Founded: In 2004, Chet Erwin and Mike McGhan founded Valerus and now serve as co-CEOs and general partners.
Presence: 30 facilities in the U.S., additional facilities in Latin America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia
What is the best business lesson you’ve learned?
McGhan: Select the right partner, whether it be a financial partner or a partner that might be able to help you do business in a certain part of the world. Wherever you’re going, you need to select the right partner.
Erwin: To be persistent and never quit.
What traits or skills are essential for a business leader?
Erwin: You need to be able to listen. You need to be creative and nimble. And you need to be willing to lead by example.
McGhan: You need to be willing to continually formulate and reformulate your business plan, which means an ability to understand and analyze is critical to success.
What is your definition of success?
Erwin: To develop an engaged, motivated group of employees. If you have that, you’ll probably find success as an organization. You engage and motivate employees through career opportunities and rewarding their commitment to the organization.
McGhan: Having a loyal following of customers, suppliers and a loyal following in the financial community.