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.

Contact Us

  • Don Baird

  • Orlando Cardenas

  • John Curtiss

  • Ralph D’Onofrio

  • Dan Elliott

  • Philippe Flichy

  • Henry Florsheim

    Henry Florsheim

  • Noel Graubart

  • Geoff Griffith

  • Jim Griffing

  • Rich Hall

    Rich Hall

  • dick hendee

    Richard Hendee

  • Gary Henderson

  • Michael Hill

  • Jim Iden

  • Herbert Kalman

  • Dennis Klimmek

  • Mary L Kole

    Mary L. Kole

  • Clint Kripki

    Clint Kripki

  • Melvin Maltz

  • Gerald Merfish

  • Phil Morabito

    Philip (Phil)Morabito

  • Ned Mueller

    Ned Mueller

  • David Neuberger

  • Michel Prive’

  • Donnie Roberts

    Donnie Roberts

  • ibrahim saleh

    Ibrahim Saleh

  • Rick Schissler

    Rick Schissler

  • John Sweney

    John Sweney

  • Austin Tenette

Don Baird

Operations and sales Executive

A seasoned operations and sales executive with a history of increasing top-line revenue through effective sales and organizational skills.

Ideal Client

  • Small businesses from $1M – $50M
  • Business owners seeking directional guidance, general business advice, and solutions to business challenges
  • Businesses looking for creative sales and marketing strategies
  • Organizations seeking to break out of stagnant growth
  • Businesses struggling with organizational and/or operational issues
  • Young leaders looking for a business mentor

Areas of Focus

  • Sales, marketing planning and development
  • Streamlining sales organizations
  • Building effective compensation programs
  • Analytical skills
  • Mentoring small business CEO’s
  • Business advisory boards

Business Background

Don brings 40 years of sales and operational experience in the technology sector.  That includes the ability to train and mentor in business development and marketing of a variety of goods and services.  He started his career with IBM Corporation in the Data Processing Division, where he moved through the sales and management ranks before moving to BMC Software.  There he helped their growth increase from $50 million to over $2 billion in revenue.  While at BMC he was responsible of various operations in the US, Europe, Latin America, and Canada.  This included expat assignment in Germany and extensive time in Brazil and Argentina.  He ended his career as VP Worldwide Product sales.

Post retirement from BMC software, he began consulting for small organizations such Sirius Solutions.  He sits on several advisory boards dealing with operations and business development.  He has been involved in numerous non-profit boards and organizations.  After losing his wife to Alzheimer’s disease (at age 62) he has become a passionate supporter of The Alzheimer’s Association of Houston and SE Texas where he has served on the board as Chairman.  He has been one of the top fund raisers for the organization for the past 10 years.  Additionally, Don is a sought-after speaker on “Caregiving Techniques and Challenges,”


Don has his BA from Drake University and attended Graduate School of Business there as well.  Professionally he has completed, (and taught) numerous sales and development classes at both IBM Corporation and BMC Software.

Orlando Cardenas


Orlando Cardenas is presently the CEO of two low-voltage tech companies and has been in the technology business for over 30 years. His prior position was 15 years in the international energy services business and engineering, including international operations plus mergers and acquisitions.

Educated at UofH E.E. & Applied Mathematics: Stanford Business MDA: Harvard Business MBA Ventures.

Also, holds various industry certifications plus is very active in the community.

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

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.

Dan Elliott

Managing Director

Over a 20-year career, Dan has handled a wide range of industries including manufacturing, distribution, medical, machining, construction, and contractors. He has completed transactions with Private Equity Groups, strategic buyers, and a wide range of regional companies executed plans to grow through acquisitions.  Dan has received the professional designations of Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) and Master Merger & Acquisitions Intermediary (MMAI)

Philippe Flichy

Founder and Principal

Philippe Flichy is Founder and Principal of Cykur offering fractional Business Information Security Management services. A seasoned executive who contributed to the 2002 Olympic Salt Lake Olympics intranet and who also demonstrated a strong entrepreneurial spirit during his successful career starting companies, or as O&G Fortune 500 companies’ digital transformation executive. He is a long-time member of Infragard (partnership between FBI and the private sector to protect U.S. Critical Infrastructure). He is therefore in a unique position to best figure out how to help Mid-size companies build their Cyber-Resilience. Philippe graduated from Boston University in Management Information Systems and is a Certified Cyber Security Architect and recipient of many SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) awards. He is an international speaker having delivered over 200 presentations at various national/international conferences and trade shows across the world.

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

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

Geoff Griffith

Former President Gulfmark Energy

Ideal Clients

  • Public and/or private midsize to large companies looking for growth through acquisition, generic development or restructuring.
  • Executive leaders, including Presidents/CEOs interested in developing interpersonal managerial skills and relationships to build a winning culture.

Proven Track Record in the Following Areas

  • Organizational Development
  • Leadership Development
  • Risk Analysis
  • Crude Oil Marketing and Transportation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Metric Accountability Development
  • Process Improvement

A senior executive with time-tested ability to build customer confidence, inspire people, promote growth, give direction and enhance profitability by managing nuances in an enterprise.

Having run a publicly traded midstream crude oil marketing and transportation company for 15 years, growing it from 125 to over 365 employees and producing record profits with adjusted EBITDA of over $350M, Geoff developed numerous skills in finance, personnel, tanker truck operations, board presentations, acquisitions, and investor relations. Is particularly gifted at dissecting problem areas and presenting solutions to move forward.

 Business and Career Background

In Geoff’s last position of 15 years as President of GulfMark Energy, the company grew from 125 to 365 employees, 75 to 265 trucks, and added four barge terminals containing approximately 745K bbls. of storage. By taking advantage of market conditions at the time, the company earned record profits and in 2013 was named one of Houston’s fastest growing companies by the Houston Chronicle.


Geoff earned B.A. in Business Administration from Colorado College and served as president and house manager of his fraternity, Beta Theta Pi as well as serving on the scholastic disciplinary council.

Jim Griffing

Founder Griffing & Co, P.C.

Jim Griffing, Accounting, Finance & Taxes

Business Owner, C.P.A., Tax Consulting, Financial Reporting, Business Management, Strategic Financial Planning, Estate Amassment

High tech, engineering, construction, non-profit and retail. Jim’s clients run the gamut from complex, multi-layered corporations to aging widows simply searching for security.  Jim is a 30+ year member of Silver Fox Advisors, serving both as past President and Chairman of the Board.  Thousands of business owners and managers, as well as private individuals, have relied upon his leadership and mentoring skills to reach their own goals. During non-Covid times, the high-energy advisor is frequently sought as a speaker, engaging the community on a wide variety of tax, accounting, and consulting issues.

Although not born in Texas, Jim is a Texan by choice, having built a four-decade-long career in the Houston area. Today, he leads a personable and highly skilled team of 15 at Griffing & Company, P.C.  He simultaneously continues to work with others in many firms to mold the next generation of accountants and secure the best financial services possible for those in the region.

During his long-standing career, Jim has served clients in the following professional areas:

  • Tax compliance, planning and reporting
  • Reviews and compilations for private companies
  • Business Consulting and Benchmarking
  • Internal Revenue Service Representation
  • Financial reporting
  • Merger and acquisition
  • Retirement planning & estate management

Member of:

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners/Houston Chapter (Past President)

Houston Business & Estate Planning Council

Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

Texas Society of CPA’s/Houston Chapter
Houston Business and Estate Planning Council


Graduate of:

West Chester University (Bachelor of Science in Accounting)

Drexel University (Master of Science in Taxation)

Rich Hall

Rich Hall

Business Advisor, CEPA

Business Advisor, CEPA
Recognized as one of “Top 15 Coaches in Houston, 2022”

Ideal Clients

  • Privately owned businesses with revenues between $2M and $100M
  • Owners looking to exit or transition their business in 5 years or less
  • Owner that is committed to increasing the value of their organization in a fiscally responsible way
  • Family owned businesses

Business Advisory Expertise

Rich is a Business Advisor and Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) that focuses on the three primary pillars for owners’ success – Personal, Financial, and Business goals. His expertise is helping the owner and leadership team to rapidly increase the value of their business, so it provides the resources to achieve the owners’ personal and financial dreams. This may include preparing for a future exit or transition, identifying appropriate options for rapid value expansion, or simply helping the owner where they are and how to get where they want to be.

He provides expertise as needed in the following roles:

  • Small and medium sized business valuations
  • Business attractiveness and exit readiness assessments
  • Business value acceleration
  • Leadership development
  • Succession planning

 Business and Career Background

Rich is the founder of Rich Hall Group, a business advisory and services firm. He has extensive experience in the small and medium-sized business world including rapid turnarounds for privately owned businesses. Representative successes are:

  • Business advisor for a family-owned start-up in the medical services industry. Client achieved 50% profit growth YoY and is expanding nationwide.
  • Former President of a global 68-year family-owned business that he led the transformation from stagnation and financial distress to record profits and revenue in the same year.
  • Executive at a 25-year family-owned software company in a very mature market. He transitioned the company to a world-class service organization (as measured by Net Promoter Score) that was a key driver of a very successful exit.
  • Key leader of a small, outsourced services company to participate in an exit event within first year of hire. Result was a triangular merger that achieved a robust exit for the investors.

Rich is a giver by heart and strives daily to help all those he encounters to achieve their vision of success. He currently chairs 2 CEO Roundtables for business owners through Silver Fox Advisors and facilitates 2 Mastermind groups of small business owners located nationwide.

Education, Certifications, Awards, and Key Associations

Rich earned his Bachelor of Science in Management Science from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He earned his MBA at the University of Houston in the evenings and weekends while working a full-time job. In addition, Rich is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA), and a Birkman Certified Professional (premier personality assessment tool).

In 2021, Rich was awarded Silver Fox’s “The A. Butch Madrazo Engagement Award”. In 2022, Rich was recognized as one of the Top 15 Coaches in Houston by Influence Digest.

Rich’s volunteer activities include being a mentor for military veterans and spouses through Veterati. He is an executive volunteer with the Prison Entrepreneurial Program (PEP), an MBA-like entrepreneurship program, to help prepare felons to achieve lifelong success after parole.

Visit his blog at to learn more.

dick hendee

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 Development Effective Negotiating Working with Financial Institutions
Financial Management Relationship Building Strong Analytical Skills
Organization Improvement Strategic Thinking and Planning Dealing with Difficult Situations
Budget and Forecast Modeling Setting 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

Gary Henderson

SBA Banker

Gary Henderson has been in banking in the Houston area for 39 years and has spent the last 22 years in SBA Lending. Gary is employed with Houston-based Stellar Bank, as an Executive Vice President and oversees the SBA loan program for largest community bank headquartered in Houston, Texas. In 2022, his SBA team was recognized for being the #1 SBA Dollar Volume Lender in the Houston SBA District.

Gary currently serves as Treasurer for the Houston Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders
(“HAGGL”) after serving as President in 2006. He is a member of the National Association of Government Guaranteed (“NAGGL”) Lenders Region 6 and serves on the following: Region 6 Liaison Committee (Chairman from 2018-2022), Public Policy and Small Bank committees.

Gary is the only two-time Houston SBA District Office award winner, recognized in 2005 as their Financial Services Champion and in 2017 as the Veteran Services Champion. In 2015, the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders recognized Gary as their National Champion of Veterans Small Business Lending. The Houston SBA District also recognized Gary as a Hurricane Harvey Hero, for his efforts in supporting SBA Disaster Loan Staff in their work to help rebuild Houston.

Gary serves as President of the Board of Directors for: (1) Capital Certified Development Corporation, (2) Harris County MUD #188 and (3) the Copperfield Joint Operations Board.

He is a committee man for the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Armed Forces Appreciation Committee, serving as a Captain on the First Responders Appreciation Day team.

Michael Hill


Michael has 45 years of varied experience in public and private companies as CFO, has personally purchased and sold several businesses, and ultimately started and built a successful business that he sold after 21 years of ownership.  He has a deep appreciation of the challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs and family run businesses face every day.

Ideal Client

  • Privately owned businesses with revenues between $3M and $50M
  • Start-ups
  • Companies in manufacturing, distribution, home services and repairs, and construction/contractors
  • Companies needing a temporary or transitional CEO

Proven track record in the following areas:

  • CEO of a Self-started Company for 21 Years
  • Accounting & Financial Management
  • Strategic Planning & Execution
  • Process Evaluation and Improvement
  • M & A Due Diligence
  • Bank Relations/Obtaining Financing
  • Buying and Selling Small Businesses
  • Navigating Through Crisis
  • Scaling for Expansion
  • Positioning Businesses for Sale

Business and Career Background

  • 8 years in finance and accounting for large public companies involved in manufacturing and distribution. Held Controllership positions.
  • Implemented new IT systems to integrate merged companies onto a common platform.
  • Four years as CFO of a private entrepreneurial real estate firm involved in land and commercial development and home building.
  • Purchased several small distressed companies, reorganized them, and increased sales and profits thereby increasing their value before selling them to another buyer.
  • Seven years as CFO for largest family-owned foundation repair company in the U.S. As a key member of the management and strategic planning team I was involved in engineering and executing explosive growth and expansion from 4 locations and $16M of revenue to 25 locations and over $100M of revenue over a 6 year period.
  • Founder and CEO/CFO of a capital intensive manufacturing company providing concrete products and packaged goods to contractors, TxDOT and distributors of building products. I operated this company for 21 years before selling the company to a large national brand.

Education and Certifications

Michael earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from The Ohio State University.  He earned his CPA in 1983 and a CFP in 1993.

Jim Iden

Building Scalable Companies

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.

Herbert Kalman

Accounting and Finance

CPA/Business Owner

During his over 50-year career, Herb has had various roles including Partner with three National Accounting Firms. Twice started a local accounting firm to be the springboard for mergers, acquisitions, and the eventual sale of the accounting business. Experience also includes role of CFO with a start-up publicly traded company and a start-up private company. Currently on the Board of Directors of a distribution company.

Skills and Abilities

  • Accounting and Auditing – Audited private and public companies. Herb can be valuable as member/chair of the audit committee as well as a resource to the CFO in connection with the impact of changes in accounting principles.
  • Growth through acquisition– Herb has participated in numerous company acquisitions and business sales both as a principal and as an advisor.
  • Organic growth – Herb has grown accounting firms through the addition of services and key people.

Professional Organizations

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Houston Chapter of Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts
  • The ESOP Association (served on finance committee)
  • Founder – Houston Chapter, Private Director’s Association
  • Silver Fox Advisors

Volunteer Organizations

Congregation Beth Yeshurun, Board of Trustees and Budget Chair, 2004-2014, Treasurer, Vice-President and member of Executive Committee 2014-2017. Formed and served on audit committee. Currently Chairman of audit committee and member of the Board of Trustees.


Speeches at ESOP Association conferences:

  • A Journey in Re-leveraging.
  • Corporate Governance – Views from an Appraiser, a Trustee, and a Banker.
  • Advanced Accounting Issues for ESOP Owned Companies.
  • How to Get More Value From Your Appraiser.

Speeches to Merger and Acquisition Forum, Houston

  • Seller Due Diligence.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan as an Exit Strategy.

Seminars to Houston Chapter of Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants

  • Principals of Business Valuation.
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan as an Exit Strategy.
  • Exit Strategies for Privately Owned Business.
  • Managing an Accounting Practice.

Speech to National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA)

  • Valuing ESOP Owned Companies.

Speeches to University of Houston Bauer School of Business Alumni

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan as an Exit Strategy.
  • Exit Strategies for Privately Owned Business.
  • The Annual Business Check-Up. How Good Corporate Governance Adds Value.

Dennis Klimmek

Real Estate Attorney

Dennis Klimmek

An executive with 55 years of experience including aerospace engineering; a prosecuting attorney; corporate law; real estate acquisition, sales, and financing; mergers and acquisitions; formation of charitable foundations; and strategic planning.  He has a long track record of creative problem-solving.

Ideal Clients

  • Businesses seeking to buy, sell, or finance real estate.
  • Businesses seeking to lease real estate, whether as a landlord or a tenant.
  • A business seeking to be acquired or to acquire another entity.
  • Anyone with a problem they can’t solve.
  • Someone looking for guidance or mentoring.

Business and Career Background

Dennis began his working career in 1967 as an engineer in the advanced design group at North American Aviation.  He retired in 2006 as Executive Vice President of Bedford Property Investors, a very successful real estate company on the NYSE (with a 14-year compounded annual return to shareholders of 18.2%), after leading the merger that took the company private.  In between, he was responsible for billions of dollars of real estate sales and acquisitions; arranging financing for the company’s real estate operations through loans and stock offerings; and the purchase and/or sale of company-owned businesses including two homebuilding companies, a CATV company, four radio stations, a construction company, eight newspapers, a hotel, a sewage treatment plant, an art gallery, and several jet aircraft.  Dennis has been heavily involved with legal, analytical, and financial aspects of (i) a 32,000-acre multi-use property in Riverside County, California; (ii) Hawaii Kai, a 6,000-acre master-planned community in Honolulu; a 29,000-acre water project in the Sacramento Delta; (iv) a 7,200-acre environmental mitigation project; and (v) all aspects of the operation of 40 million square feet of office and industrial properties owned by the Bedford company.  After “retiring” Dennis has done legal and trust work for selected clients, and after moving to Houston in 2017, has continued providing pro bono assistance to small businesses.

Proven Track Record in the Following Areas

  • Real estate acquisition, sales, leasing, financing, and development.
  • Corporate mergers, sales, and acquisitions.
  • Employee retention programs.
  • Strategic planning and risk management.
  • Financial analysis.
  • Setting up non-profit foundations.
  • Environmental clean-up issues.
  • Business formation and organization.
  • Mentoring


Dennis received a BS degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1967.  Going to school at night, he earned an MS degree in Operations Research from the University of Southern California in 1970.  Continuing with night school, he obtained his JD degree from Loyola Law School in 1974 and was admitted to the California Bar that year.  Dennis has applied to become a member of the Texas Bar.

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.

Clint Kripki

Clint Kripki

Energy Risk Management Leader

Ideal Clients

  • Mid to Large businesses with premise square feet of 20,000 or greater that pay their own Energy costs
  • Large real estate portfolios, manufacturing, multi premise facilities, Schools, Cities and Towns
  • Companies in deregulated Energy Markets (TX, NJ, NY, OH, IL, PA – Main ones)
  • Leaders who face disruption in their organization and want to develop a goal setting and accountability model
  • Leaders who are committed to learning and growing professionally and personally

 Management Leader charged with the responsibility to direct the work of multiple sales teams who are responsible for providing solutions and services through both channel partners and directly to clients.

Proven track record in the following areas:

Channel Partner Strategy                   Sales Accountability/Performance                   Disruption Management

Energy Risk Management                   Coach/Leadership Development                      Collaborative Relationships


Clint is currently utilizing his 25 years of experience as a Senior Director of Sales to make contributions to establishing and exceeding sales goals, developing strategic initiatives with increasing sales and management responsibility in collaboration with executive management.  Clint consistently and persistently demonstrates leadership insights to develop and increase market innovations and maximize profitability.

Business and Career Background

  • Nesbitt Burns/Bank of Montreal where he was responsible for developing a risk management plan for small and medium-sized businesses across Canada.
  • OM Technology as the Project Lead to develop an Electricity Exchange with a variety of stakeholders including the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • Roles in business development and risk management advisory at GFI, Spectron and Choice Environmental
  • Developed, from the ground up, a large-scale commercial aquaponic farming venture.
  • Mantis Innovation which enables him to make a significant positive impact for his company, his clients, and his team through his core competencies of teamwork, decision-making, and leadership skills.

Education and Certifications

Clint earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with Double Honours in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Saskatchewan and went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  He is also a Certified Ziglar Coach and trained Yoga Teacher.

Melvin Maltz

Multi-faceted Executive

Ideal Client

  • Owner or CEO of a business with revenue less than $10MM
  • Owner or CEO desiring to retain Key employees by providing “Special Benefits to him/her”
  • Owner or CEO wishing to provide retirement benefits to all employees
  • Owner or CEO desiring programs for key employee retention, retirement planning, and minimizing exposure to federal estate tax
  • Owners wishing to plan succession benefits for active and inactive children
  • Families desiring to have insurance benefits for themselves or parents for Specialize nursing care

Seasoned Executive

Melvin has experience in merging, acquisition or selling both manufacturing and distribution businesses and desiring to use his experience to assist the owner or CEO in retaining and benefiting all employees.

Business ability demonstrated through leadership positions as Board Chair of South Texas Division of American Cancer Society, Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University, Visiting Nurse Assn,Vice-President of Texas Division of National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Business Career

Maltz left Century Papers Inc as V. P Manufacturing to form National Inpak Corp. NIC owned low temperature manufacturer of cellulose insulation with superior acoustical and thermal properties; and a second sub that manufactured folding paper cartons and distributed equipment and plastic film for skin, blister, and overwrapping of products. After leading these two businesses, Maltz sold them and became an independent life insurance agent focusing on benefits for the owner and his key employees. Maltz earned life time membership in the life insurance Million Dollar RoundTable.


After military service in the Army Air Corps during WW II, Maltz earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Commission as 2nd Lt, Air Force from Texas A&M University. During his business career, courses were successfully completed in cost accounting, finance, and business management at Babson College, University of Houston, and American Management Association. October 2013 Maltz was designated as Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M.

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.

Phil Morabito

Philip (Phil)Morabito

Founder & CEO, Pierpont

Ideal Clients

  • Public and private companies in energy, healthcare, technology, professional and financial services
  • Mid-sized to large businesses with revenues of $5 million or more
  • Industry and executive leaders who are seeking to build their corporate reputation and partner on strategic integrated communications campaigns

Seasoned Executive with a history of demonstrated entrepreneurial leadership and proven results for clients across numerous industries through strategic integrated communications, media relations, community engagement, and thought leadership.

Proven track record in the following areas:

Public Relations Entrepreneurship Leadership Development
Investor Relations Media Relations Crisis Communications
Strategic Communications Corporate Communications Reputation Management

Phil has more than 37 years of experience in public relations and marketing, beginning with a Madison Avenue PR firm in New York City before founding Pierpont Communications in Houston. He has led Pierpont to represent the country’s most influential brands across a diverse range of industries. Phil has grown a company that provides proven results by leveraging Pierpont’s insights, expertise and relationships. 

Business and Career Background

Philip Morabito, CEO of Pierpont Communications, founded his company in 1987. A born entrepreneur, Phil hired his first employee in 1992 and now oversees the largest independent integrated marketing and PR firm in the southwest – with offices in Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and New Jersey – and was named a 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Houston.

Prior to starting Pierpont, Phil was a Senior Account Supervisor at Robert Marston & Associates in New York City. He managed major accounts with large budgets including Spalding Sports Worldwide, Pillsbury, Levi Strauss, Dean Witter, Control Data Corporation, and The Marriott Corporation.

Passionate about education, Phil has been an adjunct professor at the University of Houston since 1988, and today teaches a course in integrated marketing communications in the Graduate School of Business. He recently established the Advisory Board for the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston and serves on the Board of Directors.

Education and Certifications

Phil earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from the University of Charleston, where he is actively involved with the Board of Trustees, and an MBA from the University of South Florida. Phil was recognized as the Houston Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO in 2018, and under his leadership, Pierpont has been named a Best Place to Work a total of 12 times. The firm is a five-time Houston 100 company, among other prestigious recognitions. Phil was also selected as the 1999 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Houston Partnership CEO Roundtables for small businesses. Locally, he serves as an advocate for charitable organizations through his involvement with the San Jose Clinic, Theater Under the Stars (TUTS), Houston Technology Center and John Paul II Catholic School. Phil also contributes as a member of several professional organizations including the International Association of Business Communicators, American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, Silver Fox Advisors, and Vistage International.

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.


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 management Reducing working capital Financial reporting
System implementation Efficient internal controls Audit issue resolution
Acquisitions and divestitures Cost 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.


Michel Prive’

Fractional VP of Sales

Ideal Clients

  • Business owners struggling with revenue generation and sales management
  • B2B Small to mid-sized business with revenues from $1MM to $50MM positioned for growth at topline, their profitability, and their leadership team
  • Leaders who are committed to change

Seasoned Executive

Focused on process and execution, Michel is accomplished dynamic executive with 25+ years of experience successfully leading diverse organizations selling products and services to the aerospace, defense, industrial, marine and energy industries with proven track record establishing compelling visions, effective sales strategies, and building teams to achieve profitable growth.

Through recessions, fast expansions periods, ERPs, and CRM successful implementations Michel learned a lot from colleagues and made a lot of friends in the process.

Proven track record in the following areas:

Technical Product and Service Sales
International Biz development
Channel Management
Sales Management
CRM Implementation
Profitable Editda growth
Organization Development
Marketing differentiation
Change Acceleration
Public Speaking
Recruitment of Salespeople
Process Improvement

Michel is currently using his 25+ years of experience as a VP of international and local sales for small and Fortune 500 companies, to assist owners and leaders of various size businesses to build or fix their sales organization to achieve their expected profitable growth. As a fractional VP of sales imbedded in his clients, Michel performs all expected functions of a VP of sales. His clients become positioned to get to their next level to successful short-term and long-term goals.

 Business and Career Background

When Michel left Teledyne Marine, he was Global Vice President of Sales and marketing for the interconnect division – leading his team to double digits year-on-year growth, 4 x Ebitda from the original state when Michel joined five years before. This achievement was executed while implementing new ERP systems, CRM, and sales processes which leads his team to this success and over $100M.

Prior to joining Teledyne, Michel was leading the Aerospace and defense sector sales effort at Matrix Technology located in Markham Ontario a $15M electromechanical distributor managed IASI his engineering firm for 10 years. These businesses were sold in 2011 to new owners, Michel stay on board until Teledyne asked him to join, merge and market diversify several companies and raise their performance.

Prior to Joining Matrix Technology Michel worked at Raychem (Now TE Interconnect) where he successfully built his career internationally in France, India, Canada, UK from engineering to EMEA Aero Def Sales & Marketing director.

 Education and Certifications

Michel earned a Mechanical engineering degree (Automation & Robotics) from Lille (France) AFPA. Additionally, Michel completed multiple university courses in Finance, public speaking, management, and multiple professional sales training programs. Michel frequently writes and public presents educational topics on Sales and networking for SMB business owners.

Donnie Roberts

Donnie Roberts

Wealth Advisor

Donnie Roberts is the Vice President of Logic Capital Management, a Registered Investment Advisory firm that offers personalized advisory services to business owners, corporate executives, business professionals, and their families, in the areas of financial planning, investment management, tax mitigation, estate and trust services, and charitable giving.   Additionally, he has extensive knowledge in small business retirement benefits, behavioral economics, retirement accumulation and distribution analysis, and more recently the personal purpose process.   Every relationship is built around the needs of the individual with success measured by client satisfaction and the attainment of their goals.

He has a Bachelors degree in Economics from Sam Houston State University, is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) licensee and has served on numerous non-profit boards and organizations in the Houston area.   He follows the fiduciary standard of care that states “client’s needs come first” and holds the duty of client loyalty and care in the highest regard.

ibrahim saleh

Ibrahim Saleh

Fractional CFO

Ideal Clients

Ibrahim is passionate about helping CEOs/Owners/Leaders of various sized businesses realize their potential and achieve growth. Clients achieve organizational effectiveness and continuously improve their management processes once equipped with the Operational and Financial key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to make informative decisions.

  • Companies with revenues from $2MM to $100MM positioned to grow their sales, profitability, and leadership capability
  • Leaders who want to develop full financial infrastructure to support operation and business strategy


Ibrahim is passionate about helping CEOs/Owners/Leaders of various sized businesses realize their potential and achieve growth. Clients achieve organizational effectiveness and continuously improve their management processes once equipped with the right  Financial and Operational key performance indicators (KPIs) needed to make informative decisions.

Fractional CFO with a 25-year history of delivering results as a Principal Consultant, Entrepreneur, CFO, Director of Planning and Strategy and Business Owner, who built a career on successfully leading finance and operational teams towards growth goals. This diverse experience in a wide range of locations, roles and companies (from large international corporations to small privately held) enables Ibrahim to deliver unique value to clients.

Proven track record in the following key focus areas:

  • Financial & Capital Mgmt
  • Business Planning & Strategy
  • Risk Management
  • Mergers & Acquisitions

Business and Career Background

In early 2019, Ibrahim founded TaQtics Consulting Group with the vision to be the #1 trusted advisor for CEOs, Leaders, and Entrepreneurs, optimizing business models and achieving the highest possible growth.

TaQtics Group’s mission is to equip Leaders with practical tools, as well as the right operational and financial data to enable informative decisions, and pursue future growth in a deliberate, strategic way.

Education and Certifications

Earned Bachelor of Commerce and Business Administration degree, with a major in accounting, from Helwan University in Cairo

Completed numerous Organizational, Leadership and Business Strategy courses

Certified Score Mentor and Board Member of several local and national not-for-profit organizations

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
John Sweney

John Sweney

CEO of Brookwoods Group

Ideal Clients:

Best new clients are companies who need great full-time professionals to hire or engage under contract. Brookwoods Group will put the right people in the right roles. We have years of experience in placing the important professionals that can really drive your business forward. Here are just a few of the positions we can fill for you, starting with the professions we fill most often:

  • Marketing & Marketing Communications Professionals
  • Web, Social Media, and Interactive Professionals
  • Internal and External Communications Professionals
  • Change and Change Communications Professionals
  • Sales and Business Development Professionals

We Have People:

John Sweney is co-founder and CEO of Brookwoods Group. Since 1998 the company has provided staffing, recruiting, and program management services for marketing, marketing communications and change initiatives. Clients are served mostly through long-term on-site contracts, permanent recruiting, or contract-to-permanent assignments.

Brookwoods Group is known for carefully matching great professionals to interesting assignments, resulting in a better experience for everyone.

John has been active in the Houston community as a president or board member of various professional groups, non-profit organizations, and committees.

In prior lives, he was a public relations manager at Compaq, a public information officer for METRO, a speechwriter at IBM, an advertising and PR professional for General Electric, a press secretary to the Mayor of Providence RI, and an all-news anchor at a CBS radio station.

Meet The Team

The Brookwoods Group Team stands ready to support your need for talent.

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.