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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives
Chris Rice Welch Equipment Co. Inc

Chris Rice

President & CEO

Welch Equipment Co., Inc.

Location: Denver

Founded: 1985

Industry: Material Handling

Chris Rice advises others to always answer the call. Eight years into the business, he was asked to take a pay cut and move to Utah to run the branch. He answered the call and eventually became VP of sales at the headquarters of Welch Equipment in Denver.

“The position of branch manager forced me to learn the eccentricities of a business with 17 different revenue sources,” said Rice. “This helped build a foundation of my skill set and understanding of each business segment needed in my current role as CEO; if I didn’t take the challenge, I don’t know if I would be an effective leader for our team.”

Welch Equipment is a distributor for the material handling industry and aims “to be the premier destination in material handling solutions by advancing the success of our partners through providing effective, efficient solutions and elite customer service.”

A second-year Titan 100, Rice has expanded the company from 275 employees to 400 with top-line growth of over 60%. He has also focused on developing his people and future leaders, putting more than 100 employees through leadership training. “Developing our people and future leaders has by far been the largest accomplishment with the largest payback and reward,” said Rice. “Leaders develop leaders and then watch the cycle repeat in an endless pursuit of getting better – get a team of A players and invest in their development to make them leaders of the future.”

Rice describes the company’s expansion as growth and plateau. “With that kind of growth, we find ourselves in a position where we need to evaluate our business to see what needs to be dialed in,” he said. “We are looking at the 3 Ps – people, processes and platforms.”

According to Rice, when you commit to the development of people and their leadership skill sets, there isn’t only one thing that you can concentrate on. “All of my executive team and managers have external mentors and mentees that they meet monthly with where they exchange best practice ideas and bounce business opportunities and concerns with each other,” he said.

Rice said that being involved with the Titan 100 program has equipped him with valuable networking opportunities, ideas, business solutions and methods. “Humility is a trait that all good leaders need and being labeled as a titan is an honor,” said Rice. “Being a leader of leaders is a privilege.”

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Did you know?

I work best under pressure. I can’t explain it. When there is a lot on the line in a high pressure situation, I’ve been given the gift of remaining calm and clear headed.


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