By Brenda Matamoros
With satellite offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa, Baltimore, the D.C. area, Phoenix and California, John D. Rivers, president and CEO, JDR Consulting LLC, is the owner of a small business with big clients. The firm recently made the smart move from New York to Dallas. JDR is following many large Fortune 500 companies that are moving to Texas. Making this move, Rivers said, “will allow the firm to increase staff, move to other industries and open up other offices around the globe.”
As an LGBT-certified, full-service consulting firm, offerings include business-process optimization, project management, software selections, implementations and integrations, custom report writing and help desk. JDR also provides accounting services, lease/property audits and management of information technology projects in various industries.
“We are expanding our internal services for project management offices by certifying our project managers through the Project Management Institute,” Rivers said. “One of our growing service lines will be project management office where we will go in and create our clients’ internal project management offices for them or provide the management of it. This service creates tighter controls and keeps track of the budget, acts as the liaison for management, IT and all stakeholders. We are also launching a chief information officer in a box.”
A CIO in a box would accommodate smaller organizations that do not have the resources to add a CIO, but they still have the same needs as larger organizations, such as creating a strategic roadmap for network infrastructure, upgrades and enterprise resource planning software that is in place.
“One of our initiatives is to gain entry into the health care industry by using the same approach the firm was built on — technology,” Rivers said. “Our approach is understanding the clients and their businesses first before layering on technology.”
Another goal for the firm is to expand internationally. Rivers’ husband is from Sydney, Australia and while visiting the continent, he noticed the lack of consulting companies.
“Australia is almost like the Wild West for real estate systems consulting,” Rivers said. “The reason I say that is because there are really no consulting services out there for the real estate systems market. There are maybe one or two individuals, but there are no companies offering the full service that we offer. Obviously, this [possible expansion] takes a lot of research. If you look all over the world and you find that need, you say, ‘Oh, this is where we have to be.’”
In his downtime, Rivers is very committed to the Human Rights Campaign organization.
“While sitting at a friend’s table at the [Greater] New York Gala, I said, ‘I really want to get involved with the organization,’ and ended up jumping in head first,” he said. “I initially started off on the gala’s corporate committee for corporate fundraising and over the course of three years, was successful in breaking records for corporate donations. I later transitioned into the gala chair and was on the board of governors.
“For me, I love what HRC is doing for the community in the political arena, for marriage and all the different laws that are getting passed,” Rivers said. “Also, [I love] the foundation side of the organization that has a mission and outreach to bring awareness to parts of the country that really aren’t that aware with such programs as Corporate Equality Index and Welcoming Schools. As we all know, being LGBT now, everybody knows somebody or a family member who is LGBT. To me, HRC is bringing it into the home, and they’re personalizing it, so it breaks the stigma of the whole LGBT community.”
As Rivers makes his presence known in Texas, he is determined to keep the same business strategy with his customers.
“We base our client solutions around their needs and best practices. We really want to sit down and understand the clients’ businesses inside and out,” Rivers said. “What are their 3-to-5 year goals? What issues are they looking to solve? What is their end game? Once we have a full understanding of the clients’ visions/businesses, we recommend and implement solutions that are tailored or aligned to their internal objectives. Our best success is when our clients return, and we have become their trusted business adviser.”