From the desk of … Tricia Esser, CEO of KTGY Group Inc.

The Orange County Register

August 18, 2013

Tricia Esser is by no means a Luddite (one averse to technological change). Just look to her architecture firm’s recent energy-efficient designs for solar-powered homes in Utah. Esser, CEO of Irvine-based KTGY Group Inc. since 2006, just likes to preserve a bit of the past and keep things simple.

On her desk
Bells: Not all that long ago, this little device rang to alert office workers to a phone call. It was still ringing when KTGY got its start in Irvine in 1991. When the ringing pagers eventually were taken down, Esser saved this one from the trash heap to keep as a memento of days gone by.
“I couldn’t bear to see it go,” she said. “It’s just a good memory for me.”
Even in our technology-driven present, it still serves a purpose: as a paperweight.

Calculator: Esser was KTGY’s chief financial officer before she became the company’s CEO, and she hasn’t abandoned one tool in particular – a desk calculator complete with a paper spool. She still uses it at least a couple times a week.
“Once you get used to running numbers on something like that, it’s a go-to device,” she said. She doesn’t eschew smartphone or computer-based calculators; she just tends to lean toward keeping life simple.

Small library: More so than a typical static bookshelf, the management- and business-oriented books on Esser’s desk often are loaned out and shared among staff.
“If one of us reads something good, we’re going to make sure it’s shared,” she said of KTGY’s principals. Now, the sharing is typically done electronically, but sometimes Esser still likes to hand out a printed copy.
Two of the most-often traded books: “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson.

On the walls
There isn’t much because there aren’t many walls to start with. That’s how Esser likes it.
The CEO has no door and no walls except for one that features a large poster with a collage of KTGY designs.
“That’s our whole environment,” she said. “Being out in the open, being accessible.”