For several years Kemp & Sons has received numerous awards based on their success in leadership and business. From the Fort Worth Business Press Great Women of Texas award and CFO of the Year, all the way to the Fortune Inner City 100 and Inc. 500, they have been recognized as a company and as individuals that have made contributions to business and industry by maintaining their focus with their motto of “Out Work’em.”
It is because of this gritty attitude toward their business and their personal lives that Larry and Reggi have become successful and inspirational to others in the business community.
Whether it is being a keynote speaker or headlining a women’s leadership forum; or speaking at the UTA College of Business or business seminars, the Kemps use every platform available to motivate others as well as themselves.
After spending several years with IBM and part of it’s Financial Management Team, Larry used his experience and in 1998 took over his family’s small commercial cleaning business founded by his father in 1972. Larry quickly put on his marketing hat to expand and grow the business.
Reggi, after owning and operating A Claim Design and Development, a design and construction consulting business, joined forces with her husband to manage, and operate the once small janitorial business. With her guidance Kemp & Sons General Services focused on making critical investments in technology, employee training and developing back office operations. Kemp’s
Janitorial was revamped and Kemp & Sons General Services Inc. emerged. Her goal was to position the company to aggressively enter new market segments such as the federal government, health care and transportation.
Their strategy was simple. It was to work harder than anyone in their industry regarding marketing, providing quality service, getting continued education, developing the right relationships, hiring dedicated employees and being honest in their business practices.
This dedicated work effort has resulted in securing business opportunities with federal agencies and local businesses of all sizes in the DFW area, expanding into other states and growing the business eighteen-fold since 1998.
When asked how proud they are of their success, Reggi simply said, “Though we are proud and excited about what we have accomplished the past 21 years, we have more work to do. We can’t rest on the success that we’ve achieved. To do so would not represent the heart of who we are at Kemp & Sons. There’s more work to be done. We are currently working on new concepts to grow our business. One of which is to assist in transforming the medical industry with regards to sanitation.”
Larry shares Reggi’s philosophy and adds, “Our purpose for hard work is not about competition. It’s about achieving and setting new industry standards. We want to include other companies and come together for a common goal; not for competition. “
There have been some lean times through the past 21 years of Kemp & Sons, but they sustained those times by reorganizing, retooling and realigning to not only maintain but also increase capacity. They had to operate in a consistent and prudent financial manner with regards to business operations and taxes.
Working together as a team has allowed the Kemps to continue to develop individually. Larry, the extrovert, is the talker, author and public speaker. He is always willing to share his experiences to help others. Reggi, the introvert is happy to let him be the talker. This doesn’t mean that she has nothing to say. Reggi has been sought out for her expertise and wisdom on business, the importance of education, marriage and fashion. Their respect for each other’s personality and business acumen create a balance
and dynamic that breeds success and allows them to stay on the same page for their business and personal life.
Larry says that he didn’t always balance life well in previous years, but today, in-spite of the pull in operating a successful business, their faith and family are foremost in their lives.
The one piece of advice that Larry and Reggi would offer to entrepreneurs and new business owners is “Believe in your dreams; but be realistic about your goals.” Larry adds, “my father gave me a gift that no college degree, no business seminar or self- help book could ever give. He impressed upon me the power of belief in one’s self and his dreams and goals in life.”
The Kemps still have goals set for their business. Until those goals have been achieved, they’ll continue to Out Work’em.