EMU alumnus Darien Terrell goes from driver to CEO
Darien Terrell, '17 MBA
Darien Terrell began his collegiate career at Eastern Michigan University in 2012. A student athlete from Canton, Ohio, Terrell sought a BBA in Management while also playing as an offensive lineman on the Eagles football team. Throughout his academic and athletic career, Darien also worked as a driver for catering delivery service, DeliverThat, to help offset his travel costs. Juggling all these opportunities at once helped teach him how to tackle challenges head on and how to utilize his outgoing personality, strong work ethic, discipline, and desire to continuously grow.
“Darien was part of the foundation that helped Eastern Michigan football return to the postseason for the first time in 29 years with an appearance in the 2016 Bahamas Bowl, and he overcame an injury in his final season when the odds were stacked against him,” remarks Greg Steiner, Associate Athletic and Media Relations Director at EMU. “Darien is a great example of how hard work in athletics can transition to the corporate world.”
In 2016 Darien earned his BBA in Management from EMU, and one year later he graduated from the university with his Master’s in Business Administration in 2017. In March 2018, just a few months post-graduation, Darien became the Director of Business Development at DeliverThat and quickly transitioned to the Chief Business Development Officer in May of that same year. He continued to grow in his business and leadership skills, and proved himself to be “invaluable [to the company] with his innovative ideas and superior work ethic.”
One year later Terrell took on the role of President for the catering delivery service, bringing a fresh vision and pushing the company to continually “find our why” and stick to it, even in the highs and lows of the business. Throughout his full-time involvement with DeliverThat, the company expanded into more than 145 major metro markets, facilitating deliveries for over 500 different restaurant brands across the United States and Canada.
The tenacity and leadership Darien displayed as President led to his success in April 2022, when he was named the Chief Executive Officer of the company. “Starting as a delivery driver gave me the perspective of what drivers encounter on a day-to-day basis, which proved invaluable as I moved into different roles within the company.” Darien’s strong work ethic and history with the company offered him insight and experience that would help him lead well in the various positions he held throughout the years with DeliverThat. Yet, he credits his time as a student athlete at EMU for much of his recent success, knowing it was that opportunity which helped make the rest possible.
“The combination of competing athletically, and studying at one of Michigan's best academic institutions has granted me with a tremendous amount of growth potential, and for that, I am proud to be an EMU alum,” says Darien.
Such success comes as no shock to those who know Darien. Greg Steiner admits that witnessing “his success now as the President/CEO of DeliverThat is no surprise, given his passion, leadership, and drive. I'm personally thrilled for him and look forward to watching him and the company continue to make an impact on the lives of others.”
Darien exemplifies the type of outstanding professionals the EMU College of Business seeks to produce and send out into the workplace. His discipline, hard work ethic, and business acumen will undoubtedly continue to propel him forward in the industry.