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Tag Archives: Dee Vandeventer

Alliance & Chamber Investors/Leaders Expand Market Reach with Recent Acquisition & Merger

ME&V has announced it is merging with Cedar Rapids advertising agency Henry Russell Bruce (HRB) as of April 1. The new organization’s name is “AMPERAGE.” The branding line for the new entity is “Move the Needle.”

The merger of two of Iowa’s top agencies will broaden the scope of services and expand areas of expertise. Founding partner and former Alliance & Chamber board member Dee Vandeventer will retire as partner, but will remain on staff working full-time in the area she is most passionate about—fundraising. ME&V partner Brian Earnest will serve as president of the new company.

“We’ll be hiring,” said Earnest in a Corridor Business Journal interview. “We are positioned for growth and we plan to merge with two more agencies in order to accelerate growth and enhance our capabilities.”

Local start up, Banno, a developer of banking technology, has been acquired by Jack Henry & Associates (OTC: JKHY). According to JKHY, The deal follows a July 2013 partnership in which Jack Henry’s ProfitStars division sold Banno’s Grip mobile application under the name Andiamo, according to the release. The deal brings another S&P 500 operation to the Cedar Valley.

Banno Chief Executive and Alliance & Chamber board member Wade Arnold, says operations and management teams will continue working out of the company’s locations in Cedar Falls and Des Moines.

Founded in 2008, Banno serves more than 375 financial institutions. The company’s other core services include a targeted online advertising platform and a responsive-website design and development tool. It was named one of American Banker‘s “Top 10 Tech Companies to Watch for 2012.”

 

These two announcements are excellent examples of the deepth and breadth of Cedar Valley startup  and entrepreneurial community.

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ADVERTISING AGENCIES HRB AND ME&V ANNOUNCE MERGER New corporate name is AMPERAGE

Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls, March 3, 2014—Henry Russell Bruce (HRB) and ME&V Advertising + Consulting today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge two of Iowa’s top advertising agencies on April 1. The merger will create a combined company of more than 50 people with offices in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Bettendorf, Iowa.

Joining the firms brings together Jim Thebeau, CEO at HRB and Steve Erickson, President and Executive Creative Director at HRB, with Bryan Earnest, ME&V Partner and President, Jim Infelt, ME&V Partner and Creative Director, and Mark Mathis III, ME&V Partner and Director of Cool.  Dee Vandeventer, ME&V Partner and Director of Operations and Fundraising, will retire as a partner and continue working as a fundraising advisor for the new organization.

“Business is moving toward more integrated marketing and communications,” said Earnest, who will serve as president of the new company. “This merger empowers us to better execute traditional and digital communications with clients who need deep expertise and expanded bandwidth to stay competitive in this cluttered marketplace. It also allows us to target prospects outside our current markets.”

The alliance will create one of the largest advertising agencies in Eastern Iowa and the largest fundraising-consulting firms in the state with more than $100 million raised for nonprofits (including the recent Cedar Rapids Library 3.0 campaign) over the last 15 years.

“This alliance allows us to leverage skills and talent in ways that will greatly benefit our clients,” said Thebeau, who will serve as chairman of the board for the new company. “Key strategic benefits of the merger include accelerated technology and new media integration, increased content development and deployment, and video in cross-platform applications.”

On April 1, 2014, the merger will take place. The new company will not retain either of the existing names.  The new organization’s name is “AMPERAGE.” The branding line for the new entity is “Move the Needle.”

“Our new name represents the cross-platform strength of signal or message for any business or organization.  We want to forge a powerful connection for clients to energize business growth,” said Mathis. “Today there is no middle ground—you’re either moving the needle or you’re not.”

This alliance of the two well-known agencies brings together high-end strategic marketing, design, video production, crisis communications, research, brand development, public relations, social media, APP development, website building and consulting, search engine optimization, and capital campaign fundraising consulting all under one company banner.

“Our shared vision for AMPERAGE is the need to discover the connection between our clients and their audiences, then, what motivates them in ways that can be measured,” said Erickson.

Even though a major benefit of merging is economies of scale, the new company is positioning for growth and future expansion.

“We are not planning any down-sizing due to the merger. In fact, if anything, we’ll be hiring,” said Earnest. “We are positioned for growth and we plan to merge with two more agencies in order to accelerate growth and enhance our capabilities.”

According to Infelt, “Marketing is changing so much that new-age agencies need to be able to integrate messaging on all platforms from television to smartphones.  If you want to see results, you need to embrace all media and consider your brand and content across all platforms.”

For more details about the new company formed by the merger, or to hire us, visit www.AmperageMarketing.com or call 800-728-2656.

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Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber Elects Leadership

The CEO of one of the largest locally owned firms was elected to lead the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber during its annual meeting held July 16 at the Park Place Event Center.

Tom Penaluna, CEO of The CBE Companies will chair the regional economic and community development organization through its 2014 fiscal year. Penaluna has been a board member of the Alliance & Chamber since 2008, and also was a board member of its predecessor organizations. He completed a term as chair of the affiliated Waterloo Industrial Development Association, and most recently served as vice chair of the Alliance & Chamber. Tom has asserted his leadership in the critical business – education transformation discussion by championing the Leader Valley and Leader in Me initiatives of the Alliance & Chamber. Penaluna also serves on the board of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress.

Other officers elected to leading the organization with Penaluna are: Vice Chair -Steve Tscherter, CEO, Lincoln Savings Bank; Treasurer-David Braton, Publisher, The Courier; and Past Chair, Kris Hansen, CEO, Western Home Communities. Steve Dust is president & CEO of the Alliance & Chamber.

The officers are joined by Rich Czarnecki, John Deere Global Director – Large Tractors; TechWorks Campus chair and former mayor Tim Hurley; and Chamber Council Chair Stacy Bentley, President – Community National Bank to form the Alliance & Chamber’s Executive Committee.

Kate Washut, partner, Far Reach, and Steen Hansen, CEO, Bossard North America were elected to the group which represents a broad spectrum of region-wide business, institutional, and local government interests. Sue Armbrecht, President – MidWestOne Bank Cedar Valley, and Chris Fereday, President – PDCM Insurance were re-elected to the board.

Washut and Hansen take the seats formerly occupied by retiring board members Dee Vandeventer, ME&V, and local attorney Hugh Field, partner in the Beecher Law Firm. “Dee and Hugh have been a part of the Alliance &Chamber leadership since its creation. The progress we’ve made in creating and delivering on the vision of a more vital, Cedar Valley economy is due in large part to the persistence and vision of business and civic leaders like Dee and Hugh,” said Dust.

Dust continues, ”Steen and Kate join others on our board who represent yet the next generation of leadership in our economy – businesses that located or started – but intending to grow – in the Cedar Valley of Iowa. They are the voices who need to chart the path for our economy moving forward,” concludes Dust.

Be part of something greater - The Cedar Valley of Iowa

The Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber is a regional economic community development corporation working to increase economic vitality and wealth in the Waterloo / Cedar Falls area and surrounding economic region. The Alliance & Chamber has approximately 800 members that represents over 40,000 employees