February 26, 2024

Associate Spotlight: Dave Dickerson

It takes an entrepreneurial spirit to see what’s possible and a competitive streak to make it happen. President of Business Development Dave Dickerson has both in spades — and he channels them toward helping Miller Valentine Construction clients meet their project goals.

Dave didn’t set out to join the construction industry. He started in real estate, working for a Dayton, Ohio-based real estate appraisal company straight out of college. Restless to do more, he launched his own company, GEM Real Estate Advisory Group, in 1994. Growth came fast, and it wasn’t long before the company expanded into Cincinnati and Columbus.

“I always had an entrepreneurial spirit in me as a kid, and I always knew I wanted to do something bigger with my career,” said Dave. “But GEM grew large enough that I couldn’t do everything I wanted to because I didn’t have the capacity.”

When an opportunity to merge with Miller Valentine arose in 2011, Dave took it. At the time, the company was still Miller-Valentine Group, with development, brokerage, and property management business units in addition to its construction services group. Company leadership recognized that Dave’s knowledge of real estate, combined with his industry relationships, would be an asset to the business. Dave saw that he could do more with the resources of Miller Valentine behind him.

“With Miller Valentine, I saw an opportunity to take what I established and build on it,” Dave said.

Initially, Dave focused on development opportunities and oversaw brokerage, property management, and appraisal consulting. One of the deals he helped broker was the acquisition of the Montgomery County Fairgrounds by Premier Health and the University of Dayton.

As the company grew, Miller Valentine’s leadership team determined the best course of action was to double down on the company’s core strength: construction. In 2018, Miller Valentine exited its affordable housing development, brokerage, and property management businesses.  They also refined their development strategy to focus in on only two asset classes: luxury multifamily and climate controlled self storage.  During this time Dave’s role shifted, but his background still proved invaluable. His understanding of real estate, market trends and values, and the research that goes into making smart land acquisitions and development and construction decisions continues to benefit Miller Valentine clients and the company overall.

“One of the best ways we can serve our clients is by being part of the conversation early on,” Dave said. “When a client is considering a decision to expand, renovate, or build new, we can help them consider all their options and the related implications. My background is a natural fit for evaluating the factors that will impact our clients’ goals both in the near term and the future.”

Beyond Miller Valentine, Dave is often tapped to share his insights at forums, symposiums, and through other avenues to help business and economic leaders make sense of market trends. He also lends his expertise to several economic development and business-related committees and boards. And through mentorship at Miller Valentine, he is helping to form the next generation of leaders.

Despite — or maybe because of — the turns his career has taken, Dave’s entrepreneurial spirit has not dimmed.

“I enjoy working on deals, whether it’s bringing in new clients or constructing a building,” Dave said. “The success that we have as a team and making things happen for our clients and our business is rewarding. Satisfying a need for a client and knowing the appreciation they have for that service is exhilarating. And I get to do that every day.”

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