A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

In Memoriam: Doyle Crow

October 2, 1947 - January 7, 2018

It is not uncommon to see an article paying tribute to a construction industry CEO or company owner when they pass away.  These leaders have higher profiles; their achievements are known to more people.  However, any company owner or CEO will tell you that many people have played critical support roles in all that they accomplished.  We honor one such superb support team member in this piece.

Doyle Crow, the former CFO at MAREK, joined that highly respected company 35 years ago, and was functioning in an advisory capacity at the time of his death.  Ralph Marek, the CEO at that time, hired him as an internal auditor to ensure that MAREK’s accounting system was keeping up with their growth. Doyle, a CPA, had the ideal credentials: he had been an auditor with the public accounting firm Touche Ross.  He became the CFO a few years later and lead the accounting department through periods of both extreme challenge and great growth, earning the respect and trust of all Marek family members and all other employees.  He was remarkably effective – certainly because of his professional knowledge, but, more importantly, because of the pleasant, helpful way he approached his work.  Stan Marek, his management team partner and leader, says it well: “Doyle was a talented accountant, but most of all he was a people person.”

Two of his long-time colleagues provide specific insights.  Mike Holland, Chief Operating Officer, says, “I always found Doyle to be absolutely trustworthy.  We trusted him with anything.  Even though he must have been a confidante for many of us at MAREK, I never had the feeling he shared our discussions inappropriately.  Doyle was a great listener, and when he spoke you listened.  He would not always agree with you, but he would always shoot you straight.”  Larry Williams, who heads MEMCO, adds, “He made most everyone feel they were his best friend; he was never above anyone’s level.  Almost to a fault, he was generous, unselfish, supportive and forgiving.  And, in addition to credibility, Doyle brought personality to accounting!”  In the days immediately after his passing, many other employees told stories about his helping them get a mortgage or solve some credit problem.  He was a special person, always there for everyone.

He gave of himself to the industry too, particularly through the Construction Financial Management Association. (CFMA), where he was a leader in the local chapter.  Most recently, his passion became the Prisoner Entrepreneurship Program – a highly acclaimed program that provides a “fresh start” to reformed inmates who thrive on challenge and accountability.  Doyle, inherently generous in mentoring younger people, was certainly also inspired by the Marek Family example.  All Marek family members and executives are involved with organizations that help people get second chances.

No one knew Doyle better than Stan Marek.  They were a powerful partnership for over 25 years, working closely together on those key big decisions that determine the company’s fate.  They selected a path to survive, which involved making very tough calls; they also positioned the organization to thrive, making significant, risk-laden investments especially in workforce development.  Their mutual respect was palpable.  Stan provided a moving eulogy at the Ark Church in the Woodlands, ending with these deep reflections: “Doyle may be gone but his legacy at MAREK will remain: a legacy of caring for everyone he came in contact with, a legacy of integrity, a man of principle, a legacy of trust in any situation.  Gone but not forgotten.  Doyle, my friend, we will miss you.”