Central Region | Topeka, Kansas
Propel your next big idea to the top of the charts with our dynamic speaker.
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
7:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Capitol Plaza Hotel
1717 SW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Dave Dreiling  Owner and Founder, HCI Hospitality and GTM Sportswear
Owner and Founder
HCI Hospitality and GTM Sportswear
Described as a “hard core” entrepreneur since the age of six, Dave Dreiling grew up in the small towns of Smith Center and Concordia KS, where he spent every spare moment learning how business works in his parents’ family clothing stores.
Upon completion of his degree in marketing from Kansas State in 1989, Dave and a partner launched “It’s Greek To Me” by selling decorated sportswear out of their van to fraternities and sororities from Indiana to California. The business averaged a 25% annual growth rate for 27 years and became known as GTM Sportswear, which is now the largest private employer in Manhattan with over 600 team members. Its growth culminated in the sale of the business to Hanes Brands in September of 2016, and Dave remains the managing director.
Along the way, Dave’s boredom/A.D.D. led to dabbling in the restaurant business with a Quizno’s franchise in 2001. The six Quizno’s are now gone, but in their place is a restaurant holding company, HCI, that owns and/or manages 24 Freddy’s Steakburgers and Frozen custard covering five states, along with local Manhattan eateries such as Coco Bolo’s, Cox Bros BBQ, Powercat Sports Grill, and Hibachi Hut. HCI is currently building six to eight new locations per year and has over 1400 employees.
Other business ventures included the creation of a patented vinyl chair back for stadium bench seating (known as the Cat Cushion to K-Staters). Dave formed this into a company that sold and serviced chair back programs to over 40 Division One collegiate athletic programs throughout the US, before selling the company to IMG in 2011.
In addition to serving on numerous nonprofit local, regional, and national entities, Dave’s primary passion centers around Kansas State University and mentoring students. In 2008 he instigated the development of the Entrepreneurship Center at KSU, which was recently recognized as the number one emerging entrepreneurship program nationally. He carves out time in the classroom and with students on a weekly basis.
As a recovering alcoholic, Dave spends a lot of time helping others with the diseases of any type of addiction. He helps them to understand that there is a solution if they want one, and how they can attain that solution. Out of everything that he is involved with, he would tell you that this is by far the most important work that he has or ever will do.
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