DP Solutions: Elevating IT Support Services for Small and Medium-Sized Organizations 

20 Leading Companies to Watch in 2024

In an industry dominated by giants, how does the little guy compete? Answer: Outwork everyone. That’s the gritty mindset that has powered CEO Karyn Schell’s meteoric rise to the presidency of DP Solutions, a leading managed IT services provider. In a field crowded with corporate titans, Schell’s scrappy determination has allowed the firm to punch far above its weight class. 

It’s a fight-or-flight attitude forged from years of digging in and out-hustling the competition. Fresh out of Villa Julie College (now Stevenson University), Schell landed at IBM partner Computer Aid, holding multiple roles and investing heavily in her own professional growth.  

The hard work paid off with an opportunity at Crown Cork & Seal, where Schell handled everything from project management to account oversight for marquee clients like Wrigley. She was the definition of a roll-up-your-sleeves utility player. 

In 2007, Schell brought that tireless work ethic to DP Solutions as a project manager and applications specialist. Over the next three years, she became a pivotal asset for the growing firm, handling sales, implementations, etc. If there was a need, Schell filled it, working with laser-focused intensity. 

“In this industry, you can’t just punch a clock and go through the motions,” Schell says matter-of-factly. “Survival demands outworking everyone around you each and every day.” 

In 2010, that grind was rewarded when Schell was promoted to VP of Operations. It was the perfect training ground, allowing her to hone her leadership skills and gain invaluable experience for her eventual ascension to the presidency. 

As she looks out over the DP Solutions empire she’s helped build, Schell exudes a mix of pride and humility. “We may be smaller than some firms, but we’ll never be outworked,” she states emphatically. “My team brings it every single day because we have to. Survival demands it.” Does Schell’s demanding leadership style ever risk burning out her people? She shakes her head. “I’m not asking them to do anything I haven’t done myself. Outworking others is the only way a small player survives in this arena.” 

Breaking Barriers and Building Success 

Karyn’s leadership journey is one of resilience and determination. Inspired by the motto “Be brave enough to suck at something new,” she thrives on challenges, viewing them as opportunities for growth. This mindset, coupled with unwavering support from her family and friends, has empowered her to overcome obstacles and achieve success in a male-dominated industry. 

One of Karyn’s early roles involved managing a shop floor at a manufacturing facility. Here, she faced the challenge of establishing herself as a female leader in a traditionally male environment. Her experience highlights the importance of exceeding expectations and earning respect. However, Karyn emphasizes that leadership qualities transcend gender. She believes that “people are people,” and success relies on qualifications, drive, and self-belief. These core principles, combined with the unwavering support she received, instilled in her a “bring it on” attitude when confronting new challenges or venturing outside her comfort zone. 

Steering DP Solutions Through Unforeseen Circumstances 

Karyn’s leadership shines brightly during a time of significant change. In the challenging year of 2020, she played a pivotal role in guiding DP Solutions through the disruptions of the pandemic. Despite unforeseen circumstances, the company thrived under her leadership. DP Solutions not only maintained its existing operations but also managed to hire new employees, acquire new clients, and embark on promising new business initiatives—a testament to Karyn’s strategic vision and adaptability. 

DP Solutions offers a comprehensive range of IT services, encompassing managed IT services, cloud solutions, backup and disaster recovery, security consulting, project services, and a robust 24/7 service desk staffed by highly qualified technicians. Karyn recognizes the importance of staying ahead of the curve in the rapidly evolving IT industry. She champions the continuous evaluation and integration of new technologies, allowing DP Solutions to tailor unique solutions for each client. 

The Power of Teamwork 

Karyn fosters a culture of collaboration at DP Solutions. Recognizing that “the process to present best-in-breed solutions” requires a collective effort, she emphasizes teamwork as a core value. Subject-matter experts across the company work together with the leadership team to assess new solutions and determine the optimal course of action, ensuring successful outcomes for both the company and its clients.

Passion fuels Karyn’s dedication to excellence, both in her personal and professional life. At DP Solutions, her multifaceted role involves a deep understanding of all business segments. This allows her to identify areas for improvement that benefit both the company’s staff and its clientele. 

Leading from the front 

As President of DP Solutions, Karyn shoulders a significant responsibility. She spearheads the company’s vision, culture, and overall direction. Her responsibilities encompass staying informed about potential growth opportunities, market trends, and industry developments. Building and nurturing long-lasting client relationships based on trust is another key aspect of her leadership role. 

Recognition and rewards 

Karyn’s dedication and passion have not gone unnoticed. Her achievements were acknowledged through a feature on the cover of I95 Business magazine in October 2020. This recognition serves as a testament to the positive impact she has made on DP Solutions. 

Prioritizing Well-being 

Karyn recognizes the importance of a strong company culture that prioritizes employee well-being. She actively encourages healthy habits among her staff, promoting regular breaks, a focus on wellness, and healthy eating options stocked in the breakroom. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of taking vacations and time off to recharge and return feeling refreshed. Karyn’s commitment to employee well-being fosters a positive work environment. 

Karyn prioritizes her own well-being through a dedicated routine that incorporates morning workouts and quality time with her family. Recognizing the importance of delegation and empowering future leaders, she is actively working to offload tasks and develop a robust framework for leadership success within the company. 

Building a customer-centric future

Karyn envisions DP Solutions as a customer-centric organization that prioritizes exceptional technological experiences. Building strong, trusting relationships with both clients and staff remains a core value. She encourages her team to take pride in these relationships and actively fosters the professional development of future company leaders.

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