Freeport, Illinois — Ownership of M45 Marketing Services, co-founded and previously owned by Joe Vaske and Marilyn Smit, passed to Mark Durein on 1 September.
Durein, a graduate of the University of Nebraska, has worked in the advertising agency business his entire career, serving a variety of clients from Fortune 500 companies to smaller start-ups. His most recent position was Vice President/Account Director at GSD&M, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Durein’s clients there included Northwestern Mutual, Ascension Health, Lennox International, and STAINMASTER®. Prior to that he was Vice President/ Group Account Director for T3, also in Austin. Clients there included Microsoft Windows Phone, UPS, and Recall Corporation. Durein’s other agency experience includes Young & Rubicam Group, Publicis & Hal Riney, and Grey West, all located in San Francisco.
Both Vaske and Smit will remain on staff and are pleased to have laid the groundwork for M45 to remain successful for many years to come. “It’s always a challenge to find a good solution for changes in ownership,” said Vaske. “With Mark, we didn’t just find a good solution – we found a great one.”
“We took M45 from a few clients to a few hundred, and as is the case with any small business, it’s been central to both Joe’s and my life,” said Smit. “Being able to move our legacy into the hands of someone who can continue its growth is an important step in ensuring continued success for our staff, our clients, and northwest Illinois.”
Durein and his wife Brenda look forward to living in Freeport and raising their two-year-old son here. “We are excited to be a part of this vibrant community,” said Durein. “Joe and Marilyn have done an exceptional job building M45 to be a successful agency with a strong commitment to growing their clients’ businesses and giving back to the community, and it’s going to be an honor to continue that tradition.”
There’s an extra measure of confidence and familiarity involved in this transaction as Durein is Vaske’s son-in-law. They are very motivated to work together to make the transition a smooth one.
Smit and Vaske founded M45 Marketing Services in 2001. The company currently employs 23 people, and was named Freeport’s Small Business of the Year in 2010 by the Freeport Area Chamber of Commerce. For more, visit www.m45.com