True Media company to move home office to Business Loop 70

Friday, January 6, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The home office of True Media, an independent media strategy and communications company, is moving to a new building in late August or early September.

The new headquarters will be located in the two-story, 13,000-square-foot building at 500 Business Loop 70 W., which was formerly occupied by Commerce Bank.

Jack Miller, president of True Media, said the company hasn't decided the final design but expects the building renovation to start by April 1. Simon Oswald Associates, a local architectural firm, is responsible for the design.

"We will spend a significant amount of money to build it, redesigning the interior and the aesthetic look of the building." Miller said.

Since the construction will probably take four to five months, the company expects the move will take place in late August or early September.

The move is due to the company's expansion of current services and demand for space to accommodate future staff.

"We're running out of space here," Miller said. "During the last 18 to 24 months, we've been recruiting a new employee every 30 to 45 days somewhere for our three offices."

The company's office in Columbia is located at 29 S. Ninth St., above Kaldi's Coffeehouse. It is about 6,000 square feet, less than half the size of the new location.

Launched in March 2005, True Media's goal is to help clients communicate to target consumers and figure out the best way to sell products. It provides strategies of various media solutions to position clients' products, including traditional media, interactive services and social media.

"We always put strategy first." Miller said.

True Media has around 50 employees for its three offices altogether, and staff in Columbia represent almost half of the total.

One of the additional offices is in St. Louis and the other is in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Miller said they decided to launch its office in Canada in 2007 because one of their clients was "internationally-based" and wanted them to "be able to handle both countries."

The company's U.S. revenue reached $35 million last year. "It is nearly 100 percent growth in 12 months," Miller said. In 2010, that figure was $18 million. The company ranked at #2108 on the Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies list last year.

"I don't know how the whole industry is doing," Miller said. "But we see increasing demand for our products. Our company is also actively looking for new clients all over North America."

Miller hopes the city will create a longer-term plan to revitalize the Business Loop area.

"The Parkade Center right across the street is a successful example," Miller said. "The city should be proactive and create incentive for other businesses to move to the Business Loop, helping property owners to make the area better."

The Parkade Center, Columbia's oldest mall, saw new life as Moberly Area Community College moved in in 2010 and the Aldi grocery store moved nearby last year.

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Gary Straub January 6, 2012 | 10:59 a.m.

This is exactly the forward movement we need in Columbia, and Mr. Miller is correct, the city should be taking a proactive stance on improving the fascia of our community. First impressions are extremely important and, unfortunately, the first view of many is the business loop which is not really our best angle.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders January 6, 2012 | 11:36 a.m.

It's great to hear of a thriving local business, but the call for more welfare to improve business conditions is a half-baked idea that ultimately fails the test of logic, as everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else while hoping that this depredation generates the "synergy" of positive growth. Problem is, as we all know too well, third-party spending is very inefficient, and any growth comes at an extremely high price.

Now, this inefficiency might be affordable during "good times," but given the cost of the debt service (along with its natural growth of compounding interest), it is completely bankrupting a society which can no longer afford the price of politically-motivated spending.

People should really stop and think twice before demanding more free stuff for their own benefit. There is nothing wrong with the Loop as it stands (else they wouldn't have moved to that location), as it is a functional roadway with easy access to the main traffic corridor across the state. Yes, it may look run-down, but you know, might that not be the result of excessive taxation denying business owners the ability to afford upkeep to their property, instead of the idea that they weren't taxed enough to be treated to some government revitalization program?

Simply put, bureaucrats are not qualified to make decisions that are better made by individuals running their own lives. Worse yet, they displace personal, economically coherent solutions with impersonal, politically incoherent ones.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz January 6, 2012 | 11:49 a.m.

"The Parkade Center right across the street is a successful example," Miller said. "The city should be proactive and create incentive for other businesses to move to the Business Loop, helping property owners to make the area better."

And just what incentive is he thinking of, other than money?

(Report Comment)

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