Area Business Leaders Tapped to Provide Direction for New Resource for Entrepreneurs
Eleven prominent business entrepreneurs and community leaders were recently tapped to serve on an advisory board for the Entrepreneurship Institute, a joint entity sponsored by Montgomery College and Sam Houston State University. Dr. Tom Butler, president of Montgomery College, helped form the advisory board with the assistance of the institute’s directors.
Agreeing to serve on the board are Paul J. Pearce, Ph.D., president of Nova Biologicals; Ron Bourbeau, executive director of the South Montgomery County Woodlands Economic Development Partnership; David Gottlieb, Ph.D., an officer with Woodforest National Bank; Vic Tarasik, owner of Vic’s Precision Automotive in The Woodlands; Rob Eissler, State Representative (TX, District 15) and president of Eissler and Associates in The Woodlands; Jill Vaughn, senior vice president with Amegy Bank; Sal Mira, director of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District’s Small Business Development Center; Anna Shaheen, director of financial services for Hendricks Sports Management; Don Byrne, president of Byrne Medical Inc.; Mariana Wright, executive director of Growth magazine; and Rhese Hoylman IV, founder and owner of Greater Texas Internet & Networking (GTIN).
“These individuals represent some of the area’s brightest entrepreneurial minds,” said Dr. Butler. “It is also a very diverse group, representing small, medium and large organizations in a variety of industries—as well as both private and public sector backgrounds.”
According to Dr. Butler, the inaugural advisory board will help guide the future direction of the institute.
“The institute will draw from the advisory board’s business start-up savvy, but also their expertise in how to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive within an organization that is already up and running,” said Dr. Butler. “These individuals have incredible talent that will be a great asset to the institute.”
Since its founding in 1993, Dr. Pearce has managed and directed Nova Biologicals, Inc. to its current status as one of America’s largest independent drinking water laboratories and service companies and leader in specialty microbiological evaluation, testing, and related remediation planning.
Bourbeau has served as executive director of the South Montgomery County Economic Development Partnership since 1998. Before that, Bourbeau served for almost 30 years as city manager in a number of different cities in different states.
Dr. Gottlieb formerly served as dean of the college of social sciences at the University of Houston. He has worked in both the public and private sector, as a vice president with The Woodlands Development Corporation; senior deputy with the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; consultant with the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, and most recently as president and CEO of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, before joining Woodforest.
In 1987, Tarasik started a small automotive business out of his home, gradually building his business to its current customer base of more than 3,000. Vic's Precision Automotive offers its customers full service on all makes, models and years of automobiles in a 6,000-square-foot facility located on Highway 242 between Conroe and The Woodlands.
Eissler is the president of Eissler and Associates, an executive recruiting firm based in The Woodlands. Eissler has spent 20 years dedicated to the public education system of Texas, 18 of which were on the Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees. He was elected to represent District 15 as State Representative in November of 2002. He is currently in his third term of office.
Mira, a local businessman with more than 35 years of general management experience, was named director of the North Harris Montgomery Community College District’s Small Business Development Center in 2006. Throughout his career, Mira has shown the ability to increase profits, train management teams and develop new businesses. Most recently, he served as chairman, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast Holdings in Conroe.
Shaheen is currently director of financial services for Hendricks Sports Management, one of the leading sports agency practices in the world. She began her academic journey at North Harris County College (now Lone Star College System) in the early 1980s, and completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Sam Houston State University in 1986. She completed a doctorate of jurisprudence in 1997, and has been with Hendricks for almost 20 years.
Vaughn has been a banker in Montgomery County for 24 years. Her current position is commercial lending manager in Montgomery County for Amegy Bank of Texas. Previous to this position, she served as executive vice president for Klein Bank for ten years, and president of ProBank for ten years.
Byrne started Nova Biologicals, the leader in disposable endoscopic irrigation systems, in 1997, growing it from a regional to an international player in the global marketplace. Byrne is also active as a member of the board of directors of the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council and the Greater Conroe/Lake Conroe Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wright is president of Exile Media, a creative firm dedicated to changing the way clients receive advertising, design and marketing services. With her husband Terry Wright, she publishes Montgomery County's first and only business-to-business (B2B) monthly magazine, Growth.
Hoylman is president of GTIN, a company providing outsourced information technology services; web development and hosting. Hoylman established GTIN in 1999 based on the recognized need for reliable, core technology services for small to mid sized businesses.
The Entrepreneurship Institute includes an entrepreneurship club (the MC Student Entrepreneurs) at Montgomery College and, soon to follow, a similar club at SHSU. Plans include the development of 'virtual' club meetings available on both MC and SHSU Web sites. Additionally, the Institute provides training and professional development opportunities, workshops for entrepreneurs, speaking engagements, and other services.
The continuing education workshops begin in March and include “Introduction to Entrepreneurship,” “Business Plan Development,” and “Finance for Small Business,” with additional offerings planned later in the year. For more information about these courses, and to register, call (936) 273-7446.
Serving as executive director of the Institute is James F. Zipperer, professor of economics at Montgomery College. Dr. Charles (Chuck) R. B. Stowe, a full professor specializing in entrepreneurship at SHSU’s College of Business Administration, serves as the Institute's director. Kevin Nguyen, assistant professor of accounting and economics at MC, is the Institute's assistant director. The Institute is housed at Montgomery College in the Business and Social Sciences division (Building F). The Institute's phone number is (936) 271-6198.
For more information about Montgomery College, visit montgomery.lonestar.edu, or call (936) 273-7000. Montgomery College is located at 3200 College Park Drive, approximately one-quarter mile west of I-45 between Conroe and The Woodlands.
NHMCCD, among the largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center.