LEVEL5 Shuffles Management
Current President/CEO J.F. Kassler will move to the position of chairman of the board and Chief Operating Officer Brad Eller has been named the new president/CEO. In addition, Mike Colvin, senior vice president, has been named executive vice president to reflect his expanded responsibilities.
As chairman, Kassler will focus on growth and strategic initiatives for the company. Eller will be responsible for ongoing operations and corporate planning. Colvin's expanded role includes working closely with the CEO on day-to-day operations as well as formalizing account strategies for asset clients.
John Hyche, senior vice president, principal and founding partner of LEVEL5, will continue to lead strategic consulting initiatives for its clients, and in view of current financial issues in the financial markets, will focus on expanded consulting assignments.
"LEVEL5's mission to assist financial institutions in their growth through strategic expansion is more important in today's economy than ever before," said Eller. "Financial institutions realize the need to create an environment where customers are drawn to conduct their business, and we can ensure that happens. Financial institutions that can build and maintain a strong market share in today's economy will be the industry leaders of tomorrow."
With more than 35 years of experience in financial facilities development, Kassler will continue to play an active role in guiding LEVEL5's further expansion in the financial sector. Prior to founding LEVEL5, Kassler co-founded KDA Inc. in 1982. In addition to LEVEL5's recent ranking as the 51st fastest growing private company on Inc. magazine's 2008 Inc. 500 list, Kassler was featured in the magazine as one of five CEO's profiled in a special report about the outside interests of Inc. 500 entrepreneurs.
In his role as executive vice president, Colvin will apply his 35 years of consulting, site-selection and design-build experience with three international firms to assist Eller in managing and growing the company while consulting with LEVEL5's clients on their financial facility needs. He will focus much of his efforts on directing the company's overall business acquisition process while personally attending to asset clients.
NewGround Gets Adrenaline Boost
In a move to ramp up its retail and brand services, NewGround, an international design and implementation firm serving the financial services industry, has acquired Atlanta-based branch strategy and advertising agency Adrenaline Inc.
"Adrenaline brings to NewGround a greater depth of brand strategy and development, campaign management, marketing communications and advertising resources for our clients. In today's market, on-target brand messaging plays an integral role in customer loyalty. We're strengthening our strategic solutions in this area to benefit our clients," said NewGround President/CEO Kevin Blair.
Blair added that Adrenaline will enhance its offering of brand strategy by building on internal resources in the creation and execution of brand naming, logo and corporate identity development, and brand communication packages; creative content development, including collateral systems, point-of-sale and in-branch merchandising; Web and interactive design; and traditional creative agency services.
Adrenaline has worked closely with NewGround for more than five years.
"We are very excited to formally align ourselves with NewGround," said Douglas E. Strickler, president/CEO of Adrenaline. "Both companies share the belief that 21st century retail is about engaging customers in meaningful and relevant ways, which result in increased sales and greater customer loyalty. I believe this alignment will launch us further in the market and open up new opportunities we couldn't have achieved by remaining independent. Today, we now have more than 200 people supporting our strategic and creative efforts in six offices in North America. That's pretty cool."
As part of the move, the Adrenaline creative talents of Strickler, Gina Bleedorn, Courtney Flanegan and Gisella Klekamp will be part of the St. Louis-based design-build family.
"Our alignment is a natural fit. We're excited about this combination because we've worked together for many years, and we're proven we can offer clients a stronger and more comprehensive resource by pooling our talent," said Strickler.
Guam Getting Greener
Architectural and interior design firm EHS Design Inc. has broken ground on the first certified environmentally friendly building in Maite, Guam-a new corporate headquarters of the Government of Guam Employees Federal Credit Union.
The Seattle-based firm worked alongside Guam-based Taniguchi Ruth Makio Architects, for the new three-story, 45,000-square-foot facility, which will consolidate all administrative functions, a full-service branch and drive thru, while introducing new state-of-the-art banking technologies to the island.
According to GGE FCU President/CEO John Arroyo, plans are underway to seek leadership in energy and environmental design certification for the facility.
"We are doing this to show our commitment to protect our environment and to pave the way for future developers who are also committed to going green. Building green added another 4% to 5% to our construction cost, but we feel it is money well spent," said Arroyo.
Baxter Joins DEI Staff
Design and build firm DEI Inc. is beefing up its strategic planning division with the addition of Herman L. Baxter as a data and market analyst.
Increasing demand from the financial industry for customized plans to effectively deal with the current economic climate intensified the Cincinnati firm's search for an experienced data and market analyst.
"The current economic climate has proven to be tumultuous," explained Arp Trivedi, DEI vice president of strategic planning. "It is our duty to provide experienced talent to our clients to help them plan for better times."
Baxter is currently finishing his interdisciplinary doctorate at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He also received his master's from Miami University and completed his bachelor's from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining DEI, he worked for Colerain Township and Hamilton County of Ohio as an urban planner. His experience also includes teaching at Miami University. As a lead researcher, he co-authored multiple Community Compass reports and was the principal author for the paper, "External Influences: The Impact of National Trends on Hamilton County's Future."
Missoula: Solid as a Rock
Missoula Federal Credit Union's newest branch is solid in more ways than one. The project was recently granted two awards from the Montana Contractor's Association Concrete Division. Accolades include a first place award in the 'New Green Concrete Applications' category, as well as a 'Concrete Judges Choice Award.' The building was nominated by LS Jensen, the concrete contractor for the project.
"This is surprising," said Joni Walker, senior vice president and project manager for the LEED certified branch construction. "I don't think a credit union has ever won an award for concrete. We do some great things, but this is certainly a first for us."
Missoula Federal Credit Union completed construction on its platinum-level LEED certified branch in November 2008. All of the concrete used in the construction of the building was made from a mixture of fly ash and recycled glass, instead of Portland cement and gravel. Fly ash is a byproduct of coal-burning power plants, and is a waste product that usually goes unused. The fly ash came from power plants in Eastern Montana. The recycled glass was gathered in two public glass drives, because Missoula does not currently have a glass recycling program.