Born: Skokie, Ill.
Education: Northern Illinois University, bachelor’s degree, accountancy; CPA
What has been your biggest business challenge?
Changing the strategy of our company from one of growth and increased market share to one of increased returns for our shareholders while still maintaining a reasonable rate of growth.
What is the most important business lesson you have learned?
Truth, no matter how difficult it may be, always wins. Do not try to sugarcoat a problem.
What was your first job?
I delivered afternoon papers for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A policeman or a fireman.
Whom do you admire most in business and why?
Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank for following what they believed in and starting Home Depot to show how important it is to satisfy the customer.
What is your favorite board game and why?
Cribbage. I enjoy any card game, especially ones that deal with different combinations and permutations in getting points.
Dahm on his leadership style: I’m not a yeller or a screamer, but when it comes time to lay down the hammer, I’ll get very passionate and get very vocal about it. People know that Dave is passionate about this and very serious about it. I don’t get very emotional on a dayto-day basis. You don’t see my personality swinging from one end to the other. It’s fairly consistent. People look up to their leaders, and they want to make sure there’s confidence in the leadership and the leader is confident in the way things are going, so I keep myself on a real steady keel.