WEALTH OF RESOURCES: Event Resource Group owner Bill Dean, right, works with system designer Ron Kuba. The 2-year-old company offers audio system, video-display, lighting and other services.
PBN PHOTO/NATALJA KENT
By Rebecca Keister PBN Staff Writer
Bill Dean seems to be living life unscripted. Since 2010, he’s been the owner and business manager of Event Resource Group, a Warwick-based audio and visual company that focuses on packaging-content management with production services.
But before that, he was worked in manufacturing and finance, industries that didn’t exactly prepare him for events, marketing and video production.
“The first challenge for me was I had now gotten into something I knew very little about,” Dean said. “On this one, I was kind of a spectator.”
A native Rhode Islander, Dean earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Bryant University in 1986 and went directly to work for Philip Machine Co., a metal-products manufacturing firm in Pawtucket.
He was there for about 20 years when the company was sold to a private investment group.
“Oh, I just got that entrepreneurial bug. I had been there a long time and we had built it from nothing. I decided to go out on my own,” Dean said.
From there he helped turn a garden-product distribution firm around from the brink of bankruptcy before selling the company to an industry competitor.
After that he went to work for Merrill Lynch, in financial services, just around the time of the 2008 economic downturn.
“My timing wasn’t very good and I have to tell you, for me, it just wasn’t really a good fit,” Dean said. “I’m a hands-on guy and just really enjoy the nuts and bolts of small business.”
After leaving Merrill Lynch he went to work for a former business associate in yet another manufacturing venture but the economy was wreaking havoc there as well and Dean had his eye out for a new project.
Networking led an acquaintance to introduce Dean to Ron Kuba, a transplant from upstate New York with an art degree from Long Island University and a decade of experience in the corporate audio-visual world.
Kuba had been working for a while as an independent contractor, working for programs on ESPN and The Golf Channel among others, and was looking for a more-solid business footing.
Dean brought financial backing and the ability to manage the business side of the company. Kuba brought a skill set and client list.