Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of Custer Inc.
Dave Custer is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Custer, Inc. in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the founder of Custer, Inc., Dave has overseen the growth and expansion of the business from its foundation to its flourishing.
In his accomplished career, Dave grew Custer, Inc. from its original team of 17 employees to an organization of 115 people. The interior renovation business has worked with local, regional, and national clients of significant scope, including Steelcase, Meijer, Kellogg’s, Spartan Nash, Stryker, Grand Valley State University, Spectrum Health, and more. Under Dave’s leadership, Custer, Inc. expanded from $3 million in sales to $44 million, establishing itself as the only full-service interior renovations firm in the region. Further, Dave’s leadership earned Custer the distinguished Steelcase Exemplary Dealer Award and the Steelcase Platinum Partner Award. In January 2017, Dave announced his semi-retirement from Custer’s daily activities, and began transitioning the business to his three sons.
Prior to founding Custer, Inc., Dave started his career at Steelcase as a management trainee in 1969. He was promoted shortly thereafter into the marketing department, followed by advancements into sales roles that brought him to Atlanta, Nashville, and Detroit as one of twelve regional managers. Eventually, Dave transitioned back to Grand Rapids, whereupon he purchased a failing Steelcase dealership. The dealership later became Custer Office Environments. Throughout the company’s diversification, it underwent a name change to Custer Workplace Interiors, and later to its current name, Custer Inc.
David is a graduate of Grand Rapids Junior College (1967) and Western Michigan University (1969), where he studied Psychology and Sociology.
David and his wife, Karen, reside in Ada, Michigan. Together they have three sons, each of whom works for the family business in roles dedicated to its continued growth and diversification: C. Scott Custer serves as the Vice President of Business Process Improvement; Mark Custer serves as the Vice President of Business Relations; and Todd Custer serves as President. All three sons are graduates of Michigan State University.
In addition to his role as CEO of Custer, Dave has a longstanding commitment to the community. He currently serves in the following roles:
- Director, Irwin Seating Company
- Trustee, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital
- Trustee, Western Michigan University Foundation
- Past Chairman, Grand Rapids Community College Foundation
- Board of Governors, Hope on the Hill Foundation
- Member & Past President, Cascade Hills Country Club
- Member & Past President, Grand Rapids Rotary Club
- Member & Past Chairman, Grand Rapids Economic Club
- Member, Central Reformed Church
Dave has also been recognized for his organizational and community leadership through the following awards:
- National Kidney Foundation Galaxy Award
- Grand Rapids Community College Distinguished Alumnus Award
- David & Carol Van Andel Leadership Award