I grew up in Tulsa and my wife grew up in Pawhuska. We had lived in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, but we moved back to Tulsa in 2011 to be closer to our families. I have known Chris White a long time and I joined CPG after moving back “home.”
Building on more than 40 years of entrepreneurial, consulting and M&A experience, I wear three different hats:
My dad died when I was six and my mom took over his home construction business. She was a very bright lady and she ran the business successfully while raising three sons. No one used the term “serial entrepreneur” back then, but she went on to acquire a small resort at Grand Lake and start a company to bring “big name” entertainers to Tulsa. One of my favorite growing up memories was the night we entertained Tom and Dick Smothers at our house. I learned a lot about running businesses from my mom.
I attended the University of Oklahoma, before transferring to the University of Tulsa, where I received a BSBA in Finance and Economics. After completing my undergraduate work, I went to Oklahoma State University to begin work on a PhD in Economics. After two semesters as a budding economist, I transferred into the MBA program.
I began my career as a consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co., where I focused on IT and process improvement consulting. After five years with Arthur Andersen & Co. in Houston and Tulsa, I joined the Bank of Oklahoma and headed the bank’s IT and retail banking functions.
I left the bank to start a software development company. As head of the company, I quickly gained a working appreciation for the challenges a business owner faces. I hired people, I sold, I developed software, I fired people – I even cleaned toilets occasionally. The software company was eventually sold to a Dallas-based IT company and I returned to consulting.
Over the years, I have worked with companies in the manufacturing, chemical, oil and gas, business services, distribution, technology, financial services and packaging industries.
On a personal level, I started coaching soccer when my kids started playing. I didn’t know much about soccer when I started, but I ended up coaching several successful competitive teams. I hate to admit it, but a lot of the leadership and organizational development coaching I do now builds on what I learned as a soccer coach.