Phone: (513) 777-2549


Linking Companies and Concepts for Superior Business Solutions

Welcome to The Linkage Group!


The Linkage Group is a team of experienced business professionals dedicated to creating extraordinary value-based solutions for our clients and customers.


As a full-service management consulting firm, The Linkage Group is not about force-fitting off-the-shelf processes or programs to your business. We go beyond the basic assessment of your needs and traditional approaches you may have experienced in the past and become an integral part of the total process, thereby ensuring its success!  Yes, it’s a different approach, but you shouldn’t expect anything less from your consulting partner!


So whether you’re looking to expand your product line, enter a new geographical or niche market, implement a consultative sale process, or build a strategic partner network, let The Linkage Group help you get to where you want to go.


Partnering with The Linkage Group to drive improved performance:


 * Minimizes Risk

 * Reduces Operational Costs

 * Enhances Program Flexibility

 * Increases your Speed to Market


Contact us today for a no obligation review of your company’s specific needs!


Unlock your company’s potential


Put the experience and expertise of

The Linkage Group LLC

To work for you today!







Areas of consulting expertise:

• Strategic Partnering / Business Alliances

• Facility Management / Building Services

• Sales/Marketing/Business Development/Sales Training

• Business Process Analysis

• Brand Enhancement / Niche Marketing

• Go-To-Market Strategies

• Supply Chain / Outsourcing Strategies

• Custom Metal Fabrication



Professional Bio:

President and CEO - Dave Koester

As President & CEO of a full-service consultancy firm, Dave Koester has over 30 years of sales, marketing and business development experience within the service sector, back-up and stand-by power generation, energy and facility management, metal fabrication, foodservice and food processing industries.  In addition, Dave has also spent over the last fifteen years of his professional career enhancing and refining the art of strategic partnering and business alliance development and in 2012 published a book on the same subject titled “Partnering with a Purpose”.  Find out more information at


Prior to starting The Koester Group, LLC in 1997, Dave held numerous middle and senior management positions with several leading Fortune 500 companies such as, Ecolab, S.C. Johnson, DiverseyLever, FirstEnergy Corp., Orkin and Procter & Gamble, just to name a few.  Then, in the fall of 2000, Dave joined forces with two other top industry professionals who shared his vision, as they combined their collective skills and experience to create The Linkage Group, LLC.  In 2013 and 2014, Dave took on a turn-around assignment as the President of Victory Industrial Products per the request of the Armor Group and within 8 months returned the brand to a profitable status.  Having previously served as the Director of Sales & Marketing for Victory Industrial Products LLC back in 2008 and 2009, and taking the company from a regional concern with one manufacturing facility to a national player with three manufacturing locations, this was a logical role for him to embrace.  Then in between the Victory assignments Dave served as the Director of Corporate Business Development for Premier MSS – a Voith Industrial Services Company, and also the Director of Sales & Marketing for Cincinnati Laser Cutting before returning once again to his consulting practice.


Over the course of the last fifteen years, Dave has focused his consulting efforts almost exclusively on the facility management, energy/utility sectors, metal fabrication and related value-added services.  In working with the senior management teams of IES, EMCOR, Encompass and FirstEnergy Corp., Dave designed and engineered several major new initiatives for these companies that allowed them to differentiate their total offering, thereby offering an expanded portfolio of products and services to their growing customer base.  The programs developed included:  Triangle Partnering – which blends the capabilities of three different partners, Total Customer Solutions - which focused on Performance Contracting, Asset Management and Financing; Facility Management Solutions - which added the facility management and building services piece to the offering, and the FirstEnergy Facility Management Alliance – which combined the offerings of 10 industry leading service companies, via strategic partnering, to allow FirstEnergy to offer total consolidation on all products and related services to selected customers.


In addition, Dave also has extensive experience as a sales trainer and public speaker, conducting many seminars on consultative sales techniques, negotiation skills, team building, solution selling and change management.  Utilizing his extensive background and industry knowledge in the Integrated Pest Management field, Dave has also been called upon to be the keynote speaker at several national sales meetings and networking conferences within that industry.  He has been a member of IFMA (International Facility Management Association), the IFMA Consultants Council and is currently a member of SAMA (Strategic Account Management Association) and the IAOP (International Association of Outsourcing Professionals).


Dave attended Thomas More College and Xavier University in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, majoring in Natural Science (Biology / Chemistry) and also selected courses in Engineering at the University of Kentucky.  He also received AIB Certification in Food Plant Sanitation and HACCP Program Development.  Dave, his wife Carol, and their family reside in West Chester, Ohio.





“The implementation was flawed, but the strategy was sound.”  Oh, if only I had a nickel for

every time some CEO said this, or words to this effect, in response to criticism over a failed

business venture.  And yet, only 12-18 months previously, this same CEO was clamoring for a

microphone to say things like, “ushers in a new era for [insert company name here]”, “poised

for growth” and this oldie but goodie, “well-positioned to compete in today’s global economy.”

How often do these strategies, created by no small amount of business brainpower, go awry

or downright implode due to a poor implementation?


In today’s global market, opportunities abound for creative thinkers who are willing to

take on acceptable levels of risk.  And many times the quickest, most cost-effective way to

pursue these opportunities is by partnering with another company.  Strategic partnerships

or business alliances can be the best road to expanding your business, particularly in light

of today’s economic climate where investment capital is tight or in many cases non-existent,

combined with limited and strained resources.  Strategic partnerships can provide an effective

means of expanding your own capabilities by leveraging the core competencies of your partner(s)

without the huge costs associated with mergers and acquisitions.  They have proven effective

in areas such as the development of new product technologies, oil and gas exploration, economic

revitalization in foreign countries and, more recently, development and implementation of security

standards and procedures for safeguarding people, facilities and information.


But the purpose of this book is not to extol the virtues of strategic partnerships, nor to sell

you on the idea that partnering is the one and only way your business can survive in the

21st century.  Too many trees have already given their lives in that pursuit, the result being daily

announcements, accompanied by the mandatory trumpet-blowing, of new business partnerships,

strategic alliances, cosortiums, joint ventures and other business relationships that promise to

turn our economy on its ear and improve the very fabric of our existence.


And yet, despite our shared belief that partnerships can, in the right context, be

successful in reducing product development time, optimizing sales and marketing resources,

increasing customer satisfaction, growing market share and any of a number of other business

objectives, why is it that 90% of established business partnerships fail to meet their objectives

in just the first year?  Why aren’t there more examples of successful partnerships? And if the

failure rate is so high, why do we continue to view partnering as a viable strategic alternative?

Are there consistent characteristics among partnerships that succeed?  And among those that fail?


In looking for answers to these questions, I reviewed not only my own first-hand

experiences with partnerships, but I also spoke with hundreds of business professionals about

their own partnering experiences, and I researched numerous publications and books related to

partnerships, joint ventures and strategic alliances.


In my research I analyzed partnerships from their very inception, focusing on the original

business objectives, the reasons for choosing to go the partnership route, the processes used for

analyzing and selecting partners, and the development and implementation of the partnership

relationship itself.  I zeroed in on key players involved in both successful and unsuccessful partnerships

to see if I could uncover the core drivers of their success or failure.


Every partnership I examined had its own story – different industries, each with their own unique

supply chain structure, varying histories of the companies and people involved, and vastly different

business objectives for each partnership created.  But in sifting through this data, I discovered some

recurring themes - steps taken, or not taken - that significantly contributed to the results generated by

the partnership.


Some of the most valuable intelligence I’ve been able to gather deals with lessons learned

from partnerships that failed.  By asking key people involved, If you had to do it over again, what

would you do differently? I learned that the same types of mistakes were being made across

all forms of business partnerships, regardless of industry or the specific companies involved.


That’s when I got the notion that this book should focus on the “how” of strategic partnering.

So I set out to develop a guide for developing and managing successful partnerships.  A guide that’s

not only practical and helpful, but also a quick and easy read for today’s overloaded business professional.


Within these chapters you’ll find, condensed and to-the-point, the “make-sure-you-do-this” and

“watch-out-for-that” of planning, developing and implementing an effective business-to-business

partnership - one that has clear goals from the outset and is designed and managed to successful,

real-world results.


But beware!  After reading this book and following the guidelines I’ve laid out, you won’t have

the “sound strategy, failed execution” crutch anymore.  What you will have is a level of implementation

excellence that will actually serve to uncover weaknesses in a strategy that may not have been noticed

until full market rollout.  Identifying these problems earlier in the process will save you exponentially versus discovering them later.


And so it is my ultimate goal that you see such a return on your investment of time and money in

this book that it becomes not only a handy guide you’ll refer to often, but that you also see it as a

worthwhile investment for your co-workers, your employees, your business associates and yes, especially your partners.


Business Alliance Seminar

Seminar conducted by Dave Koester CEO The Linkage Group

Schedule a Business Alliance seminar for your company/employees:



Has your company ever seriously considered a formal strategic partnership or business alliance with another like-minded company that shares your goals and values as a ‘go-to-market’ strategy, but didn’t know where or how to get started?  Clearly this can be a formidable and daunting exercise if you don’t know where to start, but the answers and road map you will need to successfully chart a course for success are available today in “Partnering with a Purpose”.


Now you can bring the proven knowledge, structure and skill set of successful strategic partnerships to your team and company via a “Partnering with a Purpose” seminar!


In a fast paced 90-minute session, you and your team will learn the basic essentials, required resources and what it takes to form a successful and profitable strategic partnership with other like-minded companies and in some cases, even your competition.  Yes, even your competition!  In this session, Dave will share his research, knowledge and experience on how to build lasting, effective and mutually profitable business alliances and strategic partnerships.  This session will also include the ‘Strategic Readiness Exam’ which measures your company’s attitude and appetite for partnering; making sure your company has what it takes to become a good partner.  You will also learn how to qualify and select the right partner company and chart a real course for success while avoiding the early pitfalls and mistakes made by so many others.


Following the seminar, Dave will be available for an extended Q&A session and each attendee will also receive a signed copy of “Partnering with a Purpose”.


If your company has ever considered forming a business alliance or entering into a formal strategic partnership with another organization, then this seminar is for you!  Take the guess work out of the process and implement a proven road map for your success.


For more information and to schedule this valuable seminar for your company contact The Linkage Group LLC today and set your date for partnering success!


The Linkage Group

(513) 777-2549



Please schedule early to reserve your date/time.





 Linking Companies and Concepts for Superior Business Solutions


The Linkage Group LLC

8366 Prairie Lake Blvd.

West Chester, Ohio 45069


Phone:  (513) 777-2549

Cell:    (513) 616-7470




The Linkage Group LLC is a full-service strategic management, marketing and consulting firm that specializes in the process of strategic partnering and business alliance development.  The company is comprised of experienced business professional that are dedicated to creating extraordinary value-based solutions for our clients and customers.



Founded in 2000, The Linkage Group LLC was formed and licensed in the State of Ohio.  It’s founder and President, Dave Koester, who started The Koester Group  consulting firm in 1997, recognized the important role that strategic partnering and strong business alliances would play in the future of successful business development practices.  Two other top industry professionals shared this vision as they combined their collective skill sets and experience to create The Linkage Group.


Core Competencies - The following capabilities are central to our company’s success:


- Strategic Partnering / Business Alliance Development

- Facility Management / Building Services

- Sales / Marketing / Business Development / Sales Training

- Business Process Analysis / Go-To-Market Strategies

- Brand Enhancement / Niche & Target Marketing

- Supply Chain Opportunities / Outsourcing Strategies

- Custom Metal Fabrication




 Dave Koester – President & Chief Executive Officer

 Mark Berry – Consultant, Business Development




Affiliate Partners:


- Think Energy Management LLC

- The Plan Consulting Group LLC

- Premier Building Maintenance Corp.

- Augur Metal Products LLC

- The Armor Metal Group







The Linkage Group

Office Location: 8366 Prairie Lake Blvd.

West Chester, Ohio 45069

Phone: (513) 777-2549




Dave Koester – President & CEO

8366 Prairie Lake Blvd.

West Chester, Ohio 45069

Office: (513) 777-2549

Cell: (513) 616-7470




Mark BerryConsultant, Business Development

48A Burdsall Avenue

Fort Mitchell, KY 41017

Cell: (513) 262-9506






Contact Us

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At any of the below authorized on-line book stores:





Other Web Links:


Think Energy Management LLC


The Plan Consulting Group LLC


Premiere Building Maintenance Corp.


Augur Metal Products LLC


The Armor Group


Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)


Foodservice Sales & Marketing Association


Strategic Account Management Association (SAMA)




       Purchase the Book: "Partnering with a Purpose"

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