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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Dave Walens Exploring Inc

Dave Walens

Chief Executive Officer

Exploring Inc.

Location: Atlanta

Founded: 1999

Industry: Exteriential, events and tradeshows

In 1983, at the age of 21, Dave Walens embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, founding his inaugural company within the trade show and event industry. Over the years, his venture burgeoned into a preeminent supplier of portable and modular exhibits, carving a niche for itself in the Southeast.

The turning point occurred in 1999 when Walens orchestrated the acquisition of Brumark, a specialized flooring distributor entrenched in the event and trade show domain. This strategic move propelled the company beyond its initial identity as a design and build entity, leading to the inception of Exploring Inc. where Walens serves as the CEO.

Exploring Inc.’s primary industry is manufacturing for experiential events, experiences and trade shows. The company strives to be a portal of leading businesses that service its customers with a unified brand integrity that is driven by outstanding customer service, quality products and services and ongoing innovation.

Since the company’s inception, Walens has led the acquisition of GCI, further diversifying the company’s offerings, brought forth a cadre of key individuals who played pivotal roles in steering the company’s course and underscored growth from a two-person entity to a workforce encompassing 180 employees across three divisions.

“This narrative of success, marked by strategic foresight, acquisitions, and the development of key talents, exemplifies the remarkable journey of Exploring Inc. within the dynamic trade show and event industry,” said Walens.

In addition, Walens has served as the chair of the EDPA Foundation, establishing a $1 million endowment for the industry. “David’s ability to rally support, garner resources and steer the foundation toward such a substantial endowment underscores not only his financial prowess but also his capacity to make a meaningful and enduring impact,” said his colleagues.

According to his staff, Walens stature is not merely defined by a string of achievements but by the profound characteristics that underscore his entrepreneurial prowess. “Central to his success is an unwavering entrepreneurial mindset, an innate force that propels him to confront challenges with both creativity and resilience,” they said. “This intrinsic quality sets him apart, positioning him as a trailblazer in his field, unafraid to explore new avenues and navigate unchartered territories.”

As a leader, Walens said he lets kindness guide him while having the ability to see the invisible to make the impossible. “The right mindset to take risk and innovate, an unwavering determination on building a positive culture and always bringing the highest values is crucial to be a successful leader,” he said. “Most importantly, you have to put customers and employees first.”

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I let kindness guide me and have the ability to see the invisible to make the impossible.


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