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Hy Yablonka and Tom Burr

Hy Yablonka.jpg
Hy Yablonka

Tom Burr.jpg
Tom Burr

In April of 2006, I got an email from Chuck Phillips wondering if anyone knew the whereabouts of Hy Yablonka and Tom Burr, two of the founding employees of Chiat/Day. I duly posted the request on this website.

A few weeks ago, Hy's son, Mike, posted a comment on Chuck's all-points-bulletin. He said that his dad "didn't do email" but would enjoy hearing from some of the people he used to work with. So Chuck flew down to LA and now we have this breaking news. Hy and Tom have been found! Thank you so much, Chuck, for this news and the photos.

I remember Hy distinctly!

Chuck Phillips, who was, quite literally, the first employee of Chiat/Day and ultimately opened our Toronto office, has been one of THE best boosters of this site. Thank you so much, Chuck, for your support and contribution! Here's the email I just got from Chuck ...

Thanks to Hy's son Mike's recent response to my April APB on his Dad (and Tom Burr), I met Hy last week at his home in Manhattan Beach and found him as onery and quick-witted as ever. I asked him about fellow minority founder Tom Burr's whereabouts and he said he thought he had "an old phone number" but hadn't seen Tom in years. But Hy had orchestrated a surprise, because after 20 minutes of chatting in walks TOM BURR! The three of us spent the next 4-plus hours reminiscing about those earliest Olympic Boulevard days. We tossed names about I hadn't heard in years (Ken Sidley, Hal Pawluk, Steve Garey, Tom Groener, Mike Zucker, Marilee Cass, etc.) It was the first time in recent memory I had been the youngest guy in any room. Hy (who I remind you found and hired Lee Clow) retired about 12 years ago after eight years as Bozell's Executive Creative Director on Chysler in New York and Detroit. After closing his LA agency (Abert Newhoff & Burr) Tom spent the last 14 working for Hakuhodo in New York. He recently moved to Irvine and is still doing some limited consulting. Joining us by telephone from Seattle (also orchestrated by Hy) was another C/D pioneer, Roger Livingston. It was a blast. Here's a couple of snaps for your blog (which made this all possible). - chuck p.s. the guy on the other end of the phone in Burr's shot was Roger Livingston.


Hi, Chuck,

Going back to the early 70's, I remember all the players in this article. In 2008, I bumped into your former assistant during a vacation in Vancouver, B.C., and she said she would forward my regards to you. I just happened on this site and thought I'd send you a personal "hello."

Hi Hy,

This is your poor suffering production manager from the K & E Days! I've often thought of you and have fond memories working under your guise with Sarah Bates. I'll never forget the "Blah, Blah, Blah" presentation - what a hoot, the softball practice games - we faired well (I think) and the many fine Chrysler campaigns you helmed. If you are still in Manhattan Beach please get in touch, I live in Redondo, would love to hear from you.
Cheers for now!

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