Hi, that is my real mug in the standard issue LinkedIn head shot above. That is really the only thing standard about me and what I do. I work with startup and privately held companies through the entire life cycle from formation, funding, operation and ultimately a successful exit (hopefully). I have worked in a big firm, as the general counsel for Lehman Brothers’ private equity group and in my own firm (in different iterations). In all of those roles my singular focus has been business transactions.
I have discovered a few things along the way, the most important of which is that I only work with people I like and that usually means a good sense of humor and passion for what you do. As a result I am not a fit for everyone (my wife will be more than happy to tell you how difficult I can be).
I have been a corporate lawyer for over 20 years. During that time I have worked through the dot.com bubble and the financial crisis (actually had a really expensive front-row seat with Lehman Brothers). In between there were a lot of successes. The tough times were likely more valuable than all of the successful times in between. Lots of people can generate documents quickly and cheaply, but knowing and understanding what can (and probably will) go wrong during your business venture can only be earned through gray hair (although some of the color and loss of hair is from my three daughters, I must admit).
I have all the legal stuff you are supposed to be impressed with as well. I went to Montana State University for a Mechanical Engineering Degree (yes I can do math) then drove my pickup to Malibu California to Pepperdine University School of Law (yes you can study by the beach). When I went to law school the plan was to go back to Montana and work as a general attorney or district attorney in a small town. Five minutes into my Corporations class with Professor Kerr I was completely hooked on corporate work and my entire mindset shifted to working with entrepreneurs.
I was on the law review and national moot court team which is really only impressive to other law geeks and my parents, but was required to get a job so I nerded out. I moved to the Dallas area right after graduation in 1997 to the joy of thirty plus days of 100 degree heat and the bar exam. I stayed and have called the area home since. I worked for Winstead Sechrest & Minick which at the time was a 350 plus lawyer firm. At Winstead I learned how to be not only a lawyer, but to consider things from a business perspective (thank you for that life skill).
I took a job as general counsel for the private equity group with Lehman Brothers (because what could go wrong at a giant investment bank) in 2005. While I was there the business grew exponentially and scaled its operation across the globe. We invested institutional capital in private equity and venture capital funds so I was able to see the best and brightest investors in the world at work every day. Following the bankruptcy and the 18 hour days in total chaos I stayed for a few years before I decided to do what I really love which is working with entrepreneurs that put everything on the line for their companies. Nothing is more inspiring or humbling than working with these amazing people.
On the personal side I have three daughters, one is at the University of Texas on the way to becoming a teacher, one is at Oklahoma University with a plan to get a plan, and the youngest is in Lovejoy ISD for four more years with plans to conquer the world. Obviously, I am going to be working to pay for college and weddings for the rest of my life. I am married to my high school girlfriend who continues to put up with my craziness for some unknown reason. I also am a hack photographer. I took the background pics on this website in the hope that my accountant will let me write off vacations, camera gear and maybe the cost of the kids? I also am a rabid Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and may be a bit grumpy on Mondays after a loss, you have been warned.