GMB expands education services with acquisition of higher education marketing firm, Up&Up

Nov 07, 2023

Will Anderson, CM&AA

GMB, a professional services firm focused on the educational market, has officially acquired Up&Up Agency, an uplifting marketing leader specializing in higher education. This acquisition not only represents an exciting new chapter in GMB's journey but also underscores the firm’s commitment to transforming education services.

Fusing GMB’s robust educational architecture and engineering services with Up&Up’s knowledge in educational marketing, this connection is designed to create tailored approaches that uniquely benefit educational institutions.

"By welcoming Up&Up into the GMB brand, we are redefining what a full-service education company can look like" said David Bolt, president and CEO of GMB. “GMB is building a new kind of firm that more holistically impacts students and supports the success of educational institutions across the country.” 

Adam Landrum, the current CEO of Up&Up, echoed the sentiment, expressing enthusiasm for the shared vision and goals of the two organizations.

“I am incredibly excited about this strategic acquisition of Up&Up by GMB,” said Landrum. “By combining our higher education-focused brand and marketing services with GMB's services, we're beginning an exciting new chapter of building a full-service education company to uplift our clients and the educational industry as a whole.” 

Up&Up’s mission is to help leaders of forward-thinking colleges grow enrollment and activate a compelling brand strategy that positions their school to attract and retain more right-fit students.

GMB and Up&Up share a common dedication to innovation and knowledge sharing, eagerly anticipating the combined impact their skills will have on shaping future learning ecosystems. The newly united team is poised to provide unparalleled support and guidance to educational clients, ensuring a comprehensive approach to their projects.

"This is more than an acquisition; it's a collaborative journey toward creating impactful learning environments," stated Rob DenBesten, COO at GMB. “Up&Up is a welcome addition to GMB’s growing team and this transition a true testament to our culture that is focused on continual learning.”

Up&Up, based in Greenville, South Carolina, will continue serving their existing clients across the U.S. while embracing GMB's people-first philosophy. This philosophy encourages trusting teams that operate with open communication in the pursuit of common goals, aligning with GMB's structure as a 100 percent employee-owned company. 

"We are thrilled to begin working with Up&Up, whose expertise will continue to connect us to courageous educators who are as excited as we are to engage in this meaningful work," added Bolt.

“In today’s increasingly competitive AEC M&A market, it is inspiring to see a high-end AEC firms like GMB look outside the AEC industry for firms like Up&Up that will allow them to deliver even more value to educational institutions,” Zweig Group advisor Will Anderson said. “We look forward to seeing these teams make one plus one equal three!”

Zweig Group – the leading research, publishing, and advisory services resource for firms in the AEC industry – advised GMB through this acquisition. The deal team included advisor Will Anderson, CM&AA, analyst Ty Prozorowski, and Justin Ramirez, Zweig Group’s director of M&A.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.