• Bob Dawson

    Principal Consultant at The Business Group

  • I’ve always been adept at seeing a challenge and creating a solution. It seems to just be in my DNA. The ROI Model I created for Incentive Programs is the best solution I have ever created. The impetus for it came about as I was facing a huge budget cut, 40%. At the time, I was providing travel fulfilment for a very large, notable company. My $10 million budget was unceremoniously cut to $6 million, yet I was expected to provide a $10 million dollar experience on par with past award trips. I was told, “Bob, you’re a smart guy. You’ll figure it out.” Never shirking from a challenge I did just that, “I figured it out.”


    Upon recent reflection and putting some numbers to my 26 year experience providing ROI Incentive Programs, even I was astounded at what I saw:

    • 862 programs operated
    • 681 different companies
    • 236 different NAICS industries
    • 98% of the programs repeated for at least 3 years
    • 88% of the programs repeated over 7 years
    • 100% of these programs obtained a positive incremental ROI
    • 29 companies I walked away from based on the initial evaluation

    There is no question the model works and I didn’t want to keep it to myself. I began developing an ROI training program to help incentive providers learn how to implement the ROI model for their clients themselves. It never gained traction. While they loved the positive results the model could provide, the comment I received too many times to count was “Bob, this is great but it is just too complex.” I did work with several incentive providers over the years using my ROI Model behind the scenes. As you can imagine, over the course of 26 years it became too much for one person, me, to carry the load. I guess you could say I got burned out. In 2012, I came to the conclusion that it was time to retire the ROI Model.


    I then began doing consulting and mentoring work with other businesses I felt had great potential and provided meaningful services. Much of my time was volunteered. It was, and still is to some extent, my time to give back, to share my experience and best practices for business development and success.


    Years later, a colleague of mine from the Incentive Research Foundation referred an incentive travel provider that was interested in using my ROI Model. I’m not surprised that many, many years later the same challenge still exists for incentive fulfillment companies. I’m not exactly sure why I agreed to entertain bringing the ROI Model out of the archives, but I did. The one caveat was I would share everything I knew about the model and offer guidance and feedback, but I would never be directly involved in working with any of their clients. I would not allow myself to go down that road ever again.


    Through the course of mentoring and providing feedback, something amazing and totally unexpected happened. Their “ROI Person” sent a 3 case scenario projection table (the most powerful part of my ROI model) for one of their prospects to me for review. I just about fell out of my chair when I saw it. I don’t even think I told her she was spot on, rather I just emailed back “Where have you been”?


    Even though I had worked with some of the largest incentive companies in the world, who had a lot of really, smart, talented people on staff, I had never met anyone who understood my model so completely. I suppose that since it is really a Business Enterprise Management Model that happens to use incentives, recognition and rewards programs, I had targeted an audience in too narrow a vertical which to teach and train.


    Hindsight being 20/20, I now see that I probably would’ve gained more traction had I shared it with professionals who had business management or coaching/consulting experience, including the numbers part, rather than travel and awards experience alone.


    So why do I bother to share this story with you?


    I share this all with you now because I had always known that this work, my life’s work, should’ve extended beyond just me and my past clients. While the model has proven to produce hugely positive financial results, the potential impact is much bigger and more meaningful than just the money.


    It is because of the woman that gets the model and also gets the WHY behind it that I am officially out of retirement for Incentive ROI. It is now OUR mission to share my model. I will be working with her hand-in-hand until I can totally pass the ROI torch to her.


    So, who is she? Who was the one person in 26 years that actually got the whole ROI model?


    It is my pleasure to introduce my ROI protégé:


    Lisa Humphrey


    As I have already shared, Lisa grasped and totally understood my model after just reading and listening to my experiences using my ROI Model over a 26 year period. No formal training, no one on one help, she got it based on her working knowledge and skill with both numbers and their relationship to an organization. Amazing.


    Lisa has actually been waiting for us to team up and her background approach to business certainly shows it. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s Degree in finance and a Master’s Degree in accounting, both from the University of Colorado at Denver, and is an EMyth Certified Coach and a licensed, retired CPA. Yep, business owner, business coach and a financial wizard all rolled into one. I found the perfect ROI person to take what I started and bring it to full value for a world of companies that surely will be as happy as I am that I was introduced to Lisa.


    Not only has Lisa proven to be a hard working person but she is just plain fun to be around. I think you will find her to be open, smart and extremely valuable to your business, I know I have.


    You can learn more about what we are up to on Lisa’s business site:




    Non-Profit Leadership Experience

    Chamber of Commerce

    • Board of Directors, South Middlesex Area Chamber of Commerce, Framingham MA
    • Board of Directors, Medford Chamber of Commerce, Medford, MA
    • Executive Board of Directors, Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Fremont CA
    • Executive Board of Directors, Rocklin Chamber of Commerce, Rocklin CA

    Rotary International

    • Secretary, Sudbury MA Rotary Club


    • Chairman, Town of Framingham MA 200th Anniversary Parade Committee
    • Chairman, American Heart Association Swim-A-Thon, Middlesex County MA
    • President, Parent Teachers Association, Framingham MA
    • Chairman, Downtown Revitalization Committee, City of Medford MA
    • Guest lecturer, Clark University, The Business Side of Banking
    • Committee Member, City of Fremont Art & Wine Festival, Fremont CA
    • Committee Member, Downtown Revitalization Committee, City of Rocklin CA


    • Member, Governors Business Roundtable, Boston MA
    • Chairman, Personnel Board, Town of Ashland MA
    • Elected, Board of Selectmen, Town of Ashland MA


    • Instructor, Marketing for Bankers, American Institute of Banking, Boston MA
    • Chairman, Society of Incentive Travel Executives Northern California Chapter
    • Board of Directors, American Marketing Association Silicon Valley Chapter
    • Membership Chairman, American Marketing Association Silicon Valley Chapter
    • President, American Marketing Association Silicon Valley Chapter
    • Board of Directors, American Marketing Association Sacramento Chapter
    • Board of Trustees, Incentive Research Foundation
    • Chairman, Research Committee, Incentive Research Foundation



    • Community Service Award, American Heart Association 1980
    • Outstanding Young Man of the Year, Jaycees, 1980
    • Member of the Year, Society of Incentive Travel Executives, 1993
    • Chairman’s Award, Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, 2005


    • US Small Business Association Certified Lending Officer, 1977
    • Certified Incentive Travel Executive, 1991
    • Legacy Award, American Marketing Association, 2006


    • Author, How to Conceive, Set Up, and Manage Successful Incentive Travel Programs, Home Study Course, The MGI Management Institute, 1995
    • Author, Dramatically Increasing Your Sales Via An Incentive Travel Program, Home Study Course, The MGI Management Institute, 1997
    • Measuring the Value, Measure the Return, Seminar Training Course (including a Train the Trainer course), Society of Incentive Travel Executives, 2001
    • ROI Incentive Marketing, Step by Step Planning Guide, self published, 2002
    • The Secret to Incentive Program Success: Incentive ROI that makes beancounters smile!, Create Space Publishing, 2008



    The only place SUCCESS comes before WORK is in the dictionary.



    The Business Group

    Principal Consultant 

    Jan 2015 – Present


    After a 23 year career of providing Return on Investment program design and measurement services for companies that engage employees, customers and dealers through Performance Improvement Programs, I am pleased to have created a SaaS Application to support that design. That application was utilized by a Worldwide Organization in 2014 to maximize their investment in sales incentive, employee engagement, productivity improvements and event marketing programs. As the saying goes, "We liked how this worked so much, we bought the product".

    With extensive capabilities and a complete understanding of the business application of this software, this company will now be bringing a new and advanced ROI Planning and Execution application to the market. I am pleased to have found a group of business executives who see the true financial benefit of Performance Improvement are willing to make it available to other corporate buyers of Performance Improvement Programs so they can realize the same financial results.

    My role with this organization is merely as an advisor to the development team as they ramp up a software application that will forever change how incentive, employee engagement and event programs are implemented.

    I will now be offering my 30 plus years of experience in business to help those Small Business Owners, in the Los Angeles Area, who are seeking to grow their business.

    The Business Group

    Managing Director 

    Apr 1991 – Present


    Developed strategic consulting business based on the efficacy of incentive motivation to increase revenue and also measure the financial effect of incremental revenue changes across an organization. Firm specializes in solutions for SMB market and emerging start-ups to Fortune 500 companies primarily in the manufacturing, technology and distribution sectors. Directed a software development team to construct an SaaS Application based on a method of providing a financial ROI that I developed in 1991.



    Greater Los Angeles Area