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Native of: Texas

Industry: Executive Search

Region: Austin

Company profile

Tell us about your career at the business you run.

I founded the company over 25 years ago after being challenged to change the executive recruitment process.

From the very beginning, we set out to operate from the client’s vantage point, and we were recognized early on as one of the top boutique executive search firms in the nation.


What is your career background outside of Cendea?

I’ve been a senior executive at companies such as Zenith Data Systems and ProfitFuel, and was even an early employee at Dell.

Education has always been important to me, and I believe in life-long learning. I earned multiple bachelor’s degrees from Rice University spanning electrical engineering, computer science, and math science as well as a master’s in electrical engineering.

With my engineering education solidified, I later earned an executive master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business.


How and why did you wind up in Austin?

I was raised in Houston by great parents who were both natives of that wonderful city. After I completed my first master’s degree, I moved to Austin to work for IBM in their development labs. I later went to Chicago for two years to start up a division there, and subsequently returned because Austin is a great place to live.


What is your view of the business climate in Texas?

Across the entire United States, there are pockets of success and pockets of problems.

The good news is that in Texas we’ve managed to create an environment where the success pocket is quite large, while managing to keep the problem pocket as small as possible.

Like any state, Texas has issues. But the focus is on growth, and the future appears promising.


Why did you decide to join YTEXAS?

YTEXAS is about helping people, and that is in my DNA. I love to help people get to the next level, both personally and professionally.

Life is about relationships, and YTEXAS helps new companies coming to our state take better advantage of those big success pockets, while at the same time making those success pockets even larger.


What makes your company different?

Our proprietary process allows us to secure true Impact Leaders for our clients – people who can help take them to the next level.

One of the key differences is our 3-D Analysis, which we perform upfront. It’s a mini Bain-like study that drills down to help our clients better understand and clarify what they’re looking for, and thus provides us with a very clear bar – essentially a 3-D mask that either fits a prospect or doesn’t.


What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?

We work nationwide with start-ups to Fortune 50, and many companies are still hesitant to make the investment to recruit true Impact Leaders – even in Texas.


Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.

I hold several patents and publications in software and networking development.

My parents met while attending Rice. All five of their kids went to Rice. Several of our children in turn have gone to Rice. Our family has had at least one person attending Rice in every decade from the 1940’s through the 2010’s – with an asterisk in the 1990’s that I’d be happy to tell you about.

On the personal side, my oldest son played Division I football at Rice as a middle linebacker. My youngest son was a safety at the University of Texas. My daughter, however, is the toughest of the bunch, since she’s a law enforcement officer in the San Marcos Police Department.