Founded in 1965 by John Saville and Allen Dodgen, Saville, Dodgen & Company PLLC 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. Right after I was hired, we packed up everything and moved to the 6th floor of the Univision tower. Tannenbaum Bindler & Co. was on the 7th floor. Our claim to fame at the time was an old orange and white copier, our only piece of office equipment. When it would break down, we would go upstairs to Tannenbaum Bindler & Co. and use their identical orange and white copier.” – Clint Pugh, Managing Partner
John Saville and Allen Dodgen established the firm’s atmosphere and core principles. From its inception, the firm embraced standards of financial integrity and loyal, personal client relationships. Although Saville and Dodgen had personalities that contrasted with one another, these core principles reflected their common values. 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 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 an accounting degree. He was a Highland Park guy and the only boy out of a family with five kids. He went to SMU. I think he felt like there were too many lawyers, so he settled on accounting.”
Pugh described 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 by 2017 we were at almost $20 million. 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.”