The DRG Story

As told by Lanie Johnson, President/CEO

The Early Years

Bob Dieringer, my dad, started The DRG in August 1974. My early memories were shaped by watching how incredibly hard he worked. I remember coming to his office on the weekends. He had real work to do, but he let my sister, brother, and me “help out” in our own way by emptying waste baskets or making copies.

As Bob grew The DRG, he proved to his employees that they could do anything they put their mind to, if they worked hard enough and surrounded themselves with a great team. He taught us the key to success is to have passion, goals, and dedication.

We also learned the power of positivity. While every business has ups and downs, Bob never let setbacks change his goals for The DRG. His deep sense of optimism helped inspire every employee.

As Bob grew The DRG, he proved to his employees that they could do anything they put their mind to, if they worked hard enough and surrounded themselves with a great team. He taught us the key to success is to have passion, goals, and dedication.

We also learned the power of positivity. While every business has ups and downs, Bob never let setbacks change his goals for The DRG. His deep sense of optimism helped inspire every employee.

“You have to put all your energy towards finding a solution, because there always is one.”

~Robert Dieringer, Sr.

The Next Generation

Growth and change marked the years between 1995 – 2014. I shifted career paths from systems consulting to marketing research and started an entry-level position with The DRG in 1995; my brother Robert made a similar move four years later.  Learning the business from the ground up, I followed my love for analysis, statistics, and consulting with clients, while Robert leveraged his expertise in technology, finance, and human resources. 

As we began taking on leadership roles and incremental ownership, we learned that running a business is about far more than meeting financial goals; every decision impacts the livelihood of employees and their families. That knowledge guided us as we developed strategic growth plans, prepared for Bob’s retirement in 2008, and positioned our teams for the future. 

I was privileged to work with my brother, Robert, for nearly 15 years. Unfortunately, after an 18-month battle with esophageal cancer, he passed away in 2013. This was devastating for his wife, four young children, our entire family, and very difficult for our employees. Robert’s impact on The DRG was immeasurable.

In the following months, I began the incredibly difficult process of reorganizing the company. Robert could never be replaced, but we had to carry on. Every employee stepped up to do what had to be done and a new generation of gifted DRG leaders was called upon. The transition was extremely hard and yet full of promise.

Looking Forward

Today, I’m honored to lead The DRG side-by-side with Shelley Ahrens and Ron Rawski. You want team members that elevate your game – that’s what they bring every day. By contributing their extraordinary talents and dedication, Shelley and Ron define what it means to be a DRGer. Together, we’ve created a culture where employees think creatively and grow smarter in a fun, collaborative environment.

The DRG is ready to seize the innumerable opportunities ahead. Every day is a chance to help our clients learn meaningful truths from their customers. We’re driven by a belief in the power of engaging with consumers to create the future. That’s the true fuel for innovation and it’s so gratifying to be part of the process.

“Listen intently, adapt quickly, and challenge each other to keep learning every day.”

~Lanie Johnson

Looking Forward

Today, I’m honored to lead The DRG side-by-side with Shelley Ahrens and Ron Rawski. You want team members that elevate your game – that’s what they bring every day. By contributing their extraordinary talents and dedication, Shelley and Ron define what it means to be a DRGer. Under their leadership, we’ve created a culture where employees think creatively and grow smarter in a fun, collaborative environment.

Together, we’re ready to seize the innumerable opportunities ahead. Every day is a chance to help our clients learn meaningful truths from their customers. We’re driven by a belief in the power of engaging with consumers to create the future. That’s the true fuel for innovation and it’s so gratifying to be part of the process.

Listen intently, adapt quickly, and challenge each other to keep learning every day.

~Lanie Johnson