Riding the Wireless Wave to the Stars

Riding the Wireless Wave to the Stars

David J. Grain, CEO of BE100s Private Equity Firm Grain Management (Image: Lonnie C. Major)

When he was 13, Grain’s mother and father moved the family to Martha’s Vineyard.  It was here that he met Ken Louard, who is now director of business development at Grain Management. Louard says Grain showed affinities for business success at an early age. “I remember we were about 18 and meeting at the beach. Most of us guys were there looking for girls. David showed up with a man who was No. 3 or something at Dean Witter. He was networking while we were looking for girls,” says Louard.

The Right Team
Grain says he’s been successful because he’s been blessed with the “right” team, at work and at home.

“A lot of times it’s just knowing that they’re there. It gives me the confidence to take things on and work to figure them out,” he says.

The father of two says that before he and his wife, Lisa, got married he told her, “We’re either going to the moon or we’re going down in flames. You have to decide whether this is what you want to sign up for.”

She joined him on his journey to the top and together they’ve gone on to help others through programs such as the Grain Fellows program, which prepares students for college and offers guidance on everything from etiquette classes to SAT prep.

Looking forward
The Grain Management train presses on full-steam ahead. The company recently acquired assets from regional digital wireless communications service company NTELOS Holdings. Details of the deal have not been disclosed, but it includes 85 towers with $2 million in cash flow. Grain says he also plans to create another fund.

“As I look for investment opportunities, I’ve listened to something that Warren Buffett has said: Investment committees should be odd numbered. Three is too many.”
While the train may stop with Grain, the tracks he’s laid, through decisiveness, vision, and treating others with respect, makes it one that others are happy to climb aboard.