10 Business Lessons from Startup Mentors in Dallas Fort Worth

Our MCrew mentors are seasoned business professionals from a variety of industries who volunteer their time to help startups strategize and grow.



Meet the mentors and hear their wisdom below:


1.

Cortney Gumbleton

Founder and Co-Owner Locavore Fort Worth




Business Lesson:

“Not making a decision is making a decision."

Cortney is a transformational leader with an impressive history of building innovative programs that communities value. She strategizes high-impact, low-cost approaches that work and develops authentic messaging that inspires. Additionally, she delivers metrics that show meaningful community change.


Her experience as a nonprofit executive nurtured her creative talent in design, social media and program planning. Back in February 2018, she envisioned an all-inclusive home for food entrepreneurs called Locavore, which has tools and mentorship to help them not only survive, but thrive.



2.

Rick Matos

Owner Innovar, L.L.C.




Business Lesson:

You might make mistakes when you try. You will never succeed unless you try. Learn from the past. Never cease trying."

Rick Matos, Ph.D. is the founder of Innovar, L.L.C. He has over thirty years of experience in the pharmaceutical arena as researcher, patent practitioner and consultant and over twenty-five years of experience as a patent practitioner. He is an author of scientific articles and is an inventor of pharmaceutical and chemical process technologies. By integrating IP, business and R&D strategies and by building and managing robust large patent portfolios, he has helped client startup corporations raise capital and achieve valuations of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars before being sold or even going public. Many domestic and international pharmaceutical products are covered by patents he has prosecuted.



3.

Steve Montgomery

President MontgomeryGR




Business Lesson:

"You can cure ignorance. But you can’t fix stupid."

Steve Montgomery is President of MontgomeryGR, a local government relations and public affairs firm based in Fort Worth.  He brings 30 years of professional public and private sector experience in the areas of public affairs, governmental relations, strategic communications, business management, and organizational leadership.  Steve thrives on engagement in the local business and government conversation and enjoys connecting people across a spectrum of disciplines to ensure the sum is always greater than the parts.

Steve is a longtime Tarrant County resident and an active member of the community.  He serves on the Board of Managers for the Tarrant County Hospital District (JPS Health Network) and was appointed to the local Continuum of Care Board of Directors (addressing homeless issues) by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.



4.

Greg Head

CEO of Scaling Point

Founder of Gregslist.com




Business Lesson:

"Focus to Grow. Specialists Eat Generalists."

Greg has been a leader in the software and technology business for 30 years. He was part of the startup-to-scale stages of three great companies that have since created over $2 billion in total revenue in the CRM software industry. He was an early employee and product manager for ACT!, the best-selling Windows contact manager in the ’90s, eventually used by 4 million salespeople. Additionally, he was co-founder and marketing leader of SalesLogix, the first mid-market CRM software, which went public in 1999 and was bought by Sage plc (LON: SGE) in 2001 for $300 million. Also, he was President and General Manager of ACT! with over 200 global employees from 1999 through 2004. Then he became Chief Marketing Officer at Infusionsoft where growth soared from $15 million to $100 million while he was there. Now he is the CEO of Scaling Point and Founder of Gregslist.com.



5.

Logan Speights

Founder and CTO

Proxxy




Business Lesson:

“Iteration is not the same as failure.”

Logan is a highly accomplished Senior Executive, entrepreneur, Board Member, Consultant and mentor with over 20 years of success. Leveraging extensive experience in tech, marketing, and advertising, he transforms organizations through their leadership team.


At his core, Logan is a builder. He has helped to found multiple businesses, as well as a ministry. The building doesn’t stop there though. For fun he builds everything from cabinets to furniture and chicken coops to horse paddocks. He would say, “Building anything is building something!” As for the future, Logan believes that human assisted technology, like what he is implementing at Proxxy, is the only answer. It will be a centerpiece of anything he builds going forward.


Currently, Logan is involved in the following:


Proxxy (yourproxxy.com): Logan is a Founder and CTO in this organization, which provides remote Chief of Staff services to the country’s leading SMB executives. Proxxy gives time back to their busy clients by managing administrative tasks, while simultaneously introducing best practices and strategic initiatives designed for their client’s growth stage.


TripleEights (tripleeights.net): Focusing on COO, CTO, and CMO along with special projects, Logan and his wife Dr Elizabeth Speights own TripleEights. They provide interim and fractional executive services. He believes staff augmentation is a better way to impact a company than outsourcing to an agency.



6.

Lei Testa, CPA, CGMA

Principal

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP




Business Lesson:

“Eat the frog! In other words, do the hard thing first! When I do this, my day is so much more productive – when I don’t, not so much!”

With over 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Lei provides a breadth of knowledge having worked across the continuum with independent physician practices, accountable care organizations, health systems and health plans. Truly passionate about her work, she is a strategic business partner identifying the complex, financial, operational and technical issues while developing comprehensive solutions to enhance the client's business operations. She delivers optimal management oversight and is respected for her broad industry knowledge, leadership and her ability to clearly communicate complex information.


Prior to joining CLA, Lei was an executive at McKesson where she served as Regional Senior Vice President, Executive Director, Regional Finance Director and State Controller during her 11 years.



7.

Diego Alvarado

Founder

Team Coaches




Business Lesson:

Think behind the person.

Diego has more than 15 years of experience in operations and technology. He has worked with companies throughout Latin America, Europe and USA. He is an expert in helping companies run their operations. His technique uses these three pillars: people, process and technology. His main goal is to make business operations simple, easy and productive using tech. If you don’t see order in the way that you business is run, if you are overwhelmed with running your operations, if you don’t know where to start looking for improvements or if your company is growing, and you don’t know how to operate the growth, he is your go-to guy.



8.

Brandon Lairson

Partner, 360 Consulting

Outsourced Sales VP, Sales Xceleration




Business Lesson:

Some Will, Some Won’t, So What!

After an 18 year career as a VP of Sales and Sales Manager for a Berkshire Hathaway Company, Brandon made the transition to serve businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth community.


A high performer at all levels within the organization, from individual contributor to branch manager to regional sales manager and finally VP of Sales, he honed his skills in how to develop and implement a strategic direction for each market he was involved in and yielded significant returns.


Coupled with the experienced team of 360 Consulting, Brandon brings more value to help other small and medium sized companies navigate their strategic position in the marketplace and yield their own significant returns.



9.

John Burt

Coach | Senior Associate Peak Performance Group TX, LLC




Business Lesson:

Make the Call! In other words, take action.

John has been a professional in sales, marketing and business development for over 20 years. He brings a wealth of knowledge in these areas to clients helping them grow their business and increase sales. He is also a Texas High School football official, officiating over 1000 games and 20 playoff games in his 25 year career.


His unique, proven selling system gets results. He helps you add some balance to your routine and provides small adjustments with skills, knowledge and goal setting. John helps sales, leadership and first line managers growing the bottom line.



10.

Tom Zais

Regional Vice President - Ready Mix Martin Marietta




Business Lesson:

Find something you love to do then do it better, cheaper or faster than anyone else.

Tom is a highly-motivated business leader with a passion for Leadership Development, Change Management and Operational Excellence.


He is currently the Senior Vice President of Ready Mix at Martin Marietta. He has full P&L responsibility for a $700M+ Ready Mix operation with over 100 plants and 1,300 employees. He is responsible for strategy development and implementation to meet safety, financial and market-based performance objectives.


Before that, he was VP at TXI where he had full P&L responsibility for the Ready-Mix Division within a vertically-integrated Cement, Aggregate and Concrete organization. He implemented advanced technology and programs to improve safety performance, development and execution of mid-range strategic growth plan, executed acquisitions and divestitures to restructure market positions and implemented numerous programs to improve efficiencies and cost profile.


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We are beyond grateful to have their individuals as mentors in our MCrew program. They have generously offered up their time and expertise because they care about helping startup founders.

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