Our teachers have started 42 businesses that have generated more than $5.5 billion in value.
“A good name is rather to be had than great riches.”
- Founded or co-founded nine successful companies or non-profits. Formerly managed Sandefer Capital, a multi-billion dollar energy firm
- Currently growing Acton Academy, a global network of innovative K12 schools, alongside his wife Laura Sandefer
- Named by BusinessWeek as one of the top Entrepreneurship professors in the United States and by The Economist magazine as one of the top Business School professors in the world.
- MBA, Harvard Business School; B.S., University of Texas
Jeff Sandefer started his first business at age sixteen. After earning an MBA, he founded Sandefer Offshore, an oil and gas company that generated over $500 million in profits in less than five years. He then ran Sandefer Capital Partners, a multi-billion dollar energy firm.
Over the last fifteen years, Sandefer has worked with entrepreneur-teachers to build a nationally acclaimed entrepreneurship program, winning numerous teaching honors in the process. But ask him about success, and he makes it clear that money and awards aren’t what matter.
“My great-grandfather found his calling as president of a small college and is buried on the campus he worked so hard to build. On one side of his tombstone it says: ‘If you would see his monument, look around.’ This reminds me each of us wants to contribute something meaningful with our lives. On the other side of the tombstone is inscribed, ‘A good name is rather to be had than great riches.’ This reminds me that leading a good life is even more important than what you contribute.”
“We want students who have the intelligence and drive to change the world, and the integrity to change it for the better. If we can awaken in each student a sense of their God-given gifts, and help them to use these gifts to make a difference, the Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship will change the world, one student at a time.”
- Former Chairman and Co-founder of Lone Star Overnight and PeopleAdmin, Inc.
- Current Chairman and Co-Founder of SchoolAdmin, alongside Acton alum, Nate Little
- A top-ranked entrepreneurship teacher for the Acton MBA and formerly for the University of Texas
- MBA, Vanderbilt University; B.S. University of Richmond
Entrepreneur-teacher Jack Long was thinking about building businesses from a very young age .. “As early as seventh grade, I couldn’t resist thinking about enterprising ways to make money. When I was ten, I spent an entire summer drawing up detailed plans for a small airport on an island in the Tennessee River near our home. How many planes could it accommodate? How much fuel would they buy? Was the runway long enough? How much does an island cost? Who owns the island anyway? These childhood dreams became the foundation of my approach to starting a business. The bottom line is that real businesses are built one customer and one dollar at a time.”
As a teacher in the Acton MBA program, Jack insists students take their case work seriously. “Letting an unprepared student graduate would be like sending someone incompetent to perform heart surgery. Launching and running a business is a serious responsibility. You have lots of people counting on you . . . investors, employees, customers, your own family. I’ve got a reputation for being awfully tough on them in the classroom, but my students thank me for it later.”
Jack Long is currently Chairman and Co-founder of SchoolAdmin, a company founded alongside Acton alum, Nate Little. SchoolAdmin is a software company that produces web-based administrative systems for K-12 independent and charter schools—more than 350 in all. Long is past Chairman and Co-Founder of PeopleAdmin, Inc. and Lone Star Overnight, L.P., both recognized in Inc. magazine’s Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately-held businesses. In 1994, he was named an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. His nonprofit work includes serving on the boards of the Pomona College, Texas chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Pilatus Owners and Pilots Association, and the Board of Visitors of Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Business. He is a past trustee and finance chair of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School. In addition to his business and non-profit pursuits, Long is an avid aviator. He has completed two global circumnavigations in his Pilatus PC-12 aircraft including one via the challenging polar route.
Long and his wife make their home in Austin, TX and have two adult children, Adam Long and Carlen Long.
- Formerly a top-ranked economics and finance professor in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas
- Designed and directed the McCombs Plus Program; directed the MBA Professional Development at UT
- Ph.D., economics, Stanford University; B.A., with honors, University of Oklahoma
Steven Tomlinson, Ph.D., coaches Wall Street, Fortune 500 and high-tech start up executives and managers. He is a Founding Master Teacher at the Acton School of Business for Entrepreneurship. He taught economics and finance at The University of Texas at Austin where he designed and directed the MBA professional development program. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Pastoral Ministry at the Seminary of the Southwest and an accomplished playwright and performer. His award-winning solo shows have been produced in Austin and off-Broadway.
- Current Partner at Business Remodeling Services, LLC
- President & CEO at OD Codex
- Former President & COO, Board Director, and Senior Advisor at Drillinginfo
- Master Teacher at Acton School of Business since 2004
Ed Perry chooses to lead with quiet strength and a strong commitment to principles. Perry learned to be a businessman from wise, patient mentors who have guided him through every season of his life.
Perry started his first company, a Singapore-based engineering consulting company, over twenty-five years ago. Since then, he has served as President and CEO of several companies in the oil and gas and technology industries, leading some from imagination to launch to rapid growth to sale and some from turn-around to sale. He served as venture fellow then partner for leading local venture capital firms. He has served as an executive at Apple Computer, British Petroleum, McDermott, and Sapient.
Perry’s professional goal is to foster the success of one million successful, principled entrepreneurs before he dies. He advises and consults into many companies, preferring those founded by Acton scholars. He starts two companies a year to give promising young entrepreneurs a running start.
Perry talks about leading people: “Successful entrepreneurs don’t seek the spotlight for their own sake. The great entrepreneur builds a strong company by attracting the right talent (usually smarter than s/he is!) then inspires them to do the right things. The entrepreneur sets clear/concise goals, asks the right questions, shows dedication to unwavering principles, holds very high standards for performance, and treats others with care and respect. When I teach at Acton using the case method, I teach by practicing the same principles in the classroom that have worked for me in business.”
“The key to making a good business decision is finding the right questions to ask.”
- Co-founder and mentor for Explore Austin, a non-profit dedicated to mentoring and building leadership skills in young boys and girls through outdoor adventures
- Owner and Principal in successful real estate transactions in Texas, Colorado, and California
- Co-Founder of The Shootout Foundation which supports local youth hockey and sled hockey initiatives
- Co-founder of The Tecumseh Foundation, a Texas-based foundation that supports a wide variety of charities, scholarship programs, and non-profits
- Founder and Owner of The Pond Hockey Club, a hockey facility in Austin, TX that hosts both youth and adult hockey leagues.
- MBA, Acton; MBA, National University (California); B.A., psychology, Vanderbilt University
Jamie learned how to search for the right questions as member of the first class of Acton Scholars in 2004. Shortly after graduation, he joined forces with former classmate Carter Higley and Carter’s wife, Jamil Mullen, to establish LEAD (Letting Everyone Achieve Dreams), a non-profit that takes inner-city children to summer wilderness programs in Wyoming. Building on LEAD’s concept, Jamie co-founded and is a mentor for Explore Austin, a non-profit that mentors and builds leadership skills in young boys and girls through outdoor adventures. In addition to his work with Explore Austin, Jamie continues his business in commercial and residential real estate. He is also the first Acton alumnus to become a Master Teacher at the Acton School of Business. Jamie explains his reasons for wanting to return to Acton as a teacher: “I believe that there are three things I can do in any one day to make that day purposeful and rewarding: spend time with those that I love, pursue predetermined goals and self-knowledge, and give back to my community. Teaching is one of the few activities I can think of that addresses all three. I fully expect to learn more from the students than they could ever learn from me.”
- Co-founded and managed Queensland Energy Resources and Shale Tech International
- Former Vice President of Energy Development with Ziff Brothers Investments; Principal with Sandefer Capital Partners; Venture Consultant at Austin Ventures
- MBA from The University of Texas; B.S. Geosciences, University of Arizona
Bill Jones has had broad experience in oil and gas and engineering–based companies, most recently with the founding of Queensland Energy Resources, an Australian energy company, and Shale Tech International, a U.S.-based technology company. Bill’s experience in energy-related businesses started on the “shop floor” (or drilling rig floor in this case), to the management office, to financing and commodity risk management, to overseeing and managing the acquisition of hundreds of millions of dollars of energy assets and building a company from the ground up to develop those assets.
Entrepreneurship runs in Bill’s family, so starting up and running new businesses is nothing new. “I come from a hardworking family of entrepreneurs out in West Texas, starting with my grandfather and his oil and gas business, my parents with various successful businesses, and now my brother with his energy business. As far back as I can remember we were starting up and running new businesses.” Teaching became a passion for Bill after learning from and working under several successful entrepreneurs.
- Founded Newgistics and three other companies
- Former managing general partner at Austin Ventures; former partner at the Boston Consulting Group
- Current managing partner and founder at Tritium Ventures
- MBA and B.S., University of Chicago
Phil Siegel is a Managing Partner of Tritium Partners, responsible for sourcing and executing acquisitions and monitoring several of Tritium Partners’ portfolio companies.
Prior to co-founding Tritium Partners, Phil was a General Partner at Austin Ventures where he spent 14 years helping to launch and build the Growth Equity practice.
Previously, Phil was a Partner at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), where he spent 11 years in the Chicago and Dallas offices. His primary focus was in the Consumer and Retail and Financial Services client practices. Prior to joining BCG, Phil was a senior analyst at BBDO in Chicago.
Phil is a professor in the Acton MBA program and was formerly a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Texas. He was previously on the Board of Directors for the Austin Entrepreneurs Foundation.
Phil received his BA and MBA from the University of Chicago.
- Founded ReNEW Energy and Eyes of Texas Partners
- Former chairman, president, and CEO of Phibro Energy
- Current President and CEO of Vida Capital
- MS industrial management, Purdue University; B.S. civil engineering, University of Virginia
Jeff graduated from The University of Virginia in 1978 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, subsequently served four years in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, reaching the rank of Captain, and then graduated from The Krannert School of Management, at Purdue University, with an M.S. in Industrial Management in 1983. From 1986 until 1997 Jeff was instrumental in building and managing one of the largest independent petroleum refining and marketing companies while at Salomon Inc. subsidiary Phibro Energy USA (serving as Chairman, President and CEO from 1992 to 1997). Upon the sale of the company to Valero Energy in 1997, Jeff started Re-NEW Energy LLC to develop waste-to-energy projects primarily in West Virginia and Kentucky which was ultimately sold. In 2001, Jeff founded Eyes of Texas Partners, a private investment company with a primary focus on technology.
In 2009, Jeff co-founded with Austin Ventures Vida Capital Inc., which is a leading asset manager in the life settlement industry; and in 2011 Ovation Partners, an alternative investment asset manager focused on non-correlated, income producing investments.
In 2011 Jeff was named the RISE Austin Serial Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2012 he was named AFP Austin Chapter’s Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year and in 2015 was named Mission Capital’s Community Leader of the Year
Jeff has served on the Purdue University Krannert School Alumni Board, was a member of the Houston Chapter of Young Presidents Organization, Chairman and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of St. Gabriel’s Catholic School, a volunteer for The University of Virginia NCOUR committee for central Texas, and co-chair of Community First Capital Campaign, focused on breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness. Currently Jeff serves on the advisory council for Explore Austin, serving underprivileged youth, and is on the Board of Directors of Austin Habitat for Humanity.
- Founder and president of Firefly Consulting
- Previously, a partner with Accenture Management Consulting and a vice president with George Group Consulting
- Author of Innovating Lean Six Sigma and Fast Innovation
- Masters in engineering mechanics from the University of Texas, BSE in aerospace engineering, and B.A. in French from the University of Michigan
- Currently sits on the board Impact India 360, an organization dedicated to helping the poor in rural India; and B.A. in French from The University of Michigan
Kimberly Watson-Hemphill, a globally recognized leader in the field of Innovation and Operational Excellence, founded Firefly Consulting in 2009. She is responsible for the vision, management, and long-term strategy of the company and is committed to driving high-impact, sustainable results for clients.
Kimberly has had the opportunity to work with business leaders at Fortune 500 companies in the US, Europe, and Asia where she has led engagements within a broad range of industries, from the automotive industry to the US space program. Her career has been defined by major successes helping companies achieve their strategic objectives, navigate large-scale transformations, implement productivity improvements, and re-position themselves in a rapidly changing competitive landscape.
Previously, she served as a partner with Accenture and a Vice President of George Group Consulting. Kimberly frequently speaks on topics related to leadership and continuous improvement both nationally and abroad, and has authored several books and publications. Her first book, Fast Innovation (McGraw-Hill, 2005), hit Business Week’s Top 10 business booklist. Her most recent book, Innovating Lean Six Sigma (McGraw-Hill, 2016), shares insights from her 20+ years of hands-on experience in operational excellence.
As an active leader beyond Firefly Consulting, Kimberly has served on the faculty of the Acton School of Business MBA program in entrepreneurship since 2009, where she teaches operations. She is a board member of Impact India 360, and frequently takes teams to rural India to volunteer. She is also the technical chair of the Lean and Six Sigma World conference.
When Kimberly isn’t teaching at Acton or running her consulting business, she enjoys spending time with her family of soccer fanatics.
- Co-founder, Gateway Church
- Start-up Entrepreneur in the United States, Eastern Europe, and Australia
- Strategic and financial consultant for emerging and senior leaders in corporate America
- MBA from The University of Texas
Ted has coached hundreds of emerging and senior leaders in the corporate, entertainment, media, non-profit, and government arenas. As a consultant, he has brought strategic and financial expertise to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies. As an entrepreneur, Ted has launched ventures in the U.S., Eastern Europe, and Australia. In addition to his business pursuits, Ted has founded Gateway Church, an innovative congregation of over 3,500 attendees in Austin, TX.
Colleagues and family members of Ted’s clients often positively remark to them, “You’ve changed. What’s going in your life?” Ted is proficient at helping clients engage in relationships, practices, and skill development that lead to transformation. His listening, sense-making, and insights assist high-capacity leaders to escape paralysis in the face of complex personal and business challenges. He brings this special talent to Acton’s Life of Meaning course.
When he’s not teaching at Acton, Ted enjoys writing, filmmaking, and outdoor sports. You can also catch him doing some stand-up comedy to blow off steam.
- Founder & Chief Strategist at Bulldog Solutions
- Former Chairman and CEO of USOL Holdings
- Former Managing Partner at CSA Management, Inc.
- Founder of the Austin Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and active member in World Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
“The idea of getting into a classroom and not knowing where the discussion may go can be a terrifying experience. But when you step back from it – you find that it can also be profoundly liberating.”
Currently, Rob Solomon is the Founder and Chief Strategist at Bulldog. He is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in launching, growing and operating businesses. He loves to challenge the status quo—and has always been curious about how companies position themselves, go to market and ultimately sell stuff to their customers.
Before founding Bulldog, Rob was the founder, chairman and CEO of USOL Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: USOL), a telecommunications company with offices and operations throughout the United States. He has also founded and co-founded several other companies including: CSA Management, US Online, The Residents Club, and Texas Sailing.
Rob currently serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards. He is the founder of the Austin Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and an active member in World Presidents’ Organization (WPO). He serves on the teaching faculty of the Acton School of Business, where he teaches Growth & Customers in their MBA program. Rob holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
In his spare time, Rob is also the drummer in Austin indie rock band, Driver.
- Founder of Tenduit Software and OneGlobal Partners
- Former EVP of Zebra Imaging
- Former EVP & GM of Avocent Corporation (NASDAQ: AVCT)
- Former VP of Sales for Texas Instruments / Acer
- Current Mentor/Advisor at Capital Factory and Board Member at Marbridge
- U.S. Air Force veteran
- Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School
- BS, Texas State University; MBA Hardin-Simmons University
Dave Perry has a 30+ year history of building high-performance teams in high technology companies both large and small. With a background in Technology, Sales, Marketing, Channels, Mergers & Acquisitions and Leadership, Dave is known for creative approaches to technology commercialization.
At Texas Instruments Dave was responsible for developing channel strategies for the industry’s fastest-growing mobile computing product line which generated $2B in revenue over a 3-year period and placed TI within the top 3 suppliers in the world for mobile PC’s.
Dave joined Avocent, a startup datacenter remote-access company, as VP of Sales and led the growth strategy that allowed the company to grow 40% per year in both the branded and OEM markets. Dave was named GM of the datacenter division and then led the cross-functional efforts that grew the business to $600M per year in revenue and $120M in profits which funded 7 acquisitions worth more than $200M during his leadership. The company was later purchased by Emerson Electric for $1.2B.
Currently he is consulting, speaking, advising startup companies and investing. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Marbridge Foundation, an Austin nonprofit that serves the residential, training and social needs of people with cognitive challenges.
- Currently SVP, Integration for Upland Software (Nasdaq: UPLD), a publicly traded acquisitive growth platform company specializing in subscription-based enterprise software.
- A founding member of Dell Software Group, built by integrating 8 acquisitions into one $2B unit, and later sold to a private equity buyer
- Over 20 years with Dell Inc. held a variety of other roles including leadership posts in sales & marketing, strategy & corporate development, operations and M&A integration
- MBA, Kellogg School of Management; BBA, St. Edward’s University
- Vice-Chair and Executive Committee Member, Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
Ian Burk started his career with Dell, a build to order PC provider that achieved incredible growth as it disrupted industry stalwarts with a new business model. During his time there, the company grew from $5B to $60B in sales and transformed from a PC company to an end-to-end IT provider, selling a portfolio that included mission-critical solutions to the world’s largest corporations and governments. During this time, Ian sought out new opportunities to grow his experience in various functions but also be a part of where Dell was going next, focusing on emerging opportunities to expand the company’s capabilities. When the opportunity came to focus on inorganic growth, Ian contributed by working on 18 acquisitions and several divestitures over 5 years.
While working on Dell Software, which was spun out as Quest Software and SonicWALL, Ian decided that working in enterprise software with a focus on growing organically and through M&A was what he enjoyed most. Now at Upland Software, he enjoys putting his experience to work by integrating acquired companies into a single operating platform and instilling best practices, which drives efficiency, customer experience, and dramatically improves profit.
Ian remains committed to life-long learning and education, both through teaching aspiring entrepreneurs at Acton and as a board member for Literacy Coalition of Central Texas, a non-profit helping the underserved by providing literacy, family and life skills necessary to succeed in today’s world.
- President, Thelese Management: Thelese Management oversees a portfolio of private and public investments in a broad range of industries including real estate, energy, transportation and healthcare.
- Managing Partner, Tejas Investment Partners: Tejas is an investment firm focused on acquiring lower middle market companies in Texas.
- Education: MBA, Acton; BS Abilene Christian University
After graduating from the Acton Business School in 2011, Chris served as Vice President of Thelese Management for 7 years and is now President of the company. Through more than 50 transactions, he has learned the importance of making evidence-based investment decisions based on real-world metrics. Unlike many finance professionals who rely solely on complex financial models, Chris is known to consider metrics like “dust on inventory” and “customer high fives” to determine attractiveness.
In 2016, Chris joined his long-time investment partner at Tejas Investments Partners to acquire controlling positions in low to middle market companies in Texas. The combination of acquisition size and geographic focus allows Tejas to acquire strong, founder-operated companies and implement best-practices to prepare them for an exit in a larger universe of buyers. Chris’ passion for entrepreneurship and driving the Texas economy make Tejas a perfect fit.
Apart from his family, Chris says he is most proud of his role as a teacher at the Acton Business School. He calls his motivation for teaching primarily selfish. “I get to stand in front of a group of incredibly smart folks who have poured themselves into solving incredibly complex problems. I have never left a class without learning something profound from a student.”
Chris and his wife, Elena live in Austin and have three children, Sam, Lincoln and Willow-Jane.
- Founder and CEO of Menard Industries, a products and services company focused on the Railroad Industry.
- Founder of PV Properties, whose holdings include commercial and residential real estate.
- Co-Founder of Menard’s Railroad Materials, a joint venture created to supply the Railroad Industry with faster deliveries of repair parts.
- Angel Investor, focused on startups based in Austin, Texas, including a recent harvest via an acquisition by Verizon.
- Board Member, College of Business, Advisory Council, Stephen F. Austin State University
- Board Member, Total City Sports, Austin, Texas
- Former Board Member, Paradisus Dei
Manny completed the Acton MBA in 2005 and immediately put his entrepreneurial education to work. He joined Axalto, where he founded the North American Transportation business unit.
By 2008, Manny founded Menard Industries. Manny chose to bootstrap the business rather than finance growth. “Yes I chose to grow slower, but it fits my personality. The desire to bootstrap the business led to constraints which forced creativity.”
Manny enjoys creating businesses and thereby creating jobs. “Responsibility is working to provide food, shelter, clothing for your family. When you’re a responsible entrepreneur you provide the vehicle by which employees, customers and vendors provide for their families. By teaching, I can help entrepreneurs be prepared to take on this responsibility.”
- CEO at RVshare
- Founding employee and former Chief Revenue Officer at HomeAway
- BA, University of Texas; MBA, Acton School of Business
Jon Gray currently serves as CEO at RVshare, the world’s largest RV rental marketplace.
From 2004 to 2017, Jon worked for Austin-based HomeAway, the world’s leading marketplace for vacation rentals. He started as a founding employee supporting merger and acquisition activities, led marketing and business intelligence, held various general management positions, and served as Chief Revenue Officer through the company’s sale to Expedia in 2015. During his tenure, the company grew from a start-up to a valuation of $3.9B at the time of Expedia’s purchase of HomeAway.
Jon previously served on the Board of Directors for CanadaStays and currently acts as an advisor/board member to a handful of consumer internet companies. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Acton.
- CEO and CMO focused on frontier technologies like Siri, Viv, Kernel, Clear Labs, SRI, WolframAlpha and Rewired.
- Deep experience in scientific research funding, IP development and venture commercialization.
- Co-Founder of Litmus Health, a new company that uses machine learning to provide better evidence for researchers conducting clinical trials.
- Co-Founder of The Daily Dot, an award-winning online newspaper about Internet culture read by 20M people each month.
- Co-Founder of Culturati, a community of CEOs who study corporate culture, which Drucker famously said “eats strategy for breakfast.”
Josh is a marketer by training and an entrepreneur by calling. He is driven each day to ensure that what deserves your attention actually gets it.
Josh is a founder of six companies in areas ranging from film production to pharmaceutical R&D. He is an occasional investor and a frequent advisor to startups in emerging technology areas like AI, robotics, genomics, and 3D printing.
“I’m a contrarian in the startup world. I have a strong bias towards building business for the long haul, which often means building them the old-fashioned way too. I believe deeply that the escalating pace of technological change gives us an singular opportunity to responsibly advance civilization. Accomplishing that goal requires long term thinking combined with decisive action.”
Despite his focus on science, Josh is a media professional at the end of the day, having worked extensively in film, journalism and PR.
“Media is the business of audience, and audiences run on attention. Getting people interested in things that matter is my life’s work. Marketing isn’t all websites and advertising. It’s just as much about philosophy, ideology, and theology, even. As Hugh McLeod said, ‘the market for something to believe in is infinite.'”
Josh is from Baltimore; an incredibly generous scholarship from a local entrepreneur transformed his life at 14. He lives in Austin with his wife Liz (whom he works alongside every day) and their two girls.
“I teach at Acton out of jealousy, truth be told. This program is what I dearly wish I’d had the privilege of attending myself. It turns out that entrepreneurship can be taught, if you have what it takes. I want to give our students the knowledge and clarity, frameworks and habits that give them the great possible chance of impact.”
- Founder of be humble
- Founder & CEO of Golden Rule Practices
- Former Director of Sales for Ultra International
- Former Student Advisory Board Member at WealthRock
- BS in Mathematics, University of Kansas
Tim grew up in Moscow, Russia and lived through the transition from communism to democracy. He made his first profit (half of his parents’ weekly salary) at age 10 by washing cars. When he was 16, Tim moved from Moscow to a small town in Kansas with a population of 633.
While studying mathematics at the University of Kansas, Tim built his direct sales career. Learning one life skill at a time, he finished in the top 0.001% in the company’s history. He treated his sales calls as interviews and had an opportunity to learn from thousands of families and business owners. Lessons from those conversation and consequent book recommendations didn’t unveil his life purpose, but they fueled his burning desire for financial independence. In 2008, with a goal of retiring by age 30, he started a real estate investment company. The goal was hit a week before the deadline.
Countless examples along the way made it clear that no business success is worth it at the expense of a thriving family life. When his children were born, on the advice of his wife Melissa, he took 5 years off to be a stay at home dad. This is likely to be the best investment he has or will ever make.
Today, Tim finds meaning in helping ambitious people identify their “whys” and figure out logistics of living them, for what it gives to the world. He does it through consulting, teaching, and business.
Through experience, it became evident that answering questions isn’t nearly as productive as asking them. Asking questions with the humility of not assuming you know the right answer is an art and a continuous challenge.
Tim is currently working on bringing technology and professional coaching philosophies to youth sports.
- Previously served as Chief Operating Officer for a top twenty-five publicly held US based bank holding company. Over thirty years experience in commercial banking, operations, SEC and regulatory governance, and corporate development
- Built captive merchant banking entity with over 100 million in deployed acquisition capital. Extensive experience in M & A
- Serves as founder / investor of two start-up companies in EdTech and Banking
- Strong history of community involvement and civic leadership
- BBA, University of Texas at Austin
Dan was raised in an entrepreneurial family, working at an early age in his father’s manufacturing business. First-hand experience in a growing family business that was capital starved helped shape Dan’s desire to become a capital provider and advisor to entrepreneurial businesses. Over the course of a fulfilling corporate career in finance, Dan has had the privilege of working with hundreds of entrepreneurs – witnessing the many joys of success and the painful reality of failure.
Leaving communities stronger and more vibrant has been an earmark of Dan and his wife. Matching business constituencies and philanthropic resources to fill the gaps that fuel poverty has been a primary focus – drawing on the entrepreneurial spirit of survival and the compassion to make a difference beyond earning a paycheck.
- Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Heights Partners, a national fully integrated real estate development company
- Presided over the development, financing, and construction of over $1.7 billion worth of student housing and multifamily real estate in projects nationwide.
- Awarded 2016 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year for Central Texas
Prior to founding Aspen Heights Partners in 2006, Greg Henry, a graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in marketing, owned and operated a residential development and construction company in Northwest Arkansas. In 2007, he sensed the housing industry had become frothy and made the timely move into the recession resistant industry of student housing. As a consequence, during the historic economic crisis of 2008, he was one of few developers still able to secure deals and grow the business. Since then he’s demonstrated a unique ability to anticipate subtle market shifts and respond creatively. Under Greg’s leadership, Aspen Heights has become one of the premier brands in the student housing industry by delivering innovative products and a unique resident experience. They continue to have success and grow through conventional multifamily development and assisted living. Aspen Heights Partners is raising Austin’s real estate bar by developing the tallest residential tower west of the Mississippi River, The Independent.
Mike is the CEO at Explore Austin, responsible for all aspects of organizational health and success. His vision is to ensure that Explore Austin continues to positively transform the lives of everyone involved with Explore Austin from Explorers, Mentors, and partners, to donors, staff, and Board members. His employment with Explore Austin began in 2009. An entrepreneur by nature and training, Mike looks forward to the challenge of taking Explore Austin to the next level.
Mike was born and raised, and will likely forever call Austin, Texas, his home. After studying Psychology at Texas A&M University, he began his career as a teacher at Regents School of Austin. His deep love for outdoor adventure led him to launch Climb On Adventures– a guide service specializing in father/son adventure trips. Mike then spent a few years as a consultant with San Francisco-based Culture ROI, a boutique Management consulting firm. In 2009, he earned his MBA from the Acton School of Business and since 2013 has been teaching there part-time. Mike’s other entrepreneurial endeavors include a small business acquisition of a manufacturing and distribution company and real estate investments.
Mike owes a great deal of his personal and professional success to his own mentors; their simple yet monumental impact on his life motivates him to give back to youth in his own community.
Mike enjoys adventure (Devils river, Mt. Kilimanjaro), travelling (21 countries), and making new friends. Mike’s faith guides his decisions, and he enjoys every minute he can spend with his wife, Christin, their two equally precious and exuberant daughters, Salem Grace and Elsie Faith, and his son, Josiah Brave.