Saying Farewell to Two Founders as a New Chapter Begins

Spry Digital // News
Original Spry Digital Co-Founders Sheila Burkett, Julia Koelsch and Ken Moire

In thirteen years, Spry Digital has seen its share of growth and change. In our space, technology moves fast, and keeping up with change is the name of the game. In that spirit of change, we have some exciting and bittersweet news. Two of our founding partners, Ken Moire and Julia Koelsch, who are also partners in life, are embarking on a new adventure. While this announcement may seem sudden, it is part of a strategic transition that has been in the works for some time.

Ken, our Chief Strategy Officer, and Julia, our Chief Purpose Officer, started Spry Digital with our CEO Sheila Burkett guided by a shared vision of a multidiscipline approach to digital and an inclusive culture (a fourth co-founder, Stacey Lindgren, left the company in 2013). They are the architects of the success that is Spry Digital today. If you have been following us at all, you know that Ken and Julia infused Spry Digital with a sense of purpose and passion that carries through everything we do today.

By all accounts, the formula has been a success. Spry Digital was named an Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Company, and the #1 Healthiest Employer among small businesses in St. Louis. Spry was also recognized as a top place for women to work, earning Honoree status on the Women in the Workplace Scorecard of the Women’s Foundation of St. Louis.

Even during the pandemic, Spry's teamwork and spirit were on full display.

Over the years, you may have heard Ken when he spoke about customer experience (CX) and digital transformation at conferences or as a participant on panels at user-experience (UX) and marketing events. Likewise, Julia has been a supporter of women in technology and leadership, participating as a judge at Arch Grants and mentoring at women's hackathons and for the Drupal Association.

One of their favorite activities was engaging young scholars at the neighborhood St. Louis City Public School Hodgen Tech Academy – sharing their enthusiasm for digital and educating students on what careers in design and technology look like.

Ken and Julia will depart knowing that the business they helped create will continue with the same values and formula for success for many years to come.

Sheila Burkett, our CEO, shares her perspective:

Ken and Julia have poured their hearts and minds into Spry Digital, and their impact is immeasurable. While stepping back from the business, their influence will continue to shape our company and how we do things.

In the words of Ken:

This moment allows us to reflect on our success. Success is knowing that you can achieve many things when you put people first. We are thankful and humbled by the many who showed trust and confidence in us. Our clients and team members have been along for the ride, and working closely with each of them has been a privilege. It's nothing you take for granted or will ever forget.

In discussing their future plans, Julia says:

Building Spry Digital over the past  13 years has been an incredible journey: We have learned a lot and forged relationships that we deeply value. We are excited to apply our entrepreneurial and digital experience to new ventures, but first, we plan to take a breath and a little break - spending time together to recharge. We’re incredibly proud of the impact Spry Digital has made, and we will be cheering the team on as they grow and evolve.

Part of the Spry continuum included succession planning with an employee-ownership model. This latest announcement reflects a transition of ownership that the founders had always envisioned.

Wayne Turley will continue in his role as Chief Operating Officer, steering teams to deliver value to our clients. With Ken and Julia’s departure, Wayne will increase his ownership stake in Spry Digital.

I believe in this company that Ken and Julia helped create. Our team is excited about the next chapter, and we wish Ken and Julia continued success.

Spry Digital’s growth included welcoming Beth Gunter as Chief Revenue Officer and minority owner in 2022. This addition further solidifies our commitment to success for our clients and our business. We continue providing team members ownership in the company through a vesting program that gives them non-voting membership in our LLC.

Stay tuned for more updates. The Spry Digital story continues, and we are happy to have you along for the ride. As we bid adieu to Ken and Julia, we raise a virtual glass to their boundless dedication and the bright future that awaits us all.

Cheers to the journey ahead!


For media inquiries, please contact:

Sheila Burkett