With worldwide experience, our advisors join the VDC from many industries, experiences and passions.
John Antos is president of Value Creation Group, Inc., internationally recognized consulting group providing innovative strategic and operational solutions. Our very experienced management consultants specialize in Activity Based Management/Costing/Budgeting (ABM/ABC/ABB), strategic planning, Balanced Scorecard, outsourcing, performance management, reengineering, quality and value management.
He has been President, CFO, Treasurer, and Controller. He turned around company on verge of bankruptcy. He worked in service, manufacturing, government, nonprofit, and distribution organizations. While working at Marsh & McLennan, he helped create an ABC costing model in 1976 to write malpractice insurance.
He earned University of Chicago MBA-Accounting, U. of Illinois BS in Business Administration, Certified Management Accountant and CFP. He consults and trains in U.S., Europe, Canada, South & Central America, Caribbean, Middle and Far East. He teaches American Management Association’s Activity Based Management/Costing/Budgeting (ABM/ABC/ABB), Balanced Scorecard, Economic Value Added, Performance Management seminars. He co-authored their ABM and Balanced Scorecard seminars. He taught ABM at U. of Texas-Dallas.
He founded Young Executives Club-Chicago (1974). Who's Who in Finance & Industry in Midwest, South & Southwest; Outstanding Young Man of Year (Chicago Jaycees)(1980); Biography of Year (1986 First Edition); Biographical Role of Honor (1984); Dictionary of International Biography (Vol. XX 1986); Five Thousand Personalities in World (Edition 2); International Book of Honor (2nd Edition 1985); International Businessmen's Who's Who (1985); International Directory of Distinguished Leadership (1984); International Leaders in Achievement (1st Edition,1988); Men of Achievement (Cambridge,England 1981); Personalities of America(1981); Personalities of South(1982); Registry of American Achievement(1982); and Two Thousand Notable Americans (1984).
Co-authored Activity Management for Services Industries, Government Entities, & Nonprofit Organizations (Wiley); Driving Value Using Activity Budgeting (Wiley 99);"Activity Based Budgeting" Handbook Budgeting Supplement; "Activity Based Management" Management Accountant's Handbook; Intermediate Finance & Accounting-Next Step, Modern Cost Accounting, Management Course- Finance for AMA, "Applying ABC to Purchasing" and "Creating Bill of Activities" AMA's Finance Forum, and "ABM for Service, Not-for-Profit, and Government Organizations" in Journal of Cost Management. http://www.activitybasedmgmt.com
7820 Scotia Drive #2000
Dallas, TX 75248
George brings to Trailblazer Capital years of experience as a global business and technology executive with a track record of leading and growing both entrepreneurial companies and Fortune 500 business units.
Mr. Barber was most recently Chairman, CEO and President of Vapro, Inc an innovator of patented two-phase cooling solutions for the electronics industry. The company has since received strategic funding and as a result was relocated to Korea. During his tenure at Vapro, George was able to secure crucial venture capital financing allowing the company to progress critical strategic partner projects, server customer design-ins and volume start-up and quality manufacturing milestones.
Prior to Vapro, Mr. Barber was President and CEO of SyChip-Murata, a wholly owned subsidiary of Murat Manufacturing Corporation of Japan. Murata acquired SyChip, Inc in April 2006. Prior to the Company's acquisition, George was recruited to the venture capital backed start-up (a Bell Labs spinout) in 2001 as President and CEO. The wireless Plug-N-Play company designed, developed and marketed Radio Frequency Chip Scale modules, Systems In Package solutions, software and integrated circuits for the portable device market. SyChip was an innovator in the smartphone revolution.
In 2003, SyChip was recognized by the Fabless Semiconductor Association as "Start-up to Watch", in addition to being named as an "Investor's Choice" award winner by VentureWire (published by Dow Jones) at its annual MicroVenture Private Equity Conference. In 2004, the company received a "Most Promising Company" award at the Semiconductor Venture Fair and was recognized with the "Emerging Company Horizon Award 2004" by the Metroplex Technology Business Council. In addition, the company received "Rising Star" and "Fast 50" net revenue growth awards from Deloitte LLP. In 2004 Mr. Barber was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee and 2003 was a Metroplex Technology Business Council Tech Titan Emerging Company CEO finalist. George led the company in raising nearly $50 million of venture funding.
Prior to joining SyChip, George spent 21 years in various capacities at Texas Instruments (TI), with his most recent positions as President/Sr. Executive for two bay area based wholly owned subsidiaries that he led the acquisition of totaling $695 million; Amati Communications and Alantro Communications. In addition, he held the title of Vice president and General Manager of the Worldwide Broadband Access business unit. Based on these acquisitions and the efficient integration into TI; TI quickly established itself as one of the industry leaders in both the emerging Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) and Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) markets. George also led TI's Worldwide Computer Processor and Applications Specific IC divisions where he helped pioneer Systems-On-Chip (SoC) design. Mr. Barber also held a position on the Advisory Board of TI Ventures. Prior to that, George spent several years living in Taiwan; where he was Vice president of Texas Instruments Asia and helped establish TI as a strategic IC supplier to China.
George serves on the University of Texas at Dallas: Advisory Board Fusion Program and the University of Dayton, School of Engineering: Advisory Board. Formerly, George served on the Executive Committee of the Metroplex Technology Business Council and the Board of Directors for Texchange.
Mr. Barber received a BS degree in Mathematics from the University of Dayton.
Kingdon R. Hughes
Kingdon R. Hughes started out in the oil and gas business in the 1950s as a trainee in the land department of the Stanolind Oil & Gas Company (now BP Amoco) in Fort Worth, TX. In a short time, he was transferred to Tyler, TX and then eventually to Midland, TX. In 1960, he decided to go on his own and become an independent oil and gas land man and broker, putting oil and gas drilling deals together to sell to investors. In 1962, he cofounded The Subsurface Library in Midland, TX which he now owns entirely. The Library is a geological data center that collects the key subsurface data that geologists, petroleum engineers and land men use to find oil and gas. It is the largest library of its kind in the country.
In 1988, Mr. Hughes acquired a cellular telephone license located on the New Jersey shore through an FCC lottery. He subsequently moved to Toms River, NJ to build and operate the system and eventually sold it to Comcast/AT&T. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Richardson, Texas so he and his son Brad could better manage their other various wireless licenses. One of those was a nationwide 220 MHz license which he ultimately sold to the railroad industry which is now deployed all across the country.
Today, Mr. Hughes and his son are early stage, angel investors located in Addison. They continue to invest in the oil and gas business in many parts of the country.
Jackie Kimzey began his business career at a little known start-up in the semiconductor industry, Mostek, in 1978. Prior to this, Kimzey had been enrolled in a PhD program (Data Processing and Quantitative Analysis) when he became interested in entrepreneurship. He left the program and began working in the areas of planning, marketing and sales for the young semiconductor company. The company grew rapidly offering many new opportunities, the most important of which was his association and friendship with L. J. Sevin, Chairman and Founder of Mostek.
In 1982, he left Mostek and became one of the founders and CEO of ProNet, originally funded by the new venture firm of Sevin Rosen. The company’s earliest mandate was to provide high reliability paging services to healthcare institutions and professionals in the major U. S. markets. Over time, the company pioneered new licensing initiatives with the FCC and developed proprietary products that offered high value, differentiated services to over 600 hospitals.
In 1987, Kimzey took the company public with a successful IPO. With the new capital, the company acquired a niche technology from Texas Instruments and developed another specialized business for tracking stolen currency and goods. Working with major law enforcement on the local and national level, the company installed tracking equipment in 3000 bank locations, operated by local police authorities.
With the continued growth of wireless communications, the company acquired a nationwide FCC license from Motorola and began an initiative to market and sell to the broader commercial paging market. Over a period of two short years, the company acquired 22 smaller competitors in key markets as a part of a consolidation strategy to build scale and presence in the commercial market. The company’s enterprise value peaked in the 95-96 timeframe at just under $500M. In 1997, the company merged with Metrocall creating a company generating more than $750M in annual revenue. Kimzey joined the board and served on the Strategy and Governance Committees.
After the merger in 1997, Kimzey worked on several “start-up” projects of interest and then joined the venture firm of Sevin Rosen Funds as a General Partner in 1999. There he has focused on wireless and software investments, especially software ideas that focused on “software as a service”. His most successful projects, Neoworld, Wayport, Tangoe, Invodo and LiveVault, have all had a common thread; good management and quality advisors and investors.
Since 2007 Kimzey has served on the faculties of Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas at Dallas where he shares his “scar tissue” and lessons about innovation and new ventures with enthusiastic young entrepreneurs. He serves as the Associate Director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship within the School of Management at UTD and is a frequent speaker and lecturer on the topics of innovation, investment and management. Over his career, he has served on 18 boards, three of which were public companies.
Kimzey continues his work with new ventures and is currently on the boards of Tangoe (TNGO-Chairman of the Governance Committee), Invodo and Verified Person and has personal investments in Javelin Semiconductor and Totus-Solutions.
Dr. Kun-Shan Lin
A pioneer in Digital Signal Processing (DSP) applications, Dr. Kun-Shan Lin holds eight U.S. patents and has published over 50 articles and conference papers on this topic. But perhaps his greatest legacy is helping to establish TI’s U.S. University Marketing Program in 1984, one of the first organized approaches for corporations to partner and collaborate with universities, and expanding the program into Asia.
Dr. Lin joined Texas Instruments (TI) in 1979 as the R&D manager for a speech product, Speak & Spell, in TI’s Consumer Products Group. In 1984, he joined the Digital Signal Processing (DSP) start-up team in TI’s Semiconductor Group as the DSP Applications and Marketing Manager. During the following 10 years, Dr. Lin and his team expanded DSP from a niche technology to a mainstream business, propelling TI to a leadership position in DSP.
In 1994, Dr. Lin moved to Asia to lead TI’s digital businesses and also started TI’s University Program in Asia. Upon returning to Texas in 1999, Dr. Lin was named TI Vice President and started up new businesses in the imaging and audio areas. His team developed integrated circuit solutions for consumer products such as digital still cameras, MP3 players and DVD players.
Since 2002, Dr. Lin devoted his efforts to growing TI’s share of the emerging market in Greater China. In this role, he established a technical support infrastructure and design teams, as well as cultivated executive relationships with key customers. Under his leadership, his team contributed more than $1B in annual business impact to TI.
Throughout his career, Dr. Lin never lost his zeal for his work. He continued to innovate exciting new products, collaborate with universities and represent TI as leader in the semiconductor industry up until his retirement from TI in February, 2013.
Dr. Lin is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Asian American Executive of the Year Award from CIE/AAEOY, National Asian American Corporate Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans, the Outstanding Management Award from the Chinese Association for Science and Technology and the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from the University of New Mexico.
He taught DSP at the University of New Mexico and Tennessee State University in late 1970s and serves as an industrial advisor and visiting professor at Zhe-Jiang University and Shenzhen University in China.
Christine Malina Maxwell
Christine Malina Maxwell is an Internet content pioneer who co-founded the Internet’s first “Michelin-style” combined Directory and Search Engine, called Magellan. Magellan became one of the most visited directory sites on the Internet and was displayed on Netscape’s home page for several years in the early 90’s. She has recently joined UT Dallas as its first Program Manager for Blended & Online Initiatives.
Ms. Maxwell is a successful entrepreneur and investor, with solid sell-side M&A experience and a strong track record within the online information retrieval industries. She is Co-Founder and Director of Chiliad, (www.chiliad.com) a software company involved in the advance of on-demand, iterative discovery –particularly applicable to Big Data. A former Director of the Santa Fe Institute and the Internet Society, Christine is focusing her ‘Internet energies’ on evangelizing for the deployment of what is known as “the New Internet” - Internet Protocol Version 6 (Ipv6). She is a Fellow of the IPv6 Forum (www.ipv6.com).
Ms. Maxwell’s operational background is in publishing. She has held senior marketing, strategic business and development positions with major international STM publishers: Pergamon Press Publishers, Science Research Associates (SRA) and Macmillan Publishing Company. Since 1992, her entrepreneurship has been Internet focused, followed in recent years also by mobile-focused. Christine holds a graduate teaching credential from Lady Spencer Churchill College of Education (now Oxford Brooks University) in Oxford, England, and BA degrees in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Pitzer College, Claremont, California.
She is tri-lingual in English, French and Spanish.
Edward R. McPherson
Nationally known for achieving valuable results, Ted McPherson serves as a leader and strategic advisor for chief executives of Fortune 100 companies, Forbes 400 entrepreneurs, and major investors as Chief Executive Officer of InterSolve Group, Inc., the firm he founded in 1991 known for JUST-IN-TIME TALENT™.
Mr. McPherson executes the business agenda of prominent leaders in the United States by taking ownership for results and leading high-performance project teams and alliances of JUST-IN-TIME TALENT™. InterSolve Group is widely recognized as America’s first virtual service company that improves performance, profitability and shareholder value by leading the best available talent from all sources so as to execute “on demand.”
Mr. McPherson is called a pioneer by author Tom Peters who featured him in his seminars, his book Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations and his newsletter On Achieving Excellence. Mr. McPherson was highlighted within Business Week’s cover story on the “Virtual Corporation” in 1993 for earning $14 million in 90 days for a client by leading project teams from four different companies totaling 26 people, only one of whom he had met before, in restructuring business processes, applying information technology, and managing the human side of change.
Other results Mr. McPherson has achieved for clients include:
- Identifying business initiatives in critical advanced technologies with one of the world’s leading industrialists;
- Capturing $50 million in profit improvement for the chief executive of a leading healthcare company;
- Creating strategic alliances for the chief executive of one of Forbes top-ranked high-growth companies;
- Organizing two hundred million dollars of real estate and financial investments for a person of high net worth;
- Installing a new trading floor computing system on time and budget for a top-ranked chief executive;
- Assessing $1.5 billion of investments in seven major operating systems in one of America’s largest enterprises;
- Rationalizing $800 million in investments for the Chief Executive Officer of a prominent initiative. more
George Michael is an independent consultant, assisting companies in corporate and market strategy and business development. He is a board member of several corporations and non-profit organizations. Previously, George worked on the agency side of the advertising and public relations business.
George started Michael & Partners, a public relations agency, in 1998. The agency grew to be among the top ten in D/FW before he sold it to the employees in 2004; it now operates under the name HCK2. Before that, George started MBRK in 1983, growing that agency to be among the top ten in D/FW advertising with more than 50 people, and selling the company in 1997. MBRK is now part of Publicis, the third largest agency in the world. Prior to MBRK, he held the position of General Manager at Temerlin-McClain (then Bozell & Jacobs and the largest agency in the southwest.)
George has experience working with leading companies spanning numerous industries, including American Airlines, Dr Pepper, EDS, Ernst & Young, Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson, Marriott Corporation, Mary Kay, Nationwide Insurance, NEC, Neiman Marcus, St. Jude Medical, Strasburger & Price and Zale Corporation.
George has served as adjunct professor at Loyola, Northwestern and Southern Methodist Universities, and review editor of the Journal of Marketing Research. He has been a contributor to the Handbook of Modern Marketing and authored a number of articles in management and marketing journals.
George holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in marketing and a bachelor’s degree in engineering, all from Northwestern University. The American Marketing Association recognized his dissertation as outstanding in their review.
Robert M. Rough
Robert M. Rough is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Pillar Capital Management, a Dallas-based venture capital firm focused on investing in early-stage Texas-based technology companies previously funded by the state’s Texas Emerging Technology Fund. He has been an investor, senior executive, consultant and board member in technology, service, manufacturing, distribution, and retail companies for more than twenty years. The majority of Mr. Rough’s consulting and management experience has been with portfolio companies of venture capital and private equity groups such as Kleiner Perkins, Ballast Point Ventures and Thompson Investments. Mr. Rough has been involved in over twenty completed transactions, often with primary responsibility for all aspects of the transaction, including post transaction integration.
Most recently Mr. Rough held the position of Chief Financial Officer for GHN-Online, Inc., a small software company in the healthcare space. Previously, Mr. Rough was President and Chief Operating Officer of Chippenhook Corporation, a manufacturing company with operations in Mexico, China and the United States. Prior to Chippenhook Corporation, Mr. Rough was recruited in the post-dotcom era as Chief Financial Officer of a troubled internet retailer where he successfully secured the repayment of senior indebtedness through negotiated asset sales. He also served as Chief Financial Officer of a grocery retailer where he helped investors achieve an 80% internal rate of return through a recapitalization and as Chief Financial Officer of a for-profit education company where he negotiated the sale of the company, resulting in a three-fold increase in the company’s equity value in less than two years. Mr. Rough was also the co-founder of a $100 million private equity fund in 1994, where he was responsible for sourcing transactions, performing due diligence, negotiating and closing transactions and portfolio company oversight.
Mr. Rough graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH and earned his MBA from the Harvard Business School in Boston, MA.
Jonathan Shapiro currently works for the Office of Research at The University of Texas at Dallas as Director for Cybersecurity Business Development, where he is responsible for identifying opportunities and fostering ties between research sponsors, collaborators and university resources, focused on cybersecurity research, education and technology commercialization
In 2009 he founded The Texas Institute as a nonprofit research center focused on advanced energy technology and policy research. Prior to establishing The Texas Institute, Mr. Shapiro founded Alliance Systems, a communications and computing company. Under his leadership, the company grew from a self-funded startup to over $100 million in sales. The company was acquired in 2007.
Mr. Shapiro has also served in management positions at IBM, ROLM Telecommunication, Intervoice, and Octel Communications. He is a recognized industry figure in the energy and technology industry and a business graduate of Hofstra University in New York.
Mr. Shapiro was Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year three time finalist in 1999, 2000, and 2001, Deloitte & Touche Fast Tech 50 finalist in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, and SMU-Cox Dallas 100 three time finalist in 1999, 2000, and 2004.
He is an active board member for the Children's Advocacy Center of Collin County and the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce. He lectures frequently on topics including Cybersecurity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Workforce Development, STEM Education, Smart Grid, and Energy Policy and Capital.
Alliance Systems was bootstrapped by Jonathan Shapiro in 1992 and was profitable for all 15 year of operations with revenues exceeding $100M in 2006. Alliance Systems is a leading provider of server and storage solutions targeting the Communications, Enterprise and Military markets. Since the Company’s inception in 1992, it has provided computer infrastructure and supply chain services that support wireless, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), contact center, security, video, and enterprise communications solutions Alliance’s customer base currently exceeds 1,200 customers in 70 countries. Alliance Systems was acquired October 2007 by Network Engines, Inc. (NASDAQ: NENG)