Saville, Dodgen & Company PLLC, founded by John Saville and Allen Dodgen in 1965, has grown into one of the best and most reputable middle-market firms in the DFW metroplex. With a rich history, things have evolved quite a bit from its early days when the firm’s only piece of technology was an orange and white copier.
“I started in 1982 and right after I got started, we packed everything up and moved to the 6th floor of the Univision tower. In the Univision tower, we were on the 6th floor and McCarthy Rose & Mills were on the 7th floor. Our claim to fame at the time was an old orange and white copier, our only copier. When it would break down, we would go upstairs to McCarthy and use their identical orange and white copier.” – Clint Pugh, Managing Partner
The firm’s atmosphere and core principles were established by John Saville and Allen Dodgen. Financial integrity and loyal, personal client relationships have always been what Saville is about. However, the two men were both very different and possessed contrasting personalities. Pugh reflected that “John was more about relationships than anything else. Allen was more of a keep your head down and work your tail off kind of guy. He was bottom-line driven and very technical. They were good friends in a different kind of way. They trusted each other implicitly. They were just very different. When John retired in 1992, he turned in his parking card and said he didn’t need his office anymore. He truly retired and was not involved in the business at all. When Allen retired, he still wanted access to his office and to be involved.”
Tom Gilbert, a former partner at the firm, remembers their contrasting personalities. “Mr. Saville and Mr. Dodgen were a good blend,” Gilbert said. “Mr. Saville was funny and had a good sense of humor. Mr. Dodgen was profit-driven. They were just both really good men.” The two individuals had very different upbringings. Pugh recalled, “Allen was from Shamrock, Texas and grew up working at his dad’s feed store. He understood the value of every dollar and he would squeeze every dollar. John held a law and accounting degree. He was a Highland Park guy and the only boy out of a family with five kids. He went to SMU and I think he felt like there were too many lawyers, so he settled on accounting.”
Pugh recalled how the firm grew exponentially in the 1990’s. “You go through different phases as an accounting firm. The first phase is typically revenue of a couple million dollars. In the 1990’s, we blew past that first phase. Once you get past a few phases, most firms usually split or get bought out. We just kept growing. In 2012, we were at about $11 million in revenue and now in 2017 we have 12 partners and do almost $20 million in revenue. Pugh imagined what John Saville would think of today’s firm. “I hope he would be gratified or as satisfied as he could be that we have kept the same values that he started. Yet, I think he would be surprised at the firm today.”