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Executive Profile: Susan Long

RESUME

Name: Susan Long.

Company: Diving Unlimited International Inc.

Titles: President and CEO.

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No. of employees: 74.

Year founded: 1963.

Birthplace: La Mesa.

Age: 48.

Current residence: San Diego.

Family: Father and company founder, Dick Long; mom, Janice Long; sister and webmaster, Kathy Long; sister, Judie Calgano.

Diving Unlimited International Inc. is a diving equipment manufacturing company that specializes in drysuits and keeping divers warm. It manufactures in San Diego and sells to public safety, military, scientific, commercial and recreational divers throughout North America and around the world. It is considered one of the world’s leaders in drysuits.

Susan Long is the president and CEO. Her father, Dick Long, started the company in 1963.

BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY

Essential business philosophy: Do your best and be the epitome of enthusiasm.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Give people choice and amazing service. People want to be treated as individuals.

Guiding principles: Integrity — do what you say you are going to do.

Yardsticks of success: Sales and profits — after all, without those, you really can’t do the rest.

Goals yet to be achieved: I want to see DUI become stronger, gain further market share, design or acquire new products to expand our product offering, expand international sales … just become more amazing overall.

JUDGMENT CALLS

Best business decision: Keep manufacturing in the U.S. — this gives us control over our manufacturing and quality and the ability to customize our products. It also supports 74 families.

Worst business decision: Keep manufacturing in U.S. — our prices are higher than everybody else due to the high cost of labor, insurance, power, land, etc. We compete in a world marketplace.

Toughest business decision: Deciding to drop a product line.

Biggest missed opportunity: A large military contract for surface drysuits. We had another manufacturer make them as it was extremely price competitive. They did not perform, and we lost the contract.

Mentor: My father. He started with nothing and built an amazing company. It is a privilege to carry on his legacy.

Word that describes you: Focused.

TRUE CONFESSIONS

What you like best about your job: Three things: 1. The variety of things that I get to do; 2. the impact that I have on others be they customers, employees or the community in which I live and work; 3. I get to bring my dog to work.

What you like least about your job: The continuing challenges put upon the business with ever growing regulations.

Pet peeves: Laziness.

Most important lesson learned: Know how to use your resources because you can’t know everything. You just need to know where to go to get the answer.

Person most interested in meeting: Captain Kirk — Yes, I know he is a fictional character, but I’d still like to meet him anyway.

Three greatest passions: My business, diving and having a nice home.

First choice for a new career: A TV homicide cop — it looks so tough.

PREDILECTIONS

Favorite quote: “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” — Albert Einstein.

Favorite status symbol: A nice handbag.

Favorite restaurant: Island Prime / C-Level.

Favorite place for business meetings: At work — when you work in a family business, it’s important to keep some things separate.

Favorite vacation spot: The one I haven’t been to yet.

Favorite way to spend time: Hanging with my dog, Fiji, (oh, I think I just gave away my favorite vacation spot after all!).

— Steve Adamek

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