Albuquerque Business First recognized New Mexico's Top CEOs at an award ceremony with more than 350 attendees. Among the honorees was our very own Steven J. Perich, who was further recognized as the Top CEO in the Business Services category.
Steven Perich, a Founding Principal and the Managing Partner and President of Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, is considered a mentor, problem-solver, team-builder, compassionate leader, and friend. In a recommendation letter for the Top CEO award, D/P/S Vice President Kendal Giles wrote:
Steve has been my mentor and friend for my entire professional career. Early on Steve encouraged me to return to UNM to finish my Master of Architecture degree, which was necessary for me to obtain licensure as an architect, and allowed me flexibility to take classes that interfered with the normal workday. It took many years of one or two classes per semester, but with Steve's prodding, patience, and continual encouragement, I did graduate and become a licensed architect.
It is no exaggeration to state that I learned virtually everything I know about how to run a business from Steve. From my perspective, he is one of the smartest and most intuitive business leaders I've ever met. He not only has an innate understanding of the accounting and finance side of successfully running a business, but the human resource side as well.
Steve does not make a business decision without fully vetting and understanding how that decision will impact the partners and employees of the firm. He believes that a service firm like ours is all about our people, and in order to be successful we must continue to provide opportunities for professional growth for every individual in the firm. He believes and preaches that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that we are at our best as a firm when we are collaborative and multi-disciplinary.
One of the qualities I admire most about Steve is his sense of ethics. Never in the 26 years I have known and worked with Steve has he done something or made a business decision that I would consider to be unethical. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, and will not compromise himself or the firm for financial or other gain. He has taught me that we all make mistakes, and that it is best to admit to a client when we have made a mistake and do what we can to rectify the situation rather than to try to hide or deny it.
CEO's were nominated by the public and asked to submit an application describing personal achievements, leadership, and community involvement. Judges evaluated applicants, and those that received the highest score in each category (business service, health, nonprofit, and technology) were named category winners.
Bill Sabatini, Steve Perich, and Dale Dekker (from left to right)
What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started your career? High-caliber, experienced people are worth their weight in gold. While they may cost a bit, they can help the company succeed day-to-day while allowing you as the leader to keep focused on the bigger picture.