Professional Q&A: Dave Younge
This month we kick off a new feature, Professional Q&A. The first professional we’re interviewing is Dave Younge, the Owner and Manager of Progressive Stamping and Fabrication as well as Flex-Ability Concepts. Dave is a long-time resident of Edmond, having lived in Edmond for 26 years.
Q: Where did you grow up and go to school?
A: I grew up in Livonia, Michigan and graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL with a BS in Math.
Q: What did you do prior to getting involved with your current company?
A: I moved to Oklahoma to become the assistant manager at Casa Bonita Restaurant in 1981, then became the general manager in 1985. In 1993, I went to Little Rock, Arkansas as the general manager of Casa Viva, returned to Oklahoma in 1995, and installed point of sales systems in restaurants and other retail locations for data terminals. During that time, I joined Mark Ninness, Frank Wheeler, Romeyn Ninness, and Dick Ninness to form Flex-Ability Concepts. I then began working full-time for Flex-Ability Concepts in 1998. We purchased Progressive Stamping in 2003.
Q: How did you get involved with your current organization?
A: Frank Wheeler invented Flex-C Trac, which made the framing of curved structures much easier for construction contractors. I became an investor, along with the other folks mentioned above. We began selling the product in 1998. Because of my previous roles in sales and general management, I took on those roles in the company.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: With my math background and some accounting picked up along the way, I have always enjoyed the financial part of the business. Organizing the structure of the company as we have grown is very enjoyable as well. In those roles, I have had the opportunity to meet many other business people and made good friends sharing ideas on the challenges of business. I have learned a great deal from those people. Hopefully, I have been of help to them, too.
Q: What’s something you’re passionate about in your personal life?
A: Many of us when we were growing up had a desire to make the world a better place. Through our fresh eyes, we saw many things we thought could be made better. Then, we went out into the world and found our lives filled with just keeping everything going, but we can still change the world if we only think of the immediate world around us. For me, that is trying to be a positive influence in everyone’s life as I interact with them. Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan. In my daily life, I have never come across a beaten, robbed, left-for-dead person. But, I do meet people daily, which allows me to be a good part of their day rather than a bad part. I never know by the simplest act of kindness or an expression of concern when a conversation may become a time of sharing and encouragement. It is also very interesting to me that Jesus used a man from a hated group as the example of being a good neighbor. Jesus finished by telling the questioner to go and do likewise.
Q: What do you like about Edmond?
A: My wife and I had lived in Oklahoma City for 12 years and really did not know much about Edmond until our son went to UCO. We loved the trees and the smaller town feel. We wanted a large lot with lots of trees but away from the business areas. We found the perfect place in Edmond.
Q: What is your number one tip for other professionals, either for work or life in general?
A: In the Declaration of Independence, it is stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” That has always been something we as a nation have aspired to, but have yet to achieve. There are glaring examples in our history when we have done exactly the opposite, and there have been times when we made strides forward. I think we often hold back because we become fearful others will change America by leaving behind all the things that made it the great nation it has been. It is not our job to keep others down; it is our mission to raise them up. If we raise them up and help them along the way, they will add to that greatness. As professionals, we have the opportunity to move toward that ideal or away from it.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.