Category Archives: Business Founder

James Dondero and Others contribute to new $14M hippo exhibit in Dallas

Home | Business Founder | James Dondero and Others contribute to new $14M hippo exhibit in Dallas

In 2016, Texas businessman and philanthropist James Dondero excited animal lovers with a Linkedin post that promised an active engagement by him and his firm, Highland Capital Management (HCM), in helping to rehabilitate the Dallas Zoo’s hippopotamus exhibit. A fan favorite that had attracted people of all ages, the Dallas Zoo’s hippo exhibit had been closed since 2001, when their beloved hippo, Papa, died.

Dondero co-founded HCM in 1993 and swiftly built it into an enormously successful hedge-fund, which currently manages an estimated $20 billion in assets globally. As president (a role he continues in to this day), Dondero shrewdly analyzed market trends and excelled at leveraging his extensive knowledge of accounting and finance to make bold gambles in the field of alternative investments. Dondero and his firm not only prospered immensely but spearheaded the development of the Dallas-Fort Worth area financial business sector.

Clearly, Dondero has much to be thankful for. And many people — from Santa Barbara, California, to Dondero’s home base in the greater Dallas area — are quite grateful to him in turn. Untold numbers — in particular, young people, students, and veterans and their families — have been positively affected by his numerous and substantial philanthropic efforts over the years.

Through his company, James Dondero contributed $1 million to assist in the re-establishment of a section of the newly opened $14 million, 2.1-acre hippo exhibit. In coordination with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, two mature hippos, a male and female, were chosen and are currently settling into their new home at the zoo. Included in the state-of-the-art exhibit is a 120,000-gallon waterhole that tries to recreate as closely as possible the animals’ African habitat. Zoo-goers can even view the hippos enjoying a soak via a special viewing area below the water.

In addition to Dondero’s $1 million, several individual philanthropists and charitable organizations deserve mention for their contributions to this uplifting project. These include the Eugene McDermott Foundation, Diane and Hal Brierley, and the Harold Simmons Foundation.

 

Visit this link to learn more about James Dondero .

How Did Marc Sparks Help Us With The Spark Tank?

Home | Business | How Did Marc Sparks Help Us With The Spark Tank?

The Spark Tank is one of the best things that ever happened to our business because it gave us the online exposure we needed, and this article explains how Marc Sparks did us many kindnesses through his program (http://sparktankdfw.com/). He wants to help a number of people like us, and he knows that his Spark Tank program brings in customers who would not be there any other way. I am pleased with my time at the Spark Tank, and I know that Marc is a brilliant man who will continue to help us. Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/They-Cant-Eat-Marc-Sparks/dp/0990495000

 

#1: The Design

 

The program itself has a lovely design with a nice website and beautiful place for our products to be viewed. Marc puts all the people in the Spark Tank on the website, and we are all given a chance to be seen by customers. He is increasing our profile, and he is helping us get our name into the community. This is a very serious matter that we have taken care of many times over because we wanted to know that we had traction in the market.

 

#2: Marketing

 

Marketing for our brands came through the Spark Tank, and Marc ensured that we were able to have more customers come in while he mentored us. This was a small part of the program, but it helped us increase sales while we learned.

 

#3: Mentoring

 

There is a mentoring process that Marc takes everyone through, and he teaches us about business in a way that many of us do not understand. We are idea people who know how to manage our ideas, but we do not know how to build companies around these ideas. I was pleased to have a way to talk about the concerns I had with my business, and I know that I may contact Marc at any time. He is a fine mentor who will stay by our side until we are stable as a company. Learn more: http://thebrotalk.com/bro-recommendations/dallas-entrepreneur-marc-sparks-spills-must-visit-list-wineries-dfw/

 

#4: The Prize

 

We did not win the prize at the Spark Tank, but I was pleased to see that some of our colleagues did well in the program. We all benefited from the program, and it was a lovely time for all of us to network. We wanted to be a part of something that’s was much larger than ourselves, and I believe that we found that by using the Spark Tank program. Learn more: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/entrepreneur-marc-sparks-transforms-office-to-optimize-innovative-collaboration-300024747.html

 

Marc Sparks has done quite a lot for us and our business, and we know that he is making a difference that we could not have judged. We are a much better business because of what Marc has done, and he has shown us how to grow our ideas into something special.

 

Kenneth Goodgame: A marketing Expert with The Midas Touch

Home | Business Founder | Kenneth Goodgame: A marketing Expert with The Midas Touch

In his career, Kenneth Goodgame has mainly held positions in the marketing department, but he has also had the chance to serve as a board member in several companies as either a general manager or director. This versatility has enabled Mr. Goodgame to be such a vital piece of any company that he has worked for. One such company benefiting from his skills is True Value Hardware Company. Current financial reports from the company show that their earnings having improved under his leadership.

Kenneth’s strengths include product creation, brand recognition, creativity in packaging and sales and promotional planning. He also has the skills to unify people to all want and strive to achieve a common goal. His goal for any company that he works for is to turn the companies to market leaders. It can be ascertained that he has employed his goal at True Value considering its growth in the industry to an international brand. His strength and experience have also had a role to play in making True Value a success as the innovative programs that Goodgame has come up with for the company are derived from his experience in the field.

Before joining True Vale, Kenneth worked at Ace Hardware, The Home Depot, Bajar Motor Sports, Black and Decker and Rubbermaid Cleaning Products. He played the role of Global Materials Manager at Ace Hardware, and at the position, he improved the processes that existed and developed new products. At Rubbermaid Cleaning products, he served as the president and his biggest achievement at the company was creating the patented wave break technology that they use for their mop bucket systems. While at Bajar Motorsports, he assisted the company open 30 stores in 2 years.
Mr. Kenneth has a rich education background. He graduated from the University of Tennessee where he specialized in marketing and finance. His education has played a great role in his expertise in profit and loss management.

James Dondero and Highland Dallas Foundation

Home | Business Founder | James Dondero and Highland Dallas Foundation

James Dondero is a unique figure in Dallas, and he just keeps giving more to the city. Dondero is the owner and CEO of Highland Capital Management and resides in the city, a valuable resident, to be sure. Dondero has recently, too, combined his local vision with the vision of another Dallas stalwart, The Dallas Foundation.

The Dallas Foundation had a budget to spend, and they needed someone with a local vision to help them spend some money in charitable giving. So they turned to James Dondero, who is one of the best philanthropists with a local vision for giving. He has worked with them, and, through his connections with places as diverse as the George Bush Presidential Library, and the Dallas Zoo, he has helped The Dallas Foundation find places to spend their money.

The two minds meeting have even created a new venture, called, aptly, The Highland Dallas Foundation. The organization is committed to making Dallas a more livable city, and they want to help make the city really thrive in coming years. Dallas is an up-and-coming city, and Dondero wants to be part of that change.

The giving that The Highland Dallas Foundation is doing is both bold and effective. They want to have the best way of reaching out to the city and creating what they can for this wonderful place. It’s a perfect combination, and with these two businesses working together, Dallas is sure to be greatly improved.

Dondero has a goal of improving life in North Texas, and he will surely do so.

Mike Baur: Accelerating The Dream

Home | Business Founder | Mike Baur: Accelerating The Dream

Many of us have dreamed of owning our own business. Isn’t it funny how in a matter of minutes that dream can be shattered with the rush of pressure, know-how, and let’s be frank – monetary limits that put an immediate cap, at least logistically, on how we’d ever actually launch the start-up we see in our heads. For those of us who choose to take the plunge and risk it all to impact the world in our small way the process can seem overwhelming. Sure, you’ve heard of investors or incubator programs available for entrepreneurs. But have you heard of the “Startup Factory” that is changing its member’s lives in just three months?

 

Allow me to introduce, Mike Baur. The Swiss Entrepreneur and Investor who is better known for being a Startup Guru to young entrepreneurs and seasoned innovators alike. With a background of nearly 20 years in banking and finance, Mike has made an incredible impact on digital service startups across the world. Mikes expertise lies primarily in fundraising and coordinating investments for young companies, but his team can offer the opportunity to accelerate new businesses in a three-month program through the Swiss Startup Factory. This program is ideal for founders who are looking for coaching, mentoring, business models, or even office space. The team is based right in Zurich, but not limited to Swiss-based companies only. Baur is also passionate about investing in the future as a board member of the Young Entrepreneurs Club at the University of St. Gallen, one of Europe’s top business schools and as Vice President of Innovation Lab Fribourg. Here students with engineering, business, or natural sciences backgrounds come together to bring new technologies to the marketplace. Those lucky enough to work with Baur have the unique two-fold opportunity of global access to his network of professionals and his financial connections to investors both Swiss-based and across the world.

 

Can you imagine the impact of having the hand of someone who has helped skyrocket multiple companies reaching out you and offering to walk you through the journey of kick starting your dream? If you’re a technology-based company, Mike Baur may just be the answer.

 

The Skinny On Securus And The GTL Investigation

Home | Business Founder | The Skinny On Securus And The GTL Investigation

In the first of a six month series of reports regarding the Louisiana Public Service Commission investigation of Global Tel Link wrongdoing. The incidents and outcomes of the investigation conducted by Securus Technologies will be released in a series of articles. The first article is said to include a formal 17-page order by the Louisiana Public Service Commission listing several unauthorized and unlawful actions.Unbenounced to inmates and families, GTL had a shady way of gaining more profit, which made their integrity and loyalty to the industry questionable. By doing things adding time to inmate phone calls, double billing calls, rating calls at an increased rate and increasing call rate with no explanation, GTL has shown that honesty is not on the list of their policies. The original order was issued january 21, 1998 and since then these incidents have continued. It is a difficult enough task to maintain life in prison, and communication with loved ones is vital to inmates. The unknown and unexplained increase in rates could greatly effect both them and their families.

With organizations doing under the table work so often these days, we must appreciate the “good guys” of the business world. Securus Technologies is a for-profit prison technology company based in Dallas Texas. Securus was founded in 1986 and has regional offices located in Allen Texas, Carrollton, Texas, and Atlanta, Georgia. Serving over 2,600 facilities, they are one of the best and most respected prison technology providers in America. Fortunately, Securus Technologies conducted the investigation regarding the wrongdoings of GTL. While the findings. which will be outlined in the upcoming articles are numerous, rather than condemn GTL Securus has began to work on a plan to help restructure the companies policies and practices. Although the actions of Global Tel Link may have caused them to lose the trust of many inmates, their families and even facilities, I think it’s safe to say that with Securus overseeing and assisting GTL will help push them in the right direction.

Securus Video Visitation – Homework from Securus Technologies on Vimeo.

CCMP Capital’s Stephen Murray: A Life Well-Lived

Home | Best Businesses | CCMP Capital’s Stephen Murray: A Life Well-Lived

Born in August 1962, in New York City, Stephen Murray was a graduate of Boston College, receiving an economics degree from them in 1984, and Columbia Business School, attaining a master’s degree in 1989. Utilizing his credit analysis training, begun in 1984 at Manufacturers Hanover Corporation, Mr. Murray began working his way up the corporate ladder of private equity management on receipt of his M.BA., and remained with the company as it changed ownership over the years.

In 2005, he was appointed as head of the buyout business section of JP Morgan, the culmination of repeated buyouts of Manufacturers Hanover Corporation two decades prior in 1989. Read more: 5 Questions with Stephen Murray, CEO of CCMP Capital and Stephen Murray, The Great Investor and Deal Maker for CCMP Capital

One year later, in 2006, Murray became one of the co-founders of CCMP Capital, a company born under the umbrella of JP Morgan, but now its own corporate entity. Over the last few years, the company he helped found has been very successful, nurturing a 3.6-billion-dollar fund by the end of 2014.

Aside from his considerable talent in managing private equity and buyouts of profitable business ventures, Stephen Murray was a philanthropist, believing strongly in giving back to the community and supported both profit and not-for-profit endeavors that heled to enhance the lives of countless people, ordinary or less fortunate than himself.

He involved himself in many charities, including the prestigious Make-A-Wish foundation for terminally ill children, Stamford Museum, the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, and supported both of his alma maters’ – Columbia Business School and Boston College. Learn more about Stephen Murray CCMP Capital: http://xrepublic.net/2014/09/11/stephen-murray-the-great-investor-and-deal-maker-for-ccmp-capital/ and http://fortune.com/2015/02/17/exclusive-ccmp-capital-ceo-stephen-murray-leaves-firm/

Additionally, Mr. Murray served as a board member for a variety of companies, including The Vitamin Shoppe, Pinnacle Foods, Legacy Hospital Partners and AMC Entertainment.

In early 2015, Stephen Murray stepped down from his position as CEO of CCMP Capital, ostensibly for health-related reasons. He passed away in March of that same year, at the age of 52, leaving behind his wife, Tami, and four children.

Doe Deere’s Makeup Line Appeals To Modern Women

Home | Beauty Advice | Doe Deere’s Makeup Line Appeals To Modern Women

Over the last few years, Doe Deere has made quite a name for herself. She is the founder of the Lime Crime cosmetic company. Her whimsical colors hit a very high note with the modern day woman. The modern day woman is not afraid to express herself with colors that are out of the ordinary. Doe Deere’s line of products certainly fit that ideal. Doe Deere is not afraid to express the way she feels about fashion, cosmetics, and life in general. She believes that women should stop following traditional rules and be bold. Boldness allows women to break the standard rules surrounding fashion and beauty.

Fashion And Beauty
The average woman thinks that following the rules is important. They feel that going against the rules will leave them out in the cold. Of course, a woman would like to feel confident, sexy, and smart in her fashion and makeup. Therefore, a lot of women stay within the color lines of fashion and beauty. Doe Deere believes that this is total nonsense. It is fun to break the rules. Certainly, her makeup line proves that she really does believe in breaking traditional makeup and cosmetic rules. Certainly, this is great advice for the modern day woman. Most find this advice very appealing and encourages them to experiment with colors like Doe Deere. Doe Deere loves bold colors, mixing patterns, and dressing the way that she feels, on any occasion. Her uniqueness all seems to come together with flair.

Lime Crime Founder Doe Deere
At first glance, Doe Deere is certainly not your typical CEO. You are not going to see her dressed in a conservative suit with sensible shoes and minimal makeup. Doe Deere is the self appointed unicorn queen that rules her cosmetic company with a gentle touch. She believes in praising her employees, instead of ruling the firm with an iron fist. An iron fist management style simply divides management and employees. She likes to praise her employees for a job well done, instead of scolding them for mistakes. This builds confidence and respect in the employees, according to Doe Deere

Doe Deere’s approach to management is strong, yet gentle. Her approach to life is also strong, yet gentle. She was born in Russia. However, her years growing up in New York City helped to grow her ambition to become a successful entrepreneur. Her dream turned into reality back in 2008, the year she started Lime Crime cosmetics.

Watch Doe Deere at PHAMExpo

Bruce Levenson An Avid Philanthropist

Home | Business Founder | Bruce Levenson An Avid Philanthropist

Bruce Levenson is part of a Jewish family who comes from Washington D.C. and was raised in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He went on to attend college through Washington University of Saint Louis and attended law school at the American University. When he was attending law school he started his career in Journalism at the Washington Star. He would attend law school at night and work by day for the Washington Star. Bruce co-founded the UCG group, United Communications Group with fellow friend Ed Peskowitz in 1977. They created the company out of the apartment of Bruce’s by creating a newsletter, Oil Express, that focused on the developments of the oil industry. They would acquire other newsletters and went on to launch a database together. It is a privately held organization which circles around data, news and analysis for healthcare, banking, energy and telecommunications as well as other areas. A mobile application that most people use for gas prices in their area was created by UCG, GasBuddy, a app that tells you what prices are best closest to you helps people to save money on the price of gas. Bruce and his buddy Ed are part owners of the Atlanta Hawks who purchased them in 2004 as well as owning the Phillips Arena. When the purchase went through, they purchased the Atlanta Thrashers as well however decided to sell that portion in 2011. In 2012 Danny Ferry was added to the Hawks team as General Manager. Danny Ferry once worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers as a player and moved on to become the manager of the team as well and then moved to become the Vice President of Operations for the San Antonio Spurs before he joined the team at the Hawks. During a tour and trip to Washington D.C. Bruce of ESPN spoke to his team about personal experiences surrounding the Holocaust. Irene Boyarsky is Bruce’s mother in law and is a survivor of the Holocaust and she spoke directly to the team during this trip. Bruce Levenson once served up as the president of the I have a Dream chapter in Washington D.C. that helped to support the low income children who decided to attend college to earn their higher education degree. He is also a founding donor of the U.S. Holocaust Museum which helps to fund the Bringing the Lessons Home program that helps inner city students understand the importance of knowing about the Holocaust. There are various other foundations that Bruce helps aid such as Seeds of Peace and the Jewish Federation. He is a philanthropist through all of his charitable donations. Bruce with his wife, Karen have three sons and own homes in Potomac, Maryland along with a home in Atlanta. Bruce loves to play basketball, golf and ski’s as well as travel. More recently, Bruce spent a number of nights in Antarctica where he slept in a tent.