For Dan Howick, strong leadership has everything to do with people: Recruiting and hiring right-fit talent, training them carefully, and ensuring ongoing aptitude and engagement.
“I believe that in order to do great things, you have to have a great team,” Dan says.
“An organization is less about the leadership and more about the skilled people who are getting the work done day after day. Our organization wouldn’t exist without them.”
Dan was appointed Vice President of Danella Design Services in 2020. Florida-based DECC provides outside plant fiber optic network design, permitting, and construction support for broadband networks nationwide. It’s an industry that looks a lot different than it did when Dan got started just a few decades ago.
“I am fortunate to have chosen an industry that has absolutely taken off,” he says. “When I started in communications in the 1990s, it was all about connecting houses and buildings with copper cables so people could use their hard-wired telephones. Now it’s all about fiber optics, wireless technology, and high-speed internet.”
Despite the industry’s evolution, Dan’s takeaway from his early career holds strong.
“My leadership style is very much focused on surrounding myself with great people, and building a team that works well together,” Dan says. “I do my best to create a positive work environment where everyone feels they have the tools, training, and support they need.”
And while it might sound counterintuitive, Dan is convinced that technology’s growing role in everyday lives only increases the need for a strong team.
“The recent need for remote learning and working has really highlighted the importance of the work we do,” he says. “Every day, that work becomes increasingly ‘tech-y,’ from how we design and build broadband infrastructure for clients to how we conduct our own business, and the tools we utilize. Because of this, having a well-rounded team capable of keeping up with technology trends is critical. Our clients expect us to be subject matter experts who can guide them through their projects, so prioritizing our people, their training, and the right tools is the only path to success, in my opinion.”
It’s why Dan continues to be involved with every new hire and the talent search that precedes it.
“I need to make sure we are doing our absolute best to put the right people in the right positions. Anyone that has been part of a team that just ‘clicks’ knows exactly what I am talking about.”
In addition to his role at Danella, Dan is a member of BICSI and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE). He holds General Contractors and Utility Excavation Contractors licenses in Florida.
A former U.S. Army paratrooper, Dan lives in Florida with his wife of 26 years. In his spare time, he can be found outdoors with friends and family and in the water surfing.