You are here:

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.

Bill Brown


Business has always been a passion to Bill Brown. At age 13, he started attending CEO Club meetings with his father where he was exposed to executives from companies of all sizes and types. It was here that he saw the positive impact a business can have on its community. That early exposure to the business world planted seeds that have helped him reap financial growth and build dynamic corporate cultures in the employee benefits and HR solutions market.

Today he is a President of Ardent Solutions, LLC, an Alera Group company, and has helped the business grow into one of the region’s largest independent employee benefits consulting firms. He is involved in all aspects of marketing, negotiation, compliance, design, and financial analysis of benefit programs.

In 2016, Brown was on the steering committee that helped join 23 other insurance and financial services companies across the U.S. to form Alera Group, now the seventh-largest independent employee benefits, property/casualty, risk management and wealth management firm in the U.S. Following the launch of the company in January of 2017 Bill was elected to serve on the Alera’s Board of Directors by the other founding partners.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin where he was also captain of the men’s soccer team.

Tim Shiner


President of PAR Products and C&C Products that represent over 35 product lines in 8 southern and central states in the security industry. Annual sales of over $40 million dollars. Tim has been in the security industry for 32 years, has had his own businesses for 20 years. Tim is best known for creating multiple streams of income. Endeavors include selling a promotional products business for $1 dollar to create a monthly 5 digit revenue stream. In addition, monthly revenue from 19 high end rental homes in Southlake, TX. Then creating a unique revenue stream for his wife Crystal who is a real estate agent when renters leave leases early. Quarterly revenue streams from patent pending and patented products mainly in the security industry. Revenue streams from written business books that go directly to charity. Tim’s business Philosophy is MALRRRR; Mentor, Appreciation, Leverage, Relationships, Revenue Streams, Real Estate, Royalties. Tim is excited to help young entrepreneurs because he was blessed to have amazing mentors at a young age that changed his business trajectory.

Rick Sapio


Rick, a lifelong entrepreneur, started his first business - a bicycle repair shop - after his father died, when he was 13. Since then, he started 20+ companies. Rick is 7th of nine children raised by a mother with serious, life-long mental issues. Since 1994, he’s been the founder & CEO of a financial holding company, which made 120 investments. He is the co-founder and five-time Chairman of the Gathering of Titans Program, an annual, CEO-only event held at MIT. He graduated from Rutgers with a degree in engineering; and resides in Dallas with his wife and four children.

Alan Dreeben
Alan Dreeben


As a Partner, Alan Dreeben has played a major role in taking the family-owned business, Block Distributors of San Antonio now operating as Republic National Distributing Company, from a company with revenues in the middle double-digit millions to current annual revenues of well over $6 billion.  And it’s standing well up in the list of 100 largest privately-owned companies in the U.S.  His story of that growth and the road ahead is both fascinating and inspirational.  His contributions, both past and present, to the community, the Texas Educational System, and the wine and spirits wholesalers’ industry require several pages, but among them are:

  • Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) – Regional Board of Directors
  • San Antonio Symphony Wine Auction – Co-Chairperson/Founder
  • Santa Rosa’s Children’s Hospital Foundation – Board Member
  • Alamo Heights ISD – Board of Trustees/President
  • Texas State University System – Board of Regents/Chairman
  • UTSA – College of Business/Advisory
  • State of Texas Comptroller’s Business Advisory Council
  • Texas Tech – Texas Wine Marketing Research Institute, Director
  • Wine & Spirits Wholesale of America – Chairman of the Board (2014-2015)
  • Wine Market Council – Director, Executive Committee/Chairman
  • New World Wine & Food Organization – Man of the Year
  • University of Texas at Austin – McCombs School of Business – Foundation Trustee; and Member of the Advisory Council
  • University of Texas Development Board
  • University of Texas/Texas System - Chancellor’s Council
Jeff York


Mr. York put it “all on the line” to start Paycom DFW in 2002. Cashing in all of his assets and taking on debt, he states “those early start-up days with my business partner were some of the most memorable and exhilarating times of my life.” Within five years, Mr. York accomplished a successful merger with Paycom and a highly lucrative Private Equity event with Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe. (One of the nation’s oldest and largest private equity firms). In April of 2014 Paycom Software, Inc went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (PAYC). Today it has a Market Cap of over $3.5 Billion. Paycom has over 2,500 employees, and continues to be one of the highest growth enterprises in the nation with a 5 year compound annual growth rate of 44%. Mr. York holds the position of Chief Sales Officer and Leads a sales force of over 500 remarkable Executives.

Before Founding Paycom DFW in 2002, Mr. York had a long and successful career at a legacy HCM and Payroll provider. Holding many management positions including Vice President of Sales for the Major Accounts Division, Mr. York was a top performer and hired and developed many highly successful and decorated executives.

He earned his Masters of Business Administration from Baylor University and his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Texas Tech. He Lives in Double Oak Texas.

Doug Renfro


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


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.

Ken Moraif
Ken Moraif


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.

Nish Vasavada
Dr. Nishendu M. Vasavada, M.D., P.A.


Dr. Nish Vasavada has served patients in Denton and Collin counties in private psychiatric practice since August 1980. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Nish held a position as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas from 1986-2011. Voted as one of D Magazine's "Top Docs," Nish will be speaking on the "Unintended Consequences of Entrepreneurship" from the psychiatrist's viewpoint.

Rex Kurzius
Rex Kurzius


Rex Kurzius is an entrepreneur. His vision has resulted in tremendous growth and recognition for his companies, including:

Company Awards:

- Inc. 500- #104 in '18 #544 in '14, #25 in '13, #307 in '03 , #444 in '04, #490 in '06
- Dallas 100-# 85 in '14, #26 in '13, #96 in '03, #61 in '04, #50 in '05, #62 in '06
- Deloitte Technology Fast 500 - #333 in 2004, #394 in 2005
- Deloitte Texas Crescent Technology Fast 50-#23 in 2004, #32 in 2005, #37 in 2006
- MTBC Tech Titan - #11 for 1yr, #14 for 5yr in 2004, #15 for 5yr in 2005, #12 for 5yr in 2006
- Hire Power Inc Magazine 2012/13

Rex currently serves as Founder and President of Asset Panda. Asset Panda is a highly configurable asset tracking and management platform that is SaaS based with mobile apps. Asset panda is the 4th fastest growing company in Texas 9th fastest growing software company in the US and 104th overall fastest growing company in the US.

In addition, Rex serves on the board and is an investor in several other operating companies. Rex is passionate about entrepreneurship. He is a sought after speaker and donates a significant amount of his time to mentoring entrepreneurs. Rex is also the former President of the Dallas Chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization and former Chairman of the North Texas Young Presidents Organization.

Rex is a graduate of SMU and lives with his wife and three children in Frisco,TX.

Joe Kesterson
Joe Kesterson


Joe Kesterson, an entrepreneur at heart, has been in the Manufactured & Modular Housing Industry for over 30 years.

Joe started his 1st Manufactured Housing Retail company with three partners in March of 1987, and by developing an incredible sales training program, was able to grow the company to 21 sales centers doing business in Texas, New Mexico, & Oklahoma. Joe and his partners sold the company in August of 1996 for cash & stock totaling over $76 million….

Over the past 20 years Joe has established an outstanding track record as a successful entrepreneur in banking, multi-family, assisted living, and commercial real estate investments.

Joe started his most recent venture, Titan Homes, in December of 2010, and just consummated a deal that has earned him well in excess of a 10X multiple on earnings.

Joe has been involved in startup Business ventures that have been sold and returned over $200 million dollars to Investors…

Joe laser focuses on Habit 2 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective people written by Dr. Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind.”

Joe begins each business venture with the goal of selling it, and runs the business accordingly.

Ron Hellstern
Ron Hellstern


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
Tony Hartl


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
Bruce Brown


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 and Co-Founder of Tri Steel Structure. Bruce attended Texas Tech University.

Frank Adams
Frank Adams


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.