Vernon Research Group purchased by The Gazette Co.

Former CEO Monica Vernon to focus on public service

Vernon Research Group, a privately-owned market research company in Cedar Rapids, has been purchased by The Gazette Co.

Financial terms of the transaction completed on Monday were not disclosed.

Monica Vernon founded Vernon Research Group in 1987. The company, with five employees, will join The Gazette Co. as a division of Fusionfarm, which focuses on creative services, marketing services and digital commerce.

Vernon, a member of the Cedar Rapids City Council since 2008 and mayor pro tempore, also is running for the Democratic Party nomination in Iowa’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

With the sale of her company, Vernon will no longer be employed by Vernon Research Group, but will assist with the transition to new ownership, according to Tim McDougall, vice president of Fusionfarm and digital strategy for The Gazette Co.

"One of the core reasons we created Fusionfarm was to help business navigate an increasingly confusing environment when trying to connect with their audience," McDougall said. "The market insight and analysis that Vernon Research Group brings advances that mission."

Vernon said the purchase of Vernon Research Group will allow her to focus full time on public service.

All employees of Vernon Research Group were retained in the new arrangement and continue to work from the 1962 First Ave. NE. offices.

"There's already a focus group facility built into that location and advantages to staying there," McDougall said.

"While we anticipate that there will be numerous opportunities to combine Vernon Research Group and Fusionfarm marketing services capabilities for greater client impact, there also are times when we’ll want to keep those entities separate."

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