David Berzina speaks freely while keeping things close to the vest.
Maintaining that balance helped bring Facebook’s data center and General Electric’s locomotive manufacturing plant to Fort Worth while Berzina was executive vice president for economic development with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.
But as a corporate recruiter he follows a different path these days. A month after resigning his Chamber position, Berzina has launched his own business. That move follows 12 years with the chamber and 27 years total in business recruitment and retention, regional marketing and workforce development.
“The desire to start your own business is part of the DNA of being in America. I’ve always shared that philosophy,” said Berzina. At his new firm, InsightsEDC, he can remain local and in the same field while broadening his horizons.
“The chamber was focused on the city limits of Fort Worth, but we are international, not relegated to the boundaries of Fort Worth,” Berzina said.
In other words, while still focused on Cowtown, the new enterprise casts a wider net by serving clients both here and abroad. Berzina and his team offer their services on an ongoing retainer, project-by-project fee or hourly basis.
“It’s anywhere USA and anywhere in the world,” Berzina said of his new firm’s reach. “The difference is we [the chamber] went within 316-plus miles plus 318 miles of extraterritorial jurisdiction [in Fort Worth] and now the boundaries are unlimited,” Berzina said.
In addition to site selection, global and domestic business recruitment and incentives negotiations, the new firm also provides consulting services for minority- and women-owned businesses aiming to earn MWBE certification.
Based in a modest office at 3707 Camp Bowie Blvd., Berzina runs a tight ship. Aside from an assistant, he has no full-time staff. Instead, he relies on six area professionals with insights into their respective fields. When clients appear from any of those fields, Berzina calls on one or more of his team members.
The arrangement ensures low overhead costs since Berzina’s colleagues work off-site. He sought no loans or other financial assistance in launching his business.
“So far, I haven’t had to do that. We live frugally and have had multiple offers to invest in this company,” Berzina said.
Asked why he started his business now instead of at another time, he turned introspective.
“A couple of clients presented themselves for areas near Fort Worth, and none of us are getting any younger,” said Berzina, 51. “I didn’t want to look at myself five years from now at 56 and say, ‘Why didn’t I try to start that small business?’”
He declined to identify clients he is working with but hinted at an announcement soon. His plans for the coming year are both modest and ambitious.
“Like every small business, we hope to be able to meet expenses and pay ourselves. I also hope that we’ll have completed some sizable projects.”