• Alex Vantarakis
    Founder
    Alex Vantarakis
    Alex Vantarakis

    Alex Vantarakis Founder


    Expert M&A Advisor, Author, Keynote Speaker, Serial Entrepreneur

    Mr. Vantarakis is a national authority and recognized expert on the subject of business transfers and serves as Founder of The Vant Group, an industry-leading company that plans and supports business transfer transactions for a diverse client base. Founded in 1999, The Vant Group consistently outperforms industry averages along every metric used to gauge performance in the business transfer industry.

    Business Experience

    Mr. Vantarakis leads The Vant Group with an accomplished record of success in mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, management, business ownership and business advisory coaching. With more than 20 years of experience, he provides skillful representation in a wide variety of sell-side and buy-side transactions. His approach to the M&A business provides expertise that has landed TVG a success rate of 90% of all listings sold at 97% of sale price to list price. Other expertise includes business valuations, debt funding, finance, franchise development and strategic planning. Prior to The Vant Group, Mr. Vantarakis served as CFO of a start-up venture capital firm. In addition, he has served in other CFO roles focused in the areas of franchise development, consulting, strategic planning and operations management.

    Author and Keynote Speaker

    Mr. Vantarakis is an author and speaker who educates companies on the essential principles of the business-transfer process. He has co-authored two well-respected books which outline the process for small to mid-size companies, “EXIT: A Business Owner’s Guide to selling a Company” and “ENTRANCE: A Business Owner’s Guide to Buying a Company.” He founded and continues to shape a uniquely configured company, The Vant Group, based in Dallas, Texas and is a lecturer to a variety of business association groups.

    Education

    Mr. Vantarakis received a BS in Finance from Boston College, with Honors, and his MBA with the concentration in Finance and Business Development from The Babson Graduate School of Business, with Honors.

    alex@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext.102

  • Anthony Cullins
    Partner
    Anthony Cullins
    Anthony Cullins

    Anthony Cullins Partner


    Mr. Cullins joined The Vant Group in 2012 as an Associate. Prior to joining The Vant Group, he gained valuable experience as an intern with Capital South Partners as well as Providence Investment Partners. Furthermore, he interned with Brinker International for two summers in its IT department.

    As a graduate student, Mr. Cullins was appointed by Governor Perry to serve a one year term as Student Regent of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Additionally, he served as student body president as an undergraduate.

    Mr. Cullins holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Management Information Systems degree and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

    anthony@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext.124

  • Dirk Armbrust
    Managing Director
    Dirk Armbrust
    Dirk Armbrust

    Dirk Armbrust Managing Director


    Expert M&A Advisor | Keynote Speaker

    Business Experience

    Mr. Armbrust joined the Vant Group in 2015 and brings over 20 years of operating, M&A transaction, turnaround, advisory, acquisition, carve-out, and business development experience.  Prior to joining The Vant Group, he was a Director in one of Dallas’ leading Investment Banking and Operations Advisory firms.  Mr. Armbrust’s background includes senior roles in large and small companies with demonstrated results.

    He served as a Market Manager with 7-Eleven where he had P&L responsibility for over 120 stores, and led all operating aspects of his franchised market.  He led operational due diligence for acquisition targets, and post-merger integration of acquired stores in his market.

    Prior to that, he served on the Executive Leadership Team as a Regional VP with a privately-held $100MM+ industrial packaging company. He led post-merger integration of five acquired companies. He and his colleagues led the successful sale of this company at above market multiples.

    Mr. Armbrust also led four distribution centers with International Paper; started, built, and sold a contract manufacturing business; and led teams with Dell Computer's supply chain and manufacturing groups.

    He is a US Air Force Veteran and served in Texas, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

    Awards and Achievements

    Mr. Armbrust has earned several honorable awards; 7-Eleven-CEO’s Servant Leader, FINRA Series 7, 63 and 79, Dell - Chairman’ s Gold Start Award, Air Force Achievement Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal and a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt.

    Member and Associations

    He is currently a member of the Association for Corporate Growth’s, Membership Committee. 

    Key Note Speaker

    Mr. Armbrust is key speaker to the Art of Business Transfer Breakfast and Lunch series and The Plano Bar Association.

    Education

    He has an MBA from Wake Forest University, studied International Business at Oxford, and received a Bachelor of Science in Management from the US Air Force Academy.  

    Business Insights Interview with Dirk Armbrust

    dirk@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext.205

  • Dwayne Evans
    Managing Director
    Dwayne Evans
    Dwayne Evans

    Dwayne Evans Managing Director


    Mr. Evans joined The Vant Group in 2015 and brings more than 10 years of business development, M&A and entrepreneurial experience. Prior to joining The Vant Group, Mr. Evans gained valuable experience working as an associate at a leading investment firm.

    Mr. Evans’ unique background as an Intermediary, corporate sales and finance manager as well as a serial entrepreneur allow him to easily relate to and understand client’s goals and convert them into favorable and measurable results.

    In the entrepreneurial arena Dwayne got an early start, launching a laundry/dry cleaning service soon after receiving his degree. He grew the business to just under $1M per year in revenue. This real-world experience enables him to understand and identify with the rewards and challenges experienced by business owners.
    Dwayne holds a bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    dwayne@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext.204

  • Julie Fleming
    Managing Director
    Julie Fleming
    Julie Fleming

    Julie Fleming Managing Director


    Mrs. Fleming joined the Vant Group in 2016 with over 16 years of small business and entrepreneurial experience.

    Julie co-founded an outdoor lighting business in 2000 and served as President of the company until 2012. With a passion for helping small business owners, Julie then joined a business focused public accounting firm and served as Director of Operations. Julie continued her love of helping small business owners and co-founded a consulting firm that focused on business growth and health. Teaching and implementing a proven operating system called the Entrepreneurial Operating System, Julie helped business owners get what they want out of their business.

    Julie is an “almost” native Texan graduating Magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with a BS in Business Management with an emphasis in Accounting. In 1994, Julie passed all four parts of the CPA examination. Julie currently serves on the Women’s committee for the Association of Corporate Growth. As a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Julie has a knack for getting the best out of people and loves to help others succeed in their personal and professional goals.

     julie@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext. 207

  • Bill Massie
    Managing Director
    Bill Massie
    Bill Massie

    Bill Massie Managing Director


    Business Experience

    Bill has worked with Entrepreneurs and high-growth companies for over 20 years. His extensive experience ranges from venture capital raises to IPOs. He is extremely skilled at sourcing early to intermediate stage equity and debt capital, structuring and placing mezzanine debt and selling privately-held companies.  As an owner of a Broker-Dealer firm for 15 years that specialized in private placements for high-growth entrepreneurs, he brings a wealth of knowledge in the requirements and opportunities of businesses.

    Personal Background

    Bill and Dedra, his wife of 29 years, have 3 children: Will, 26, a graduate of The University of Oklahoma; Julia, 22, a senior at Baylor University; and Brendan, 20, a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.  Bill and Dedra are active members of The Village Church in Flower Mound Texas and avid supporters of Baylor Athletics.

    Education

    Bill received a BA in Economics from Baylor University,

    bill@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext.143

  • David Lockey
    Managing Director
    David Lockey
    David Lockey

    David Lockey Managing Director


    Business Experience

    Mr. Lockey joined The Vant Group in 2018 and has served the financial needs of entrepreneurs and business-owners for nearly 20 years.  David has dedicated himself to being a partner to his clients, and as a Financial Advisor for 17 years that specialized in working with business owners and executives, he brings a wealth of knowledge in the requirements and opportunities of businesses.

    David founded Lockey Wealth Management after spending more than 12 years as an employee who had received multiple awards and recognitions as a top-performing Financial Advisor. By creating his own practice, he was better able to serve his clients’ needs and provide a more comprehensive wealth management platform. 

    Personal Background

    David and his wife have 3 children (ages 6, 8, and 10) and live in Carrollton, TX.  They are active parishioners of their church at Prince of Peace Catholic Community in Plano.  David’s outreach is extended to the rest of his community by coaching youth sports teams in football, basketball and baseball throughout the year.

    Education

    David received a BA in Economics from The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.

    DavidL@thevantgroup.com | 972-458-8989 ext. 202

  • Steve Keller
    Director of Business Development
    Steve Keller
    Steve Keller

    Steve Keller Director of Business Development

    Business Experience

    Steve joined The Vant Group in 2017 bringing with him 6 years of small business and entrepreneurial experience. Prior to The Vant Group, Mr. Keller co-founded a production company in the sports broadcast industry, which he helped grow to over $500,000 in annual revenue. This venture secured vendor relationships with some of the biggest networks in Sports Television; including ESPN, Fox, and The Golf Channel.

    Steve’s unique background in business development, digital marketing, and sales allows him to easily connect and understand client needs and help facilitate successful relationships between The Vant Group and its client base.

    Personal Background
    Steve met his wife, Pascha during their freshman year at Michigan State University while she was studying Engineering and he was studying Communications. There, they became and continue to be dedicated supporters of Michigan State Athletics. The couple has been married since 2013 and lives in Southlake, TX with their Great Dane (Chevy) and Siberian Husky (Kodi).

    Education
    Steve received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Michigan State University.

    SteveK@thevantgroup.com | 972-694-3555

  • Director of Business Valuations – Affiliate
    Ed Belanger

    Ed Belanger Director of Business Valuations – Affiliate


    Ed Belanger brings more than 22 years of business valuation experience to The Vant Group network. Prior to starting his own practice in 2015, Ed spent ten years in leadership roles at a pair of national valuation firms, and before that, worked for twelve years at Big Four accounting firms. Ed’s areas of focus include valuations for financial reporting and corporate tax purposes, transactional situations, and business and IP financing. He has served clients ranging in size from Fortune 500 companies to middle-market enterprises and family-held businesses, and across a wide variety of industry sectors. Prior to launching his career in business valuation, Ed was an engineer in the aerospace industry. His firm’s website can be found at www.belanger-valuation.com.

    Ed holds of Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University, a Master of Science in Engineering Management from Southern Methodist University, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation from the CFA Institute and the Accredited Senior Appraiser credential with a specialization in Business Valuation from the American Society of Appraisers.

    ebelanger@belanger-valuation.com | 214.704.3141

     

  • David Wang
    Corporate Counsel
    David Wang
    David Wang

    David Wang Corporate Counsel


    David represents clients in the formation of businesses, the acquisition of businesses and assets, and the sale and liquidation of businesses and assets. He represents clients when they finance their businesses through friends and family funding, bank loans, private equity, promissory notes, and venture funding. He also represents the parties that fund and finance businesses. He drafts contracts of all types. He drafts contracts between business partners, vendors and customers, employers and employees, lenders and borrowers, landlords and tenants, and any other parties doing business with each other. He serves as corporate counsel for businesses, advising owners and management in a wide spectrum of areas that affect the business. He handles litigation when clients are sued, and when clients need the courts to enforce their rights.

    Business Experience

    David has owned and operated businesses other than his law practice. He has managed and operated a graphic design business, mobile phone master dealer, video game developer, mobile application publisher, online and mobile application travel reservation business, and a steak and seafood restaurant. David has walked in the shoes of every one of his clients. This experience also gives David experience in a number of industries, which makes him a more effective advisor and attorney.

    Professional and Educational Background

    David was licensed to practice law in Texas in 1996. He received his law degree from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1996. He received a bachelor of arts in Economics and Biochemistry from Rice University in 1990.

    Personal Background

    David was born in Taiwan and immigrated to America in 1970 when his father was earning his PhD in Geophysics from Rice University. He lived for eight years in Tulsa, Oklahoma. David has lived in Dallas area since 1982. He graduated from Plano Senior High School in 1986. David speaks fluent Mandarin.

    dmwang@alumni.rice.edu | 214.334.4755

  • Heather
    Office Manager
    Heather Heidemann
    Heather

    Heather Heidemann Office Manager

    Heather relocated to Dallas, TX from the Tampa Bay Area of Florida in late 2017 and joined The Vant Group in January 2018. Ms. Heidemann has been an operations professional for over 15 years and thrives on efficiency, waste reduction, and process improvement to run a tight ship. She prefers to work in an environment where she can effectively improve a company from within and wear many hats to make a difference. In mid-2013, as Director of Operations, she and the owner opened a debt consolidation company that was profitable by the end of the year and had continued revenue increases each year. From there, she went on to be an Asset & Project Manager at a real estate acquisition firm, while acting as the office manager in their downtown St. Petersburg corporate location.

    Heather has an entrepreneurial spirit, and due to her love of pets and animals, she created her own business in 2005. Heather ran a successful, multiple-employee pet-sitting business until relocating to NYC at the end of 2010. Since moving to Dallas, she has found a privately run no-kill shelter, Operation Kindness, to volunteer her time.

    She is a certified Black Belt in Six Sigma and Lean methodologies and uses these tools to improve the overall health of a business. Heather is also a certified Black Belt in To-Shin-Do martial arts.

    Heather@thevantgroup.com | 972.458.8989 ext. 100