Entrepreneur and Storyteller
I'm Dave, I'm a husband, father, and an entrepreneur.
Those roles all came into my life by the age of 22 and I've been living them out for the past 30 years. I married my wife, Jenni, in 1990, had my first daughter, Paige, in 1991, and was put in charge of my first company, Epoxical, in 1992.
Since then, our family has grown to include two more daughters, Dale and Laine, and one son, Ethan - all of which have graduated high school and are starting their adult lives. I've recently sold the company that I've spent the last 30 years growing and my wife and I celebrated our 30th anniversary, and 50th birthdays together.
As my life has pivoted over the last 18-months, I've been assessing and learning a lot about myself and the type of lifestyle I'd like to create from here on out with the help of my support system.
Part of that soul-searching has lead me to see that I love sharing stories from my life if they might help another entrepreneur, parent or spouse. I'm definitely no expert, these stories include the mistakes I've made and some of the greatest decisions of my life.
I'm glad you're here, you can read a little more about my career and experiences, and if you think I might add some value to your podcast, seminar or business, I'd love to share anything and everything I've learned along the way.
What does great look like from here?
The ups and downs of the past 30 years started in 1991 when I graduated with a B.S. Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a 1-year-old at home. (Go Badgers!)
In 1992, I went to work for my father’s industrial distribution company, Horton-Earl company, in South St. Paul, MN. That summer he acquired Epoxical, the epoxy resin division of United States Gypsum.
At 22 years old he trusted me to run the entire Epoxical side of the business - with a lot of his guidance.
In 2000, we built a 30,000 square foot building to consolidate both companies into one facility. In 2001, we decided to sell Horton-Earl and my dad retired, I was now 30 running the company on my own.
Riding the Waves
Five years later, we had a chemical reaction spark in a mixing tank which caused Epoxical's entire plant burned to the ground. We had $8.4 million of damage and loss, but luckily no deaths and only minor injuries. An experience I wouldn't wish on anyone, but one that changed me and how I saw my business, for the better.
I knew I couldn't let the company completely fold, so I decided to divest two of the subdivisions of the business and changed the business name to Endurance Technologies. My team rebuilt the plant and focused on growing the business that remained, and we pushed through the recession that hit in 2008.
By 2012 we were ready to grow again and we acquired MAS epoxies, which is a consumer facing product, and we challenged ourselves to learn how to sell directly to a consumer.
Creating our own Opportunties
In 2015, I was twenty-five years in and still trying to improve the way we operated. We were growing, but not as fast as I knew we could. I discovered "Traction" and worked with their teams to completely transform how we were running as a company. I felt like I finally found and implemented a system that worked for us.
We grew in sales by $9.8 million over the next 5 years and were able to acquire Bristol Finish along the way. Adapting and learning how to truly become efficient, work on company culture and create an amazing product and workplace. Things we had always been doing, but never at this level, and a private equity group started to take notice.
December 31st, 2020 was a day my life changed again, forever. I sold Endurance Technologies to Polytek Development Corporation. Thirty years as a small business owner and operator had come to an end.
So, what does great look like from here?
Now I am doing business development for Polytek and I'm navigating the new role I'm in and coming to realize, maybe my stories could help other people grow and succeed.
I love meeting new people and sharing my experiences. If you think any of my stories could help you run a small business, I'd love to help.