Many special guests, including Grandview Heights leaders, a representative from the governor's office and other elected officials, attended the Feb. 7 ribbon-cutting ceremony at Dawson Resources' new headquarters at 1114 Dublin Road.
For co-owners Chris and David DeCapua, the most important guests were their parents, who flew in from Florida for the event.
"It was a big day for us, but having them here made it that much more special," Chris DeCapua said. "We purchased the company from my father in 1999, and it's become much different from the business he owned and from the one we bought.
"But it all was built by what my father did," he said. "I could never have done what he did -- building a business from the ground up with not much more than two nickels to his name."
Dawson, a staffing firm that helps provide temporary and full-time employees for companies in IT, accounting, creative design, office, call center and industrial businesses, now has about 75 employees. There's room to grow in its new location in the former Thomas W. Ruff Co. office furniture showroom and sales office.
All of the furniture Dawson brought from its former office at 3650 Olentangy River Road "came out of the Ruff building," DeCapua said.
The company purchased the Ruff building in 2011.
"We looked at some other buildings in the community and seriously considered a couple of them, but we knew this was the location that best fit our needs," DeCapua said. "Fifty-thousand cars pass by it every month and this is such an iconic building. Everybody knows this building as being the Ruff building."
The location will become even more prominent as the Wagenbrenner Co. moves forward with its plans to redevelop the nearby Kaplin Tract, he said.
Dawson put about $1.5 million into interior and exterior improvements, DeCapua said.
"It's a building we're really proud of," he said.
Under a 10-year, six-month incentive agreement with the city of Grandview, Dawson will receive a 30 percent credit on city income taxes for any full year in which it maintains a payroll of at least $2 million -- the firm's current payroll level -- at the site.
Dawson moved into its new location Dec. 24.
Among the features DeCapua said he is most pleased with are a cafeteria with "an open, informal atmosphere," a gym and a theater named after his father.
"I think my dad was really moved when he learned we named the theater in his honor," DeCapua said.
The theater will be available for area businesses and organizations to use for a small charitable donation, said Felicia Wilson, Dawson's director of marketing.
"We will be matching any donation we receive from a local business who wants to use the theater," she said. "It's our way of giving back to the community."
The space also includes a timeline and collection of photos and memorabilia detailing the company's history, Wilson said.
Dawson's future will be made on Dublin Road, DeCapua said.
"This is our home and it's where we plan to stay," he said.
The company is using about 36,000 of the building's 46,000 square feet, DeCapua said. Dawson will consider leasing the unoccupied space.