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

posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 in Blog

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.