Building a Business
From the Basement Up!
As all great leaders seem to do, Luke Sklar started Sklar Wilton & Associates (SW&A) in his basement. It was 1986 and despite building a successful career in marketing and advertising, Luke’s entrepreneurial spirit yearned for more. He wanted to create a company that truly made an impact on client performance and could help iconic brands grow and stand the test of time.
Onwards and Upwards
For almost four decades, we’ve had the honour of working alongside iconic brands, helping to solve their toughest business challenges and unlock growth. Today, we are a team of 45+ led by six Partners: Charlie Wilton, Jennifer Marley, Sarah Liverance, Manoj Raheja, Sarah Major, and Debra Kavchak Taylor. As our team continues to grow, one thing will never change - our deep passion for helping others succeed. It is still as strong and as relevant today as it was in 1986.
A New Way of Working
The foundation of SW&A was Luke’s passion to build a different kind of ‘agency.’ One that focussed on nurturing long-term relationships with clients, working as trusted advisors versus the typical project-to-project business model most firms followed at the time. Luke believed this format was a win-win solution for both employees and clients, allowing teams to intimately understand their client’s business and make a real difference. While not everyone agreed that Luke’s concept would work he quickly proved them wrong, amassing a loyal client base that became a springboard for ongoing growth.
And Then There Were Two
In 1991, Luke invited Charlie Wilton to join him as Partner. The pair offered the perfect mix of yin and yang, merging energy and passion with calm and wisdom. Together, they created the foundation for The Sklar Wilton Way, a unique approach that brought clarity to tough business challenges by leveraging data to develop insights that drove impactful action plans.
A Great Place to Be
In addition to creating a new business model for its clients, Sklar Wilton was determined to deliver a new work experience for its employees. Woven into the DNA and nurtured over time was a unique company culture rooted in a genuine respect and admiration for its people and a commitment to learning, growing, and having fun. Today, this special and award-winning culture is what draws new employees to us and retains existing team members.
Growing the Team
Over the next 27 years, Luke and Charlie grew the business to 32 employees and invited 3 additional partners to join who shared their values: Jennifer Marley, Sarah Liverance, and Manoj Raheja. Together, they created a partnership unique in the business world: one where all points of view were heard, all ideas listened to, and consensus always reached.
The Legacy of Luke
In 2015, Luke was diagnosed with severe depression. After a three-year struggle, we lost Luke to suicide. He may be gone but our memories remain, and his legacy continues through his loving family, the robust company he built, and the Headway movement we launched in his memory.