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Key Idea: Invest In Your Community

Arnold says, "You can have ethics and you can have the desire to renovate and to be an uplifting spirit within an area.   More...

Key Question:


You and your employees can stay excited by doing things for people who need help.  When you step back and see how you will grow your business, it probably has much to do with your local economy, the school systems, the tax structure, the traffic patterns and dozens of details that you as a business owner could influence.

Q: How do Arnold and George work on the big picture of their business?

The two are visionary. Their goal has always been to create work in the old neighborhood that they grew up in. Rather than assume it would stay unattractive, they bought buildings to operate in and over time they are gradually, block by block, making improvements.

They are not only improving the real estate. They are also working as volunteers at the local elementary school to provide male role models to children who do not have a father at home.

Q:  Why is what they are doing so powerful?

  It changes everything for them and their employees. Diversified Chemicals is not about making money, it is about making lives better. The leadership demonstrates this by the way they spend their time and this serves as a positive force that is not seen but felt. It makes these men attractive. It makes customers happy to do business with them and employees happy to work for them.

Q: How can and should small business owners be involved in community/urban re-vitalization?

A: Community development is economic development and economic development is good for small business. Community development creates jobs and servicesin other words, new customers for us!

Think of the poorest area in your region. Now imagine homes, shops, restaurants, theaters, and small businesses. That transition is community development. Many of the currently economically depressed areas of our country, particularly in urban areas, were thriving communities in the 40’s and 50’s. Lack of new construction and the flight to the outlying suburbs are the two most common reasons for neighborhood decay.

Often there are many residents of other communities who would love to come home if only the area could be revitalized. The conundrum of community development is nobody wants to live in an area with no grocery stores, restaurants or dry cleaners and nobody wants to open a grocery store where nobody lives. Community development is NOT just razing dilapidated houses and building new homes, it’s increasing the quality of people’s lives.

Revitalizing a poor neighborhood without displacing its current residents, termed gentrification, is the biggest challenge and the biggest risk in community development.

Community development is managed by community development corporations or CDC’s. There are hundreds of them throughout the country. Many are faith-based, almost all are faith-driven. They are understaffed and under capitalized. You can help by volunteering your time and expertise and by making cash contributions.

Think about it

What is the ecosystem in which you operate? What impact do you have on it now? What action can you take to improve it?  

Clip from: Diversified Chemical Technologies

Arnold Joseff and George Hill

Detroit, Michigan:  There is no alchemy within the deep success of Diversified Chemical and her founders, Arnold Joseff and George Hill (pictured above). Rather, it is the right mix of ingredients -- attention to details, adherence to rules and procedures and exacting standards, fiscal responsibility, personal accountability, and an investment in their people and community -- that produce results that consistently meet their customer's expectations and exceed their customer's requirements.

Arnold and George opened Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc. in 1971 and today it is the holding company for four subsidiaries: Adhesive Systems, Coat-it; Diversified Chemical Technologies, and Paperworks. Together the companies employ over 200 people -- 50 are chemists -- and they generate over $150 million in annual sales.

In the '80s they decided to stop being sales-driven and to become innovation-driven. They reinvented the entire business. They took their lab off the back burner and turned up the heat by putting it at the very core of the company. It meant putting technology ahead of personality as a way of defining their competence within their industry.   These two broke the mold then reinvented it.

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Diversified Chemical Technologies (GH)

George Hill, CEO

15477 Woodrow Wilson
Detroit, MI 48238

Visit our web site:

Office: 313-867-5444

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1971

Invest In Your Community

HATTIE: The place is buzzing. I watched director of local accounts, Julius Gray, arrive at the office.

JULIUS: Never take no – never -- never give up.

HATTIE: Did your Mom teach you that?

JULIUS: Persistence pays off. My mother taught me; my father learned lessons in many places. You don't need to experience things in life to learn from other people's experiences. So, that is the key to it. Grasping other people's experiences and applying them when it is appropriate.

HATTIE: Like Julius, Arnold is running. He doesn't have an office, so he can be anywhere anytime.

ARNOLD: Even though you have to make profits and you have to be businessmen, it doesn't dismiss the fact that you can have moral values.

You can have ethics and you can have the desire to renovate and to be an uplifting spirit within an area. What we have done on a consistent basis is to take over, literally, abandoned properties and bring them back to life.

We don't sell them -- we continue to use them. They become economical method of establishing a business that then creates employment, technology and growth.

And, really, it's who we are and what we want to become. It's what we want to share with others. Because, if we can do it in our own small way – others can do it in a much bigger way.

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