From the Decision Associates Founders: A History of Community & Focus

If you ask founders Don and Sue Moore, they would say that the spirit of Decision Associates remains the same as it was at its beginnings 40 years ago: customer-focused, poised for the next change, and driven by top level team members. Mission accomplished.

In 1984, founders Donald and Susan Moore started Decision Associates and its business consulting services from a home office in North East, PA, with the trust of a small number of businesses in the region. That deep trust quickly grew their client list to include businesses from many sectors that needed strategic business consulting services such as strategic planning, executive recruitment, marketing/sales advisement, compensation studies and succession planning for family-owned businesses.

Don says that, while a very simple concept, trust really has been the foundation of all forward growth for Decision Associates. “I had formed relationships through previous work with these leaders in previous employment,” he said. “I feel that if they had not had that trust in me, my earliest attempts to assist on a consultancy basis may not have been successful.”

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Decision Associates geographic reach, and their team, expanded to include subject-matter experts who best met the needs of the business community. This model, paired with a commitment to continual research of the competitive environment and the highest levels of partnership, remains intact today at the heart of the culture of Decision Associates.

With every level of change and growth, Sue was working behind the scenes and on the front line. At times, the growth was difficult, but was always seen as a good problem. “We were raising three boys while we built the business,” she said. “So, with all the travel and odd hours, that had its challenges. It was still a very good thing.”

Don added that while he was “the face” of Decision Associates, much of the overall success rests with Sue’s contributions. “Not only had she managed our home and children, but she managed our offices and each move and eventually came to do specific client work, like surveys,” he said. “She also managed our bookkeeping and designed, wrote, and edited our very first newsletter. Her impact is invaluable.”

Both Don and Sue point to the “right employees coming on board at the right time” as key to the Decision Associates story. “We have always had energetic, driven, smart team members,” Don said. “With the nature of the practice, we had consultants come and go, but it was always with respect and, honestly, good timing.

Current Decision Associates owner, Aaron Phillips, originally had interactions with Decision Associates in 2001 through his work with other regional employers. He went on to join the DA team as a consultant in 2016.

Don and Sue both agreed that they felt, early on, that Aaron had a long-time home at Decision Associates. “He was truly soaking everything in. He was learning, growing and already had a strong foundation from his previous ventures.”

In 2020, leadership transitioned and Phillips became the owner of Decision Associates. Since then, he and his team have continued the strong tradition of establishing and growing trust with the business community and staying on trend with the tools and services that organizations will need in their strategic future. While the core focus of offerings has remained the same, additional services today include culture assessments, leadership coaching, and merger and acquisition support.

Today – from its current home at Lovell Place in Erie – Decision Associates and its strong team of employees and consultants, celebrates 40 years of service and is committed to using the next 40 years to accomplish its strategic vision of becoming a nationally recognized team of advisors that offer a comprehensive and transformative suite of business services to the benefit of the organizations and the communities they serve.

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