BRIAN C. KRAFFT, 39
CEO, TOPOGRAPHIC, INC.
2020 Forty Under Forty
Brian C. Krafft says it is important to always be open to new opportunities. He’s a living example. Immediately out of Oklahoma State University, he went to work for Tulsa Winch Group as an OEM sales manager. That was in 2003.
Krafft generated more than $3 million in annualized revenue, oversaw sales across the U.S. and Canada and maintained a 100% customer retention rate, said nominator Lisa Carrington Voight of Carrington Voight Designs and Custom Art by Lisa
But three years later, he went back to school to study surveying. That’s when he began working part-time for Topographic Inc., a Fort Worth company founded in 1958. He became fulltime in 2007.
In addition to a degree in marketing with a minor in management information systems from OSU and the post-baccalaureate study in geomatics at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, he also earned an executive MBA at Texas Christian University.
“I don’t think you should ever limit yourself or have too narrow of a vision of the future. You can always learn and gain new competencies,” Krafft said, “but focus more on developing your character and reputation.”
In 2017, Krafft was appointed CEO. The company is on track to pass $100 million in revenue and has more than 400 employees, six offices and 120 field crews. He has led the company through two strategic acquisitions to gain a foothold in the DJ Basin and Powder River Basin in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana.
“Brian is a proven young business leader in Fort Worth. He will definitely be a factor in the next generation of business leaders making Fort Worth and Tarrant County the best place to work and live. His accomplishments are commendable,” said Voight, a previous 40 Under 40 honoree.
He and his wife, Jennifer, have been married for 13 years and have two children, Lily, 10, and Penelope, 6.
“I am a devoted Christian and active with Trinity Habitat for Humanity,” Krafft says.
– Paul K. Harral
Where did your first paycheck come from?
JL Coops. My first real paycheck at age 14 at a rotisserie chicken restaurant. My parents signed off on a work permit and I started bussing tables and helping in the kitchen. It was connected to my neighborhood so I could ride my bike.
What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?
Top Gun made me think briefly I wanted to be a pilot. Caddyshack was hilarious and was the beginning for my love of golf. Both of these I still quote too often.
Wonder Years due to my massive crush on Winnie Cooper! Simpsons – had to sneak this one as my parents didn’t think the humor was appropriate.
Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.
I work hard to surround myself with people who are more driven, more intelligent and have more experience than I do. If I have to say one, I would say my wife. She believes in me more than I believe in myself. She is the foundation of our family, her support and encouragement drives me be the best version of myself.
When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I love what I do but more than knowing what I wanted to be I figured out what I didn’t want to do. My parents struggled when I was young and pushed me to get my education and instilled a strong work ethic. As I matured in my career, I realized it was less about what I did and more about the people I worked with. I love being part of and now building a team with a shared vision and values.
What is your favorite song?
On Top of the World, Imagine Dragons
person for my daughter and for anyone in need.
Tell us about your photo shoot prop.
My family is my highest priority.