RuffaloCODY president adds CEO title in leadership change

Al Ruffalo to transition to executive chairman

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A change of leadership for a Cedar Rapids company is expected to be fairly seamless.

Duane Jasper, who has been president of RuffaloCODY since 1998, has added the title of chief executive officer.

In his new role, Jasper will supervise the day-to-day management of RuffaloCODY, 65 Kirkwood North Rd. SW, which provides strategic fundraising and enrollment services and software for colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations. Higher education clients account for about 85 percent of the company's business.

With more than 20 years of experience within the organization, Jasper plans to continue expanding the vision and goals established in 1991 when RuffaloCODY was formed.

"This year will be very busy with  integrating two recent acquisitions and projected growth of about 20 percent per year going forward," Jasper said. "There will be a lot of new staff added, new client relationships that will be developed and a lot of new products that we will be developing and delivering to the marketplace."

Jasper succeeds Al Ruffalo, who will continue to support and guide RuffaloCODY in his new role as executive chairman.

"Duane and I have worked together since 1985," Ruffalo said in an interview Tuesday. "Together we have balanced incredible growth, advances in technology, company expansion, and economic challenges with a solid commitment to client and employee expectations.

"There is no stronger advocate for this company that Duane and I am happy to turn the role of CEO over to his capable hands."

Jasper and Ruffalo said the leadership transition was envisioned before July 2009 when North Bridge Growth Equity and Westview Capital Partners of Boston announced a $55 million investment in the company.

"It was basically a planning process about when I would step away from daily management of the organization," Ruffalo said. "With Duane becoming CEO, his role will be much greater than it has been in the past and mine will become less.

"I will continue to be involved with the direction of the company, strategic planning, acquisitions and brainstorming with Duane, but not actively involved with day-to-day operations and management."

Ruffalo said the transition will allow him to take a greater role in community organizations and activities. Under an agreement with North Bridge Growth Equity and Westview Capital Partners, he has agreed to serve as executive chairman for three years.

Although Jasper and Ruffalo have worked together for many years, Ruffalo was quick to say the new CEO is not a "clone of Al Ruffalo."

"Duane has his own management style, which may be different from mine, but we have the same kind of values and the same kind of drive to have this organization continue to grow at 20 percent annually," Ruffalo said. "Duane has the knowledge of what we do and the respect of the organization. This will be a very seamless transition."

Jasper said RuffaloCODY management has a "very deep bench" with many years of involvement in the organization.

"There's a lot of tenure and experience. If I'm not here for a day or Al's not here for a day, that group carries on," Jasper said. "They all know their assignments and the marketplace very well. Everybody contributes to our long term growth.

RuffaloCODY has been growing at a rate of 18 percent to 20 percent annually, prompting the $80 million company to announce plans for a new 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot headquarters building at C Street and 76th Avenue SW.

"If you look at our projections for the next three to five years, you don't see any slowing down," Ruffalo said. "We're still trying to decide just how big the building should be. We're very bullish about our future as a company." 

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