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Facility Matrix Group

Detroit, MI 48226

David Daugherty

What educational, entrepreneurial or business development programs, if any, have you taken advantage of?
I have participated in Xerox Sales Training, Tye Manner Sales Training, Bay Group International, Tye Manner Group in Leadership Development an Envison U Leadership and Human Development Training.

Who was your first customer and where did you find them?
Dupont Automotive Paint & Coatings in Troy. Upon graduating in 1985 from Central Michigan University, my first job was in sales with Xerox Corporation. I was given the geographical area of Troy as my territory. Upon first researching the largest employers in Troy, Kmart and Dupont were listed. So I cold called Dupont and closed my first Xerox Copier that same week.

Where did you find your first employee?
I started in sales for R.P. Lewis in 1989 (formerly known), now known today as Facility Matrix Group. In 1995, I became an part owner with four other partners. Today, the company is owned by myself (President) and Chris Sowers (CEO).

Have you promoted an intern to employee status, and if so how many times have you done it?
Yes, over the 17 years of being an owner of a business, we have promoted about 10 interns to employee status. We have found experiencing someone as intern first is an excellent strategy for growing a prospective new employee.

Where have you turned to find capital to grow your company and which institutions have provided it?
Having been a stable and successful small business in Michigan for 75 years, we have been fortunate to be able to use a traditional bank as our source for capital. Currently we bank with Citizens Bank and have found their rates and services to be competitive and reliable. Citizen Bank’s willingness to extend additional capital without constraints or contingencies has been valuable, especially this year. With an expected finish of 164 percent over sales goal, we needed an extension to our line of credit to carry the additional sales volume.

What are some of the advantages to doing business here?
Our experience as to some of the advantages of doing business in Michigan is the following:

- A significant number of large corporations are headquartered here due to Michigan being automotive capital of the world, thus a significant base of large potential customers to call upon for office furniture.
- Michigan has many excellent public universities and private colleges for perspective employees and as potential customers for our business products and services.
- I have always said, 'If you can make it in Michigan you can make it anywhere in the United States.' The ups and downs of our economy will make you a wise and skilled business leader if you can succeed. Lessons that will take you far and you will never forget.
- Michigan has many bright, spirited, entrepreneurial, young and older business leaders to learn, study and conduct business with for one's own business and individual advancement.
- Michigan does have many diverse business industries and not limited to a few.

If you could change one thing about this region, what would it be?
I would work to change the perception of Detroit from negative to positive in terms of a place to live, work and play.

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