Then: DSS Consulting CEO & president
Now: Diverse Staffing CEO and Prime 47 restaurant co-owner
Clyde Harris started Diverse Staffing Services Consulting in 1999 “because I wanted to do a lot of different things.” Eighteen years later, he’s still at it with DSS—still doing a lot of different things—and running what is now the second-largest minority-owned company in Indiana.
When Harris was named to Forty Under 40, DSS was a young company doing tech and development work for companies such as Eli Lilly and Co. and ITT. The company developed its staffing arm a few years later, and also offers application development and IT services for a client base that extends alphabetically from AAA to Zotec Partners.
Harris said the company has grown by starting divisions—Diverse Tech Services began about eight years ago—and through acquisitions that included a tech-services company six to seven years ago. DSS is now in the process of buying a large Massachusetts staffing company with offices throughout the East Coast. Harris said the purchase will get DSS over $200 million in annual revenue.
Six years ago, Harris branched out into the restaurant business, first with Sensu, an Asian-fusion restaurant. He negotiated unsuccessfully to buy Mo’s a Place for Steaks; when that didn’t work out, he and his partners decided to start their own steakhouse, Prime 47. They still own the downtown restaurant; the ones in Carmel and Cincinnati are franchised. They also owned—and sold—Detour American Grille and Bar.
“I have the craziest career you have ever seen, from politics to acting in front of the camera to writing scripts to sales. I was a medical recruiter,” he said. “But it’s so funny—if you keep working hard, you’ll find what you want.”•
—Marc D. Allan