Spread the love

Our Story

Home » History

The Harrison Group Story

At Harrison Group, we measure success by more than just placements.

For our team of passionate recruiters, our mission is to make a positive impact on our clients, on our candidate partners and,  most importantly, on our community. We’re committed to running our business in the spirit of our company namesake, Chicago businessman Harrison Koetz — grandfather of HGI president and owner Michael Brown.

President Michael Brown is the third owner in Harrison Group’s history, and has proudly embedded his grandfather’s traditions into the business, which he acquired in 2015. Formerly MRI Cedar Rapids, we are now Harrison Group, honoring this great man’s contributions to community, business, family and charity in both name and action.

Whether it’s entrepreneurial advocacy, or community assistance programs, we strive to be more than just recruiters. The goal is to make a difference throughout the Cedar Rapids Corridor and nationwide.

In its heyday, Harrison’s heating and cooling company, Koetz and Barton, was a booming Chicago business, employing 200-plus people. But most weekends, you’d find Harrison on Lake Michigan, cruising around in the boat he bought back in ’78. More often than not, he’d have his grandson Michael by his side. Harrison was a savvy businessman, but he knew life was about more than just deals. Family, community, charity and kindness were equally important.

He had a certain way of doing business — Harrison never lost touch with his customers, and saw no job as too small.

He believed in commitment to his community — Harrison gave generously to charity, and treated both customers and colleagues with respect and care.

He brought a playful spirit to everything he did — Harrison believed that summer afternoons, even as business demands pressed on, were for boating and waterskiing on Lake Michigan with the grandkids.

With 45-plus years of experience serving both local and national markets, first as MRI Cedar Rapids and now as HGI, we continue to offer unparalleled expertise in recruiting for construction, financial services and manufacturing across the U.S.


In October of 1976, HGI, or Management Recruiters of Cedar Rapids was founded by Frtiz Webber as a franchisee of the MRI Network. They predominantly focused on partnering with local Cedar Rapids organizations to help fill talent needs but also established a strong Manufacturing Recruiting presence on a national level.


After many years of success under Fritz Webber, the company was purchased by Cindy & Jim Lyness, who began to expand the company’s reach.


The MRICR team expands their offerings, adding Commercial Construction to their industry specialties.


Michael Brown starts building out the Financial Services space within MRICR, making it the fourth industry specialty for the company.


MRICR team grows – moves into the 3rd floor of the Paramount Building in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids.


Having built a successful Financial Services desk with MRI Cedar Rapids, Michael Brown was ready for more. As the Lynesses were preparing for retirement, the two parties worked out a succession plan where Michael Brown would purchase MRI Cedar Rapids over the course of a few years serving as President & Managing Partner.


Officially taking ownership of MRI Cedar Rapids in 2015, Michael quickly began to put his vision of growing the organization into action. Starting with 8 total employees, MRI Cedar Rapids would soon be making significant moves.


MRI Cedar Rapids celebrates its 40th Anniversary


MRI Cedar Rapids passes the 25 employee mark with no plans on stopping anytime soon.


MRI Cedar Rapids has been consistently growing our team and has eventually outgrown our 3rd-floor office in the Paramount Building. With the need for more space to continue to grow, MRI Cedar Rapids purchases the entire 4th floor to support the continued growth.


After over 40 years as MRI Cedar Rapids, we rebranded as Harrison Group, Inc. 


HGI undergoes a complete remodel of its office to accommodate our continued growth, and give our office a fresh and modern design.

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

Be Part of Our HistoryWe have a rich history but we're not done yet. Come join our team and be part of our history.

Spread the love