5 things local leaders say are key to staying in business 100+ years

The Dayton Daily News asked some of the longest running companies in the Dayton area about what it takes to stay in business for more than 100 years. Here’s five key things the business leaders had to say.

STAYING POWER: Dayton area companies open for 100+ years

1. “You’ve got to know your unique value proposition from your clients. You want to create a higher barrier of entry so not everyone can come in and do the same thing you do.”

Woolpert CEO Scott Cattran said the architecture, engineering and geospatial firm invests in doing work in a way that’s not easy to compete with. Since 1911, the surveying and landscaping company has sought to raise the bar higher, adopting the latest technology and recruiting top talent.

2. “Ultimately, we’re judged every day by the job we’re doing. We’re judged by the deliveries that are going out on time, by the service people are getting at the sales counter, by the quality of our products.”

Alan Pippenger, president of Dayton’s Requarth Co., which traces its history back to 1860, said its important to give customers what they want at a good price and treat employees, vendors and suppliers well.

PHOTOS: See photos from Dayton area companies open 100+ years

3. Luck is fickle, people retire or move on and products change, so an enduring company culture is needed to stand the test of time, said Bill Smith, president and CEO of Huffy Corp.

“In my mind, that’s the most important lasting piece, because it is transferable,” Smith said of the bicycle company, which roots back to 1888.

4. “We continue to reinvent ourselves and the company. That allows us to keep moving forward.”

Sharyl Gardner, chief administrative officer of clinical environmental design company Midmark, hailed the health care equipment maker’s blend of stability and adaptability over 103 years.

5. John Danis, CEO of Danis, one of the largest construction companies in the region, said the entrepreneurial spirit is needed for both passion and the willingness to change when needed.

“It is a spirit that makes you seek ways to improve and not be satisfied with the status quo.”

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