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These CEO City Slickers Have Their Share of Success- Red Door Interactive

For the last 13 years, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) has honored 100 of the fastest growing inner city companies and this year, seven Vistage members made the list.  Each of their companies succeeded in growing at least 15% from 2005-2009, but expanding profits weren’t the only things they had in common.  The CEOs honored also invested in a positive internal culture, and showed dedication to the customer experience and integrity of their product.

Reid Carr; CEO Red Door Interactive

2009 Revenues: $10.5 million

5-year Annual Growth Rate: 37%

ICIC Ranking: 39th

Location: San Diego, CA

Industry: Web Marketing

“Reid is on the cutting edge of his industry.  He has a very dynamic team of young, entrepreneurial employees and he manages them well.  He is one of the smartest CEO’s I know,” Alan Sorkin, Reid’s Vistage Chair.

At Red Door, the team is more important than the individual.  The company’s open and collaborative dynamic has led to phenomenal growth and recognition from the San Diego Business Journal as one of the city’s best places to work for five years in a row.

“In our business you need the ability to adapt and change, so we put that into the hands of the people doing the work.  We give them the tools to make good decisions and then the freedom and authority to help us grow,” Reid Carr.

When Reid founded Red Door in 2002, he wanted to build a company that would outlast him.  He and his team manage things closely but make sure that short-term profits are secondary to client service.  Reid believes this focus on the long-term has helped Red Door to be successful when its competitors were not.   In the wake of his expanding business, Reid has consistently turned to Vistage for help.

“One of the major issues I’ve brought to the [Vistage] group is, ‘How do we structure ourselves for growth?’  We acquired a company in Denver, so I was asking, ‘How do we make that move into a new market?’   There were people in my group who had experienced this, so they helped reshape our strategy for future expansion,” Reid Carr.

Vistage serves as his critical support network and offers people from whom he can draw inspiration and ideas.

“If you’re not learning, you’re dying.  You should always have exposure to different ways of thinking and doing things, and you should have the opportunity to do this for others.  Vistage gives you that space,” Reid Carr.

With the expansion of his business, Reid’s idea of giving back has also grown.  Red Door has an internal philanthropy group called the Caring Hearts Committee that actively seeks out ways for employees to get involved.  They also partner with New Leaders for New Schools and give 2% of their revenues to this cause.

“At Red Door, we are very socially aware as a group.  Our idea of teamwork extends beyond these four walls and into the community because the more you do and the more you get to know people, the more committed to the area you become.  And then when you start to see the fruits of your labor, it makes you want to do even more,” Reid Carr.


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