David L. Takes

Image of  David L. Takes

David L. Takes

Department: Laureate

Growing up in Cascade, Iowa, David Takes learned from entrepreneurial parents the value of hard work. At a young age, David was mowing lawns and sweeping floors to earn money. “Dave has always been driven and has possessed a keen sense of what it would take to achieve success,” says Kyle Henderson of RSM McGladrey. “He has unique talents and is incredibly adaptable.”

David attended the University of Northern Iowa, graduating in 1981, and continued his education at the University of Iowa College of Law. In 1984, with both his CPA and Law credentials, David launched a successful career at Swisher and Cohrt. During his ten years at the firm, David’s outgoing personality, can-do attitude, and sound expertise, built confidence in others earning him a prominent reputation and a meaningful client list. “Dave worked his tail off and he was very good at helping clients build their businesses,” says Sam Anderson, Swisher and Cohrt.

But Dave’s embedded entrepreneurial drive wanted to pursue new challenges. After leaving his law practice, and with new business partner, Sunder Subbaroyan, the two began a consulting business while looking for the perfect business opportunity. The two set their sights on Doerfer Engineering, a company at the time that was not for sale. This did not deter Takes and his partner and eventually, in 1995, they acquired Doerfer Engineering and later moved the Cedar Falls company to Waverly to merge with GMT to create a company now known as TDS Automation, a division of Doerfer Companies.

Today, Doerfer Companies has ten locations throughout the globe, employs over 850 people and specializes in custom design build for almost any type of project. Known to be “an inventor’s workshop,” Doerfer creates anything from Boeing airplane skins, contact lens, HP ink cartridges to wheelift transporters for NASA.

David has led Doerfer Companies to success with his unassuming, humble and “Warrior” can do attitude. In the words of Dr. Russell Buchanan, “Dave has a way of finding an element of skill in the world and link to another element of skill that would not meet naturally; he is the glue that connects ideas and opportunities.”

Despite his tremendous success, global travels and international business presence, David’s heart is always at home. David takes great pride working with talented employees, enjoys time with special friends, contributes greatly to his beloved alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa, but perhaps most dear to David, is his family; wife Karen, son, Adam, and daughters Kyra and Leah.

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