Don't look for David D'Eletto on the golf course or snoozing in the corner office. For this hands-on leader, there's no time to rest.
“As owners, we've never been ones to sit up on our perch and watch our company being run,” says D'Eletto, managing partner of Robbinsville, N.J.-based Meeting Alliance. “We are there every day, involved in all aspects of the business.”
For D'Eletto and his two partners, Barbara Jackson and Michael Franks, who started the company in 1999, 2007 has been their best year yet. The company was named to Inc. magazine's Inc. 5,000 list — a larger segment of the Inc. 500, developed to recognize small businesses. And the company was ranked No. 256 in Entrepreneur magazine's Hot 500 — a list of the fastest-growing small businesses in the country.
Then came the call about the CMI 25. “When that call came, we all sat down and said ‘to be recognized by your peers in the industry, that is really something,’” he says.
Despite being honored as a fast-growing small businesses, D'Eletto says Meeting Alliance's success is due in part to deliberately gradual expansion. “We have never wanted to bring on too many people too quickly.” The company has just 16 full-time employees and relies on six freelance planners. Growth, he says, is one of his main challenges. “It is a roadblock for businesses like ours. I want to be in control of what is going on.”
However, D'Eletto has hired a new salesperson to help them expand into vertical markets. “We're about 80 percent pharma right now,” says D'Eletto. “We are looking to take our skills into other industries such as banking and insurance.” The company has also begun consulting, working with companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novo Nordisk to developprograms. When it is time to grow, he is ready. “I am getting about 20 to 30 [unsolicited] résumés a week.”