March Madness: MCrew Edition

Last week, we kicked off cohort No. 7 of MCrew, our state-of-the-art group mentoring program. The last cohort ended in happy tears, so we are beyond excited to see what will happen with these crews! See who got matched up below:


Elyse Dickerson

Our mentors are seasoned professionals who graciously give their time to help our startup companies strategize and grow. Startups in our MCrew program have a proven business model and sales, and are in a good position to grow.



Meet the Crews



CREW 1


Mentors



1. Randy Roberson, President, Sandler Training of Fort Worth, Sales & Management Results


Randy works closely with small business owners and CEOs that have great people but may not close enough sales, drop price instead of showing value or waste too much time with a prospect that was never going to buy in the first place.



2. Al Guillem, President at ZS Pharma, Inc.


Dr. Al Guillem is a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry with nearly 40 years of leadership experience in bringing new therapies to the market and readying pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities for commercial production at both well-established and startup companies. Al brings deep knowledge and insight into pharmaceutical manufacturing across many dosage forms and manufacturing operations. He is Co-founder, President, & CEO at ZS Pharma, a startup company developing a product for hyperkalemia or high levels of potassium in the blood. ZS Pharma was acquired by AstraZeneca in 2015 for $2.7 billion.



3. Robert Pollock, Executive Advisor & Culture Index Licensee, Business Owner, Author, Speaker


Robert started and sold his first business before his 29th birthday. He became a hired gun executive during the "Dot Com Boom" of the late '90s and is now an Executive Advisor to CEOs of small and mid-market companies across the United States. Robert also invests in the next generation of leaders by donating time to local startup and incubator organizations and universities in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas.



4. Marcus Morris, President / CEO - Fort Worth Region at First Financial Bank


Morris started at First Financial in 2010 as a commercial loan analyst in Abilene. In 2012 he was promoted to commercial loan officer in Keller, Texas, specializing in commercial real estate, working capital, and equipment loans. He holds a bachelor of science degree from Abilene Christian University and a master of science degree in finance and economics from West Texas A&M University. Morris is also a graduate of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.


He is active in the Tarrant County community serving as a board member for the Parks and Recreation department of the City of Keller and as a volunteer for the Keller Education Foundation. He is a member of the Keller Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Keller Class of 2016.


5. Lei Testa, CPA, CGMA - Partner at Averett Financial, LLC


After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington Lei began her career with Deloitte, and after a few years in public accounting, moved into the healthcare field. After a period with Cook Children’s Health Care System she began a swift ascent through the ranks of finance operations to executive management at US Oncology and McKesson.


Upon leaving McKesson, Lei obtained her licenses to provide investment advice and sell securities, and began a new practice focus as a financial advisor with Averett Financial, LLC. In May of 2018, she joined CliftonLarsonAllen as a Principal in the Health Care Sector where she led their outsourced accounting department. She returned to Averett Financial, LLC in December, 2020 where she leads their Accounting Services Division.


Lei is a past president of the Fort Worth Chapter TXCPA, has previously served on the TXCPA Executive Board, and is a current member of the AICPA Council and the current Immediate Past Chair of the TXCPA Board of Directors. Lei also serves on the board of The Women’s Center of Tarrant County where she is Vice-Chair and has served on the University of Texas at Arlington’s Advisory Board for the Accounting Department. She is a group leader in Bible Study Fellowship and she and her husband Frank attend Christ Chapel Bible Church, in Fort Worth, their home community.




The Startup


AyuVis Research


AyuVis Research, Inc. is a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel multi-functional small molecules which boost the body’s natural ability to fight disorders associated with inflammation, immunomodulation, and microbial infection.




CREW 2


Mentors



1. John Burt, Senior Associate at Peak Performance Group


John has had great success in sales, leadership and team coaching. Now, he is coaching other business professionals so they can reach their peak performance. He helps teams reach their goals, works on team motivation, finds the holes in systems (selling, leadership, management, team) and produces a scalable selling system.



2. Stephen Boudreau, Co-founder at RaiseDonors and CoFounder at Ascendio


Stephen is highly skilled in User Interface Design, User Experience, and interaction design. His one company, Ascendio, helps organizations know & grow the people they serve. From application development to user-experience design, it has a history of wise decisions, effective strategies and fruitful client relationships. His other company, RaiseDonors, instantly upgrades your online fundraising so donors give more, your organization grows faster, and the world becomes a better place.



3. Alex Valderrey, MBA - President and Founder at Stride Strategic Group


Alex's mission is to help business leaders develop a profound understanding of their business environment thereby placing their business in a better competitive position.


He believes that for CEOs, founders, and executives, it gets lonely at the top. Without a mentor and accountability partner, many business leaders find themselves hitting the ceiling of what they can achieve. Leaders help develop teams, and business coaches help develop leaders, and he seeks to do the latter.



4. Sunny Lowe, CEO at Blue Jean Networks


As a leader of Blue Jean Networks, Sunny Lowe leads a great team of engineers and business professionals who manage and maintain computer networks for companies that are based in North Texas and that have subsidiaries all around the U.S.


Under his leadership, BJN has won:

2020 - Inc 5000 Best places to work

2020 - Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies

2019 - Entrepreneur of Excellence Award

2019 - MSP 501 list of the 501 most successful Managed Service Providers in the World

2016 - Small Business of the Year (1-10 people) Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce



5. Cortney Gumbleton, Founder and Co-Owner of Locavore Fort Worth


Cortney is a transformational leader with an impressive history of building innovative programs that communities value, strategizing high-impact, low-cost approaches that work, developing authentic messaging that inspire and delivering metrics that show meaningful community change.



The Startup


Nuvothera


Nuvothera is a Fort Worth, TX-based biotech company formed by seasoned dermatology pharmaceutical executives with the mission of developing novel OTC products for difficult-to-treat skin conditions and chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Nuvothera's products incorporate natural botanical ingredients and use the latest in scientific knowledge and evidence-based research. Nuvothera's products include Prosoria™, a topical daily psoriasis treatment system, and our Nuvothera Super-Micronized™ Turmeric Curcumin dietary supplement.




CREW 3


Mentors



1. Diego Alvarado, Founder at Team Coaches


Diego more than 15 years of experience in operations and technology and working with companies throughout Latin America, Europe and USA. He is an expert in how companies must run operations using technology and processes and building and leading teams



2. Daniel Murray, Intellectual Property Attorney


Daniel has extensive experience litigating and prosecuting patents in a variety of technical fields, as well as expertise handling trademark matters. He has handled matters spanning a variety of technologies, including mobile software, 3G and other cellular standards, user interface design, cellular hardware design, Bluetooth and WiFi, construction materials, plumbing and other waste management strategies, medical and surgical devices, athletic equipment, cosmetics, carpeting and artificial turf. In addition to his intellectual property practice, he also has experience in civil rights litigation and government work. He has handled matters in numerous countries including Sweden, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Chile, and He speaks Spanish and German. He is admitted to practice in Texas, Georgia, and before the USPTO.



3. Logan Speights, Co-Founder at Proxxy


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.



4. Thomas Zais, Regional Vice President - Ready Mix at Martin Marietta Materials


Thomas is a highly-motivated business leader with a passion for Leadership Development, Change Management and Operational Excellence. He is highly-skilled in leadership, contract negotiation, team building, strategic planning, operations management, concrete and construction.



5. Jason Scoggins, Operations Manager at Magna Mechanical


Jason is a driven executive with a proven record of leading from the front to promote unity and collaboration, who has prioritized integrity, professionalism, work ethic, and culture from virtually every level of business. He is a dynamic asset skilled in the execution of business plans, P&L results, accountability and providing the cadence that keeps a business running smoothly.


Additionally, he has an extensive background in food and beverage and production facilities. He specialized in millwright, equipment moving, pipefitting and various welding procedures. Quality, craftsmanship, professionalism, safety, and work ethic are of great personal value to him. He strives to create professionalism that distinguishes itself from everyone else by repeatedly producing quality work while maintaining a safety-conscious environment.



The Startup


Southside Plants


Southside Plants provides education and supplies for duplicating a wild environment at home. It creates innovative solutions to help your houseplant feel at home.



Interested in becoming a mentor or mentee for MCrew?

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