Modesto's Costa to reveal his success secrets

Modesto entrepreneur Dan Costa, chief executive officer of 5.11 Tactical, will share the secrets to his success during a special presentation Wednesday at the Gallo Center for the Arts.

Costa's speech, "My Ten Principles of Success," begins at 6 p.m. He will focus on the strategies he used to create and build a string of successful businesses.

Earlier this year, Costa and his family made a $1 million donation to the Gallo Center to expand access to the arts for underserved children.

Proceeds from this event will support that effort.

One of Costa's early ventures was the Velvet Creamery and sandwich shops, a chain that grew to 29 stores.

Later he built Mallard's restaurant, founded Davis Lay Food Service Inc. to distribute wholesale produce, created a line of pasta and other food products, and developed Mallard's Inn, now a Courtyard by Marriott.

In 1999, he began NorthPointe Shopping Center at Six Road and Pelandale Avenue, home to Costco, Lowe's, Save Mart and other businesses.

He also bought Modesto-based outdoor clothing company Royal Robbins Inc. and started 5.11 Tactical, which makes uniforms and gear for law enforcement agencies.

He sold the company but continues to work as its chief executive officer and retains a 20 percent interest.

Costa built up many of his other ventures only to sell them and move on to something else.

What he'll reveal Wednesday are the stories of how he managed to accomplish all these things and the principles that guided him.

Tickets for his speech are priced at $10, $15, $25, $50 and $100. Those who buy $100 tickets can attend a private, catered reception with Costa after the event. A 15 percent discount is available for groups of 15 or more. For more information, go to or call 338-2100.