All of the mentors featured below, in addition to giving of their time and knowledge, have given a minimum of $5,000 in support of the program.
Doug Renfro is President of Renfro Foods. He oversees new product development and helps manage a number of administrative areas of the business, including purchasing, legal, information systems, human resources and sales. Reared in the family business, Doug has spent a majority of his career working in a number of different capacities at Renfro Foods. As a teenager, he worked in production, while in college he weighed out all the spices for daily production. Doug currently serves on the executive committees of Casa Mañana, a not-for-profit theater organization and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, a non-profit conservation and preservation institute. Doug is also on the McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors, the Chile Pepper Institute’s Advisory Council and TCU’s Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Advisory Board.
Norm Brodsky, an out-of-area mentor for the Biz Owners’ Ed program, is a successful long-time entrepreneur who has started and developed numerous companies, including a three-time Inc. 500 company. Norm began writing the Street Smarts column in Inc. magazine with Bo Burlingham in 1995. The column has proved to be enormously popular with readers of the magazine and has received many awards. Norm co-authored the book Street Smarts, published in 2008, with Bo Burlingham.
In 1979, he started Perfect Courier, a messenger service based in Manhattan. Within a few years, it was a thriving enterprise with offices around the country, appearing on Inc.'s annual listing of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America for three consecutive years.
He next launched CitiStorage out of a rented warehouse in Long Island City, N.Y., later moving it to the Brooklyn waterfront where he began building warehouses of his own.
In 1999, Brodsky launched a secure document destruction business, U.S. Document Security, as an adjunct to CitiStorage. In December 2007, he sold both those companies, plus the delivery business, to Allied Capital for a reported $110 million. The combined entity is still run by the management team hat Brodsky and his wife, Elaine, developed over the years.
Barron's has ranked Ken as one of the top financial advisors in America in the last two years. He believes that integrity and dedication to each client is a top priority and he greatly values building long lasting personal relationships with his clients. Ken and his wife Fay have been married since 1985 and have three beautiful daughters. He is passionate about his business, loves tennis, skiing and traveling. Ken and Fay have enjoyed the relationship they have developed with The Boys and Girls Club of Collin County and other philanthropic organizations.. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Southern Methodist University with an MBA.
Rex Kurzius is a serial entrepreneur. Since the age of 23, Rex has started and sold numerous companies. Rex’s expertise is in staffing services and software. His vision has resulted in tremendous growth and recognition for his companies including: Deloitte & Touche's "Technology Fast 500," Deloitte & Touche's "Texas Crescent Technology Fast 500," Southern Methodist University's "Dallas 100 Fastest-Growing Private Companies," Metroplex Technology Business Council's "Tech Titans," Inc. Magazine's "500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies" and Inc. Magazine's "Hire Power Award 2012." Rex is also the former President of the Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization and former Chairman of the North Texas Young Presidents' Organization. Today, Rex focuses his time working as an investor in LRK Partners, a holding company that makes investments and operates several businesses. Rex currently serves as Founder and President of the Timberhorn family of staffing companies as well as a SAAS software company called Asset Panda. In addition, Rex serves on the board of, and is an investor in, several other operating companies. Each business is a wholly-owned subsidiary of LRK operating under its own management, production and sales teams. Rex is passionate about entrepreneurship. He is a sought-after speaker and donates a significant amount of his time to mentoring entrepreneurs. Rex is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and lives with his wife and three children in Frisco, Texas.
Fresh out of the military with a lot of ambition and very little money, Joe Kesterson, his brother and a couple of friends scraped together enough money to open one mobile home sales lot under the name "Magna Homes." The four entrepreneurs developed a great sales training program and, with a lot of hard work, Magna Homes grew to 23 lots in carefully-selected locations throughout Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. After only 11 years, Joe and his partners sold out to Palm Harbor Homes for 54 Million Dollars. A good deal of the consideration was in Palm Harbor Homes' stock which subsequently split three times. Over the past 20 years, Joe has established an outstanding track record as a successful entrepreneur in banking and other ventures. Currently, Joe is in the process of launching another mobile home sales company in the Southwest. His company is Titan Homes Inc., and Joe is a major partner and President of this newest venture.
Ron Hellstern has more than 40 years experience in medical practice management, both in hospital-based and office-based practices. He has held many Emergency Department Medical Directorships, as well as having been the Founder, President, and Chairman of a 17-unit urgent care network, a 23-hospital regional emergency department staffing group and a 500-provider multi-specialty group. Ron is currently the Principal and President at Medical Practice Productivity Consultants in Dallas. He also serves as the Principal of Hospital Practice Consultants LLC. He graduated with Honors from the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Furthermore, Dr. Hellstern engages in practice management consulting as a way to give back and stay active in the field.
Tony Hartl founded Planet Tan in 1995 with three locations. In 2008 he sold Planet Tan with 17 locations and 160 employees. Tony Hartl is the CEO of PAH Capital. In addition to his contributions to the community, Tony has a passion for mentoring aspiring entrepreneurs. He currently sits on the board of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an organization dedicated to helping young people from low-income communities build skills and unlock their entrepreneurial creativities. Additionally, Tony has been a guest lecturer at The Caruth Institute of Entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox Business School. His achievements have been published in numerous well-known print media, including Inc. Magazine, Fortune Small Business and The Dallas Morning News.
Bruce Brown is the President and CEO of Rhino Steel Building Systems in North Texas. Rhino Steel Buildings was incorporated in 1998 to market and sell steel buildings nationwide with a direct sales force. Rhino markets its metal buildings through national print and web advertising campaigns. Bruce has instilled a focus on customer service, and that focus shows. In 2011, Rhino Steel Buildings attributed 37% of its annual revenue to repeat customer sales. Rhino has shipped metal buildings to all fifty states and several foreign countries. Prior to his continuing success at Rhino, Bruce was the President of the Classic Steel Frame Homes Division of NCI Building Systems as well as the Co-Founder and President of Patient Perceptions. Bruce is also a very proud graduate of Texas Tech University.
Frank Adams joined Physician Staffing Resources in 1998 as CEO and President. Thanks to Frank, PSR is now the leading physician management company for emergency physicians who own and operate their own medical practices. PSR manages over 2,000 health care providers serving over 4 million patients annually. Frank and his partner David Singley now have a major ownership position in the company. Frank was the COO, CFO and Board Member at CARE Systems from 1993-1998. CARE was an employee compensation technology and claims management company with 750 employees. From 1984 to 1993, Frank was a Principal at Brorson, Kay & Adams, P.C., which was a member of the international accounting and consulting firm Moore Stephens International. Frank is a CPA and has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas.