Catchwind co-founder Hemesath sells company to Vande Kieft
Brian Hemesath, Catchwind's co-founder and, for the last year-plus, its sole owner, has sold the mobile marketing company to Joe Vande Kieft, both men confirmed on Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hemesath (far left) was part of a three-person team that launched Catchwind in 2005, and he took over sole possession of the company early last year. Hemesath entered conversations about a sale to Vande Kieft (near left), who has worked for the past 12 years at Des Moines-based Advanced Technologies Group, early this year.
For Hemesath, who is also a co-founder of Tikly and VolunteerLocal, the decision to sell Catchwind was driven by two major factors. "One (is) the timing of meeting Joe and his energy to pick this up and run with it," Hemesath said Monday in phone interview. "And then the second piece being just obviously Tikly and VolunteerLocal are really my primary focuses now, just trying to get those two businesses built up and sustained."
Hemesath said Vande Kieft is the right person to lead the company at this juncture. "It was something that was built and it was running, and I think Joe’s a better guy than me to build it and to grow it bigger."
Vande Kieft said it was clear from the outset that this arrangement was in the best interest of both parties but that the decision was not rushed.
"Basically I was at a stage in my life where this was a direction that I wanted to head …" Vande Kieft said by phone Monday. "Catchwind I think is kind of still a startup, but it's an established player in the market with good customer base, and it just made sense financially and from the point of my life where I'm at and where I wanted to be."
Hemesath will maintain an active role as Catchwind changes hands, so as to ensure the shift in ownership will have what Vande Kieft called "minimal impact to customers, if any."
"He’s not going anywhere; he’s helping me out through the transition," Vande Kieft said. "We’re starting to talk to the clients and let them know that it's still the status quo as far as they're concerned. You know, I'm not making any changes right off the bat. Brian's there to kind of lead me and mentor me through this process, which is one of the things that he does best."