Podcast: IMEG CEO reflects on firm’s growth and career of 47 years (and counting)

IMEG President and CEO Paul VanDuyne talks about the trajectory of his career and the firm’s growth during his 20-year tenure as CEO in this special episode of The Future Built Smarter podcast.

The recipient of ENR Midwest’s 2023 Legacy Award, Paul entered the industry as a design electrical engineer 47 years ago when he joined IMEG—then KJWW Engineering. In 2003 he became president and CEO, and since 2015 IMEG has completed 35 acquisitions and has gone from 800 staff members to over 2,400 staff at 80 locations coast to coast. All of that might not have happened, however, had Paul followed his original plans when he moved from the East Coast—where he’d already earned an engineering degree—to Davenport, Iowa.

“I actually came out to the Midwest to become a chiropractor,” he says. “I was going into a new career direction. About six months into it I needed to make some money and joined this small engineering company over in Rock Island, Illinois. I was their 16th person at the beginning of 1976. That’s my story with what eventually became IMEG.” Paul shares how his interest in healthcare—he did go on to earn his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College—led to jumpstarting and building IMEG’s healthcare portfolio, which today is ranked 4th in the nation among engineering firms by Building Design+Construction.

Paul also discusses IMEG’s ongoing strategic mergers and acquisitions, its goal to become a billion-dollar company, and how its wide diversity of markets and services, geographic distribution, employee ownership, and single profit center combine to provide the firm with resilience and growth even during times of adversity. “All that really helped us get through the pandemic, but also any difficult times that come up,” he says. “That’s a huge stability factor for us.”

After nearly 50 years in the business, Paul says he is very committed to a daily health regimen that helps him to stay energized and meet the demands of the job, physically and mentally. “I think a lot of it has to do with mindset,” he says. “If your mindset is a progressive mindset, and it’s an abundance mindset, I think that gives you a huge advantage.” 

Listen to the podcast, below, and learn more about IMEG’s approach and stories of success in the new mini-documentary, “IMEG Built Smarter: A Strategic Growth Story.” 

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