Chernoff Newman and Byrum Innovation Group Announce Strategic Venture

November 12, 2008

Two of Southeast’s Leading Strategy Firms Join to Form Ingenia, a Strategic Solutions Group To Advance Global CEOs and Corporate Boards During Uncertain Economic, Governance Times

COLUMBIA, SC – November 12, 2008 – Two of the Southeast’s leading corporate strategy firms, Chernoff Newman and The Byrum Innovation Group, today announce formation of a strategic joint venture that is designed to help large corporate CEOs and boards of directors successfully advance their businesses – particularly during these times of economic challenge and uncertainty. 

Together, Byrum Innovation Group, known as BIG, Inc., and Chernoff Newman have formed Ingenia (, a solutions group that brings strategic counseling and vast global CEO-level and board experience to serve clients in a variety of industries.

With a legacy of gaining the trust of CEOs and Board members to create corporate success, Ingenia will be the only firm in the Southeast that fulfills strategic growth needs of large corporations by blending ingenuity and innovation to provide solutions in all areas of corporate governance, marketing, investor relations, and operations. Ingenia, supported by extensive Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 business-to-business (B2B) corporate experience, will target large Southeastern corporations that have national and global footprints for their services and products. Ingenia will bolster its strategic capabilities with the heft of financialists, management consultants, and operations counsel with rich corporate experience.

Ingenia’s  strategic consultants will include W. Lee Bussell, chairman and CEO of Chernoff Newman; Kristie Bohm Byrum, president and CEO of the Byrum Innovation Group; Reed Bolton Byrum, chair of the Byrum Innovation Group; David Anderson, vice chair of Chernoff Newman; David Campbell, president and chief operating officer of Chernoff Newman; Larry Jones, executive vice president of Chernoff Newman; Rick Silver, vice chairman of Chernoff Newman; and Peter Wertimer, divisional president of Chernoff Newman.

“Ingenia brings sensitive, effective solutions to CEOs and boards who want to get corporations back in control during today’s economic tumult,” said W. Lee Bussell, strategic consultant for Ingenia and chairman and CEO of Chernoff Newman. “We unite experts from multiple disciplines such as marketing, governance, sales and operations to affect the right customized solutions for each corporation.”

“Ingenia’s primary goal will be to deliver the stability and understanding CEOs and Boards require for great leadership, good governance and a prosperous outlook,” Ingenia strategic consultant Reed Bolton Byrum, chair of The Byrum Innovation Group, said. “Corporate leaders are yearning for this blend of ingenuity and action to accelerate their businesses back into pre-recession success.”

Specializing in corporate risk, issues and reputation management, Ingenia will focus on industries like healthcare, energy, technology, telecommunications, travel and tourism, real estate and manufacturing. Reflecting its extensive Silicon Valley experience, Ingenia technology verticals will include biomedical, cleantech, alternative fuels, advanced materials and nanotechnology.

Ingenia will work with regional and national companies to address common challenges facing CEOs and boards, including:

• Threats from competition in the marketplace or declining acceptance – and revenues – by B2B clients or business to consumer (B2C) customers;

• Intimidation by possible changes in governance, by misunderstanding among media and analysts, and by boisterous stakeholders;

• Uncertainty and misapprehension by clients and customers about innovations or new technologies and products; and,

• Confusion among internal audiences about corporate direction, fears about the future or the unsettling nature of instability.

Ingenia will advance global corporations who want to rise to the next step of revenues and reputation – or who simply want to take steps to mold a new path to corporate success. Using a proprietary matrix of research methodologies, Ingenia will customize singular solutions for each client through its distinctive Analyze/Advise/Act algorithm for success.

With primary offices in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston, S.C. and Orlando, Fla., Ingenia blends two distinguished firms that counsel global companies across the region and the nation.  Ingenia’s partners will continue to lead their respective companies and oversee day-to-day client operations at each office. 

To meet the client demands, Jones will relocate from Charleston to Greenville to lead the Ingenia national marketing effort along with Kristie Bohm Byrum. He will continue to market Chernoff Newman’s integrated marketing services from the Upstate.

Apart from their Ingenia joint venture, Chernoff Newman and The Byrum Innovation Group will continue to conduct business activities and to serve clients under their own, separate brands. Current business relationships will not be affected by the creation of Ingenia.


About Ingenia

Ingenia brings innovative, ingenious solutions to advance global CEOs and boards of directors, who want their corporations to rise to the next step of revenues and reputation – or who simply want them to take steps to mold a new path to corporate success. Using a proprietary matrix of research methodologies, Ingenia customizes singular solutions for each client to provide effective solutions across multiple disciplines, including marketing, governance, sales, investor relations, and operations.

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