FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Do it Best President and CEO Dan Starr says service is at the heart of his company, which provides products and retail know-how to hardware and home improvement stores across 54 countries.
Inside the hallways at their new headquarters on the Electric Works campus, Starr says company leaders put their own needs behind those of their store members and their coworkers.
“There is a rich history of servant leadership at this company,” he adds.
After starting with Do it Best in 2005, Starr was named CEO in 2016. Under his leadership, Do it Best was named Indiana’s largest privately held company by the Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ). Despite being bigger in revenue, the company seems less well-known than Fort Wayne-based Sweetwater or Vera Bradley.
“Maybe it’s just humble, Midwestern values coming out in a different way that we’re here to serve,” he speculates. “We are successful when our members are successful, and it is an ‘others-focused’ environment.”
He speaks glowingly of the new HQ at Electric Works, even as many companies allow employees largely to work from home. Starr prefers the social collaboration that happens in the halls or in the Union Street Market after work.
“It really does build camaraderie. I don’t know how many times this summer I left to go home and I am walking towards the parking garage and a group of employees are sitting there in the courtyard area with the garage doors up in the Union Street Market, enjoying a beer in this beautiful space,” he says. “And they just want to enjoy each other’s company for a little bit of time after work. That is exactly what I was hoping and praying for – is that it would build camaraderie and community outside of the work hours.”
Starr thinks the campus will truly reach its potential when more residential, dining and entertainment space comes online.
“That will bring an energy that is hard to replicate.”
Starr also serves as Chair of the Parkview Health Board of Directors. WANE 15 asked him if Parkview has been transparent enough over its decision to close the birthing centers in DeKalb and LaGrange counties. See his answer below.