Darrell Bennett '97, who earned a degree in engineering science, is certainly not afraid to grab the tiger by the tail.
by Donna Parker
It began in 1993 when he helped lead the Trinity Tigers football team to the first of four straight SCAC Championships, as well as the University's first Division III playoff appearance in 1994. It plays on with Darrell still leading his team to success at the helm of his Houston-based company, CRMatic (www.CRMatic.com).
"We help companies run better by implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to help manage their customers more effectively. Our slogan is 'Take Control of Your Customers'. First, we talk to our clients to see how they currently manage their customers, recommend a software solution, and then customize it to fit their needs," says Darrell, who single-handedly founded CRMatic in 2003.
"In the beginning it was just me, so I did everything by myself - sales, customization, training, and accounting - you name it, I did it."
However, in 2006, Darrell truly scored a touchdown with CRMatic by buying out a CRM company in Dallas. "Buying the other company forced me out of my home and underwear into an office and wearing a suit every day," he laughs. "I love it now! I'm in a sales role, although I still do everything from making big presentations to the sweeping floors!"
Even with the growth of the company, the quality of work has not suffered. "The largest percentage of our business, before and since the acquisition, has been word of mouth. People know we do really good work."
Darrell also works hard to give back to his hometown of Houston, Texas. He and some friends founded a program called Dreams Within Reach, which gathers computers from businesses and donates them to needy children in inner city schools.
When he needs a break, there is nothing like the smiles and laughter from his 3-year-old son, Carter.
"He's very big and tall for his age, he looks like a 5 year old! I've recently gotten into cycling and he likes to ride with me in a trailer that hitches on to my bike. Sometimes we ride down to the Astros game from my office."
"Trinity was just a great experience. In addition to playing athletics, I learned so much from my professors like Mahbub Uddin, department of engineering science. He often told me he wasn't teaching me engineering, he was really teaching me how to learn. Once I started working, I realized exactly how that applied."
Two of Darrell's current employees are Trinity alumni - John Herron '99 and Lucas Schalk '96. This CEO believes Trinity prepared him for the entrepreneurial challenges he now faces and together, with his fellow alumni, he's running a successful company with offices in Houston, Dallas, and Oklahoma City which is seeing constant revenue growth.
You may contact Darrell at Darrell [at] CRMatic.com.