Denali Goes Above And Beyond

The local touch provided by regional solution provider organizations and their CEOs living and working in those communities, building business one handshake at a time, have always given those “local” companies a huge leg up on larger competitors that do not have a vested interest there. They truly are trusted advisers looking out for the best interests of their customers and the community. That inevitably leads to philanthropic efforts that make the area a better place to live and work.

That’s one of the reasons why for the first time since Everything Channel began compiling the prestigious VAR500 ranking, we have decided to provide an award for community service. There is no better choice for the inaugural award than Majdi “Mike” Daher, co-founder and CEO of Denali Advanced Integration of Redmond, Wash.

Denali Advanced Integration was born out of a family crisis when Daher and his brothers were cut off from their parents and siblings during the Gulf War, which broke out in 1990. Today, Denali is one of the most highly thought of solution providers in the country. Its slogan says it all: “Above The Rest.”

In addition to his attention on Denali Advanced Integration’s customers, Daher has focused on his passion for health care, education and technology. His philanthropic efforts have changed the course of countless lives in the Redmond area, including Todd Stablefeldt, a local quadriplegic.

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Daher and his wife, Dana, have also played an active role giving to the local health-care community and were both honored by Evergreen Hospital in Redmond with the 2009 Spirit of Giving award.

And when a Denali employee was killed in a tragic car accident in 2007, Daher established an educational fund for the individual’s children and launched a community excellence award given to a charity chosen by an employee each year who personally volunteers and supports local charities.

One of the secrets to Daher’s success is his view of the importance of local relationships. That focus on building relationships, he said, means investing for the long term -- for the life of the customer, vendor, employee and, yes, members of the community.

“They become part of our lives,” said Daher. “Our philosophy is to do business for the life of the customer. That means we have to build an organization that is around forever.”

Daher even measures what he calls customer attrition. And in the past decade only two customers have stopped doing business with Denali—and one of them went out of business. “I think that says volumes,” said Daher. It sure does. And it is the reason Daher and Denali are truly “Above The Rest.”

BACKTALK: Are you giving back to your community? Contact Steve Burke at [email protected].