October 24, 2019

Transitions are exciting and challenging all at once, and everyone at DKI-CRCS is rising to that opportunities as we celebrate our 40th year in business. From early beginnings with one truck, to the ability to respond to large-scale events, we’ve always remembered who we’re here to serve. As we look ahead, we continue to focus on giving what we can to the community that has given us so much.

“It’s been very rewarding over the past 40 years to have been able to grow the community through the growth of the business,” said founder Cris Douglas. “We’re in a transitional state now, moving to the second generation.”

By that, Cris is referring to his three sons, Ryan, Matt, and Kyle, who have grown up in the business and form the backbone of the leadership for DKI-CRCS now. As the sons take on more of the work, Cris is able to step back.

“The boys work at the business as much as in the business,” said Cris. “Stepping back for me means working at the business, but not in it anymore.”

Instead, Cris has shifted his focus from running the company to mentoring those who are taking over. He’s also excited to have more time to expand on the community work he’s done for decades with organizations like Lakeridge Health, Epilepsy Durham, hospice houses and many others. “We’ve done it for 40 years; it’s what I know.”

Meanwhile, each of his sons has taken on a greater level of responsibility in the business. The eldest, Ryan, is now the VP of Commercial Service. Matt Douglas is the VP of Business Development, and the youngest, Kyle, is VP of Operations.

“This year has been quieter, without those surge events we had in 2018,” said Matt. “We’ve been able to make progress on projects that help us serve our clients better than ever before. We’re also building deeper relationships in the community as a way to ensure a high-quality, faster response when we’re needed.”

DKI-CRCS has built new relationships to support healthcare, works, and social service’s facilities. Local educational, institutional and landmark retail outlets also rely on DKI-CRCS’s Emergency Services. These partnerships are about more than just business. Having agreements in place means that DKI-CRCS can help the community get back to normal even sooner, after a damaging weather event.

Back at the office, DKI-CRCS is also working through the changes you’d expect as a company shifts to the next generation. As long-time staff retire, newer employees step up to the plate, trained and ready to succeed. The work is important not just because it’s a job, but because this work is done in the same communities where the people of DKI-CRCS live, work, and play. This work is about keeping Durham Region a great home.

“We know what our commitments are to the community around us,” said Cris. “We eat, breathe, and sleep this stuff.”

While the sons continue to ensure the business is the best it can be, Cris ponders his own step back from the company he started. He knows he’ll be doing more community work, because as he puts it, “when you get up and go at 100 miles per hour, you only know one speed.”

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