In his own words: Michael Dermody of Dermody Properties
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Dermody Properties and the duties of your position.
Michael Dermody: Dermody Properties is a privately held, fully-integrated national industrial development company. Over its 50-year history we have developed and leased more than 35 million square feet of high-quality industrial/distribution facilities to many Fortune 500 companies and other well-respected firms. As a start-up company, we presently have more than 3.5 million square feet of industrial space that is 90 percent occupied. The company has offices and partners in Philadelphia, Chicago, Reno and Portland.
My duties are to supply strategic guidance to the company.
NNBW: How did you enter this profession?
Dermody: I joined my father’s two-man company in 1975. He taught me much about our profession and instilled in me the need to build relationships and satisfy customers.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Dermody: Treat others as you would like to be treated, work hard, be thankful for your blessings, help others, and stay healthy.
NNBW: What’s changed about your job with the recession?
Dermody: My direct involvement increased significantly because I am the one with the most experience, and I’ve been around the longest! I also listen to customers even more.
NNBW: What’s your closest brush with failure in business? At what time were you most worried that you would not be successful in business? Why?
Dermody: I have never really tried to be successful; I just tried to do the right thing every day by my customers, my employees and my family. To me money does not make success, integrity creates success.
NNBW: When do you see development returning in strength to Northern Nevada?
Dermody: It will come back in small steps. The boom years of 2005-2007 will never come back. The stable years of 1973-2000 will be the “new normal,” hopefully.
NNBW: Dermody Properties divested its 25,000,000-square-foot portfolio of properties to Prologis in 2007, a short time before the recession took hold of northern Nevada.
NNBW: How did you know the time was right to sell?
Dermody: I didn’t foresee the economy, but the dynamics in our company at that time was such that it was right for the shareholders. However, there was one key event. In early 2007, in Chicago, there was a big sale that caught my eye, and I predicted a good cap rate (it was the Cal West 25,000,000-square-foot portfolio, and it sold for a 4.8 percent cap). That is why we moved so quickly to market and closed within 90 days.
NNBW: What were your first jobs.
Dermody: Grocery bagger, construction worker, warehouse worker and night bellman at a Holiday Inn.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Dermody: I have the best job in the world, working with great people and helping a start-up company Dermody Properties grow and sharing these rewards. It’s the best!
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Dermody: I spend it with my family. I enjoy traveling, RVing, skiing, hunting and woodworking.
NNBW: Tell me about the most fun you have had on the job?
Dermody: Sharing work, dreams and challenges with my father for 35 years was wonderful.
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Dermody: Tell the truth, work hard, and enjoy your family.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Dermody: Make it easier on the ones around me that I love.
NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?
Dermody: Nothing … many people could do my job better if they had the opportunity.
NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?
Dermody: Portofino, Italy.
NNBW: Is retirement on your radar? Why or why not?
Dermody: No … I’m too young.
NNBW: What has kept you in northern Nevada all these years?
Dermody: This was where the opportunity was … I stayed here because of my family, friends, the outdoors access and the beauty.
Name: Michael C. Dermody, chairman and chief executive officer, Dermody Properties
Number of years in this job? 37 I joined my father’s firm in 1975
Number of years in this profession? 40 years
Education: Undergraduate at University of Colorado at Boulder; Law School at Gonzaga University at Spokane
Last book read? “The Five Thousand Year Leap,” by W. Cleon Skousen
Favorite movie? “Braveheart” (it’s that Irish thing)
What’s on your iPad? No. 1 game – Tiny Wings (it should win an Oscar!); 10,000 photos of family and friends; 3,000 songs; two movies
Spouse, kids or pets? Spouse Tammy Dermody (owner of Walton’s Funeral Home); Son Craig, an artist in Oakland; Son Pearce, a student at Montana State in Bozeman; daughter Nikki, a student at UNR; son Jack, a student at Bishop Manogue High School; “Coco Channel,” a Maltipoo; and “Marley,” a Golden Doodle (the family star).
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.