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Goldman Sachs 10KSB Dallas Alums Take Top Advertising Honors

This article appeared in an April 2017 issue of the student newsletter.

By Cesar Canizales

1820 Productions, a Dallas-based advertising agency whose executive producer graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and The Pillow Bar, 1820 Productions' client, recently won a Gold ADDY award, one of the advertising industry's most highly-coveted honors, for a local television ad. The Pillow Bar's president, also an executive producer for the spot, is a graduate of the 10KSB program as well.

The winning TV spot that 1820 Productions created was selected over more than 40,000 entries submitted to the American Advertising Federation; it beat much larger advertising agencies, including some of the top agencies and organizations in the country.

Sara Madsen Miller, who produced the spot and who graduated from cohort 1 of the 10,000 Small Businesses program, met Merrimac Dillon, The Pillow Bar's president, while attending the Dallas 10KSB program in 2014.

The 10,000 Small Businesses program, a nationwide initiative by Goldman Sachs that teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses, is offered in partnership with the Dallas County Community College District.

Gold ADDY is a "first"

"We're very excited about the award," said Miller, whose husband, Korey, directed the spot. "Our goal, as a production company, is to increase the brand. That's what it's all about. We helped the brand move the needle and helped them (The Pillow Bar) get a return on their business. The added benefit is winning the Gold ADDY, which is really hard to do."

"I'm not an outdoorsman, but for me, winning the Gold ADDY is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest because it's a very difficult award to win," said Korey Miller. "The overwhelming feeling of accomplishing something like this, particularly when you're a smaller firm going up against large agencies in Dallas, is incredible."

Korey Miller added that Dillon hired 1820 Productions because she wanted a highly- creative agency that could elevate her brand.

Dillon said the award proves that the creative talent at 1820 Productions is "amazing" and added that she already is seeing positive results. "We're elated," Dillon said about the award. "They succeeded in creating an ad that won an award, but the ad succeeded in increasing our business. Those things make it a winner."

The award-winning spot can be seen on 1820 Productions' website:

A reason to celebrate

More than 500 people attended the awards ceremony, which was held in February at the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, according to Sara Miller. She added that 1820 Productions' winning spot will go to the regional competition; from there, it could challenge other entries at the national level.

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program was brought to Dallas by Dr. Joe May, DCCCD's chancellor.

Program participants learn financing, marketing, negotiating and leadership skills. In addition, some business owners learn how they can access loans and capital that may not be available to them through traditional channels.

Applicants must be owners or co-owners of a business that has operated for at least two years; have at least $150,000 in revenue; and must employ a minimum of four people. Program participants attend an orientation followed by 10 classes and five clinics. They also attend networking events and develop a growth plan for their companies. Classes are taught at DCCCD's Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development near downtown Dallas.

To contact Korey or Sara Miller at 1820 Productions, call (972) 869-7777. To contact Merrimac Dillon at The Pillow Bar, call (214) 939-3696. For more information about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at DCCCD, contact Cristin Thomas at