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Bruce Lehrman steps down as CEO of Involta

Cedar Rapids-based data center and services company Involta announced this week that Jim Buie, current Involta President, will succeed current CEO and Involta founder Bruce Lehrman, who will transition to the vice-chair of Involta’s Board of Directors, effective immediately.  

“I am incredibly proud of the substantial growth Involta has achieved since forming the company in 2007,” said Lehrman in a news release. “What began as a local colocation data center company in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has now become a nationally recognized organization offering best-in-class, security-focused data center facilities and infrastructure, hybrid cloud and managed IT services. Everyone at Involta, from our newest hires to our leadership team, has been critical in making this growth possible. I know Involta will continue to succeed under Jim’s exemplary leadership. His insight, experience and future outlooks will be integral to Involta’s continued success.”

Buie joined Involta in 2016 as Chief Financial Officer and steadily took on more responsibility to help the company further drive profitability and expand its national footprint.

“It is truly an honor to continue Bruce’s legacy as CEO and lead Involta into a bright and prosperous future,” said Buie. “Involta has never been stronger, and now, as part of Carlyle, Involta is positioned to expand into targeted new markets across the U.S. The Involta team, our strategic partners, our owned data center and network infrastructure, and wide breadth of services are exactly what our current and future clients need to embark on and successfully complete the most complex digital transformation journeys.”

Earlier this year, Involta was acquired by global investment firm Carlyle.

Previous coverage

Cedar Rapids data center company Involta acquired by Carlyle Group

Bruce Lehrman steps down as CEO of Involta | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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