Episode 48 (Featuring Stephen D’Angelo & Christine Robins)

Taking Their Companies To the Next Level: How Did They Do It?

For many entrepreneurial ventures, the leadership and guidance of the startup’s founder is more than enough to propel the company to heights greater than he or she could have ever imagined.  But in some cases, sometimes it takes a call to a special kind of business leader to be the catalyst needed in order to take the company to the oft-elusive “next level”.  On this edition of Your American Story Radio, Raja talks with two such leaders who, when they got that call, immediately went to work in order to get the most out of their organizations.

-In 2003, Dick Corporation, a Pittsburgh-based construction company, brought Stephen D’Angelo on board as the company’s new CEO.  It was a match made in heaven….and out of necessity.  Stephen had earned a long-standing reputation as an executive mastermind when it comes to company turnarounds, and Dick Corporation, a firm that had enjoyed considerable success throughout the 1990′s, had hit a rough patch, thanks to the downturn in the power market from which it attained much of it’s client base (a base that included, among other firms, Enron).  Since the point Stephen took over, nobody, except maybe Stephen himself, could have predicted the remarkable success the company would enjoy over the next 11 years. Stephen engineered the necessary steps to bring Dick back from the brink, including a rebrand to “dck worldwide“.  Now the company has reclaimed its rightful spot among the elite construction firms in America, as well as throughout the globe.

Today, Stephen talks with Raja about this turnaround, where dck worldwide is today, and the plans that Stephen has laid out for further growth and development going forward.

-If you take a look at the calendar, you’ll see that it’s been just over six weeks since the start of 2014.  And if you’re one of countless Americans whose New Year’s resolutions include weight loss or other indicators of an improvement on overall fitness, how have you done so far?  If you’re not sure, a Pittsburgh-based company may have the solution.

Since its inception in 1999, BodyMedia has emerged from the Pittsburgh tech landscape as a pioneering technology in the area of real-time, quantitative analysis of the overall fitness of the human body, and not just tried and true measures such as body weight or even BMI.  While this company enjoyed much success in this space for the first 10 years of its life, it was when they called on Christine Robins to be their CEO in 2009 that things really took off.  Under her leadership, BodyMedia’s growth has been even more exponential, including a featured appearance on NBC’s smash fitness reality show, “The Biggest Loser”, and culminating in the company’s sale to Jawbone, one of the nation’s premier manufacturers of audio and fitness technology, in April of 2013, for a reported sum in excess of $100 million.

Christine joins Raja to discuss her role as leader of BodyMedia, the growth the company has enjoyed under her watch, the impact that the Jawbone acquisition has had on the operation of the company, and what is in store for BodyMedia going forward.