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Source: North 40 news release

Dick Damrow has purchased a significant equity position in North 40, according to the outsource creative and design firm.

Damrow, founder of Contract Marketing Resources and a 30-year advertising agency veteran, will help position North 40 as an outsource partner for both in-house marketing departments and advertising agencies. Co-founders Gerard Estella and Jake Vande Weerd will continue to collaborate on event marketing and creative services.

North 40 is also moving to renovated offices on the third floor of Professional Park East, 119 Third Street NE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401. The phone number remains the same:

"The North 40 talent pool creates everything from logos and package design to trade show exhibits and corporate theater," according to Damrow. These are capabilities most traditional advertising agencies and in-house marketing departments cannot afford to staff on a full-time basis. We also predict a growing demand for Internet-delivered video content and podcasting to replace traditional media delivery," Damrow added.

Initially, North 40 will employ nine associates in its new offices, which include a complete composing and editing suite and full recording capabilities. Expansion space will allow employment to double by 2010.

The move was precipitated by a strategic plan that positions the firm as a "creative outhouse" for in-house marketing departments who believe in creative leverage.

"We are not an agency," according to Director of Creative Vision, Jake Vande Weerd. "But you can't define who you are by what you are not. Our collaborative style makes us a good fit for both in-house marketing departments as well as advertising agencies."

An ad veteran himself, Vande Weerd has two decades of agency experience, including a number of years at CMF&Z, a Young & Rubicam company.

"You have to have a sense of humor to be in a creative business," adds Gerard Estella, Director of Creative Experience. "We have nothing against traditional media − but we plan to position ourselves for the migration to experiential marketing − with a unique combination of events, entertainment, and emotion. Since so much marketing and creative work is done in-house, we decided to create a new category: the creative outhouse."

A musician, composer and producer, Estella has worked with artists like Sting, Phil Collins, and Jo Dee Messina. He has composed for film, TV and stage.

Muna Matthews will also take an equity position in North 40 as Director of Creative Content. Prior to agency copywriter positions, Matthews was a writer and designer for an in-house marketing group of a major natural foods company and brings a unique understanding of in-house department needs.

North 40 co-founder Dave Benson, who previously owned and operated Benson Color-Tech, a digital image processing and asset management company, will retain an active role in the company.

Damrow will continue as Managing Member of Contract Marketing Resources, LLC, a Cedar Rapids based general contractor of marketing services with clients in six states. North 40 will become a resource partner for Contract Marketing Resources clients

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