Graduate Story: Ted Kohnen '00, Park & Battery

Ted Kohnen poses

"A Dickinson education helped give me the awareness to ask the questions that needed to be asked in business."

―Ted Kohnen '00

As the CEO of global advertising agency Park & Battery, Ted Kohnen '00 helps companies share their stories. Under his tutelage, the agency has been named a 2023 Agency of the Year and is listed among the Chief Marketer 200, the industry’s only comprehensive list of the best brand engagement and activation agencies. P&B is also ranked among the five fastest-growing U.S. marketing agencies.
Tell us a little about your position.
Alongside our global team, I work with companies—from hyper-growth start-ups and global enterprises alike—to activate their brands. I help them tell their stories in meaningful and compelling ways to their most important audiences in order to accelerate awareness, interest and action. You have probably seen a lot of our work on Hulu, experienced it online or heard it on Spotify. I’ve worked with organizations such as Boeing, Columbia University, HP Enterprise, Meta, Oracle, UBS, U.S. Department of State, Weight Watchers and Western Union.
I’m also part of the Oakland Roots professional men’s soccer team ownership group, which includes the Oakland Soul (women’s team) and Project510 (developmental team). I became an owner earlier this year after being introduced to the team by fellow team owner and Dickinson alum George McLaughlin ’92.
What was your Dickinson experience like?
I have so many positive memories of Dickinson, it’s hard to know where to begin. Certainly, being a member of the cross country and track & field teams was like having a second family. The friendships I started at Dickinson continue to be an important part of my life. And, especially, because I met my wife at Dickinson (Dervla Kelly ’02) running cross country. Academically, I was one of the early international business & management majors at Dickinson. I loved the diverse curriculum that included economics, language, business management and more.  
How did Dickinson help prepare you for where you are today?
Whenever I’m asked about Dickinson and the benefits of a liberal arts education, I say, “Dickinson taught me how to think.” A Dickinson education was about learning a way of looking at any subject through a thoughtful, global and multidimensional lens. A Dickinson education helped give me the awareness to ask the questions that needed to be asked in business—to challenge the way things were always done and bring different perspectives to a discussion. So much of advertising is subjective and success is ultimately driven by the ability to harness different perspectives.

Published January 12, 2024