In April, I was honored by ASU and inducted into the Sun Devil 100. What exactly is that? Well it is where ASU honors alumni who have built the fastest growing companies! This is my first time and it was a gratifying and rewarding experience.
I brought our senior management team along with me to receive the award; in reality this was a team effort. As I was in line, they waited at the table where we all ate a wonderfully served lunch, and as they called out my name I could hear them erupt in cheers! I wish I could have brought all of them up with me as they deserve most of this credit.
I started 31 years ago (you can read that story here) and since then, I have been through many ups and downs. For those of you who think building a business is a simple trek up the charts… think again. For many of those years, through several recessions including the great one, we managed to increase and decrease under the $8M range… most of it in the $3M range.
I learned the basics at ASU that laid the foundation (LOL) for running a business including finance, management, accounting, marketing, and most importantly…. the way of thinking. How to analyze problems, and apply the scientific method to challenges. I struggled however for many years missing a few important pieces.
As I became a part of Supportworks and Contractor Nation, I learned that one of those missing links was about communicating a vision of how I wanted to make the world a better place and surrounding myself with a team that shared that vision. Not just in a corporate goal sense but in a personal identity sense. After that things began to come together. I now viscerally understand Peter Drucker’s quote “Culture eats strategy for Breakfast”.
That team includes Mindy Hall HR, Tom Dixon Operations, Ryan Tracey Consultant Management (and now Deshawn White as Ryan moves to expand new territory), Jessica LaFlesh, Marketing, Mike Miller Engineering, Lynn Redondo Accounting, and last but not least Alexis Chatman in Customer Service.
In addition to this fantastic team, I also am fortunate to have a dedicated board of advisors, currently, Gary Burleson, Jay Jennings, Paul Harter, Alan Lawhdal, Tony Polusny, Mark Phelps, Harold Schifman, and Dean Piles. Past board members included Pete Horner, Meyer Turken, Dave Deatherage and Tim Drexler…. It takes a village.
That brings me back to event. The last 8 years have seen us grow out of the great recession, rebranding, and other serious challenges, and propel us to #17 on the Sun Devil 100. We did it as a team that personally identifies with wanting to make the world a better place. To help our customers feel secure with transparent engineered solutions.
Congratulations Team... and FEAR the FORK!