10 Years of DPM Energy
DPM is 10! This is such an incredible milestone for us and we can’t wait to celebrate.
In honor of this we have decided to interview some of DPM’s earliest employees to get a sense of how DPM came to be today. These interviews give us a better look at what DPM was like back in 2010, to how things are today and how the company has grown over the years.
How long have you been at DPM and what did the company look like when you first started?
Michael: In January I will be at DPM for 10 years. The first day I walked in there was only three employees and a few projects we worked on for Waterfront.
Allison: I started at DPM Energy on January 10th, 2011.
Azadeh: I have been with DPM for almost 9.5 years. I started as a designer with no experience. Our office was 2 stories with Nick on the second floor and a total of 5-6 designers. Very quiet, friendly, and fun environment.
Marvin: I have been with DPM for almost 8 years, I joined the company summer of 2013.DPM was smaller in size (staff members and office space), but it was a tight knit group.
Nana: I have been with the company since fall of 2012. When I started with the company it was small in the number of employees, floors, computers, printers and even the plotter. My first week working seemed like a real close family environment. With the help of my co-workers I was able to learn a lot. From, the personal birthday celebrations to the intimate work parties you can see how DPM got to this point by being open with their staff.
- How has your life changed since joining DPM?
Michael: My personal life has changed drastically. 10 years ago, I was a shy kid still in College, I never had a real job or career before and knew nothing about the industry. Now looking back on the last 10 Years I don’t think there is enough room in this blog to write all that has changed in my life. But here are a few milestones: I graduated college, I went back to University, I learned a ton about the industry, moved up in DPM, found a significant other, bought a house and planning to get married next year.
Allison: I have developed a taste for new foods, I appreciate my co-workers and see them as so much more then just work associates. I have a sense of pride when I see what we have accomplished here in 10 years. We are a far cry now from a BBQ in the back of our building with the garage door up.
Azadeh: We have a diverse culture in our office. I have made so many good memories with my colleagues and learned so much from their inspiring life stories and some of them really changed my perspective on life. I have also gained many experiences from the opportunities that I have been given in my career and have faced a variety of challenges on various projects.
Marvin: It changed for the better, my experience at DPM taught me about being a professional, a leader, and a “soldier”. I learned that this place and the people are really like family, we always support each other, call each other out and most importantly we stick up for each other.
Nana: My life has changed financially and career wise. Since working with DPM it has helped me realize how interesting it is to work in this industry, which has encouraged me to obtain the P.Eng. and better myself in my role as a Design Supervisor.
- What has it been like watching DPM grow?
Michael: Watching DPM grow has been amazing. Being part of the journey since day one has really been great. I have changed so much over the years and DPM has taught me a lot that I will be forever grateful for. I only hope to continue down this path.
Allison: It has been rewarding to see how people have grown, so many new faces and really to just see the volume of work that we have at this stage – I never imagined that we would be a driving force in our industry but I am happy that our leaders are visionaries and see long term as well as what is happening tomorrow.
Azadeh: Its exciting to see how DPM is growing this fast. From 6-7 staff now we are more than 50 people! When me moved from the small office to the current location, the office was just empty chairs and looked so big! I could not imagine that today as we are almost running out of space on our second floor!
Marvin: It has been astonishing to watch DPM grow, seeing new staff members quickly adapt to the work and especially the culture is impressive and speaks highly about the training process and how the current staff members have embraced new hires.
Nana: Within the 10 years, DPM has grown astonishingly fast to be a big company known in the industry with very close clients that look to us for advice. From the different projects we are managing such as Finch, Port Lands, John ST to the number of new employees whom have grown so quick in their roles to help make DPM this well oiled machine. I am glad to be a part of this growth as I have learned so much from this journey with DPM.
- What has been the most surprising part of the journey?
Michael: I think the most surprising part of this journey has been the reputation we built. Not only within our industry but evening winning awards for best culture or best small business was a nice surprise. I never thought something like that would happen at DPM.
Allison: For me a big part of my journey has been learning and adapting to new challenges, different types of adversity, new ideas (some good, some not so good). It is incredible to see how our company has changed over the past 10 years and the achievements we have experienced.
Azadeh: There are always surprises and changes at DPM. If I had to choose it would be our first Christmas party and when we made it to 500 fastest growing company.
Marvin: It surprised me to see how patient and encouraging the supervisors and directors can be. They understand the stress and rigors that comes with your role and they work with you so that you can achieve your goals.
Nana: The most surprising part of the journey for me is seeing the awards that DPM has received. Receiving the Growth 500 twice and the Globe and Mail, gives a sense of pride that your hard work and effort is not only being appreciated by the clients but by others as well. The recognition pumps and drives me to try and accomplish a bigger feat.
- Can talk about how DPM’s challenges and achievements have changed throughout the years?
Michael: I think the biggest challenge and achievement we have seen over the years has been the type of projects and volume of work. At the beginning we worked on smaller jobs, that took one designer to complete and we worked with only a few clients. Now we work on multiple million-dollar projects, many of which are on the news and in the public eye. We work with many different clients that branch out all over Ontario and our projects now require a team of people to complete. This really shows how our reputation has grown in our industry and people see us as one of the best firms to deal with.
Allison: From Candy Shops and Swear Jars to Spirit Days and Fundraisers DPM has always tried to raise the bar; even when something doesn’t work – we have looked it in the eye and said this idea wasn’t the best – let’s move on!
Azadeh: We used to work on smaller projects and slowly we got bigger projects. Facing challenges is required if one wants to grow and achieve more. As we get new and larger projects, we learn new skills and experiences that we did not have before. We have never had an easy or simple project, we are always learning and solving complex problems.
Marvin: Losing people is always a challenge especially in the past, but these days turnover is quick and effective. Being part of big projects like Finch is definitely an achievement and adds to the prestige of DPM.
- What do you think the future of DPM looks like?
Michael: I think the future is bright for DPM. We continue to build our staff and skill set. The government is still spending money on large scale infrastructure projects which will keep us busy for years to come. If all goes well, I can see us getting into another geography doing a similar kind of work.
Allison: I think DPM has set a standard in the industry and no matter what shape or size we are the company will always seek to grow and find the new niche. I still have the email where Nick asked me to start the process of getting the logo copyrighted. I also remember clearly flinging an elastic at Mike when he was the student, and I was probably “some lady” and now he is a well respected and hard-working Director and leader in the company. I think as long as the organization retains a visionary outlook we can only continue to grow and experience success. Most importantly keep pushing our team to “be better” and out of one’s comfort zone so we can stay competitive and keep improving. I have learned that there is always work to do but there is also always celebrating to do!
Azadeh: I am sure the way DPM continues to grow there will be more people that I won’t recognize!
Marvin: : I think DPM’s future is bright because the company has established a reputation for being able to deliver quality work for various complex projects. Internally they have also done an amazing job of selecting the right people to lead it’s staff members
Nana: DPM is only going to get bigger and accomplish more difficult feats. Who knows we just might get a office in Barrie but of course not before an office downtown. All jokes aside I think if DPM keeps going the way its going it can become a larger engineering firm managing a variety of different opportunity streams.
All throughout this journey DPM has helped change and shape numerous people’s lives and in turn these people have helped shaped DPM to what we see today. We are so incredibly honoured and grateful to celebrate this milestone with our clients and DPM family. The journey to this day has been challenging and rewarding to say the least but we are so excited to see what the future holds for DPM!