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zenogroup.com

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About Zeno

Zeno is an integrated communications agency, born from PR.

Headquarters Location

140 Broadway 39th Floor

New York, New York, 10005,

United States

212-299-8888

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Latest Zeno News

McClellan: Champion for homeless in Soulard is ready for next chapter

Jan 21, 2023

A homeless man waits for the door to be answered at an emergency shelter for men at Peter and Paul Community Services in 2013. For decades the 60-bed shelter has been tucked underneath the sanctuary of Sts. Photo by Robert Cohen, Post-Dispatch Robert Burnham grew up in a small town in Vermont during the Great Depression. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1940 and served with distinction as a bombardier-navigator during the Second World War and then again in Korea. He returned to his hometown on leave and married a woman 13 years his junior. He was 32; she was 19. Her name was Ann. She had nine children in very quick succession. In fact, at one point, she and Robert had nine children under the age of 10. With no multiple births. Robert was assigned to the Strategic Air Command, the fixed-wing component of our nuclear arsenal. He retired from the Air Force in 1964 and moved to St. Louis to work for the Aeronautical Chart and Information Agency, which eventually became the Defense Mapping Agency and is now the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency. The family lived in South County. The fifth child of this family — Tom — was 9 years old when the family moved here. As middle child, he considered himself the family diplomat, able to bridge the differences between his older and younger siblings. People are also reading… Tom thought about becoming a writer. In fact, he did become a writer. After a short stint in college, he worked as a deck hand on a tugboat. Up and down the river he went. He spent a lot of time reading and writing. He was not alone. “Every boat had a scribbler,” he remembers. Eventually, Tom gathered all his writings and burned them. He had read something from a German philosopher, Rainer Maria Rilke, who made the argument that poetry is not about feelings, but about experiences. Tom had written about feelings. He did not have much time to straighten out his writing philosophy on the river because the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. That led Jimmy Carter to embargo the grain that was supposed to go to Russia. That decimated the towing industry. Tom was a scribbler out of work. He hung wallpaper. He got a job at Library Limited, a bookstore in Clayton. He got an office job for a contractor. Mostly, though, he lived in Soulard. Soulard was already hip, but not yet fashionable. “It was a Jack Kerouac novel, a Charles Bukowski poem and a Tom Waits song,” said Tom. One of the leading characters in Soulard was Zeno, who looked something like Santa Claus, and had a hip and mysterious vibe. His pockets were always a-jingle with the strangest stuff — bits of jewelry, odd coins, poker chips with strange markings. Zeno and a couple of friends established the Soulard Culture Squad, which organized poetry readings in the saloons. Sometimes 30 people would read. Tom was clearly a literary type, and Zeno challenged him to bring a poem to a reading. Tom accepted that challenge and wrote something. He was thinking in terms of Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl,” and he wrote how the Lost Generation led to the Beat Generation and now here we are in Soulard. Something like that. Kindred spirits. A rant, Tom calls it now. After his reading, a man came up to him and said, “You have the right attitude to volunteer at the homeless shelter.” That man was Richard Neitzel, and he was the associate pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and the director of the homeless shelter in the basement of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church. The homeless services industry at that time was not yet an industry. The city didn’t have anything to do with the problem of homeless people, and wouldn’t until 1985 when Legal Services of Eastern Missouri filed a class-action lawsuit against the city — Graham vs. Schoemehl — that ended in a consent degree in which the city accepted some responsibility for the problem. In the days before officialdom became involved, services for the homeless were wild and unregulated. The Rev. Larry Rice ran New Life Evangelistic Center downtown and organized sleep-ins in the park in front of City Hall. He called those temporary encampments Schoemehlvilles, after Mayor Vincent Schoemehl. The Rev. Dan Tobey, a rough and tumble ex-drinker, ran Someone Cares Mission on the near north side. Asked by Post-Dispatch reporter John Michael McGuire if he ever missed drinking, Tobey confided that he sometimes missed the camaraderie of alley-drinking. McGuire said he understood completely. The shelter in the basement of Peter and Paul had been established by three churches — Peter and Paul, Trinity Lutheran and St. Vincent DePaul — after a homeless person froze to death on a street in Soulard in 1981. At Neitzel’s suggestion, Tom volunteered. “It was absolute bedlam,” Tom said. “Men, women, kids. We just opened the door and let people in. I loved it.” Nobody got paid. Most volunteers worked one night every other week. Tom, whose apartment was only a block away, started showing up almost every night. In fact, when he wouldn’t show up, somebody would call him. “Where are you, Tom?” By 1986, he was on the payroll. His middle-child diplomatic skills stood him in good stead not only inside the shelter, but also in the neighborhood. As Soulard became fashionable and property values rose, there were people who wondered about a homeless shelter in the heart of the neighborhood. Tom went to neighborhood meetings, listened to people’s concerns and worked with them. Over the years, service to the homeless changed. Of course, there is still a need for shelter, especially in the winter, but there is now a focus on providing services that help people get off the street and live independently. Agencies work together in what is called the St. Louis Continuum of Care. Peter and Paul Community Services, led by Steve Campbell, is a big player in the coordinated effort, which is, by the way, a public-private partnership. For instance, the city’s shelter for men, the Biddle House, is staffed and managed by Peter and Paul Community Services. The shelter in the basement of Peter and Paul has changed, too. Walk-ins are no longer accepted. A referral from the Continuum is necessary. And, of course, the wild west aspect is gone. Rice’s shelter was shut down years ago. Tobey, perhaps suspecting that the 21st century would not be to his liking, died in 1999 and was buried with a rose in one hand a a pack of cigarettes in the other. Now Burnham is retiring. He has not been running the shelter for a while. His official title at Peter and Paul Community Services has been community relations officer, but Campbell hung a different sign on Burnham’s door — Guru. What will the guru do in his retirement? He will take up scribbling again. Actually, he never stopped. He has compiled a collection of short stories, character sketches, anecdotes. He writes with understanding and respect of the people he has met. Postcards from the Edge. Too bad that title has been taken. He will have to come up with another. Winter weather can bring cold temperatures, power failure, loss of communication services, and slick, icy roads. These are a few tips that can keep you safe.

Zeno Acquisitions

1 Acquisition

Zeno acquired 1 company. Their latest acquisition was 3 Monkeys Communications on February 03, 2016.

Date

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation
Valuations are submitted by companies, mined from state filings or news, provided by VentureSource, or based on a comparables valuation model.

Total Funding

Note

Sources

2/3/2016

$99M

Acquired

1

Date

2/3/2016

Investment Stage

Companies

Valuation

$99M

Total Funding

Note

Acquired

Sources

1

Zeno Partners & Customers

5 Partners and customers

Zeno has 5 strategic partners and customers. Zeno recently partnered with Neato Robotics on May 5, 2020.

Date

Type

Business Partner

Country

News Snippet

Sources

5/12/2020

Client

United States

Zeno named global AOR for robotic vacuum maker Neato

Neither Neato Robotics nor Zeno would detail initiatives or activations they are collaborating on , but both said the firm is helping Neato Robotics develop an integrated campaign .

1

3/5/2018

Client

United States

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10

10/5/2016

Client

United States

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10

6/24/2016

Partner

United States

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10

1/17/2011

Client

United States

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10

Date

5/12/2020

3/5/2018

10/5/2016

6/24/2016

1/17/2011

Type

Client

Client

Client

Partner

Client

Business Partner

Country

United States

United States

United States

United States

United States

News Snippet

Zeno named global AOR for robotic vacuum maker Neato

Neither Neato Robotics nor Zeno would detail initiatives or activations they are collaborating on , but both said the firm is helping Neato Robotics develop an integrated campaign .

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Sources

1

10

10

10

10

Zeno Team

1 Team Member

Zeno has 1 team member, including former Executive Vice President, Mark G. O'Connor.

Name

Work History

Title

Status

Mark G. O'Connor

Executive Vice President

Former

Name

Mark G. O'Connor

Work History

Title

Executive Vice President

Status

Former

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