By James Forrest

At the Forrest Firm, we have the pleasure of working with a great client roster filled with a healthy mix of startups and mature businesses.  In the recently-launched Salektiv, an artist management and multi-media production company based in Morrisville, we have both.  Let me explain.

SalektivSalektiv started as a hobby project of Donald Thompson, CEO of IT solutions firm (and Forrest Firm client) I-Cubed. In late 2011, author and actress Stacey Halprin approached Thompson, asking him to manage the revival of her entertainment career, based on his success managing successful teams at I-Cubed. Thompson thought the work sounded fun, said yes, and brought in his executive assistant, Jackie Ferguson to run projects, and Salektiv was born in 2012.

In two short years, the company has grown into a thriving agency, with a diverse client roster that spans the worlds of film, music, and comedy.  Salektiv’s artists include rock acts like Jason Martin and Unifier, as well as inspirational from the Dixon Brothers. Julia McClung, a comedian based in the Triangle, is making her national debut this year, performing in Las Vegas. Salektiv recently signed writer/director J.M. Stelly, who has worked on multiple music videos for internationally recognized bands and on blockbuster movie productions.  Ferguson says that the company chooses its clients based on their stories and drive for success. The team at Salektiv works with each prospective client to understand why they entered the entertainment world and the precise results they want to see in their careers. Once a good fit is determined, Ferguson says that each client becomes less part of a business and more part of a nurturing family.

As the artist roster has grown, so, too has Salektiv. Joining Thompson and Ferguson are Phil Chamberlain, the company’s director of marketing and artist management, David Pratt, in digital production, Kerry Ferguson, director of talent management, and Lisa Parkinson in creative services. Salektiv’s staff also features specialists in photography, videography, graphic design, and sound recording.

According to Julia McClung, it’s Thompson’s business approach that motivated her to choose Salektiv as her management company and has led to Salektiv’s quick rise in the entertainment world. “(Don) built a business that I respect in a way that I respect, and because of that history I trust him. If they approach this endeavor in the same way they did I-Cubed, it seems like a really good bet for me.” Ferguson adds, “For Don, it’s about ideas. His philosophy is about setting the organization up for success through the best ideas winning.  That means you have to have a flat, horizontal organization where every employee feels empowered to bring their best ideas to the table every day.  He’s done it for years at I-Cubed, and that success formula is paying dividends again at Salektiv.”

I know first-hand from working with Don Thompson that he is in a class of his own when it comes to building high-performing teams. As Jackie Ferguson confirmed in our recent conversation, Thompson has been particularly attentive to the latest generation to enter the workforce, millenials, taking a number of interns all the way to leadership positions at I-Cubed over the last decade.

There’s no doubt that Salektiv’s fast-track success is due to the leadership team’s efforts.  Thompson is a student of successful people, always learning about what makes them tick and how they can fit into situations and environments to achieve greater success. In this regard, whether it’s an engineering solutions firm or a talent management agency, organizational and industry fit are the common denominators.

To learn more about this hot new Triangle artist management and production company, visit their website at and CEO Donald Thompson’s website at  The company is also active on Facebook and Twitter.

The Forrest Firm wishes Salektiv and its artists continued success in 2014 and beyond.