We had the good fortune of connecting with Dovie Crouse and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dovie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Growth is impossible without taking some risks. All my biggest adventures and greatest growth in my personal and professional life have come as a result of taking some measure of risk even if it begins by just pushing myself out of my comfort zone. My first step into risky territory was to leap into a study abroad program in France – having grown up in the Houston area and attending University of Houston, it was a big step out for an only child leaving her hometown for an immersive program in a foreign country. That experience was incredibly fun and rewarding. And many others have followed, big and small: buying my first home as a young single woman taking a foreign assignment to the UK for work, getting married, every time I have taken on a new role, and starting Arion in 2017. At every decision point, it was always about considering what was at risk by taking the next opportunity as well as what was at risk by NOT taking it. I have never regretted a single risk I have taken, because I have learned something from every single experience.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The formula for Arion’s success is pretty simple: hire people who are passionate about their work, create the right environment (read: culture) for them to succeed and thrive as teammates, challenge the team to deliver real value for the clients we serve, then let the profits speak to how well we’re doing in the first three pursuits. That simplicity is not to say that it is easy – some days the struggle is real, but we work every day to live into this vision and keep it the reality. Starting with a small group of well-known colleagues who have industry-wide reputations for excellence was certainly a big boost to getting the company off the ground. And continuing to deliver to each client – old and new – is raising the attention of others. What I am most proud of is that we have navigated quite a roller-coaster as a young business – incredible growth through the first two years followed by the hardest year many have ever seen in oil and gas – and we are coming out the other side with strength, which I wholeheartedly believe comes from never taking our eyes off our driving principles.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Given a week in H-Town, I would make sure we hit some key eateries like my neighborhood haunts Eight Row Flint for their brussels sprouts tacos and Coltivare for the best pizza in Houston and beyond. They also both feature creative takes on my beloved Gin and tonic that cannot be skipped. Additionally, we would have to work in breakfast or lunch at Dish Society, Local Foods, and a fajita dinner or two at Lupe’s and Goode Co. Cantina (with at least one of their not-to-be-missed margaritas), with night caps at either Lei Low or Johnny’s Gold Brick. In between all the feasting, we would walk it off with a stroll through the Arboretum, with some disc golf along TC Jester, or a visit to the zoo (with an extended stop at the elephant house). Other must-see spots would be the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to adore the Corn Poppy, my favorite piece in their resident collection, and the Menil for their more eclectic collections, including the Shuttlecock/Sphinx.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have had a hand in helping me become the person I am today: my parents and grandparents, Mark Palmer, Steffanie Heringer, Dena Lee, David Jackson, Lynn Loughney, Dr. Bob Chapman, Constance Goodwin, Michele McNichol, and Todd Crouse. Every one of these souls have touched mine to teach, mentor, challenge, encourage and cheer for me. There are countless others!
Debbie Porter Shems Blomberg