Troy Lerner

CEO
Booyah Advertising

Location: Denver, CO
Founded: 2001
Industry: Advertising

The strongest and most sustainable actions in the workplace are driven by self-interest, not sacrifice, Booyah Advertising CEO Troy Lerner said.

“Why should you bust your butt one weekend on a project while your co-worker vacations? Because you plan to vacation with your family and need someone you trust to cover for you,” Lerner said. “Also, it’s rewarding (selfishly so) to work with people that bust their butts and give more to get more. Why should you take time out of your day to teach someone everything you know about how best to complete the task? Because now someone else can complete it. For you. And, you’ve just created a grateful fan that will surely remember (and repay) your kindness.”

Booyah Advertising is a digital marketing agency based in Denver. It partners with companies who believe in using digital to drive their business forward. The company’s service offerings include Paid Search Advertising, Paid Social Advertising, Display and Video Advertising, Amazon Advertising, SEO, Content Marketing and Creative. The company manages more than $100 million in media each year, and its clients include Western Union, Unilever, Dish, Discover Card and Aspen Skiing Company, among others.

Booyah took off under Lerner’s leadership and was named by Inc. as the No. 1 fastest-growing agency in the country. He grew the agency from a handful of employees to around 50 when, in 2018, he bought the agency himself. In the intervening years, Booyah has enjoyed impressive milestones and endured significant challenges (including large client losses and an unprecedented global pandemic). Lerner’s leadership has enabled the agency to weather these storms, driving sustained growth in recent years, with the company’s headcount rising to 110 in 2021 and plans to add another 40 to the staff by the end of 2022.

“Troy is a natural entrepreneur with excellent foresight; he seizes opportunities and runs with them,” his team said. “He does this, however, not with a mindset centered on how the opportunity can benefit him, but instead with a vision to create new opportunities, growth, and fulfillment for those around him.”

The vision for Booyah is to grow for stability, not profit maximization. Scaling the agency and working through the industry’s changes and challenges is exciting, but doing it in a way that keeps people at the center is the priority, the company said. “We want to be able to help our employees find fulfillment and build careers and lives through their work at Booyah. Growing methodically and stably is key to achieving that end. Over the next five years, this commitment to people over profit will continue to be validated as Booyah wins subsequent workplace culture awards and gains national recognition for being one of the best places to start and build a career in digital marketing.”

Under Lerner’s leadership, Booyah has won best workplace awards from the Denver Post, Ad Age and Outside magazine. Lerner is most proud of his 2020 Denver Post Small Business Leader Award, which honored his leadership based on feedback from his staff.

“This award is a testament to Troy that he is prioritizing the right things and that his approach to put people first is the right one,” his team said. “Born and raised in Denver, Troy felt it was extra special to earn this accolade from his hometown newspaper and to have his family and friends read about this achievement in their morning editions.”

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"Troy is a natural entrepreneur with excellent foresight; "he seizes opportunities and runs with them," his team said. "He does this, however, not with a mindset centered on how the opportunity can benefit him, but instead with a vision to create new opportunities, growth, and fulfillment for those around him.""

Troy says: