May 21, 2013
Granite Equity announced today an investment in and partnership with Geo-Comm, Inc. (GeoComm).
As part of the transaction, Granite Equity purchased stock from and exchanged stock with the
retiring founder to become GeoComm's majority owner. Granite Equity also provided cash for
working capital to fuel the company's continued growth and geographic expansion.
GeoComm was founded in 1995 by Tom Grones to provide County government with turnkey 9-1-1 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' leadership as CEO, the company has
grown to serve more than 12,000 dispatchers in 800 emergency 9-1-1 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 9-1-1 emergency communications 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 9-1-1 emergency
management systems migrate to digital networks and next generation solutions across the next decade,
we will sustain the Grones' legacy and grow the company's mission of keeping people safe."
About GeoComm: GeoComm, headquartered in St. Cloud Minnesota, provides geographic information and
communication systems to 9-1-1 emergency call centers across the United States, with a mission of keeping
people safe. GeoComm is mapping the future of NG9-1-1 as a proven provider of end-to-end GIS systems
tailored to meet the needs of any public safety agency. GeoComm is the leading innovator of NG9-1-1
GIS services and software, including NG9-1-1 GIS data assessment and development; software to maintain,
manage, and provision GIS data; the ECRF/LVF elements of the ESInet; and tactical mapping for the PSAP.
GeoComm's GeoLynx Family of Products provides the tools necessary to speed and enhance emergency response.
These tools reduce response times, improve data accuracy and quality, accelerate communications,
and provide mission critical GIS-based decision support.
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