NEWTON, Iowa -- Donald Trump’s announcement last June that he was running for president didn't come as a surprise to everybody.
A Newton man received the heads up nearly a week earlier, and it meant it was time for him to get to work.
As Trump prepares for the general election, a small Iowa company is preparing right along with him.
“It’s kind of an ode to Maytag-type of deal right here. You know of different things that we did. We did a ton of Maytag business,” said Dave McNeer, of Maxim Advertising.
McNeer saw a dry up in 2007 when Maytag, his biggest client, left Newton.
A “60 Minutes” report highlighting McNeer and how his business was affected by the economic downturn in 2010 caught Donald Trump's eye all the way in Manhattan.
“This was one of the first, very first things that we did for the Trump Towers in Chicago, and it’s basically just kind of a pack-and-go sack lunch type of deal,” McNeer said.
And that was before Trump launched his presidential campaign. Once he joined the race, the work really picked up.
"Mr. Trump thought rather than having a New York firm make our ‘Make America Great Again’ signs, or t-shirts or hats, and all of the paraphernalia and merchandise that we need to run a campaign, he thought, let’s give it to Dave McNeer in Newton, Iowa,” said Tana Goertz, senior adviser to the Trump Campaign.
What started with lunch sacks became buttons, signs, placards, caps, and clothing.
"I can’t tell you how many thousands ‘Make America Great Again’ hats, beanies, shirts … I mean, we gave shirts away to every caucus leader. The shirts were fantastic,” Goertz said.
The frenzy of the campaign kept McNeer busy.
And now that trump is the presumptive Republican nominee, the work isn't over. McNeer has a general election to get ready for.
"Now when the general election is coming back, we’re coming to Iowa. Mr. Trump will be here. He wants to have Dave McNeer do all the stuff,” Goertz said.
"We would love to be doing all the signs and everything here in Iowa and maybe the Midwest and those types of things. That would be a huge opportunity for us,” McNeer said.
That opportunity is on display. The next time you see Trump at a campaign event, keep an eye out for McNeer‘s work.
“We added the flag to it, so most of the stuff you see in Iowa or if you see it with the flag on it, you know that’s ours,” McNeer said.
The flag wasn't McNeer‘s only idea. He also came up with a Trump scarf for the cold days of campaigning leading up to the Iowa Caucuses in February.