Interview with Tom Dudick founder of Dudick, Inc.

May 11, 2020

This year you celebrate 50 years in business. What emotions come to mind when you think of that?


I can’t believe that I’m that old! But honestly, it’s a feeling of pride that our staff who’s made up of really great, hard working associates took a dream and made it a reality. I never imagined that this company would be such a leader in the CRC market at such organizations as Intel, Oxichem, Proctor & Gamble, Center for Disease Control, National Institute of Health and nearly all of the fortune 500 firms

What inspired you to start Dudick, Inc?


I realized that I couldn’t work for someone else and I also needed a job!

Was there any other career path you were considering before starting Dudick, Inc.?


I went to night school while I worked in the industry. Also I had a part time job in the pathology department of a local hospital caring for the research animals. I was offered an opportunity to go to medical school. That was one of my toughest decisions- medical school or start a company.It was the right decision for me.

What’s your favorite part of your job? What excites you most?


No doubt on this- I love being face to face with our customers. I truly hate airports and motels but that’s the sacrifice I made to be in front of our clients. Secondly, is having a privately held corporation that gives the larger paint companies a run for their money.Being large doesn’t mean better!

What other CEO’s do you look up to currently or have inspired you over your career?


Actually, no single CEO meets all my aspirations but rather their individual traits make for a peer. Warren Buffet who, while an investor, runs his firm by allowing great staff to run the day to day organization with his long term strategy. Andrew Grove, former Intel CEO who preached to act early on decisions and decisevly and don’t deny.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?


Perseverance – and – the customer is not always right! But they are the customer. A dear older friend/customer once told a young Tom Dudick that. He also told me that I would enjoy all their business as long as I remember who the customer is!

What’s your proudest moment with the company?


There really is two:
  • That the staff chose to believe in my vision and worked so hard to make a dream into a reality. We have several employees with 25-38 years of employment.
  • That two of my children and a son-in-law chose to join the family firm after years working else where.

What was your biggest struggle/ regret with the company and how did that change you?


There was/is always struggle. The only regret is that in my early years I didn’t have nor did I look for a peer or mentor to council me. The biggest struggle was making the change from being a manufacturer and installing contractor to just being a manufacturer. Closing our installation department was a gut wrenching decision.

Any advice for the younger generation looking to start their own company?


Have an idea – have passion about the idea as well as for your customers and finally perseverance! No matter what keep charging forward. But be smart enough to change your idea/product to fit the customers needs. Remember they are always the customer.

Where do you hope to see Dudick, Inc in ten years from now?


Being more dominant in more niche markets and seeing our company continue to prosper under second generation leadership.