Dean Erekson interviewing guest speaker Dina Dwyer-Owens.

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Dina Dwyer-Owens shared with TCU business students how she helped turn her father’s dream into a business worth more than $1 billion in a discussion on Oct. 7.

John V. Roach dean of the Neeley School of Business O. Homer Erekson interviewed Dwyer-Owens about the Dwyer Group in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom.

Erekson teaches a class called “Ethical Decision Making” and recommended that all his students come and hear Dwyer-Owens speak. The event included a complimentary breakfast as well as networking opportunities for TCU business students.

“Dean Erekson told us about this great opportunity to hear about someone successful in business,” said Kyle Whelpley, a finance and entrepreneurial management major. “I want to run my own company one day, so I’m excited to hear from someone who’s been very successful with what they do and to get some advice with how I can be successful in the future.”

“I’m excited to hear about some of the principles we’ve talked about and how that’s related to Dina’s business and how she’s been able to grow her business based off of ethical practices,” said Kate Benuska, an entrepreneurial management major.

Dwyer-Owens attributes her personal success, as well as the success of the Dwyer Group, to a code of values originally developed by her father.

“The thing he really drove home with us as employees and as his children, with six kids in our family all raised in the business, initially, was that we’ve got to lead with values,” Dwyer-Owens said. “I think that it is the true foundation for success at the Dwyer Group.”

The Dwyer Group code of values is embodied in the acronym “R.I.C.H.” which stands for respect, integrity, customer focus and having fun in the process.

“Living rich is not about money,” Dwyer-Owens said. “These values are really about how you treat people. We think that when you treat people with respect and dignity, it builds wealthy relationships, so I do say that living rich creates wealth, but that wealth first comes in relationships.”

Students said they liked Dwyer-Owen’s focus on values and the talk she gave.

Marketing major Ellen Keim said she really enjoyed listening to Dwyer-Owens.

“I loved getting to hear a strong, successful woman speaker that adheres her company to a high ethical standard through defined values,” Keim said.

Benuska said she loved listening to Dina Dwyer because the speaker was genuinely passionate about the role of ethics in her business.

Dwyer-Owens said her biggest piece of advice for students is, “whether you’re going to start your own business or you’re going to go work for someone else, always remember who you are at your core and always work hard to be the best version of yourself.”