus for me: working with creative, smart, loyal and truly kind staff. Over the years, so many chose to cross over the door each day and work with me. I am truly grateful for their time and many talents.”
Ms Emmerson and her husband, photographer and platinum printer Mark, have retired to Gers in southwest France.
“So now we are enjoying a quieter country life, surrounded by sunflowers and vineyards,” she said. “This we can live with. I have painted all my life, was a very active plein air painter in Bermuda, and look forward to spending more time painting and discovering the wonders of Europe. There is so much to see and taste, my goodness — it is wonderful to be retired.
“Our French language skills are terrible, but we are working on it. So, another new challenge!”