Jesse Slaton

Jesse is a seasoned business executive with a track record of providing value. As a Certified Public Accountant and former partner of one of the country’s largest public accounting firms, his career began in a Firm with 150 employees helping his partners grow to over 900 employees over 15 years. He managed the Firm’s turnaround practice in the oversight and resolution of numerous complex upper mid-market business engagements.  

Jesse also has significant leadership experience leading a successful team of over 350 employees. As the President of a thriving regional, multi market, building materials company for the past 5 years, the Company’s annual operating cash flow grew by 600% during the period resulting in double digit return on capital employed and return on equity. Recently he negotiated a strategic sale of the Company with favorable results.  

Jesse has well rounded, hands on experience in all aspects of running large and complex commercial and industrial businesses even through the toughest situations. He has been an advisor and participant on the buy and sell side of businesses with values in excess of $150 million. His specific experience includes accounting, business intelligence, complex financing, operations, strategic planning, marketing, competitive positioning, negotiations, M&A, and teamwork. He believes that integrity, honest hard work and respect for people result in success that can provide for many.  Jesse lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife of 21 years and three children.

Brian Van Fleet

Brian has proven operations, project management, and marketing history; and thrives on restoring order from chaos.  His early career was in contract dining, leading openings of nationally branded coffee shops in client locations around the country.  He went on to form an elite team charged with developing, writing, training, and implementing operating standards for a $1.2b business dining company throughout the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.  These operating standards resulted in a 10% savings of operating costs in a razor-thin margin industry across 1500 locations, and an increase in quality and efficiency which became a strategic selling point for the company. 

Brian became the national account director for partnerships in a variety of business segments, building a portfolio of over 24 client relationships and 300 employees throughout the Southeast, successfully scaling and leading contracts out of the economic recession through client relationships, service negotiations, attention to detail, working closely with all levels of the organization, and careful P&L management.  

Brian moved into the construction materials industry in 2015, developing operating standards, and overseeing daily operations of several divisions including delivery, production, quarry operations, as well as Human Resources and IT.  During his time in this industry, he helped grow the business into new markets, led several acquisitions, and spent time developing multi-plant managers.  Brian believes the keys to success are treating people well, building a great team, making a game plan, communicating expectations, and following through.  Brian lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife of 25 years and two children.

Mark Williams

Mark received his B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Florida in 1990.  Following college, he worked for three years with a large publicly traded building materials supply company, ultimately serving as the company’s Human Resources Manager.  In 1996, Mark received his J.D., cum laude, from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University.  While in law school, Mark was a member of the Mercer Law Review and was inducted into both the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and the Brainerd Currie Honor Society.  He is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Georgia.  Mark was in private practice for approximately seventeen years during which time he focused his attention on real estate, banking, corporate/ business related matters and counseled large and small businesses through both challenges and successes.  He also represented clients with both state and federal regulatory issues. 

Mark left private practice in January of 2013 to work full-time with a client, a successful multi-market business in the building materials industry where he served as the company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. 

Mark is also active in a number of professional and private organizations.  Additionally, in 2011, then Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, appointed him to serve on the Solid Waste Disposal Control Board for the State, an important regulatory body for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation.  This Board has since been restructured to further include the regulation of Underground Storage Tanks across the State.  Governor Bill Lee has recently reappointed him to this Board for his third term and he has been elected to serve as Vice-Chair.  Since 2004, Mr. Williams has also served on the Manchester Regional Planning Commission as well as the Manchester Board of Zoning Appeals, presently serving as Chairman of both.  He is married to his wife of 30 years, has three children and resides in Manchester, Tennessee. 

Chris Pryor

Chris studied accounting at UTC, is quick with numbers, quick-witted, an entrepreneur and visionary thinker with remarkable people skills and common sense.  Chris has the intuitive ability to assess situations, and provide innovative, practical solutions resulting in fair outcomes for all stakeholders. 

Early in his career, Chris built a portfolio of rental real estate and has years of experience in housing construction. He built a business providing services to the construction industry, and eventually opened a building materials company in 2006, running it successfully for 12 years until he merged with a regional materials company. 

Chris led the sales team of the regional materials company through large-scope project wins and pricing initiatives in crowded markets, employing the philosophy that good service commands good pricing. During his time there, his focus on customer service and pricing resulted in 25% volume growth and 30% pricing growth.  Chris also has a passion for farming, extensive knowledge in heavy equipment, and experience in banking.  Chris, his wife of 19 years, and his 4 children reside in Whitwell TN. 

Stephen Byrd

Stephen Byrd is a technology professional with over a decade of experience working in a multitude of Enterprise and SMB environments. Stephen specializes in being able tackle big problems with innovative solutions. Moreover, he enjoys translating tech talk into English and Business Value. Stephen not only has numerous implementations under his belt, but he actively led the design, iteration, and testing of these solutions as well. Stephen believes that almost any problem can be solved by following a few key steps with human centered design at the forefront of the solution.

Stephen has had a passion for technology and innovation from a young age. He received his first computer as a gift at the age of five, which sparked his love for tech. He believes there isn’t a problem too big or too small to solve when you stop restricting yourself to what you think is a normal – no idea is too out there – and sometimes it’s that one crazy idea you didn’t want to blurt out that brings you to the most meaningful solution at the end of the day.