DEI Founder Richard Grow Focuses on Firm's Strategic Vision, Names New President
CINCINNATI -- This is quite the year of change at design/build firm DEI Incorporated.
On the heels of a new revamped branding initiative, DEI Incorporated Founder Richard Grow is now looking ahead and has promoted Executive Vice President of Sales Ned Compton to president.
In his new position, Compton will run DEI's day-to-day operations while Grow will assume the role of chairman.
Making the move to chairman doesn't mean Grow will be slowing down any--in fact focusing on DEI's strategic plans may have him busier than ever.
"Far from having less activity it's a shift to a different activity where I can really take the time to hone in on our strategic growth by building relationships with larger potential clients and reaching out to business partners," said Grow. "Although I will remain strategically involved in the company, Ned has proven himself more than capable to handle the day-to-day operations."
"Richard's faith in me means a lot knowing that he built DEI from the ground up," said Compton. "I plan to continue DEI's growth and take our business to the next level. Our recent branding campaign is only the beginning of the new DEI."
Finding a successor from within is just part of the DEI culture says Grow. Over 20 years ago he and his wife Cynthia set out to launch a company that would make a difference in helping financial institutions turn projects into growth opportunities.
"We got into this business to provide an efficient and unique design and construction solution for the financial industry and what we've accomplished so far has far exceeded our expectations," said Grow. "We've been able to do that because we treat our employees as our number one client. We keep them happy so they in turn can go above and beyond for clients."
Some of the many perks enjoyed by staffers include massage beds; weekly haircuts, manicures and pedicures; on-site personal trainers; and paid bonuses of up to 15% of staffers' income based on the company's performance. Grow says turnover is less than 10% and most of the attrition comes from staffers moving away. Teamwork First
Grow adds that the 80 DEI staffers' ability to see the big picture beyond just their particular division is one of the company's greatest strengths. "We all come together as a very loyal group to have fun while working hard to exceed the expectations of our clients," said Grow.
The importance of fun, teamwork and loyalty is not lost on Compton, who briefly played for the National Football League's Cleveland Browns as a wide receiver until an injury led to a shift in career gears. "I very much believe in a team concept that goes back to my younger days in athletics. Some of the best decisions have come from group ideas and recommendations," said Compton. "I believe in finding good people, equipping them with what they need to do a good job and trusting them to do it. My management style is basically as a coordinator to ensure employees know and understand their job and are empowered to do it." Compton joined DEI after working in the banking industry for 20 years and the construction industry for seven years. He held the titles of president, CEO and chairman with Van Wert National Bank and then Community First Bank and Trust and vice president of Compton Construction Inc., all of which allowed him to gain extensive first-hand knowledge of both industries.
According to Grow, this inside view of both the banking and construction fields lends to Compton's outlook for business management. Since joining the firm five years ago as the executive vice president of sales, DEI sales have increased by 250%.
"We create sales environments by incorporating all aspects of facility planning, from site search and selection, strategic analysis and planning through architecture, construction, interior design, branding and retail concept design. At DEI, we design and build to grow our clients' business," said Compton.
Having recently re-branded, Compton adds he's committed to maintaining DEI's new brand image and status as an industry leader. Compton and the DEI management team are now reviewing the firm's current business model to ensure DEI is efficient and operating to its fullest potential.
"Overall everyone is very positive. There are a lot of great people here and there is so much excitement with maybe a little nervousness about what's ahead and that is natural," said Compton. "I am intensely competitive. Our business, it really is win or lose--if we start out as one of 10 firms being considered by a client and we make the final two--only one walks away with a client."
In his first address as president, Compton detailed DEI's strategic vision of tripling its size within five to seven years.
"We want to continue to do what we do well--paying attention to that design excellence for financial facilities while taking it into a larger market with bigger clients and creating bigger buildings," said Compton. "It is important that we don't lose sight of our fundamental strengths but rather build on them and tool everything--our Web site, marketing collateral, inside sale support system--all toward growth." As competitive as he is people may be surprised to learn Compton is a Food Network guy who enjoys cooking for friends and family.
"I'm an Emeril fan and love cooking any type of seafood or making chili, there is something about having something stewing in a pot and filling the house with the scent," said Compton. "Really I'm just your typical husband and father who enjoys his family, friends, sports and likes to kick back doing some landscaping or cooking."
As for Grow, in addition to his strategic planning duties, he's also busy managing his two restaurants that serve the best in American cuisine: Mesh in West Chester, Ohio and Necter in James Island, South Carolina. --firstname.lastname@example.org