Like No Other
You Will Never Forget
In light of COVID-19, there’s a lot of uncertainty about the economy and future job prospects. For new college graduates, the unfortunate truth is that a lot of firms are not hiring, and your dream job may not materialize. But for the right individual, this season could become one of the most formative experiences of your life.
Leadership Academy is a hands-on crash course in leadership, entrepreneurship, and real-life business experience–all while being paid a salary. Recent college graduates are hired on as Associates and will be thrust into the midst of multiple “Best-in-Class” service companies at the forefront of their industries and directly mentored by the people who lead them.
A role as a Leadership Academy Associate positions individuals to become a future business leader in one of our partnering companies or beyond.
Each of our mentors has excelled in their professional career and today, many of them hold significant leadership positions in their respective industries. They were in your same shoes not too long ago.
Chris Covo is the Vice President for Sales and Partnerships at PJS of Texas, the largest privately-held janitorial company in the state, and Co-founder of Exterior Cleaning Solutions...
Chris is the Vice President for Sales and Partnerships at PJS of Texas, the largest privately-held janitorial company in the state, and Co-founder of Exterior Cleaning Solutions of Texas. His greatest joy is creating dignified jobs for working-class men and women and he is passionate about solving local issues affecting Austin’s most vulnerable.
He founded and serves as Chairman of the Austin Civic Fund which is addressing Austin’s unaffordability, homelessness, traffic, and land use crises.
Chris received his BA from Texas State University, where he served as Student Body President and was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry as Student Regent. He received an MA in Legal and Political Theory from University College London.
Chris is known to make hand-dipped chocolate truffles with his father (ask him about the first account they sold to Donald Trump!) and, as any good Italian New Yorker should be, is known for his pasta sauce. He is a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, a kickboxing instructor, and occasionally plays drums with his jazz trio around town. He lives in east Austin with his wife, Amanda, and their two boys, both under the age of 3.
Travis is the Director of Technology for Clean Scapes, Texas’s premiere commercial landscape construction and maintenance company. He is addicted to finding new technologies and more efficient ways to get things done across the company...
Travis is the Director of Technology for Clean Scapes, Texas’s premiere commercial landscape construction and maintenance company. He is addicted to finding new technologies and more efficient ways to get things done across the company.
Travis is also the Co-Founder and General Partner of PriceTable.io, a web-based software that helps companies of all sizes manage their businesses and get paid faster.
Travis earned his BA in Economics with a Minor in Business from the University of Texas. During his time at Texas he had the honor of serving as a Texas Cowboy and shot Old Smokey, the cannon, at UT football games!
Travis was born and raised in Austin and still lives in South Austin with his wife Lindsay, and two year old son Theodore. Travis loves spending time doing pretty much anything in the great outdoors! If you get a chance, ask him about his 21 day trip white water rafting through the Grand Canyon.
Alex Lee is an Account Manager at Clean Scapes, the premier commercial landscaper in Central Texas.
Daniel Simpson is a Construction Project Manager for Clean Scapes, the third largest landscaping company in Texas.
Before working for Clean Scapes, Daniel attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania and received his BA in Political Science and Economics...
Daniel Simpson is a Construction Project Manager for Clean Scapes, the third largest landscaping company in Texas.
Before working for Clean Scapes, Daniel attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania and received his BA in Political Science and Economics.
Daniel currently lives in Southwest Austin with his wife and son who was recently born on leap day. Over the past 5 years, he has traveled to 18 countries and skied on three continents. He also enjoys live music, bouldering, playing soccer, rugby, and woodworking whenever he can find time.
Walker is the Training and Safety Coordinator for Clean Scapes, the premier commercial landscaper in Central Texas and the 35th largest in the nation...
Walker is the Training and Safety Coordinator for Clean Scapes, the premier commercial landscaper in Central Texas and the 35th largest in the nation.
Prior to working for Clean Scapes, Walker served in the United States Army for over eight years. During his time in the Army, he completed a combat deployment to Afghanistan and Ranger school. Additionally, he was a company commander leading 120 Soldiers on training deployments to South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, and Alaska.
Walker graduated from Auburn University and is currently attending the Evening MBA Program at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business.
He was born and raised in Austin, Texas, where he currently lives with his wife and four young children. He enjoys sports, gardening and driving the family minivan.
Paul Hastings is the Founder and Owner of Imagivation LLC, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing analysis, strategy, and execution to small and mid-size businesses with an emphasis on creating new media and social movements...
Paul is the founder and owner of Imagivation LLC, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing analysis, strategy, and execution to small and mid-size businesses with an emphasis on creating new media and social movements.
He is an award-winning filmmaker, podcaster, and entrepreneur. He is the host of Compelled, a podcast telling unique stories about God working through people's lives.
Paul has crafted and launched viral social campaigns that have been viewed by millions and earned national press coverage. His work has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, TheBlaze, WND, The Gospel Coalition, WORLD Magazine, American Family Association, and more.
Paul, his wife, and their two children attend Redemption Hill Church in Round Rock, Texas and live in the Greater Austin Metro.
Nolan Gore is General Manager and Co-owner of Top Choice Lawn Care, one of the largest and fastest growing residential lawn and landscape businesses in Austin...
Nolan is General Manager and Co-owner of Top Choice Lawn Care, one of the largest and fastest growing residential lawn and landscape businesses in Austin.
Nolan served 4 years as a combat engineer officer in the United States Marine Corps. During his time in the Marine Corps he was the battalion engineer officer for the first Marine forces re-entering Iraq in response to the ISIS surge. Additionally, he led over 120 Marines as the head of land security forces in Oman for a $10M exercise.
Prior to the Marine Corps, Nolan attended Texas A&M University where he was heavily involved in student government and the Business School. He received a BA in Finance.
Nolan loves to compete and will make a game out of just about anything. Even though Nolan doesn’t have any black belts, he feels confident he could take Chris in a fight. He enjoys a good book, a hard workout, a close game, any type of whiskey, and his kid’s laughs. He is happily married with 3 kids under 5.
Josh Coulter is the General Manager and Co-founder of Exterior Cleaning Solutions of Texas, which provides window cleaning, pressure washing, and other exterior maintenance services to low and high-rise commercial buildings across Central Texas...
Josh is the General Manager and Co-Founder of Exterior Cleaning Solutions of Texas, which provides window cleaning, pressure washing, and other exterior maintenance services to low and high-rise commercial buildings across Central Texas.
Josh graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in business and Plan II Honors. He is interested in the creative ways that business can be used to create social value and has spent the past ten years of his career learning how to do that.
Josh was part of a touring folk rock band (anyone enjoy listening to the Friendly Savages?), loves long cooking projects, and serves as committee chair for Young Life at the University of Texas. He lives in Austin with his wife, Natalie, and their son, Milo.
Dick Anderson is a founding partner of HPI Real Estate Services and Investments and serves as its managing partner overseeing day-to-day operations...
Dick Anderson is a founding partner of HPI Real Estate Services and Investments and serves as its managing partner overseeing day-to-day operations.
Building on his quick success with Trammell Crow Company, Dick co-founded HPI in 1992 with two other Trammell executives. HPI has grown from a four-person development firm to a full-service real estate firm with over 150 employees with offices in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio and holds an active portfolio of over 15 million square feet of office, industrial, and retail products.
Dick began his real estate career as an intern for Trammell Crow Company while at Southern Methodist University. Upon graduation, Dick turned his college internship into a five-year marketing career with Trammell, resulting in him serving as Marketing Director for the company’s industrial division before co-founding HPI.
Dr. Richard Reddick
Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D. is the inaugural associate dean for equity, community engagement, and outreach for the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin...
Dr. Richard Reddick
Richard J. Reddick, Ed.D. is the inaugural associate dean for equity, community engagement, and outreach for the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also an associate professor in the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) at UT. Additionally, Dr. Reddick serves as the Assistant Director of the Plan II Honors Program in the College of Liberal Arts. Dr. Reddick is the faculty co-chair for the Institute for Educational Management (IEM) at Harvard University, and teaches in the Institute for Management Leadership in Education. Dr. Reddick earned his B.A. in Plan II Liberal Arts Honors at UT. He then went on to teach elementary and middle school in the Fifth Ward community of Houston, Texas. He went on to work in the student affairs field at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Emory University. He earned master's and doctoral degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Reddick's research has been highlighted on NPR, the Associated Press, PBS, the BBC, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and he regularly presents his research at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE). In addition to these scholarly activities, Dr. Reddick is a Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! champion, husband to Sherry, and most importantly, dad to a 12- and 10-year old. Dr. Reddick is the board chair of Montessori For All, the first public Montessori school in East Austin, and serves on the Austin Regional Board for IDEA Public Schools. He is a proud graduate of Department of Defense Dependent Schools and the former Johnston High School in East Austin.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Becky’s career began in 1983 and has covered a full range of real estate services, including project management, facility management as well as retail, office and industrial property management...
After graduating from the University of Texas, Becky’s career began in 1983 and has covered a full range of real estate services, including project management, facility management as well as retail, office and industrial property management.
Commencing with the opening of the Domain in Austin, Becky and her team have become specialists in the management of vertical mixed-use projects. Becky was a Principal at Trammell Crow Company and a Managing Director at its successor, CBRE. Now as a Principal at Endeavor Real Estate Group, Becky is responsible for implementing the company’s property management services platform for projects in and around Austin. In this role, Becky oversees and coordinates management resources for property owners, asset managers and investors.
Chris Gagnon is a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm. Chris co-leads McKinsey’s Organization Practice globally and is the head of the firm’s OrgSolutions group. He helps clients improve performance and health by taking an integrated approach, aligning organization design with culture, talent, change management, and leadership. He has worked with clients in many sectors, including consumer products, hospitality and leisure, private equity, and technology.
Chris has long been active in knowledge creation and publishing. He led the team that co wrote Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company (Harmony Books, 1995) and has published numerous articles in the Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Quarterly on topics such as agility, analytics, leadership, and organizational health. Chris lives in Austin, Texas, after spending much of his career in the Northeast. In his free time, he enjoys working out, playing chess, enjoying blues harmonica, and coaching youth basketball. Chris holds an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School and a B.A. from Dartmouth College.
Nikelle Meade is an attorney with the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP in Austin, Texas. Meade’s practice is focused on representation of clients before state, and local governmental agencies on real estate development, procurement, and economic development matters...
Nikelle MeadeNikelle Meade is an attorney with the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP in Austin, Texas. Meade’s practice is focused on representation of clients before state, and local governmental agencies on real estate development, procurement, and economic development matters. During prior legal appointments, she served as Judicial Intern for Justice Jack Hightower of the Supreme Court of Texas, as a Legislative Intern for State Representative Dawnna M. Dukes and as an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Minter Joseph & Thornhill, P.C. Ms. Meade's professional affiliations include the American Bar Association State and Local Government Section and Section of Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law, the State Bar of Texas, the College of the State Bar, the Texas Bar Foundation, the Austin Bar Association, the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute, The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the Real Estate Council of Austin, CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women). Ms. Meade received a BA in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.
Thomas Ball is a founding general partner of Next Coast Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage information technology companies, with a primary focus on internet, software, and technology-enabled business and consumer services...
Thomas Ball is a founding general partner of Next Coast Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage information technology companies, with a primary focus on internet, software, and technology-enabled business and consumer services.
Tom was previously at Austin Ventures from 2005-2015 where he served as a general partner. He was also the first investor in RetailMeNot, Inc. Prior to his involvement with Austin Ventures and RetailMeNot, Tom founded a number of successful companies, including Openfield Technologies (which later merged with Razorgator Interactive Group) where Tom was CEO, and eCoupons where Tom served as CEO until the sale of the company to Lifeminders.
Tom has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Sheila McHargue is Managing Director of Asset Services for Cushman & Wakefield’s Austin market. With more than 28 years of experience, Sheila brings a wealth of knowledge within the commercial real estate industry to her role...
Sheila McHargue is Managing Director of Asset Services for Cushman & Wakefield’s Austin market. With more than 28 years of experience, Sheila brings a wealth of knowledge within the commercial real estate industry to her role.
Before joining Cushman & Wakefield, she served at Peloton Commercial Real Estate as the Vice President and Regional Director of Property Management for the Austin and San Antonio offices.
Starting her career in 1991 with Trammell Crow/CBRE, Sheila spent 16 years delivering property management services for a two million square foot office and retail portfolio. She later moved to Pyramid Properties (Aquila Commercial) where she managed operations for a three million square foot portfolio.
Sheila has extensive experience in contracting and managing performance of third party property management, as well as agency leasing brokerage firms. In addition, she has participated in various acquisition, disposition and redevelopment transactions with Reit. Shelia received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University.
Leadership Crash Course
Entrepreneurial Boot Camp
Real Field Experience
WHAT DOES IT REALLY LOOK LIKE?
The Nuts & Bolts
Some of the topics you will learn about
Setting Strategic Vision
Supply Chain Logistics
Conducting Effective Meetings
The “Entrepreneurial Operating System”
Hiring and Firing
Gaining and Retaining Competitive Edges
Documenting Core Processes
Building Minimum Viable Products
Matching Right People with the Right Seats
You spend a year around high-achieving, high integrity people and learn a lot about small business operations, while developing friendships with your leadership cohort.
You fall in love with small business.
You join one of our companies for the long run and grow into a manager (or more).
We help you start a business.
You spend a year around high-achieving, high integrity people and learn a lot about small business operations while developing friendships with your leadership cohort.
You learn more about yourself–what you’re good at and like doing and what you’re not good at and don’t enjoy doing.
What does it cost?
Nothing. In fact, we actually pay you $45,000 annualized during the program (and yes, you have to find your own housing).
We believe in investing in the future, even at a time when most companies in our space are freezing hiring and hunkering down.
We believe you are worth the investment and that we will find our next generation of company leaders through this program. We are willing to pay for that privilege.
Where will it be?
The Capital City of the Lone Star State. Come and enjoy our world-famous BBQ, the greatest live music in the nation, and rub shoulders with entrepreneurs from around the globe.
The Right Person?
- You must have a proven track record in both academics (e.g. high GPA and difficult major) and leadership (e.g. athletics, student government, Greek life, military, etc.).
- You must have proven ability to thrive in difficulty. Sitting still is scarier than hard work. You have always stretched yourself to your limits through extracurriculars, leadership programs, or athletics. You thrive when you have a full plate and enjoy being stretched.
- You must have an internal drive to learn. You understand that learning, experience, and wisdom are integral to success and are the most important things you can obtain right now.
- You must be able to articulate your internal compass and explain how you make hard decisions.
- You must love helping and serving people.
- You must have personal integrity. Having fun is fine. Being irresponsible is not.
- You must be likable. It’s hard to succeed in the service world if your customers don’t like you.
- You must be a strategic, long-term thinker. The service industry is a long game. You succeed through endurance, high standards, character, and patience.
- You understand that small business is one of the best ways to gradually build personal wealth with hard work and serving clients well, while maintaining autonomy over your life and affording you more control over your time around family and community.
Have questions about the program or
Meet our Director of Recruiting, Tousley Leake
She’ll answer all of your questions at
Family of Businesses
We are a group of family and friends that run service businesses in Central Texas. Over the years, our companies have become highly respected businesses in the community. We are long-term, strategic thinkers that strive to serve our employees, build excellent businesses, and have a good time in the process.
Professional Janitorial Services is the largest privately-owned commercial janitorial company in Texas offering the highest quality janitorial services. Ever since PJS was founded by Don Dyer in 1986, our commitment has been to deliver a level of service that exceeds our client's expectations.
Top Choice Lawn Care is a customer service business that happens to do lawn care. We are owned and operated by Austinites committed to making our city beautiful and embracing our common appreciation for the great outdoors.
Clean Scapes constructs and maintains exceptional landscapes and relationships with integrity and excellence. We strive to conduct our business with sustainable, earth-wise practices. We value our people as our most important asset, and we know their hard work is the foundation for our success. In everything we do, we hope to exceed the expectations of our clients and leave their properties more beautiful than we found them.
Exterior Cleaning Solutions provides window cleaning, pressure washing, and other exterior maintenance services to low and high-rise commercial buildings across Central Texas. We deliver high-quality work with clear communication. We provide jobs that offer dignity and a living wage to our employees. As the world becomes increasingly automated, our work remains focused on people. It still requires a human touch for both our employees and our customers alike to be successful. It’s why we love what we do and why we are so grateful for the opportunity to do it.