A Commitment to High Standards
Our advisory board moderators are held to the same high standards that we maintain for ourselves. Moderator status is carefully conferred based on criteria of strict professional and personal credentials. These factors include:
- experience in owning or leading a business (with significant profit and loss statement);
- a high degree of integrity;
- selflessness (interested in others’ happiness before their own);
- patience (allows process to unfold on its own, does not push it);
- excellent listening skills;
- objective(can mediate emotional issues without taking sides);
- the ability to lead a group without dominating;
- remaining open and receptive, regardless of the situation;
- ability to stay engaged for extended periods of time;
- high energy;
- continuously learning;
- teaches through being present and leading the process; and
- the ability to act with power and decisiveness.
What Makes Our Advisory Board Moderators Different
- uses “highest and best use” talent model;
- understands that the best moderators are usually not great at developing business and growing the council;
- leverages strategic relationships and creative techniques for systematic marketing;
- strategic-based consulting is handled through the LXCouncil corporate entity.Skill-based consulting is outsourced to trusted advisors (strategic partners);
- team-based culture with rewards, recognition, and profit-sharing or bonus structure. There is no conflict of interest, which is a win-win for all involved (members, moderators, and LXCouncil corporation);
- creates ownership mentality;
- operates from Abundance Perspective.
Meet Our Moderators
Henry Bass earned an MBA from Washington University in St Louis, and served in the Army for three years before earning a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and starting Automation Creations, Inc.
ACI has been in the Corporate Research Center since 1996, producing custom-developed software and web applications for local, national and Government customers. Jointly, the Army and Automation Creations, Inc. created a web-based version of SmartCharts, then undertook the successful deployment of the Acquisition Information Management application (AIM) to the web. His company grew to manage 8 contracts at the US Army Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Enterprise Systems and Services facility, plus a Navy contract for web-based training management in Indian Head, Maryland. Henry’s company has taken several software projects to international success. Henry and his team recently won a contract to help deploy enterprise software across the Veterans Affairs agency.
Automation Creations (ACI) has over 200 local clients for web development, software support and custom software development. The company is located in Blacksburg, Virginia at the Corporate Research Center adjacent to Virginia Tech.
Henry still serves the Army as a reserve officer, and also participates in local business development and the Boy Scouts program. He and his wife Lisa have been married for 25 years, with two boys, ages 18 and 15.
Keith A. Clark is Chairman of Shumaker Williams, P.C. He joined the Firm in 1969, and has been a shareholder and has managed the Firm since 1972. Mr. Clark is a member of the Corporate and Financial Services Department.
Mr. Clark has been General Counsel to: the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers since 1977; and the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (formerly the Pennsylvania Tourism and Lodging Association since 1981 and the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association since 2007).
Mr. Clark has developed and managed office real estate and provided business consultation to for-profit and non-profit entities. He is a member of the national panel of Commercial Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.
He concentrates his legal practice in the following areas: business, financial and legal advice to financial institutions; hospitality industry; general business and corporate law; commercial real estate; mergers and acquisitions; trade associations; business planning – strategic & long range; governance issues; and government relations and legislative review.
Mr. Clark has lectured to boards of directors, trade associations and businesses on laws affecting the financial services industry, hospitality industry, mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations, for-profit and non-profit governance, officers’ and directors’ liability, ethics, land development and tax, estate and business planning. He has lectured on banking regulation at Penn State – Harrisburg and on ethical issues through Widener University.
He is a graduate of Leadership Pennsylvania and is active nationally and in the community. He currently serves as: Trustee of the Harrisburg Academy; member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America; National Chairman of Learning for Life; Director and Chairman of the Trust Committee of the New Birth of Freedom Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. Clark has served as Chairman: Envision Capital Region; Capital Region Economic Development Corporation; Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisors; Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers, Inc.; Greater West Shore Chamber of Commerce; Estate Planning Council of Central Pennsylvania; Perry County Planning Commission; Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, and The Tuesday Club. He also served as a Borough and Industrial Development Authority Solicitor and has received numerous community awards and citations.
Mr. Clark received his Juris Doctorate from the Dickinson School of Law and a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers College. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. While at law school, he was an Associate Editor of the “Dickinson Law Review.” He has written over 100 articles for various professional and trade association journals.
Eric has successfully managed and consulted with business executives to lead significant growth and business transformation for over 25 years. The first 18 years were an intense mix of challenge, extreme reward, and constant learning as he led change from the inside. Over his career he has held a variety of management and executive positions for corporations such as The May Company, Intel, AT&T Capital, Cargill, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Hallmark Cards, Inc. where he partnered with senior leaders of businesses and functions to define business strategies, identify and build key capabilities, and to optimize the configuration and development of the physical and human assets to deliver value to the markets and customers they serve.
Eric’s experience ranges from Co-leading the enterprise-wide redefinition of the business models for large consumer good companies, to leading the CEO and the board of non-profit organizations through a process to refine its core purpose.
Eric’s experience and passion covers a range of organization development issues and interventions, but regardless of the business challenge, he believes that effective and sustainable change is made in the context of the total system. Equally important, he believes in transferring know-how and tools to others to increase the probability of evolving and enduring success. He measures a successful intervention by the degree to which there is increased capability within the organization to address ongoing challenges and to adapt to the demands of an ever-changing, competitive environment.
Prior to joining Navalent, Eric was the executive responsible for establishing and leading
The Organization and Talent Management organization at Hallmark Cards, Inc. His team was responsible for working with business and functional leaders on large and small-scale organization design initiatives, executive coaching, human capital planning, talent management and development, and recruiting. Additionally, Eric served on the board of The Children’s Place, a non-profit organization providing treatment services for abused and neglected children in the greater Kansas City area. He also currently serves as a board member for Pinnacle Plus Financial.
Eric is the co-author of “Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives” resulting from a ten-year study of leaders and focused on supporting transitioning executives to successfully assume roles of increasing scope and responsibility. Eric earned a business management undergraduate degree and holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University.
Working with diverse companies, best-in-class brands, hundreds of CEOs, and entrepreneurial business owners have all helped Debra become a forward-thinking leader who challenges the status quo and thinks differently. For more than 30 years, between Kansas City, New York, Chicago, and the Bay Area, she has helped entrepreneurs and established business owners walk the talk of innovation both inside and outside their organizations.
Debra began her professional career in Kansas City working in commercial real estate marketing and advertising for Cohen & Company and J.C. Nichols Company. By the early ‘80s she had launched her first entrepreneurial venture and by the mid ‘80s headed to The Big Apple.
With turns at Universal Pictures, Ian Schrager Hotels, and Ralph Lauren among others, the early ‘90s intersection of technology, entertainment and design prompted Debra to join a small group of entrepreneurs founding Visual Radio, a technology incubator. Within five years, the scrappy start-up had leveraged a relationship with Nortel, coupled with its own entrepreneurial strengths, and launched the first high-speed internet service on the East Coast. The company was ultimately acquired by Chicago Fortune 500 company, Comdisco, Inc.
Post 9/11, Debra was a partner in B3, a production company that designed and executed breakthrough programs for Fortune 1000 companies looking to drive innovation. There, she brought her unique skills and trail-blazing mindset to established companies such as Hershey’s, Campbells Soup Company, Microsoft, and Liz Claiborne, among others.
In 2007, Vistage International tapped Debra as a trusted business advisor to form and lead several private advisory boards for CEOs, executives and business owners in the Greater Kansas City Area. She was awarded “Rookie of the Year” in 2008; served on the Vistage Chair Advisory Board for two years, representing more than 500 Chairs worldwide to the Vistage International ownership; and received a Chair Excellence Award in 2014.
Most recently, as an LXCouncil Moderator, Debra leverages her unique abilities to draw out the best and brightest leadership contributions through LXCouncil Kansas City, in partnership with CBIZ, Inc. Additionally, Debra is a Certified EOS® Implementer—teaching, training and coaching leadership teams in the use of a comprehensive business management system detailed in the book “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business,” by Gino Wickman. She is also a Certified Somatic Coach, and member of the International Coaching Federation.
Debra serves on the Board of the Police Athletic League of Greater Kansas City and as a Business Partner and Mentor to the Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS). She earned a BA and BFA from Southern Methodist University.
The power we derive from engaging with and encouraging one another enables us to exceed expectations and catapults us into living the life we deserve, rather than the life that is defined for us!
Serving 6 years in USMC prepared Ernie for a rewarding life with the discipline and drive required to meet the challenges of his ascending career. Never in charge and always responsible for his own life, the lives of others and how he showed up along the way. Today his focus is giving back what he can, when he can, to who he can, to ensure that he passes on what he received in this life.
A 40+ year career in business, Ernie set out to lead with the idea that we have a moral and social responsibility to build better products and services for consumers and treat our workers fairly. From entrepreneurial ventures in both hardware and software development and as an owner, to Nasdaq companies as a senior executive, including CEO, he has filled several roles in engineering, manufacturing, and sales. As an owner and design engineer, this resulted in several award-winning products, and as the owner of a software company, Ernie developed a database containing an MRP system. He was the CEO of Tallgrass Technologies (KPERS), restoring the company to profitability and facilitating a sale to Exabyte (Nasdaq). During his time as Vice President of Marketing for Exabyte in his first year, Ernie grew distribution to $150 million, profits increased 60%, and the stock rose from $6.00 – $22.00 a share. As CEO of Rexon Business Machines (Nasdaq), he led the company out of bankruptcy, raised $32 million through a public offering, rebranding the company, and products.
In 2000 he semi-retired to Kansas City, successfully funded, developed, marketed and sold an executive residential community and equine facility. Also, he provided consulting as an owner’s representative for a few development projects and consulting to banks to dispose of non-performing assets during the recession. With a life-changing event that began in 2007 and culminated in 2014, he became selective about his time, treasures and talents.
Ernie has facilitated many groups both in and outside of the companies that he has led, including industry trade groups, and faith-based groups. Ernie was introduced by industry partners to work with LXCouncil to moderate peer advisory groups, a path he had chosen to take at this point in his life, being selective about his time, treasures, and talents. Ernie brings a wealth of knowledge to the groups and a deep passion to responsibly help others live the life they deserve. Ernie is widowed and partnered with four children and nine grandchildren, living a faith-based life.
Mark is a leader in Operations, Technology, and Account Management for MacNair Travel. In his tenure there, he has doubled the sales and profits six-fold. Mark achieved this through creating greater efficiencies, reliable systems, goal achievement execution, accountability, and most of all having a great team in place.
Mark Weston earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Chapman University. While in college, he supervised eight Shakey’s Restaurants, using management skills and theories learned in school and applying those lessons to real-world situations. The owner of those eight units once said of Weston, “I am not crazy about your style, but you have provided me the best results I have ever had.” That is the mantra that Weston lives by: “What are the results that will be achieved from any activity?”
From there Mark went on to a 10-year career in Financial Management. Starting with trading for Goldman Sachs and then on his own as a member of the New York Futures Exchange. This gave him the opportunity to understand how our financial world works, and from there his career moved to the retail side of the financial world by working for Merrill Lynch. There he was creating sound financial plans for individuals and corporations to help them manage their finances, and was a member of Merrill Lynch’s Executive Club based on outstanding performance.
Wanting to do something, completely different, Mark, intrigued by the business of travel, ventured into his own travel management firm: The Business Travel Experts. He began his exciting and challenging voyage by owning a franchise. He handled all daily aspects including sales, technology, financial management, operations, and management – assuring that each area was thriving. During this time, Entrepreneur Magazine followed and wrote about the company’s journey during the first year of business, motivating him more than ever to succeed.
After three years of rapid growth and receiving the Travel Management Company of the year award, Mark decided he had outgrown the franchises usefulness and decided to take his company independent. The business continued its growth organically as well as through acquisitions and a partnership to be in the top 10% of the industry. This lifecycle continued for a total of 17 years, until an offer too good to refuse created an occasion for the business to be sold and allowed Mark new opportunities.
The next chapter in Mark’s life led him to join the business-consulting firm: Management Action Programs. This opportunity has given him the chance to work with leadership teams to improve their overall performance in areas such as organization, planning, communication, goal alignment, accountability, execution, and leadership skills.
Mark’s experiences have taught him that he loves to coach and mentor teams to greater personal and business success; which is why he is happy to be a part of the LX Council team, and lead our member’s to their next achievements.
Meet the LXCouncil executive team here.