Kreutziger: u201cGiving back to the community gives our people a larger mission; they receive 10 times what they give back.u201d<@SM>The list of non-profit organizations Driver SPG has helped, and the number of items donated, is long.


ANAHEIM, CA—Philanthropy is a major mission for Driver SPG‘s president Karl Kreutziger. As reported last week, Kreutziger, a 27-year industry veteran, has been promoted from EVP to president of Driver SPG, a locally based affiliate of C.W. Driver that focuses on renovation, modernization and smaller new-construction projects. Kreutziger will lead project teams in the preconstruction and planning phases as well as oversee client relations. caught up with Kreutziger to discuss his new role at the firm, why philanthropy is so important to him and the importance of company culture. What are you hoping to accomplish in your new role?

Kreutziger: For me, it’s a role that I kind of already assumed when I started the company. We started the company three years ago, and we have really grown quite a bit in the last three years—we’ve been very successful. I’m not so worried about the president title, but about being a leader for the Driver SPG division. I’ve always had a leadership role, and I think it’s important to promote communication. I’m very optimistic about the ability to do things. I’m the eternal optimist and I try to project that in everything I do. It’s all about team. That role is very important: I’m the captain of a great team. How would you describe the company culture at Driver SPG, and why is this important?

Kreutziger: The culture we have has broken down the barriers to communication. I communicate with every part of our company, whether it’s a new project intern or a director of operations. I treat everyone the same, and everyone has access to me. It’s just a really positive, optimistic, “how are we going to succeed” type of attitude. Our offices are very modern, open and well lit. They have music in them, ping pong tables and barbecues. This new company I started evolved from C.W. Driver, an almost-100-year-old company, and cultures are sometimes set in old companies. I knocked down all those barriers and said, “What do we want to be?” In order to attract great people, it has to be more than just a job to people. You have to have more of a sense of accomplishment about what you do, and that is why philanthropy and customer service are really keystones to our success.

[IMGCAP(2)] What does philanthropy mean to you, and what it its significance for your firm and the industry?

Kreutziger: Giving back to the community gives our people a larger mission for our company in that they receive 10 times what they give back. Every year we say, “What’s your passion? What do you guys want to do? Tell us, let’s take a survey.” We focus on the causes and charities that are passionate for our employees. When you give up your time, it makes the company so much closer. Giving up free time creates a great team, and we are so much stronger when we involve our industry partners. Whenever we do large events, we always center them around non-profit organizations. At our open house, we gave five non-profits a platform to tell everyone what we’re doing with them. We pick a charity we want to support, and attendees bring items for our charity when they come to our event. I get great feedback after the event, and it’s just a great thing. If people could center their business more around giving back, I think there would be some great changes in our industry. You’d find employees that are happier about being at your office when you focus on something larger than the company.