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Local

DirecTech sells Hanson Directory Service assets

Pinnacle Marketing Group absorbs 68 telephone directories published by the longtime Newton business

Assets from the DirecTech, LLC,-owned Hanson Directory Service in Newton were purchased Tuesday by Pinnacle Marketing Group.

According to a press release from DirecTech, the Newton office’s 68 directories published for local, independent phone companies in 15 states will be absorbed by Pinnacle Marketing Group, which is based out of Bemidji, Minn., creates 242 publications for local independent phone companies in 36 states.

Hanson Directory Service also printed the East Central Iowa phonebook used locally.

DirecTech employs 32 people from its Newton headquarters,1501 N. 15th Ave. E. Shawna Stevenson, director of operations for DirecTech, confirmed with Newton Daily News a majority of Hanson Director Service sales staff will be joining Pinnacle while others remain with DirecTech.

Both sets of employees will be reporting to the Newton offices.

“We will continue on and just focus on our newsboard division, which is really what DirecTech is all about,” Stevenson said. “… We ventured off into doing other things as well. Those things have kind of picked up now. And we just thought it was the right time to partner up with Pinnacle.”

DirecTech’s “rapidly growing” indoor digital newsboard business holds operations in Des Moines, Minneapolis, suburban Chicago and Corpus Christi, Texas. DirecTech is also actively involved in N-Compass TV, an ad-supported indoor digital billboard company in Denver, the press release said.

Although Pinnacle Marketing Group is technically a competitor, DirecTech President Andrew McKenna still praised the company and suggested Hanson Directory Service is in good hands. He has known the people of Pinnacle Marketing Group for years and has “great respect for their leadership.”

“Their focus on delivering great results for advertising clients has generated important market success,” McKenna said in the press release. “We know they will provide exceptional service to our clients and offer new opportunities to our sales organization.”

Shelly Geerdes, the CEO of Pinnacle Marketing Group, also extended pleasant feedback and commended Hanson Directory Service for its “long history of providing quality publications” in the industry, “much like Pinnacle.”

Geerdes said, “Joining our operations together provides the opportunity for growth and sustainability in print while also growing our expanding digital marketing products into these new territories.”

The Chicago-based DirecTech bought Hanson Directory Service in 2016. Originally founded in 1973 by Lloyd Hanson, the business was first known as Lloyd Hanson & Company, according to info posted on the Hanson Directory Service website. It also began in the basement of the Hanson home in Newton.

Within the first two years of business, the company contracted with 11 telephone companies to public directories. As expected, it quickly outgrew its space and moved to the Midtown Building in 1975. Three years later the company incorporated and became Hanson Directory Service, Inc.

Upon the retirement of Lloyd Hanson, his son William “Bill” Hanson was named president and CEO. Under his leadership, the business continued to expand. Hanson Director Service moved to another site before settling on its current location in the industrial district of Newton in 2007.

Bill Hanson retired from the company in 2016 and and sold it to DirecTech in 2016, Newton Daily News previously reported. Back then all 61 employees of Hanson Directory Service remained in their respective positions. DirecTech “stream-lined and modernized” the business with digital practices.

Neither a CEO or a public relations representative of Pinnacle Marketing Group were available for questions by presstime Thursday.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or cbraunschweig@newtondailynews.com

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