Defying boundaries

When Scott Isabel
began working as
superintendent for The Diaz Fritz Group Inc., he
knew his opportunities were

He continued to move up the
ranks of the general contracting company, and 20 years
later, Isabel is co-owner, partner and president of the company that does business as
Diaz Fritz Isabel. And as the
leader of 42 employees,
Isabel never forgets his

“From day one, our
founders Del Diaz and David
Fritz said, ‘The sky’s the
limit. If you want our chairs
one day, you can earn it,’”
Isabel says. “And we still
share that belief.”

Smart Business spoke
with Isabel about how he
hires good people to lead
his $32.4 million company
into the future.

Q. What is your key to growing a successful company?

Teamwork is the thing we
focus on here the most. Everybody on the team has to play a
role, and we need everybody
to fulfill their role so the whole
team can survive.

We don’t ask people to step
out of their position here.
Everyone brings value and is
good at certain things; we
would like you to focus on
what you’re good at and
what you’re passionate

We just finished a project,
and the customer came into
my office and said, ‘Your
group made me feel like part
of your family and part of
your team.’ That’s what we
strive for here. We want our
customers, our vendors and
everybody involved to feel
like we’re all part of a team.

Q. How do you attract good people?

It starts with having a company with a great reputation.
Then, it’s important for potential employees to see the
track record of your current
work force and how long
they have stayed at the company, and finally, they see
that there is no ceiling
to where they could
end up, no limit to
what position they
could hold within the
company. They are not

We’re not building
this company for any
one of us. We’re building it so it continues on
past us, and we need
those future leaders to
continue it. We are
looking for the best talent, and the best talent
needs to have growth
potential. They are
searching for what
they can be one day
and what opportunities
the company will provide for them one day.

We have employees who
come to work here from
other companies, and they
say, ‘There was nowhere
else for me to go there.’ That
stunts growth for employees, and I think it kills their

Our philosophy here is to
wrap ourselves with people
that are as talented, if not
more talented, than we are.
We’re not concerned with
growing people up that may
become better than us.