Robb Corwin is CEO of Pride Group, a Tempe-based company that helps many of the Valley’s biggest events run safely and efficiently.
Az Business: What was your first job?
Robb Corwin: At 14, I was a sales-service-everything guy at our neighborhood sporting good store in Minneapolis.
AB: What did you earn at that first job?
RC: $5 per hour, but that was after I learned how to sharpen hockey skates, sew lettering on a letterman’s jacket, put masks on helmets and everything there was to know about running shoes.
AB: What did you learn from your first job?
RC: Attention to detail and relationship building. The owners were detail focused guys that made sure that every shelf was faced, every dressing room was spotless and the product displays were meticulously organized. Since they were just a mom and pop store and didn’t have a big advertising budget, they taught us to build relationships with the customers and make them feel at home through incredible service and they will come back.
AB: What was your first job in your current industry?
RC: I valet and parked cars at bars, resorts and special events. And in very short order thought to myself, “there is a much better way to do this.”
AB: What inspired you to start the Pride Group?
RC: The overwhelming calling from prospective clients to fill a void of service, quality, integrity and pride. Our culture and ethos dictates that we will exceed the expectation, take pride in our work and be complete in our service. We actually interviewed our clients — before they were our clients — to get candid feedback of the what they felt their current vendors were lacking, what they wanted and what they expected from their partners-vendors.
AB: What has been your biggest challenge?
RC: To consistently exceed the expectation. With each opportunity a client presents us with, we strive to go above and beyond. Each time you achieve that, the bar gets set higher for the net opportunity. We found that overcoming this challange actually starts before the opportunity presents itself, with our culture, training, empowerment and dedication. We have a incredible group of professionals that have come together and share an ethos to always improve and never get complacent. We hire associates with the will to be the best at whatever they do, because you can’t train it.
AB: What is your favorite aspect of running the Pride Group?
RC: The opportunity to mentor and help others grow, achieve, prosper, develop, mature and be great human beings. Our focus is on our associates, their quality of life, their life balance and getting them to be well grounded. That means emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally and family. When you take care of your people, that naturally take care of our clients.
AB: If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you like to be doing?
RC: Finding other ways to help others. Whether it be through mentoring or consulting those who believe, desire and are committed to a dream or cause.