Sacrifice Is Worth The Effort When You Believe In Your Goals, Says Divergys CEO Dewayne Chappell

Dewayne Chappell’s business partner walked into his office with a proposition. It was 2003, and the company had grown steadily over the three years since the pair had started the consulting department. Dewayne oversaw the small IT company’s accounting, and his partner’s request surprised him.

He asked Dewayne to create a separate set of accounting books, padding the company’s profits to make the business more attractive to an interested buyer. “That was when I decided that my partner and I were not on the same page,” Dewayne says. “We didn’t have the same moral values. I wasn’t going to do that, so it was time for me to go my own way.”

Two weeks later, Dewayne, the partner’s brother and the company’s only other employee walked away. Within a few months, Dewayne says he found himself rebuilding a business from scratch out of his upstairs bedroom, with a pile of attorney fees and a lawsuit against him and his employee.

Dewayne faced an uncertain and challenging future, but his decisions set the foundation for Divergys, a values-driven business that provides honest and responsive IT services that his Houston construction clients deserve.

The Difficult Path Is Often The Right Path

Dewayne’s father owned a construction business, and that’s where Dewayne first learned about hard work and sacrifices. “He worked hard all his life,” he says. “You don’t get anywhere in life without putting in a whole lot of hard work, a whole lot of effort, and making some sacrifices.

You must have your own goals to make those sacrifices worth it.” Thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees were daunting, but it wasn’t the first time Dewayne had made sacrifices to reach his life goals.

In 1996, Dewayne and his wife, Raquel, had welcomed their first baby daughter while he was in college. Dewayne made the difficult choice to quit school to work during the day and care for his daughter at night while also studying for his Microsoft certifications. “I would come home, have a snack and see my wife and the baby.

Then I would study, help my wife put the baby to bed and study again. I’d wake up and go to work the next day,” he says. Dewayne remembers that the struggle was worth it. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife, but I did all that to help improve my livelihood and reach my life goals.” Before his daughter was three months old, he’d passed the seven tests required to be a fully certified Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

Dewayne spent a few years working in the segmented and political world of corporate IT before opening a company with his former business partner. Climbing corporate ladders wasn’t his style. Dewayne left his six-figure salary to gain face-to-face interaction with his clients and help them see the big picture of their security, a growing problem in the industry.

Services were changing and clients’ needs were growing, but some IT providers were not adapting their services well. Dewayne noticed that as IT companies tried to keep up with new technology and increasing client needs, some would sell to a larger company or, in other cases, let the quality of their services decline to keep up with the quantity of help desk requests.

Dewayne could have followed the lead of his former business partner and sold their company, as he suggested in 2003, but he didn’t want to be like all the other companies out there. He fought the lawsuit and paid the attorney fees that came after it for him and his employee, all the while committed to his values.

“In addition to my attorney fees, I paid my employee’s salary and attorney fees for eight months before I took a paycheck. It was just the right thing to do,” Dewayne says. Even after a challenging first two years, he persisted. “We truly believed in our mission and our goal. We knew we could accomplish it to help our clients evolve with technology and get the support they deserve.”

Responsiveness Is King In Construction

While Dewayne was growing Divergys, he noticed that underperforming IT companies meant construction companies and general contractors weren’t getting the responsiveness they needed. Many clients came to Dewayne complaining of being treated like a number or waiting 30 to 60 days for a quote from their existing IT company.

“They really want somebody to care for them, to listen to them and actually respond,” he says. Construction clients weren’t just frustrated – they were at risk of losing business with delayed quotes or service issues, Dewayne explains.

“If it’s bid day, they can miss out on getting bids for multimillion-dollar jobs.” It impacted workers in the field too. “If project managers are in the field and can’t remotely reach documents from the office, it causes delays. All of that relies on technology to keep them up and running and not losing money,” he says.

Dewayne knows the construction industry well; he worked every summer, from the age of six until he was a teenager, alongside his father to build houses, and his first career was with the Texas Department of Transportation, building roads.

He understands more than industry machines and logistics: he understands the people. “We grew up the same way and did some of the same things, like hunting and fishing. We usually have the same core values, and I know their struggles,” he says.

As his business grew, Dewayne focused on adapting thoughtfully. He ensured that his business was a crystal-clear reflection of his values. “We do what we say. Period. If we make a promise to a client, we’ll do everything we can today to meet that promise. If we can’t, we’ll call,” he says.

Divergys is also in tune with how the industry is changing, a defining characteristic of their services that lead to client success. Initially, he started Divergys to provide enterprise-level support to small and medium businesses, which wasn’t available in 2003.

“After 20 years serving construction companies, it’s more about being their strategic advisor, handling vendors or securing their networks,” Dewayne says. Divergys uses technology to help clients succeed, which goes beyond antivirus programs.

He says his clients are asking great questions like “Is there a technology that can help meet our goals? Can Divergys help us find a technology to improve our workflow or better communicate with our guys in the field?” It’s no longer “My printer’s not working – can you fix that?” Dewayne says, “You must have a whole security stack, even if you’re a four- or five-person company.

It’s more about consultation and helping them find and utilize the technology they need to succeed.” And succeed they do. Dewayne points out that most of his clients have stayed with Divergys for more than 10 years. “That wouldn’t happen if we weren’t doing something right,” he says.

Live Your Values, Achieve Your Goals

Dewayne has lived by the philosophy that life will present challenges and “pissed-off moments,” but working with someone you can trust breeds success. He chose a difficult path that cost him tens of thousands of dollars – all because he believed in values and providing clients with the service they deserve.

Today, Dewayne says Divergys is thriving and has reached many of his goals, like making the MSPmentor Top 250 list and being twice nominated for Small Business of the Year for the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.

His biggest goal, however, was keeping family – his wife and two daughters – first. Family is a big part of Divergys, and that includes his team. Employees often spend evenings at Dewayne’s five-acre farm, complete with two cows, 14 chickens, two dogs, a barn cat and, more recently, three goldfish.

When not working or relaxing with the Divergys team, sitting on the board of the local Chamber or Friday Morning Networking, or tending to their farm, Dewayne and Raquel, who have been married 32 years, enjoy whitetail deer hunting, fishing, traveling in their RV, going on cruises and woodworking. They recently built a kennel for their Goldendoodles.

After over two decades as president and CEO of Divergys, Dewayne is still motivated to be a trusted IT advisor for his clients. “I’ve seen many businesses stressed out and worried they will lose their livelihood for themselves and their employees after a cyber-attack.” he says. “I want to give these business owners peace of mind knowing we handle their IT and keep them as safe and secure as possible, so they can focus on growing and running their business.”

For more information on Divergys, visit

MSP Success Magazine is a print and digital publication dedicated to helping the CEOs and owners of managed IT services businesses build strong, profitable, growth-oriented businesses. Written and published by Robin Robins, founder of Technology Marketing Toolkit, this magazine is uniquely focused on the topics of marketing, client-acquisition, sales, profitability, leadership and personal development.



Upcoming Events

Stay Up To Date

Thousands Of MSPs Trust
MSP Success Magazine
For The Best Industry News, Trends and Business Growth Strategies

Never Miss An Update