75 episodes

BoyarMiller Chairman Chris Hanslik interviews industry thought leaders and organizational visionaries in a discussion rife with leading edge information, the latest trends, case studies, and news. Business inspiration, growth, challenges, corporate culture and mentorship will be on the agenda. Enjoy the banter and glean valuable insight as the conversation unfolds.

Building Texas Business BoyarMiller

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 31 Ratings

BoyarMiller Chairman Chris Hanslik interviews industry thought leaders and organizational visionaries in a discussion rife with leading edge information, the latest trends, case studies, and news. Business inspiration, growth, challenges, corporate culture and mentorship will be on the agenda. Enjoy the banter and glean valuable insight as the conversation unfolds.

    Ep074: Reinventing Corporate Culture with Mike Snavely

    Ep074: Reinventing Corporate Culture with Mike Snavely

    In this episode of Building Texas Business, I chat with Mike Snavely, CEO of Phunware. Mike details Phunware's evolution from a mobile development agency into a thriving SaaS company delivering high-ROI apps to hotels and healthcare providers.


    Hear how shifting culture from rigid control to empowering autonomous teams with accountability revived success. Key strategic maneuvers included trimming the workforce judiciously and securing capital patiently. Timely decisions breathe new life into businesses' surfaces repeatedly.


    We delve into crafting a trusting, candid culture. Difficult conversations are promptly addressed and failures learned foster innovation and resilience. I share that I founded such an environment at a former startup. Mike's unique hobby of creatively mapping dream destinations blends work wisdom with life's pleasures, crafting an episode uplifting attendees' strategies and spirits.



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Mike Snavely explains the evolution of Phunware from a mobile solution development agency to a SaaS company that specializes in customized mobile apps for hotels and healthcare institutions.
    We discuss the strategic decisions and cultural shifts necessary during the transition to new leadership at Phunware, including capital injection and reshaping the balance sheet for growth.
    Mike highlights the move from a command-and-control culture to one that champions autonomy and accountability, emphasizing the importance of empowering team leaders.
    We explore the significance of building a leadership team grounded in trust, accountability, autonomy, and candor, and how these principles contribute to a positive organizational culture.
    Mike shares his personal career journey, detailing his long-standing experience in mobile technology and his eventual rise to the CEO position at Phunware.
    We examine how Phunware fosters a culture of appreciation and collaboration through a Slack channel called Momentum, which recognizes and celebrates employee contributions.
    Mike talks about balancing professional obligations with personal passions, including the importance of prioritizing family and maintaining a positive trajectory in both areas.
    We discuss the importance of in-person engagement for building and maintaining key relationships with stakeholders, despite the trend toward virtual interactions.
    Mike reflects on past experiences and learnings, including the value of having prompt and honest conversations to avoid delays in decision-making and mitigate potential failures.
    We delve into Mike's hobby of pinning dream travel destinations on Google Maps and how this practice turns travel planning into an immersive and memorable adventure.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Phunware



    GUESTS




    Mike SnavelyAbout Mike






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In today's episode, you will meet Mike Snavely, ceo of Funware. In building and maintaining key relationships with your stakeholders, mike shares his opinions on why there is no substitute for being in person to engage on a human level. Mike, I want to welcome you to Building Texas Business and thank you for taking time to come on the show with me. Glad to be here. Thanks for the invitation. So, as the CEO of Funware, let's start by just orienting the listeners to what is Funware and tell us what the company's known for.


    Mike: Sure so. Funware is a 15-year-old publicly traded company based in Austin, Texas. We build mobile experiences that help hotels and healthcare institutions engage their guests and patients while they're on premises in ways that drive satisfaction and monetization.


    Chris: Very interesting. So you said the company started I guess in the early 2000s.


    Mike: Then it would have been in 2009. The company started. It was private for the first 11 or so years of its existence and then we went public via SPAC transaction in 2000. I be

    • 35 min
    Ep073: The Heart of Leadership with Amanda Hanks Bayles

    Ep073: The Heart of Leadership with Amanda Hanks Bayles

    In this episode of Building Texas Business, I sit down with Amanda Hanks Bayles, the 100th president of the Junior League of Houston. Amanda shares her remarkable journey within this organization, which is dedicated to empowering women and bettering local communities. She reflects on 11 years of involvement, emphasizing the value of mentorship and smooth leadership transitions.


    Amanda provides keen insight into balancing leadership roles as a volunteer and professional. She discusses integrating volunteer experiences into her career at Plains All-American Pipeline and the support of employers.


    Wrapping up, Amanda offers practical advice on embracing change and maintaining balance. Through this insightful conversation, examples from her path illuminate strategies for cultivating leadership abilities with heart wherever one's journey may lead.



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Amanda Hanks Bayles, as the 100th president of the Junior League of Houston, emphasizes the organization's commitment to promoting voluntarism and developing the leadership skills of women.
    We explore the structure of the Junior League of Houston, highlighting the executive committee and board of directors, as well as the 4,500 total members, including 1,400 active volunteers.
    Amanda discusses her 11-year journey within the Junior League, focusing on the importance of saying yes to opportunities and the value of annual leadership transitions for continuous personal development.
    We touch on the challenges of balancing leadership roles in volunteer organizations with professional careers, and the supportive role played by employers like Plains All-American.
    Amanda shares insights into leadership development, particularly the importance of owning mistakes and learning to communicate effectively within a large organization.
    The conversation includes how the Junior League’s Leadership Institute Training Program and the Outside Board Representative Program prepare members for impactful roles on nonprofit boards.
    We discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Junior League, noting how virtual meetings have enhanced inclusivity and the organization's ability to address mental health issues in the community.
    Amanda offers practical advice for business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the need to embrace change and balance professional and personal commitments.
    The episode touches on Amanda's personal journey, from her first job to her educational path, and her love for Tex-Mex cuisine and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
    Amanda's story serves as an inspiration for women leaders, showcasing the potential for growth through volunteerism and community service.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Junior League Of Houston



    GUESTS




    Amanda Hanks BaylesAbout Amanda






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In this episode, you will meet Amanda Hanks-Bales, President of the Junior League of Houston. Amanda shares insights on how the Junior League works to build a better community by being grounded in gratitude. Okay, Amanda, welcome to Building Texas Business. I want to thank you for coming on the podcast.


    Amanda: Thank you for having me. It's great to be here.


    Chris: So you are currently, among other things, you're the 100th president of the Junior League of Houston, and so I want to kind of focus a little bit around that organization, tell us what the Junior League is and what it does.


    Amanda: Absolutely. The Junior League of Houston is a nonprofit organization. We are dedicated to promoting voluntarism through developing women and then unleashing our trained volunteers into the Houston community through effective action and leadership, and that's really our bread and butter. We focus on training generation after generation of outstanding women to then go out and tackle our community's greatest issues a

    • 33 min
    Ep072: Balancing Human Values and Business Growth with Jen Sudduth

    Ep072: Balancing Human Values and Business Growth with Jen Sudduth

    In this episode of Building Texas Business, I welcomed Jen Sudduth, CEO of Sudduth Search, for an insightful discussion on her journey in the executive search industry. Jen shared her story of transitioning from Taylor Winfield to launching her boutique firm focused on transformative growth companies.


    I learned how Sudduth Search crafts a supportive work culture that prioritizes both productivity and well-being. Our dialogue also uncovered nuances around balancing work responsibilities with life's pleasures.


    As we wrapped up, Jen reflected on life lessons from mentorship to her commitment to the Special Olympics community



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Jen Sudduth shares her transition from Taylor Winfield to founding Sudduth Search, focusing on middle market private equity and emphasizing the need for leaders who can drive change.
    We explore the importance of having a business and marketing strategy before starting a venture, as well as considering when to hire based on company growth and values alignment.
    Strategies for maintaining work-life balance in recruitment are discussed, including setting boundaries and fostering a culture that supports employee well-being alongside business success.
    The episode delves into the comprehensive selection process for executive search, particularly for pivotal roles such as CFOs, and the role of retained search firms in this process.
    Jen reflects on the role of empathy in leadership and the importance of mentorship, drawing from her own experiences and her involvement with the Special Olympics.
    Personal joys, such as a preference for Tex-Mex cuisine and planning for sabbatical destinations like Maine and Santa Fe, are shared as part of achieving a joyful living.
    The conversation covers the initial opportunistic hiring during COVID and the shift towards a more strategic hiring approach to raise the team's overall expertise.
    Chris and Jen discuss the benefits of leaving a company the right way, honoring agreements, and how transparency can lead to unexpected opportunities.
    Jen advises on the importance of planning for success, not just the startup phase, by having operational projections and growth strategies in place.
    The episode also touches on Jen's past experience as Director of Talent at a consultancy, highlighting how internal hiring insights can improve external recruitment advice.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Sudduth search



    GUESTS




    Jen SudduthAbout Jen






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In today's episode, you will meet Jen Sudduth, co-founder and CEO of Sudduth Search, a boutique executive search firm. Jen's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be intentional and purposeful in your business planning, and don't forget to plan for success. Okay, jen, first off, welcome to Building Texas Business. Thanks for being here.


    Jen: Thank you.


    Chris: So I'm excited to have this conversation with you today. I want to start by just allowing you to introduce yourself and tell us what your company, Sudduth Search, is known for.


    Jen: Sure. So we are a seven-person boutique executive search firm, but I think what we do is a little bit unique. We work with the middle market private equity. Probably 75% of our clients are private equity backed. The other are public, private you name it individually owned, it doesn't matter.


    I think the common denominator with all of them is that all of the companies are going through some sort of transformation, and most of the time that's growth. It could have been that they raised capital. That's a trigger to bring us in and go and replace some of your leadership team. Could be some of our bigger companies going through some sort of culture change. We did 10 positions for a Blackstone-backed company and basically they wanted to pull from outside of their industry and they didn't know how to do that, and so we helped them c

    • 39 min
    Ep071: Crafting Industrial Success with Jason Hayes

    Ep071: Crafting Industrial Success with Jason Hayes

    In this episode of Building Texas Business, we delve into the remarkable journey of Jason Hayes and his family's business, Top Coat Fabrication. Despite the tumultuous nature of the markets, they managed to emerge as an industrial leader, a testament to their resilience and adaptability.


    He shares Top Coat's blueprint for navigating change while excelling in oil, gas, and petrochemicals. Intentional culture-building through staff gatherings and challenges instilled trust and community, cornerstones of Top Coat's prosperity.


    In conclusion, his journey to company president wove together personal learning, workplace achievements, nurturing customer bonds, and proactive growth to create the powerhouse that Top Coat is today.



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Jason Hayes discusses the transformation of Top Coat Fabrication from its sandblasting roots to becoming an influential player in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.
    We explore Jason's early involvement with the family business, starting straight out of high school and eventually becoming president, as he emphasizes the value of hands-on experience.
    Jason shares how Top Coat navigated the challenges of the oil industry's downturns and how strategic diversification into fabrication opened new opportunities in the petrochemical sector.
    Jason and I delve into the pivotal moment in 2010 when Jason embraced intentional leadership and continuous learning, transforming his personal and professional outlook.
    Jason highlights the cultural shift within Top Coat, illustrating how he cultivates a positive work environment through team-building exercises and weekly staff meetings.
    We discuss the significance of building strong customer relationships, with Jason explaining his personal approach to post-project follow-ups and the search for honest feedback.
    Jason reflects on the importance of networking and trusted advisors, detailing how open communication within the leadership team is essential for resolving conflicts and fostering growth.
    We delve into Jason's leadership style, his efforts to understand team members' goals, and his commitment to maintaining a balance between work and family life.
    Jason explains the importance of hiring for culture fit, noting that while skills are necessary, alignment with the company's ethos is crucial for long-term success.
    Personal anecdotes are shared, including Jason's love for Tex-Mex, his first job experiences, and his aspirations to travel more with his family.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Top Coat Fabrication



    GUESTS




    Jason HayesAbout Jason






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In this episode, you will meet Jason Hayes, president of Top Coat Fabrication. Jason is the second generation of leadership in a family-owned business and tells how he went from hope to learning to be more intentional about growth.


    Jason I want to welcome you to. Building Texas Business. Thanks for taking time to come on the show. Absolutely Glad to be here. So I think the best place to start is just tell us a little bit about Topcoat. What is the business and what?


    Jason: does it do? Okay, we're an industrial fabricator, so we fabricate oil and gas and petrochemical equipment, a lot of welding, piping, structural steel, pressure vessels pretty much anything you see when you drive by chemical plants. That's the type of stuff that we fabricate.


    Chris: Okay, and y'all been in business. Now for what? 40 plus years, 40 plus years.


    Jason: This is our 44th year. I think it started in 1980. Okay, yes, it started as a sandblasting and painting company, and that's how they got the name Top Coat.


    Chris: Oh, okay, that makes sense. And so started by your father, I believe. Mom and dad, okay, still 100% owners. Very good, so what was the I guess, the inspiration that had them start Top Coat to begin with?


    Jason: I think honestly, if I rem

    • 37 min
    Ep070: Navigating the Tech Industry's Evolution with Wes Cummins

    Ep070: Navigating the Tech Industry's Evolution with Wes Cummins

    In this episode of Building Texas Business, I sit down with Wes Cummins, CEO of Applied Digital, for an inside look at the company's revolutionary trajectory. Wes takes us behind the scenes of Applied Digital's evolution from Bitcoin mining infrastructure to leading the charge in specialized cloud and high-performance computing.


    Our discussion also tackles the grit of entrepreneurship. Wes reflects on Applied Digital's resilience amid regulatory shifts, sharing lessons from his upbringing on perseverance and hard work. As the company grows, so does its specialized workforce, prompting insights on fostering talent retention and aligning culture with business goals.


    Overall, Wes offers a compelling narrative of continuous innovation through adversity, partnership and calculated risk-taking.



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Wes Cummins discusses the origin of Applied Digital, beginning with infrastructure for Bitcoin mining and pivoting to high-performance computing and specialized cloud services.
    We examine the company's strategic response to China's crackdown on Bitcoin mining and how this external challenge spurred a significant shift in Applied Digital's business model.
    I reflect on my own experiences with business pivots and emphasize the importance of seeking opportunities amidst market disruptions and regulatory changes.
    Wes shares insights from his upbringing on a family farm, including the values of hard work and resilience, and how these qualities have influenced his entrepreneurial journey.
    We talk about the rapid growth of Applied Digital, expanding from three to approximately 200 employees, and the operational challenges associated with scaling up.
    Wes outlines the importance of building a specialized team with the right skills, highlighting the role of strong human resources and recruiting in managing rapid company growth.
    The conversation delves into the significance of company culture in driving employee motivation, retention, and the cultivation of a spirit of empowerment and ownership.
    We discuss the energy challenges in powering AI technology, the use of renewable energy sources, and the potential of nuclear power to meet the increasing demand for data center capacity.
    Wes considers the future of Texas businesses within the energy grid, including the financial and infrastructural challenges of meeting the needs of hyperscalers.
    Finally, Wes and I touch on personal leadership styles, the evolution from micromanagement to autonomy, and the value of mentorship in fostering a productive work environment.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Applied Digital



    GUESTS




    Wes CumminsAbout Wes






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In this episode, you will meet Wes Cummins, ceo of Applied Digital. Wes's company is building the next generation of digital infrastructure in the United States. He shares his thoughts on how building a strong company culture starts by providing opportunities for growth to your employees. All right, wes, I want to welcome you to Building Texas Business and thanks for taking time to come on the show.


    Wes: Chris, thanks for having me. I'm happy to be here.


    Chris: So let's start by just you introducing yourself. I'll at least say I know you're the CEO and founder of Applied Digital. Tell us a little bit about Applied Digital. What is that company and what is it known for?


    Wes: Sure. So. Applied Digital is a company that is building next generation digital infrastructure, and the company started by building infrastructure for Bitcoin mining back in 2021. Crypto mining, where a lot of the hash rate about 70% of the hash rate was in China at the time had to go elsewhere in the world. A lot of that came to the US. We assembled a team that had experience in the sector which there wasn't a lot of people in the US that had experience, given. I think it was sub 5% of the hash rate was actually in the

    • 35 min
    Ep069: Defying Gravity in Business with Sassie Duggleby

    Ep069: Defying Gravity in Business with Sassie Duggleby

    In today's episode of Building Texas Business, I chat with Sassie Duggleby, founder of Venus Aerospace, about her groundbreaking work developing hypersonic flight technology.


    Her vision is to connect the world through travel that spans continents in just one hour. She shares her motivation, sparked by living abroad and a desire to unite people across borders.


    We discuss Sassie's journey building Venus Aerospace from the ground up. She offers insights into raising capital, growing from a small team to over 70 employees, and prioritizing work-life balance for families. Sassie also talks about navigating challenges in aerospace, an evolving field with careful regulation.


    Our discussion delves deeper as Sassie reflects on balancing entrepreneurship and motherhood. She also addresses tackling biases facing women in STEM fields. With her tenacity, Sassie is clearing paths for others.



    SHOW HIGHLIGHTS





    Sassie Duggleby, CEO of Venus Aerospace, discusses the company's vision to revolutionize global transport with hypersonic flight, aiming to turn international travel into one-hour journeys.
    We explore Sassie's personal experiences, from living in Japan to leading a pioneering company, which fuel her ambition to make the world more connected through rapid travel.
    The conversation covers the evolution of Venus Aerospace from a small team to a 70-employee company, emphasizing the challenges and strategies of scaling a startup.
    Sassie shares the importance of cultivating a strong company culture that prioritizes family time and how it aligns with their vision of 'home for dinner'.
    We delve into the regulatory challenges faced by the company, such as securing permission for supersonic flights over land and navigating government relations.
    The episode touches on gender biases in the aerospace industry and how societal norms impact women, with Sassie recounting her own experiences as a female CEO.
    Sassie reflects on the need for potential changes in the academic system to accommodate different learning styles and to support women in STEM fields.
    Discussing personal challenges, Sassie emphasizes the importance of balancing motherhood with the demands of leading a startup and the intentionality required to maintain a work-life balance.
    A lighthearted discussion ensues about Tex-Mex versus barbecue, providing a glimpse into Sassie's personal preferences and her vision for a tech-free sabbatical in nature.
    We highlight Sassie's journey as a successful female entrepreneur and her contributions to the aerospace industry, particularly during International Women's Month in March 2024.





    LINKSShow Notes

    Previous Episodes

    About BoyarMiller

    About Venus Aerospace



    GUESTS




    Sassie DugglebyAbout Sassie






    TRANSCRIPT


    (AI transcript provided as supporting material and may contain errors)



    Chris: In this episode, you will meet Sassie Duggleby, co-founder and CEO of Venus Aerospace. Venus Aerospace is a startup company focused on engineering the future of hypersonic flight by making one-hour global transport possible to connect the world and make it safer. Sassy talks about the importance of cultivating a strong company culture, where at Venus, they are focused on making it home for dinner. She also shares how she balances being the CEO of a startup while also being the mother of two. Sassy, I want to welcome you on to Building Texas Business. Thank you for taking the time to be with us today. Yeah, thanks for having me so very intriguing stories. I was reading your bio and I just want to give you a chance to introduce yourself to the audience and the listeners. Tell us you know who you are and what you do. I know your company is Venus Aerospace, which sounds really cool, so let's tell us about who you are and then what Venus Aerospace is.


    Sassie: Yeah, so I'm the co-founder and CEO of Venus Aerospace. Venus, we are using a next generation rocket engine to enable super high speed vehicles. So what does that mean? High sp

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
31 Ratings

31 Ratings

Lindsa M ,

Elaine Turner

This was a great listen. Elaine is a high EI leader and so humble.

AWE.tx ,

Elaine Turner Episode

Loved the convo with this Houston entrepreneur. It’s a must-listen!

HTyCRE ,

Prism Renderings

Wonderful insight on the mission of Jing Johnson to start and build a business focused on supporting working mothers, growing and succeeding in the real estate and architecture industry with that platform, and finding a niche to serve the needs of commercial real estate professionals. Congrats on your well deserved success!

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