Advisors for Hire

Are you looking to hire an Advisor?

Members of Silver Fox Advisors have experience in diverse business disciplines and provide practical and proven real-world, in-depth strategies for a wide range of business solutions. 

The term of the each Client/Advisor engagement varies with the Client’s needs, but the relationship may go on for years. In most cases there is no fee for the introductory meeting. If an engagement is agreed upon the client contracts directly with an Advisor, who sets reasonable fees when compared to other consulting alternatives.

Silver Fox Advisors can help you find a solution to the challenges you are facing with your business. Contact us today and schedule an appointment to have a Silver Fox Advisor meet with you. It may be the most important contact you have ever made.

Filter By
  • Rainee Busby

    Rainee Busby

  • George Connelly

  • John Curtiss

  • Diana C. Dale

  • Ralph D’Onofrio

  • Margarita Farmer

  • Noel Graubart

  • Henry Florsheim

    Henry Florsheim

  • Sonny Harkins

  • Richard Hendee

  • William Herman

  • Jim Iden

  • Mary L Kole

    Mary L. Kole

  • A. “Butch” Madrazo

  • Gerald Merfish

  • Hank Moore

    Hank Moore

  • Ned Mueller

    Ned Mueller

  • Joe Munisteri

  • David Neuberger

  • Monte Pendleton

    Monte Pendleton

  • Howard Rambin

    J. Howard Rambin

  • Donnie Roberts

    Donnie Roberts

  • Rick Schissler

    Rick Schissler

  • Lane E. Sloan

  • Austin Tenette

  • Doug Thorpe

  • Nick Tillman

    Nick Tillmann

Rainee Busby

Rainee Busby

Certified EOS© Implementer

Ideal Client:

  • Privately held and family owned small/medium businesses, non-profit organizations
  • 10-250 employees; $2MM to $200MM
  • Entrepreneurial leadership teams that are open minded; respectful; appreciative, growth oriented; frustrated; want help; willing to be open, honest and vulnerable
  • Owner desires to exit day to day operations and/or increase valuation in preparation for sale or transition
  • Serving Texas and Southeast US, consider other domestic and international locations

Areas of Expertise:

  • Seasoned entrepreneur with extensive industry experience
  • Operational excellence practitioner – achieve sustainable results
  • Leadership team facilitation, coaching and training
  • Business operating system implementation
  • Certified EOS© (Entrepreneurial Operating System©) Implementer

Rainee is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur who has spent her career working with businesses and organizations of various sizes—and across many industries—to achieve and sustain operational excellence. She brings unique, innovative solutions to her clients while leveraging her expertise in business management, operations, systems, and people strategy. She also leverages a powerful, yet simple, business management system called EOS which builds a solid foundation necessary to grow a successful business. Her expertise combined with EOS is a game-changer for her fast-growing clients.

Prior to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Rainee held successive leadership positions in the software, consulting, healthcare, banking, transportation, energy, and manufacturing industries. Her experience ranges from sparking operational excellence within a large, $13-billion turnaround initiative to small, innovative start-ups. She started her career as a software engineer and quickly moved into leading teams of people and improving business efficiency through process reengineering, software, and systems.

Her passion for leadership and the opportunity to develop great employees has always been her guiding principle. As an operational excellence practitioner, she consistently emphasizes that a business is only as good as its people. Her leadership skills have proved invaluable while working with companies to create human capital practices and people strategy plans. Throughout her career, Rainee has affirmed her belief that the best and most successful companies have people-focused leaders as well as engaged, passionate employees from top to bottom.

After several years of focusing on people strategy and execution, Rainee realized that many businesses were missing the key elements necessary to support the people-related programs and practices she developed for them. They were lacking a clear vision and the execution skills necessary to achieve operational efficiency through discipline, accountability, and metrics—all critical elements to operating any successful business. Her experience and expertise, combined with the power of EOS, have enabled her to earn many “raving fan” clients.

Rainee is extremely passionate about working with privately held, small to medium-sized, fast-growing businesses that are ready to take it to the next level and achieve true, sustainable operational excellence. She is blessed to get the chance to change people’s lives while doing what she loves. Rainee’s focus and belief is that when you transform businesses, you are really changing the lives of owners, leaders, and employees, empowering them to directly enhance their families, relationships, and the communities in which they live.

George Connelly

Attorney, Chamberlain Hrdlicka

George Connelly grew up in Chicago, and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Northwestern University. He then attended Northwestern Law School, and upon graduation accepted a position with the Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service. He was assigned to the IRS Office in Buffalo, New York, where he rose to the level of Special Trial Attorney.

In 1986, George came to the Chamberlain Hrdlicka law firm in Houston, Texas. He became a shareholder in 1987, and is now the head of the firm’s Tax Controversy and Litigation Section.

George has handled virtually every type of federal tax matter in both civil and criminal settings, and has appeared in the United States Tax Court, the United States District Courts in Texas, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been published in the Journal of Taxation, and interviewed by the Texas Lawyer. In addition, George has made presentations on topics of interest to accountants, lawyers, and even IRS personnel. He recently headed up a task force for the Standards of Practice committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association that responded to proposals by the IRS for changes in Circulat 230, which defines the standards of practice before the IRS.

John Curtiss

Technology Sales and Marketing

Extensive background in management of technology sales, marketing, support, and business development functions with major computer systems & software suppliers. Broad industry experience in energy, manufacturing, technology and government sectors. Partnered frequently with global customers to enhance their competitiveness through aggressive and innovative applications of technology. Demonstrated track record in the building and development of high-performance teams for the attainment of stretch goals and sustained long term achievement.

Silver Fox Advisors 1998 – Present

Advisor and mentor to senior executives in small and mid-sized growth companies on issues affecting their success: organization & business development, growth planning, positioning, technology assessment, competitive strategies, cultural development, incentive compensation, strategic partnerships & mergers, decision making. Fee paid.

Silicon Graphics Computer Systems 1988 – 1997

South Central Region Manager 1991 – 1997 Led sales and support organization covering a five-state region to $130 million in revenue (FY 97) with $12 million expense budget and 55 people in 6 facilities. Additionally: – Aggressively expanded business averaging 40% compound annual growth for 6 years. – Built and managed an indirect channel organization to complement direct sales force. – Integrated second-largest Cray Research field organization within 30 days of merger.

Branch Manager – Houston, TX 1988 – 1991 Established a new sales branch for the company, expanded business in government and aerospace markets while leading entry into new energy and high technology sectors. – Grew business from $2 to $11 million in three years – Top sales branch in Central Area – 1991

McDonnell Douglas Information Systems Group 1980 – 1988
Valisys National Sales & Product Marketing Manager 1987-1988
Sales Manager, Manufacturing Industries – Houston TX 1985-1987
Sales Representative, CAD/CAM Systems – Denver CO 1980-1985

United States Navy – Surface Line Officer 1974 – 1980

EDUCATION: US Naval Academy – Annapolis, Maryland Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, 1974

Diana C. Dale

President, Worklife Institute

Dr. Diana C. Dale is the President of the Worklife Institute, a provider of corporate change management, employee assistance, mediation, and career transition programs.  Since 1988, the Institute has provided its services out of its public Resource Center in the Galleria area of Houston, Texas and as a contractor for corporations and the public sector, providing organizational change, recruiting and outplacement advisement, conflict management, business ethics and employee assistance program services.

Since 2007, Worklife Institute has been funded by the TRIAD program (Texas Resources for Iraq / Afghanistan Deployment), the Texas Veterans Commission and Bob Woodruff Foundation, for its Reentry and Worklife Transition Program serving Texas returning veterans and their families. Worklife Institute also provides consultation for other veteran service providers, companies hiring veterans and entrepreneurship initiatives. She partners with ESGR (Employer Support of The Guard and Reserve) in its Hero2Hired program, preparing veterans to become successful corporate employees and serves as a mentor for Houston area veterans interested in starting their own businesses.

Dr. Dale held senior technical and management positions in the engineering and energy industries before founding the Worklife Institute.  She earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts from Stanford University, has a Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry in Corporate Chaplaincy, did post-doctoral research at the UT Health Science Center in Occupational Health and Safety / Management Policy Science and has a Ph.D. in Organizational Change Management. Dr. Dale is a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator (TMCA) and has licenses as an engineering geologist and clinical employee counselor.

She serves on a number of boards, is outgoing Chair of the Organizational Conflict Management section of the International Association for Conflict Resolution, serves as Executive Director for the National Institute of Business and Industrial Chaplains and was Co-chair of the Ethics Committee of The Houston Employee Assistance Professionals Association.

Ralph D’Onofrio

Fmr Exec Pennzoil Products

Ralph D’Onofrio brings to his consulting practice more than thirty years of successful marketing and management experience.

Ralph’s practice is devoted to providing marketing strategy decision support in the areas of, Brand Management, Product Development and Pricing and Marketing Management. Using his highly focused marketing expertise and wealth of experiences, Ralph then creates Business Designs that will help capture value from these strategies.

Currently, Ralph devotes much of his energy to helping owners of privately-held businesses succeed by making sure their business is “On Purpose” to support the dreams and plans they have for themselves and their families. This process aligns the mission of the business with the personal goals of the owner to develop a successful well-run organization, create exit strategies and manage family issues in a positive manner.

Since starting his practice, D’Onofrio has had engagements with large, small, and medium capitalized privately held companies, along with divisions of Fortune 500 companies. Experience includes Dana Corporation, First Brands Corporation, Hughes & Luce LLP, Intermagnetics General Corp, New Century Financial, Penske Auto Centers, SPACEHAB Inc., Sun Company, and Welsh Enterprises.

Prior to the founding of his independent practice, Ralph was Executive Vice President of the Pennzoil Products Company. Ralph’s responsibilities included Brand Management of the number one selling motor oil and the number two selling brand of automotive chemicals in the United States. In addition, he oversaw Pennzoil’s National Account Department. His prior responsibilities included Vice President of Consumer Products for Pennzoil.

Ralph is a member of the Silver Fox Advisors, a group dedicated to assisting owners of privately held businesses to improve their enterprises through mentoring & consulting; and was an Executive Professor at the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship, C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Ralph currently serves on the Boards of two privately held companies.

Margarita Farmer

Co-founder & Fmr COO of US Signs

Entrepreneur, mentor, and consultant, Margarita Farmer utilizes her proven negotiating skills and organizational savvy to assist in structuring companies, providing perpetual training and implementing new technologies as they become available. She inspires entrepreneurs to create and sustain an environment that encourages excellence and motivates productivity.

As co-founder and COO of US Signs and US Signs and Service, she was instrumental in growing the start-up sign company into a large virtual sign company utilizing a network of 800 installers and 20 manufacturers, while managing the in-house staff of Project Managers and Service Coordinators. The most important key to the company’s success was recruiting and training vendor organizations so that all parties would operate efficiently, maintain quality control and uphold the reputation of her organization; all while maintaining profitability for each of the parties concerned.

After 31 years of successful operation, she and her co-founder sold US Signs for full value.

It is not surprising that Margarita has now turned her depth of knowledge and experience towards working independently to help other entrepreneurial companies achieve the same measure of success by restructuring their companies and redesigning their methods. She is presently consulting with a growth-oriented, high technology information systems company. As Ms. Farmer points out, “All successful companies are necessarily customer service driven, so they must engineer their organizations to efficiently deliver the service levels and products their customers/clients expect.”

Recognition of her business success and leadership skills is evidenced by her membership in, and Southwest Chairman of, The Committee of 200, an organization of highly successful women executives and entrepreneurs based in the United States, but whose influence and work is conducted globally. Ms. Farmer is comfortable participating with individuals and groups on any continent, or dialoguing on panels with business professionals, professors and university students like Pepperdine, Fudan (Shanghai), Tsinghua (Beijing) and Pretoria (Johannesburg) Universities.

What sets Margarita Farmer apart is that she understands the motivation and challenges which confront the entrepreneur; she knows every step, pitfall, and triumph because she has lived them all. She is particularly well qualified to instruct the person who sets out to create a new business enterprise that can ultimately provide jobs and careers for many industrious people. She understands the importance of building a company of service-oriented people who can cordially and competently deliver the products and services their customers and clients have a right to expect because she has done all of that.

Her “down to earth” style is simultaneously confident and humble, making her an ideal mentor and consultant for people who are just setting foot upon the path of entrepreneurship, or for those who are facing any of the many challenges which constitute the adventure of growing a business.

Noel Graubart

Formed Graubart & Co.

While Real Estate Development has been his main area of activity, Noel Graubart has been an entrepreneur/owner of a variety of business ventures for more than 50 years. He has extensive experience in finance, marketing, leasing, construction, management, manufacturing, and long term planning.


1966 – Present – Formed Graubart & Co., I.M.E. Company, Central Park Associates, J.M. Noel Homes Inc. N.R. Martin Homes Inc.

Most of these firms have been involved in construction, marketing and management of approximately 3,000,000 square feet of commercial property and 1,000 single and multi-family units. Activities have been mostly in Houston, Texas, with a branch office in Austin. Activities included site selection, construction financing, permanent financing, design layout, marketing, interaction with subcontractors, leasing, management etc.

1967 – Mr. Gleem Car Wash Systems Inc. – Built, owned and operated a full-service car wash selling Texaco gasoline and related products.

1990 – Southwest Retirement Ltd. – Formed to operate a retirement home with 183 rooms catering to individuals who lived independently, required Supportive Living help or needed care involving Alzheimer’s disease.

* Participated as an Expert Witness in a variety of matters involving Real Estate issues

1960 -1966 – Divco Wayne Corp. Manufacturers of trucks, school buses, hearses, ambulances, and mobile homes. Vice President of financing division, which handled customer financing and leasing arrangements as well as dealer inventory financing. Experience in turning around a losing manufacturing facility after 22 months of consecutive losses.

1954-1960 – Vice President – Conditional Sales Credit Corp. – Time sales financing and leasing of a variety of income-producing machinery and executive aircraft. Responsible for sales, marketing, credit criteria, internal bank lines of credit. Located in New York but operated nationally.


1957 – New York University – Graduate School of Business Administration – M.B.A. in Banking and Finance

1953 – Syracuse University – B.S. in Finance and Real Estate.

1967 – Licensed Real Estate Broker State of Texas


* Instructor of Real Estate at Society of Advanced Real Estate Subjects at Texas A&M University * Vice President Greater Houston Builders Association * International Council of Shopping Centers * Houston Apartment Association * Society of Industrial & Office Realtors * Texas Association of Retirement Communities * Board of Neighborhood Centers Inc./Baker Ripley * Board of Healthcare & Nursing Education Foundation * National Board of Governors American Jewish Committee * President Jewish Federation of Greater Houston * Board Republic Bank Post Oak * Prostate Cancer Committee of American Cancer Society

Henry Florsheim

Henry Florsheim

Former Managing Dir KHOU

Ideal Client:

  • Not for Profit Experiencing Change
  • Organizational Evolution
  • Communication Strategies
  • Marketing Plans
  • Project Prioritization
  • Managerial Coaching

Background and Experience:

Henry has more than three decades of managerial experience and accountability. He thrived in a 24/7 universe overseeing the delivery offer comp accurate real-time news and information in
a changing business environment that involved reordering priorities, workflows, and strategies in a continually more competitive universe. Through the transition, he was continually involved in supporting the Houston community.

Henry Florsheim was President and General Manager at KTRK-TV, the ABC-TV owned station in Houston, for over two decades. His tenure bridged a technological revolution that fundamentally affected every aspect of the broadcast operation. Throughout the transition, Henry led a 200 plus person team that expanded its primary product—local news—changed the technical hardware and workflows in the building, and coached a team to adopt new sales and production skill sets.

Believing that localism was key to the success, Henry embraced community events. He helped forge partnerships with the Houston Marathon, and the City of Houston Freedom Over Texas July 4th celebration. He maintained the Station’s tradition of broadcast the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Parade and helped bring the Houston Symphony and Houston Art Car Parade to viewers. He helped oversee a 24/7 operation that responded to a string of natural disasters that included Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricanes Ike, Rita, and Harvey. He served as the point person in the very public retransmission battle with Time Warner Cable in 2000.

During his tenure, the Station was awarded Lone Star Emmy Awards for both Station and News Excellence. He currently serves on the Boards of Interfaith Ministries of Houston, and the DePelchin Children’s Center. He is a former board member of the Houston Food Bank and Theatre Under the Stars. He served as a Board member of the Texas Association of Broadcasters.

Education and Background:
Henry is a graduate of Brown University with a BA in American Civilization. He started his career in news and spend time at stations in Providence, Rhode Island, Chicago, and three different broadcasters in New York. His 33 years with ABC-TV included a decade in news management in New York, six years as News Director of WABC-TV

Sonny Harkins

Senior Executive, Veteran


  • Advisory Board/Board of Directors
  • Energy
  • Engineering
  • Financial
  • General Business Facilitator
  • Management
  • Manufacturing
  • Marketing/Sales
  • Strategic Planning
  • Technology

Implementing development programs for growing and larger established businesses, including business development, problem-solving, management advisory and turnaround services; developing organizational strategies and operational improvement for profit growth.


  • Conceptual development, start-up, and growth of professional services and equipment supply companies achieving industry leadership recognition for innovative non-recourse project financing techniques, fast track scheduling, and record winning operational performance.
  • Multi-industry experience in manufacturing and technical services.
  • Business development support services for off-shore companies in local markets
  • Legal support and dispute resolution services; expert witness.
  • Conceptual and general consulting services, ongoing mentoring and Advisory Board services.
  • Develop management leadership programs to promote effective teamwork, improve organizational performance and achieve profit goals.


Marson Services, Pres/CEO; Business services, problem-solving, management advisor, business development
Hawker Siddeley, Pres/CEO; Manufacturing, services, equipment supply, operations
PSE, VP; Project and Department management, construction, equipment supply, operations
Brown & Root, Project management; turnkey supplier of large projects
Westinghouse, Division coordinator; business development, manufacturing, services, systems development
USAF, Captain; Air Traffic Control Officer

Richard Hendee

Fmr Banking Executive

Ideal Clients – (New clients are being accepted)

  • Businesses seeking conventional financing (including SBA Loans) for working capital, lines of credit, business expansion, fixed asset (equipment and real estate) acquisition and/or refinancing, purchasing a business, or a complete debt restructure.
  • Small to mid-sized business in any type of business segment with revenues from $1.0 million to $50.0 million which are located in the greater Houston, Texas marketplace.
  • Business owners seeking financial assistance, directional guidance, general business advice and solutions to business questions, problems, and challenges.

Financial Services Industry Executive with years of experience working with and listening to small business owners’ desires, ideas, plans and concerns and developing well thought-out and researched solutions that meet their individual needs or accomplish their respective goals in a mutually agreed upon manner that can actually become reality.

Proven track record in the following areas:

Business Plan DevelopmentEffective NegotiatingWorking with Financial Institutions
Financial ManagementRelationship BuildingStrong Analytical Skills
Organization ImprovementStrategic Thinking and PlanningDealing with Difficult Situations
Budget and Forecast ModelingSetting up Advisory Boards

Business and Career Background

Richard has worked for large national financial institutions as well as regional and local community banks. He has held positions as Regional President, Senior Vice-President, Department and Group Manager, and National Marketing and Sales Director, and Branch Manager. Financial services groups reporting to Richard have included small business banking, international and domestic private banking, executive and professional banking, consumer banking, indirect auto, student lending, central credit, mortgage lending, workout solutions, and community development.

As Director, President, or Officer with over 30 different organizations, Richard has a long history of serving in leadership capacities in the non-profit and community service sectors.  Currently, he is the Chairman of the Silver Fox Advisors and President of the Linda Lorelle Scholarship Fund. He was the first non-attorney to Chair a State Bar of Texas Committee and a local Houston State Bar Grievance Committee. He is also a life member of two public service entities. He has received numerous awards including the Independent Bankers Association of Texas’ President’s Award.

Horizon Associates, Inc.
P.O. Box 55
Katy, TX 77492

William Herman

Former GE/McKesson Executive

Ideal Clients

  • Unfunded start-up product and/or service companies
  • Small to mid-sized business with revenues from $5MM to $500MM positioned for growth at topline, their profitability, and their leadership team
  • Leaders who are committed to learning and growing professionally and personally

Seasoned Executive with demonstrated intrapreneur results obtained through leading start-up businesses, building global finance infrastructure, operational improvement, clinical service, product development, and marketing teams.

Proven track record in the following areas:

Strategic PlanningGlobal Business IntegrationProcess Improvement
Product & Service DevelopmentBusiness Start-upChange Acceleration
Financial ManagementPhysician Practice ManagementLean Six Sigma
Organization DevelopmentLeadership DevelopmentContinuity Planning

Bill is currently utilizing his 35 years of experience as a general manager, financial officer, product/service development and marketing leader to assist owners/leaders of various size businesses achieve their initial or next level of growth. His clients are well-positioned to get Angel Funding, understand how to steer their companies to successful short-term and long-term goals, achieve organization effectiveness, and continuously improve their business and management processes. Bill is strong in finance and will ensure you understand your financials and can accurately speak about the financial health of your company. A must if you want outside investment.

Business and Career Background

When Bill left McKesson Specialty Health, he was the Senior Vice President responsible for growing the depth, reach, and operational performance of the US Oncology practices in Florida.  Bill joined US Oncology (purchased by MCK in 2010) in 2001 and where he held a wide range of executive positions ranging from building standalone cancer centers, growing the Radiation and Imaging service line, and developing a comprehensive quality program grounded in Six Sigma in order to compete in a value-based reimbursement environment.  Additionally, he led the creation of, and taught at, US Oncology’s Leadership Institute.

Prior to joining US Oncology, Bill spent 20 years with General Electric. During his tenure with GE, he held a wide range of financial, product development, and operational positions in GE Healthcare, GE Motors, and various Corporate Departments.  His executive roles in financial management, global product, and services business units, and started a consulting business focused on bringing Six Sigma to healthcare.

Education and Certifications

Bill earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a major in accounting, from Auburn University.   He is certified as a Six Sigma Greenbelt and is a non-practicing CPA.  Additionally, Bill attended numerous Leadership and Business Development courses at GE’s Crotonville Education Center. In addition, he has co-written articles on Improving Quality and Service, Clinical Productivity Improvement; and Leading Change. Bill is a Board Member of SpringSpirit, a Houston organization focused on developing at-risk children and is the current President of Silver Fox Advisors.

Jim Iden

Staffing and Career Development

Jim has over 30 years in the personnel consulting profession working with intra and entre-preneurs, maximizing career and life successes.

Driving success outcomes to maximize individual, team, and organization performance through:

  • Vision development and communications
  • Results-focused goals, strategies, and tactics
  • Recruitment and retention solutions
  • Career coaching and advisement
  • Design and implementation of exit strategies

Beginning his career as a search consultant, Jim acquired the firm and began implementing his vision strategies; diversifying into new vertical and niche markets.

Jim designed and implemented development programs with associated key performance standards for team member career growth from Associate to Team Leader, Division Manager, Partner and Shareholder Principal.

Mary L Kole

Mary L. Kole

Former Energy Executive


  • Advisory Boards
  • Leadership Development
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Planning

Background and Experience

After 30 years of working in line and staff positions in multi-national corporations, Mary Kole started a consulting practice focused on assisting leaders of public and private companies with the development and implementation of strategies to achieve company or organization objectives.  Her recent clients have included integrated energy, engineering services, power generation, business consulting, software development and service companies as well as non-profit organizations. Mary is a professional Business Leadership Mentor and former Chairman, President and Vice President of the Silver Fox Advisors.

With multi-national energy companies, she held various positions of increasing responsibility including General Manager, Global Operations where she led a global organization responsible for transportation of refined products via ships, barges, pipelines, and railcars, for inventory levels throughout the supply chain, for a recycled-oil processing plant and for ship bunkering operations in the Panama Canal. As Manager of Retail Marketing, she managed an organization with profit & loss responsibility for supplying a network of 2000 retail service stations including service station acquisitions and divestitures, real estate sales, credit exposure, brand presentation, advertising, and retail imaging.

As President of Industry Model Enterprise LLC, an organization she created, she led 140 employees from 14 oil companies to develop a breakthrough vision for streamlining the industry’s mid- and back-office processes through a standardized, web-enabled solution.

Mary also managed a commercial trading business, directing a team of refined products and feedstocks traders engaged in short-term and long-term trading, purchase and sale agreements. She held the position of Accounting and Finance Manager where she supervised a team that provided financial analysis, accounting, and back-office support for crude and refined products physical, futures, and options trading.

Earlier in her career, Mary served as a Market Research Analyst with a major Japanese motor company, designing and conducting market research studies for current and future car models.

Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish, both from the University of Southern California.  Having lived in Mexico City as a child, she is fluent in Spanish.

A. “Butch” Madrazo

Former Conoco Executive

MMM Enterprises, Inc.

Background and Experience

Over 40 years of wide-ranging and diversified domestic and international experience at Chairman, CEO, President, Director, and Engineering Positions in energy-related companies.

Mentoring, Advising, Coaching and Board Level entrepreneurial expertise in areas unrelated to energy

“As a Silver Fox Advisor, I guide and assist Leaders through the ­­­­­minefields of Personal Life and Business”

All Leaders are diagnosed, at one time or another during their entrepreneurial ventures, with some degree of FUDWACA, which is an acronym for
Frustrated, Upset, Depressed, Worried, Anxious, Concerned, Angry.

Assisting Clients through these descriptive emotions, which keep entrepreneurs awake at night, are examples of where my efforts, on issues and challenges that confront Business Owners and Entrepreneurs, are focused.

My ultimate objective is to assist clients to develop a realistic path towards a plan that will result in:

  • Enhanced  Executive Leadership,
  • Improved Company Performance, and
  • Increased Business and Personal Income.

The results attained allow Business Owners and Entrepreneurs to:

  • Make more Money,
  • Have more Fun,
  • Work on the Business, not in the Business, and
  • Build a Valuable Asset that can be sold for Maximum Value when the Company Sale is triggered.

Gerald Merfish

Chairman, Merfish Supply

Gerald has a 40+ year career as an entrepreneur and executive in a family business.
During this time period he has dealt with the following business challenges:

  • Managing a family business with multiple generations
  • Making acquisitions including, purchasing competitors
  • Vertical integration to source and manufacturing
  • Geographic expansion
  • Import and Export Transactions, including Letters of Credit
  • Financing growth
  • Developing and motivating a management team
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Supply Chain Distribution & Metrics
  • Developing and executing an Exit Strategy
  • Working as the CEO/minority partner with a Private Equity majority owner
  • Strategic Planning to develop Mission, Core Values and Growth-Profits Strategy
  • Oversight and reorganization of By-Laws and Board Governance
  • Mentoring young adults as they find their way, including members of the US Military as they transition into their post-military careers.
  • Member of a community bank Board of Directors for a bank that was sold to a competitor—served a Chairperson of the Director’s Credit Committee.

In addition to his business career, Gerald has extensive non-profit experience including Board and leadership experience with:

  • United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast
  • Jewish Community Center of Houston
  • National MS Society—Lone Star Chapter
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Houston & the Jewish Federation Endowment Fund
  • Houston Independent School District Foundation
  • Congregation Beth Israel & the Beth Israel Endowment Fund
  • National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors (NASPD)
  • American Leadership Forum (also designated as a Senior Fellow of ALF)
  • Co-managed a number of capital campaigns for numerous non-profits

Gerald is proud to have earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas-Austin.

Hank Moore

Hank Moore

Author, Speaker, Advisor

Ideal clients:

  • Company at a crossroads, needing to grow, merge or roll up.
  • Company and industry groups needing the wisdom of a credible second opinion from the Big Picture of Business perspective.
  • Company planning retreats, with Hank Moore as featured speaker-presentor.

Hank Moore is the highest level of business overview expert and is in that rarified circle of experts such as Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, Steven Covey, Peter Senge and W. Edwards Deming.  Drucker termed Hank Moore’s Business Tree™ as the most original business model of the past 50 years. The Business Tree™  is his trademarked approach to growing, strengthening and evolving business, while mastering change.

Hank Moore has advised many of the top CEOs on strategy, leadership and growth, including Disney, Marriott, Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, United Way, Texaco and hundreds more.  He advises companies about the Big Picture issues which profoundly affect the business climate.  He has presented Think Tanks for five U.S. Presidents and has spoken at six Economic Summits.

Mr. Moore has provided senior level advising services for more than 5,000 client organizations (including 100 of the Fortune 500), companies in transition (startup, re-engineering, mergers, going public), public sector entities, professional associations and non-profit organizations.  He has worked with all major industries over a 40-year career.  He advises at the Executive Committee and board levels, providing Big Picture ideas. 

Hank’s book series “The Big Picture of Business” has been nominated twice for the Pulitzer Prize.  “The Big Picture of Business” is a trilogy, with Book 4 in production. Two others in the series are “Non-Profit Legends” and “Pop Icons and Business Legends,” both also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.  All 12 of Hank’s books have just been named to the Great Books Section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where Hank was inducted in 1992).

Proven track record in the following areas:

Visioning & Strategic PlanningCompany ReorganizationsCrisis Management Preparedness
Growth Strategies ProgramsReorganizing Board of DirectorsCreative Idea Generation
Re-EngineeringMergers& AcquisitionsExecutive Think Tanks
Non-Profit ConsultationPerformance ReviewsBoard & CEO advising

Categories of Speaking Engagements:

  • Executive Think Tanks for corporate leadership
  • Association and corporate leadership development institutes
  • Economic development symposia and conference Futurism keynoter
  • Instructing business leaders how to conduct Strategic Planning

What sets this series apart from other business consulting:

  • Discerning sources of business advice.  Collaborations, partnering and joint-venturing.  How to create and change corporate cultures. Vision that transcends hype and pretense.
  • Understanding and dealing with distractions.  Avoiding the rabbit holes to stay focused.  Getting the success that you deserve.  Properly mentoring the next generation of leaders.  Results based planning.
  • Taking the offensive to be strategic.  Creating a career body of work.  Customer focused management.  The business leader as community leader.  Keeping it real and sustaining success in the long-term.
  • Getting, keeping and inspiring stakeholders.  Performance based budgeting.  Learning from the past to master the future.  Branding and marketing under the umbrella of Big Picture strategy.
  • Mastering the Big Picture.  Escaping the partial-niche mentality.  Meeting marketplace demands with innovations.  Learning from failures in order to succeed.  Fine-tuning people’s behaviors into collective strength.
  • Why businesses go bad and how to avoid the traps.  How to succeed beyond previously-held beliefs.  Evolving the workforce into professionals who go the distance.  Cause related marketing as a definitive success strategy.
  • How to innovate.  Creative business after-markets.  Benefiting from change.  Discerning true business consultants from vendors.  Creating business partnerships that previously did not exist.
  • How and why to move the future.  Understanding trite expressions in order to create real strategies.  Why good organizations click.  Professional development they are not getting.  Communications strategies.
  • Crisis management and preparedness.  Quality control.  The path from innovation to success.  Businesses in transition.  Public company obligations.  Charity involvement.  How good companies do great things.
Ned Mueller

Ned Mueller

Lockheed Martin & NASA Exec

Ned Mueller is a highly effective leadership professional, who rapidly and astutely identifies critical organizational issues, system drivers, and essential dependencies to build and implement effective programs.

Mr. Mueller is Founder and CEO of Mueller Consultants LLC, a Veteran-owned business providing sound and effective Operational Risk Management and Senior Leadership insight and guidance to Business Owners and C-level Management. Mueller Consultants brings in-depth and highly effective operational backgrounds in Aviation, Aerospace, Maritime, Nautical, and Oil & Gas Surface and Subsurface environments. We bring “Technology to Business and Sound Business Fundamentals to Technology.” Ned is also a certified Six Sigma Black Belt Professional and Change Management Specialist.

Upon graduating from the U. S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Marine Engineering, Ned received his commission as a Marine Corps Second Lieutenant in 1976.  Subsequent to completion of The Basic School at Quantico, Virginia and flight training, he was designated a Naval Aviator in 1978.  During his career as a Marine fighter pilot, he held a number of leadership positions in operational squadrons.  A graduate of the U.S. Navy’s Fighter Weapons School (Topgun) and Test Pilot School and member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, he also completed course requirements toward a Master’s in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee.  His active service included flight instructor duties during the introduction of the F/A-18 in the early 1980’s and heading F/A-18 flight test at Patuxent River, Maryland from 1990 to 1993.  During this tour, Ned served as lead government representative establishing the F/A-18E/F Integrated Test Team.  Mr. Mueller served in combat as an augment pilot to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232 in Desert Storm and as Commanding Officer of VMFA 312, deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), during Operation Deliberate Force.

After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1997, Mr. Mueller joined Lockheed Martin and led contractor tasks on NASA’s X-38 International Space Station Crew Return Vehicle Prototype at Johnson Space Center (JSC).  Until February 2005, Ned served as Advanced Vehicle Manager for Lockheed Martin Space Operations in Houston, Texas.  In addition to the X-38 project, his responsibilities have included tasks associated with: Orbital Space Plane; Crew Escape System; STS-107 Columbia Mishap Investigation and Recovery Efforts; and Space Shuttle Program Return to Flight Activities.  Subsequent to the STS-107 tragedy, he performed additional duties as Columbia Task Force (CTF) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Representative, responsible for coordinating JSC’s technical, institutional, and programmatic interfaces with the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB).  After completion of his duties with the CTF, Mr. Mueller assumed added responsibility as Management Panel Representative for NASA’s Return to Flight Task Group, which was charged with independently assessing NASA’s compliance with CAIB report recommendations.  He subsequently worked for ARINC, headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, to develop opportunities and establish company capabilities in aerospace, transportation, energy, security, and public safety sectors for Houston and the Western Gulf Coast region.  During late 2006 Ned joined GB Tech, Incorporated, a high technology, and aerospace firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, region with additional activities in the contiguous United States and overseas.  He subsequently assumed responsibility for all operations and business development as Vice President and General Manager, Operations.


Joe Munisteri

Engineering Executive, Oil & Gas

Joseph G. Munisteri has broad experience in the areas of design and construction management, project evaluations, project financing, technical and economic feasibility studies, marketing, and project development for industrial and power projects.

Prior to founding the Joseph G. Munisteri Company in 1989, Mr. Munisteri served as Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Comstock Group, Incorporated.  He restructured, refinanced, and redirected the overall activities of the Comstock Group of Engineering and Construction Companies.  As Executive Vice President of Ford Bacon & Davis, Incorporated, he was Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors.

As President and member of the Board of Directors of ENSERCH Engineers and Constructors, Mr. Munisteri was also a Vice President of ENSERCH Corporation for Engineering and Construction.  As Group Vice president (Corporate Development/Power) of Brown & Root, Inc., Mr. Munisteri was a member of the Board of Directors and was responsible for strategic planning, marketing, business development, and Power Division activities, as well as a member of the Operating Committee.

As General Manager of the Lummus Company’s Houston Division, Mr. Munisteri directed the sales, engineering, procurement, construction, and financial activities for the Houston Division.  Previously, Mr. Munisteri was in charge of Latin American sales and coordinated Southeast Asian operations from London.  As a Project Engineer and Construction Manager for Bechtel Corporation, Mr. Munisteri was involved in the design and construction of power plants and petroleum and industrial facilities.

Mr. Munisteri has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Yale University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas.  Mr. Munisteri is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Society of Mining Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Munisteri has been involved in the nuclear industry since the 1950s and was one of the founders of the American Nuclear Energy Council, a member of the Board of Directors of the Atomic Industrial Forum and a member of the American Nuclear Society.  In 1985 he was nominated to be Assistant Secretary of Energy for Nuclear Affairs in the Reagan Administration.

David Neuberger

Former CFO/Controller

Ideal Client  … A company needing to improve

  • Working capital efficiency
  • Financial reporting systems
  • Cash management mechanisms
  • Cash forecasting capabilities

Seasoned Financial Executive with history of assisting company and organizations in solving financial, accounting and audit issues.

Proven Track Record in the Following Areas

Cash managementReducing working capitalFinancial reporting
System implementationEfficient internal controlsAudit issue resolution
Acquisitions and divestituresCost accounting systems

David utilizes this knowledge, gained over 40 years of successful financial management, in assisting small and medium-sized companies and non-profit organizations in supporting their financial, accounting, and internal audit needs.  He uses his expertise to improve financial reporting, developing cash forecasts and budgets, reducing working capital, implementing internal control procedures, and enhancing general and cost accounting systems.  One of the hallmarks of his career has been the implementation of systems and procedures that have dramatically improved working capital utilization.

Business and Career Background

David has held positions as the CFO, Controller, Treasurer, and Director of Internal Audit for multi-national corporations. These companies have been industry leaders in a wide variety of industries including oil service, chemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals.  He has successfully increased the efficiencies of the various financial teams he has managed and led implementations of numerous financial software systems. Recently he played an important role in the creation of a global shared services operation, which handles payables, receivables, and accounting, allowing a domestic company to reduce its financial staff in half with savings of $1.5 million.

David is actively involved in non-profit organizations including participation and leadership on the boards of private schools, civic organization, his congregation and country club.

Education and Certifications

David earned a BS in Industrial Management at Purdue University and an MBA at the Harvard Business School.


Monte Pendleton

Monte Pendleton

Serial Entrepreneur

Ideal Clients

Specializing in established companies with up to 50 employees.

“Helping Business owners to make more money and have more fun.”

Mentoring Houston Entrepreneurs on their Missions, Strategy, Plans, Profit and Sales Growth.

Silver Fox Advisors, Inc.
• Charter Member, Past President and Chairman of the Board
• Over the past 15 years I have successfully mentored over 100 Houston entrepreneurs, increasing both sales and profits and solving major internal problems.


SunX International, Inc.
• Founder and CEO for 15 years
• Franchised over 500 dealers and distributors of DuPont’s SunX Glass Tinting in 69 countries

Brickstone International, Inc.
• Founder and CEO for 4 years
• Established over 100 franchised dealers nationwide who sell and install US Gypsum’s Brickstone Sculptured Masonry

Lusterock International, Inc.
• Founder and CEO for 3 years
• Franchised 100 domestic manufacturers and installers of Lusterock Decorative vanity tops

University of Missouri B.S. Civil Engineering with courses at Harvard, U.C.L.A., U.of Chicago, and U. of Houston

Silver Fox Advisors, Past President, Board Chairman
International Franchise Assn., Past President and Director
Young Presidents Organization, Vice Chairman, Director
World Presidents Organization, Forum Facilitator
Dover Club, Vice President, Director
Breakfast Association, 50 years, Director
Greater Houston Partnership, Roundtable Facilitator, Steering Committee.
Stakeholder and Mentor of U.H. Wolfe Center of Entrepreneurship
Advisory Board of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program

Served on 5 Corporate, 1 Bank and 11 Organization Boards

• Houston Outstanding Young Man of the Year Award
• President Kennedy’s “:E” Award for Export Achievement
• President Johnson’s Small Business Development Commission
• 1995 Delegate to President Clinton’s White House Conference on Small Business
• Featured in Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Professional Review, Money Magazine, Houston Business Journal, Chronicle and Post

Howard Rambin

J. Howard Rambin

CEO, Moody Rambin

Ideal Clients

  • People within the Moody Rambin organization
  • Other business people at all stages of company or career development
  • Recent college graduates
  • Addicts
  • Convicts, both in and out of prison


Howard is a Co-Founder and current CEO of Moody Rambin, one of Houston’s premier, full service commercial real estate firms, serving owners, tenants and investors in the office, industrial, retail and investment sectors, primarily in the Houston SMSA since 1969.

Howard’s experience with the firm has been as a developer and owner of office building, motels, apartments, and condominiums, with the primary focus on the office sector.

Currently, the firm operates as a service provider for third parties. Howard’s specialty in this arena is in leasing representation for owners and tenants. He also offers consulting services, providing his clients with the unique perspective of a developer, owner, and broker/agent.

Throughout his career, Howard has been active in the venture capital space, starting or helping start several firms. In addition, he is active in the venture capital sector in Houston through his membership and participation in organizations such as the Houston Angel Network and entrepreneurial programs at the University of Houston and Rice University.

Currently, Howard devotes considerable time to coaching and mentoring and this stems from his recognition of the statements:

  • If I only knew then…..
  • Life is like a bank account, you can’t take out what you don’t put in

Howard’s focus is on helping others in reaching their goals, achieving financial independence, and overall improvement of their quality of life.

His areas of coaching include:

  • People within Moody Rambin
  • Other business people at all stages of company or career development
  • Recent college graduates
  • Addicts
  • Convicts, both in and out of prison

His business coaching/mentoring areas of strength are:

  • Visioning, strategy, tactics
  • Planning
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Accounting
  • Finance

Howard’s life has taken him back and forth from New Canaan, CT and Houston. He is a graduate of Deerfield Academy, Kinkaid Academy, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and SMU.

Howard is a member of Houston Country Club, The Houston Angel Network and several non profit organizations.

He founded Keep Houston Beautiful in the early 70s’s as an organization to fight litter and beautify the city. For this, he was recognized by the mayor in proclaiming November 3, 2003, as J. Howard Rambin, III Day.

Howard’s family includes his wife, four children and a multitude of dogs.

Donnie Roberts

Donnie Roberts

Certified Financial Planner

Donnie Roberts, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, oversees the planning, administration, and investment of Westwood Group client accounts. Using his financial expertise, Donnie creates and implements customized programs for high net-worth individuals in areas such as executive compensation planning, family wealth transfers, and retirement/cash flow planning.

Donnie has a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Economics from Sam Houston State University. He is an active member of the Houston Estate and Financial Forum and Financial Planning Association. Donnie is a past President and Chairman of the Financial Planning Association of Houston.

Rick Schissler

Rick Schissler

Serial Entrepreneuur

Ideal Clients

  • Small businesses with annual revenues from $1MM – $25M
  • Owner is committed to growing revenues and building a strong organization top to bottom
  • Owner is willing to establish their personal purpose with the business including their future exit from the business

Experienced entrepreneurial/business owner with over 40 years of quantifiable achievement with start-up as well as established businesses. Business background in the purchase, development and final disposition of multiple businesses; as well as the turn around and leading of strategic business units. BBA with specialty in Real Estate/Finance from University of Texas at Austin and JD from Bates College of Law (UofH)


  • Company Formation / Start-up Consulting
  • Business / Enterprise Turnarounds
  • Strategic / Creative Marketing / Planning
  • Human Resources Management
  • Margin Improvement
  • Contract Review and Negotiation
  • Relationship and Team Building
  • Family-Owned Businesses

Business and Career Background

Rick grew up in a family-owned business whose core business became the largest of its kind in North America. The business expanded into other fields which allowed Rick the opportunity to grow into many different positions. He served as director of sales/marketing for over 200 stores, as well as general manager for various business units. When the family business expanded into real estate, he worked his way up from a leasing agent, property and construction manager to become Vice-President of Real Estate operations which oversaw over 100 properties in multiple cities.

The second half of Rick’s career, if you will, started when at the age of 30 he struck out on his own. Rick purchased, started, built and later sold several businesses. Founder and principal of electronics firm that specialized in development and marketing of proprietary chip-based products. First, he led a group of investors who purchased a 70-year-old regional sign business. His next business he started with a partner and a total capital contribution of $1,000.00. The company developed and manufactured automation products for conveyor controls, POS and time and attendance. Rick directed sales/marketing efforts including market planning, distribution network setup and ongoing sales fulfillment.

When he sold his interest in the electronics business to his partner, he started an administrative management company. The company offered outsourcing for insurance, accounting and purchasing management to a number of small business clients. Rick also financed and help a young entrepreneur start a technology service company that provides business technology to small-medium sized professional businesses in the Houston area. 

Rick has been a Silver Fox Advisor for 15+ years working as an advisor/mentor with start-ups and small businesses in different fields. He also currently mentors 3 business roundtables sponsored by the Silver Fox Advisors, two of which are made up of area non-profit businesses. His radio show, The Weekly Business Hour, is broadcast every week on Lone Star Community Radio and its video/podcast is distributed world-wide.


Active in community affairs – served as President and Vice-President of multiple community associations; Trustee of private foundation; past member of the Board of Trustees Houston Museum of Natural Science and Chairman of Technology Committee; past Chairman of the Board (2013) and Director of Greater Houston YMCA and past Chairman of Facilities and Human Resources Committees, as well as annual Partners of Youth Campaign and Capital Campaign; Deacon, elder and trustee at Windwood Presbyterian Church

Active in business groups – Past Director of State and National Trade Associations; Past President of college business fraternity Houston alumni group; member in good standing of Texas Bar Associations; past member of Business Development Committee and Emerging Business Council of Greater Houston Partnership; currently a director of Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce and head of their business roundtable group.


Sale of Business
General Business Facilitator
Advisory Board/Board of Directors

Lane E. Sloan

Former Shell CFO

Ideal Clients

  • Strong desire to grow business
  • Revenues greater than 2 million
  • Believe leadership is ultimately key to success


  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership Development
  • Operational Execution

Lane has been a Silver Fox Advisor for twenty years coaching, consulting, and mentoring small business owners, CEOs, and entrepreneurs to grow their companies. After graduating from the University of Colorado, his career goals were to become a senior executive in a large corporation, a business professor, and a consultant to small businesses.  He accomplished his first goal with a distinguished career in Shell Oil with multiple executive positions including CFO, Vice President Corporate Planning, Vice President of Business Services (Finance, IT, Purchasing & Administrative Services)  Regional Coordinator Far East (Royal Dutch/Shell), Director East Zone Oil Products (Royal Dutch/Shell) and President of Shell Chemical.

On his second goal, Lane became an Executive Professor at the University of Houston teaching leadership, corporate strategy, and energy courses. He authored Develop a Leadership Plan Become a Great Leader, and coauthored Terra Incognita: A Navigation Aid for Energy Leaders.

On his third goal still in progress, Lane works selectively with small companies where he can add value with his strength in strategic visioning, leadership development, and operational execution. His passion to help small companies began with family businesses where his first role while in the third grade was a dishwasher. He has sat on Advisory and Board positions in small companies including the former Houston Technology Center (HTC) accelerator. He has invested in several small companies through the HTC and the Houston Angel Network.

Education and Certifications

Lane earned a BS in Business from the University of Colorado in 1969 with majors in Management and Marketing. He was the Delta Sigma Pi Scholarship winner for the highest GPA in the Business School, a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, and the American Marketing Association. He continued at the University of Colorado to receive an MS in Quantitative Management Science with a minor in Management. In 1979, having attended night courses at the University of Houston he received an MS in Accounting. Later, he became a CPA but no longer maintains that certification.  Lane was pursuing a PhD in Finance at the University of Houston but left the program when promoted to Senior Management in Shell in 1985. He received an MBA in Finance upon leaving the PhD program.

Austin Tenette


Austin Tenette is a certified business coach with the FocalPoint Coaching organization and serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence to the HCC Northeast campus. In coaching middle-market businesses to success, Austin focuses on the three drivers of profitable, sustainable and exponential growth:

* Strategic Direction and Execution,

* Customer Experience, and

* Team Dynamics

Prior to Focal Point, Austin was a successful business development executive with two of world’s largest professional services firms, KPMG and Ernst and Young, working with global organizations on their business transformation initiatives.

Leadership and Change

Executed the financial, strategic, and operational success of a $40M business unit with over 300 client relationships, 1,700 employees and 15 managerial direct reports in four branch offices.

Earned global recognition for improving unit’s operating profit by 32% in less than 10 months by reducing indirect costs, implementing strict cost controls, and instituting price increases. Improved client retention by 20%, reduced unbilled labor costs by over 40%, while identifying and exploiting market segmentation opportunities.

Organizational Enablement

Created Corporate Strategy function for a $1 billion revenue services firm, collaborating with business-unit leaders and staff to provide an analytic perspective to strategy development sessions and strategic

initiatives. Led all corporate and business-unit strategy development and implementation activities.

Created the Company’s first-ever five-year strategic plan and led the annual update process; acquired eight security systems integrators, which became the core of the “differentiation” and “security solutions” strategy; company was sold via an industry roll-up at a 26% premium.

Created Board-level and C-suite networks to engage key decision-makers in peer-to-peer dialogue and identification of evolving business trends, while accelerating awareness and sales of service offerings.

Business Development

Execute global professional services firm’s account strategy framework in the energy vertical, focusing on clients’ business issues and strategies, to successfully pursue and win several multi-million dollar advisory and assurance engagements.

Top performer among thirteen peers, in developing/managing new business. Grew annual portfolio from $3M to over $7M in less than three years. Adept at growing new business within existing client group by building new buyer relationships and cross-selling of service lines.

Austin is a native of Southern California and holds a BBA in accounting and earned an MBA in Finance from UCLA.

Doug Thorpe

Banking Exec., Executive Coach

Ideal Clients

  • Small to mid-sized business with revenues from $5MM to $500MM positioned for growth at topline, their profitability, and their leadership team
  • Executives who are dedicated to leadership development and personal growth
  • Owners and executives wanting to improve team performance via Servant Leadership

Coaching and Consulting Experience

Doug Thorpe brings 30 years’ experience from military, corporate, and non-profit leadership roles. He has coached leaders in multiple industries and global locations. Doug has senior management experience in all major sectors; the military, Fortune 500, entrepreneurial, and non-profit.

Doug provides executive coaching and business consulting services for executives and owners seeking fresh ideas for the development of C-suite talent, high potential leaders, and team development. Doug has created success as an entrepreneur, building several companies and non-profits. Doug’s clients realized significant cost savings, more effective operations, and higher profitability by utilizing his business and coaching expertise.

Business and Career Background

Doug developed his leadership expertise with over 25 years in executive roles that covered several major sectors. As a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, Doug managed large logistics operations at the Army Flight School in Ft. Rucker, AL. Upon entering civilian life at a large regional bank, Doug earned the title of Division Head leading hundreds of bank employees responsible for multiple support functions serving a $27 Billion bank holding company.

After 20 years in banking and leading three mergers, Doug transitioned into the private sector and established an independent consulting practice. His firm provided guidance to financial service companies across the nation. In addition, he started three other entrepreneurial ventures and one regional non-profit.

Doug’s coaching clients have experienced personal and professional growth in their leadership capabilities as evidenced by case studies including organizational wins for change management, post-merger efficiencies, new venture launches, improved team performance, and better employee engagement.

Being a Houston native, Doug has developed a deep understanding of oil and gas, medical services, real estate and banking. He is also an author and speaker, producing the widely followed program “Leadership Powered by Common Sense”, a series of blog, vlog and podcast content seen by 100,000 subscribers.

Education and Certifications

Doug earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University Mays School of Business and an MBA from Troy University. Doug has obtained coach training from John Maxwell, Marshall Goldsmith, and the International Coaching Federation. He is an associate member of the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Visit his blog at to learn more.

Nick Tillman

Nick Tillmann

Fmr Exec ConocoPhillips

Nick Tillmann brings wide-ranging domestic and international business experience, including strategic and tactical planning, alliances and joint ventures, startups, turnarounds, government relations, and multi-disciplinary teams.  In 2007, Nick founded Octopus International LLC, a consulting company specializing in strategic and operational planning as well as international business development.  Recent engagements include the start-up of a pharmaceutical research business in the US and the Middle East.

Prior to founding Octopus International, Nick spent more than 25 years with ConocoPhillips, a globally integrated energy company, where his record includes leadership of diverse international businesses with significant P&L responsibility, turnarounds, start-ups, emerging markets, and strategic planning.  Following the merger of Conoco Inc. and Phillips Petroleum in 2002, Nick reorganized and managed the company’s calcined petroleum coke business, a $500 million global business unit with manufacturing in the US, Europe, and Asia.  He increased global revenue by 15% and doubled the earnings of a problem joint venture within two years, facilitating the successful sale of the JV.  Previously, he led the strategy management process for Conoco’s European businesses, developed unique strategy evaluation tools, and carried out strategic and operational reviews of several of Conoco’s businesses, resulting in sustained improvements in revenues and profits in several markets.  Earlier, he served as Managing Director, DuPont Conoco Poland, starting from scratch the company’s business in Poland immediately after the fall of communism and building the leading retail fuel and convenience store network in the country. Other roles with Conoco Inc. included international crude oil supply operations, lubricants and the development and commercialization of technology-based specialty products such as flow improvers, advanced separation systems, and carbon products.

Nick has lived and worked in the US, Austria, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, and the United Kingdom and has led business development projects in the US, Europe, South America and the Middle East.   He speaks German and Polish and has a working knowledge of Czech and Spanish.  Nick earned a Master of International Management degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Political Science and German from The University of Illinois at Chicago.