Cherry Tree advises Geo-Comm, Inc. in partnership with Granite Equity
Granite Equity announced an investment in and partnership with GeoComm, Inc. As part of the transaction, Granite Equity purchased stock from and exchanged units for stock with the retiring founder to become GeoComm’s majority owner. Granite Equity also invested cash to fuel the company’s continued growth and geographic expansion.
GeoComm was founded in 1995 by Tom Grones to provide county governments with turnkey emergency 911 development services. Trained as a paramedic and having led the Stearns County emergency services department, Grones was driven “to help people in their time of greatest need”, and he imagined better systems for emergency response. Over the subsequent eighteen years, under Grones’s leadership as CEO, the company has grown to serve more than 12,000 dispatchers in 800 emergency 911 call centers in the United States, helping to keep more than 84 million people safe. Today, GeoComm has a national reputation as a leading provider of geographic information and communication systems. The company’s systems route emergency calls to the appropriate call center, map the caller’s location on a dispatcher’s map, and guide emergency responders to the accident on mobile displays within police, fire, and ambulance vehicles.
Seeking to retire from their daily operating roles, Tom and his wife Janet Grones, the Vice President of Operations, led the company through a review over the past year of succession alternatives. In reflecting on their choice, Tom said: “Granite Equity is the ideal partner to govern the company for future generations given their long-term ownership horizon, strong talent network, commitment to employees and customers, and engagement in the community. Janet and I look forward to transitioning to board roles and continuing on as owners of the company over the next decade.”
As part of the partnering process, Granite Equity assisted Tom and Janet in searching for, evaluating, and selecting successors for each of their operating roles. Both successors will be announced and begin employment in early June. These new managers will join a tenured group of mid-career professionals to form the next generation management team.
Rick Bauerly, Managing Partner of Granite Equity, and Bob White, a Director for Granite Equity, have joined Tom and Janet on the company’s board of directors, along with Paul Linnee, a nationally-known industry veteran who was previously responsible for managing the 911 emergency communication center for the City of Minneapolis. Commenting on Granite’s investment, Bauerly said: “We believe in the mission of GeoComm and we are impressed with the culture, team, brand and market position that Tom and Janet have built. We are honored that they have entrusted their legacy to Granite Equity. As the nation’s 911 emergency management systems migrate to digital networks and next generation solutions across the next decade, we will sustain the Grones’s legacy and grow the company’s mission of keeping people safe.”.
GeoComm, headquartered in St. Cloud Minnesota, provides geographic information and communication systems to 911 emergency call centers across the United States, with a mission of keeping people safe. For a company profile, see www.Geo-Comm.com.
About Granite Equity
Granite Equity, headquartered in St. Cloud Minnesota, invests in, governs and grows great companies in order to enhance the vitality and prosperity of communities in Greater Minnesota. For a company profile, see www.GraniteEquity.com.