Founder and CEO of Founders Advisors, Duane is an accomplished entrepreneur and business advisor with over 20-years of experience in the Mergers and Acquisition advisory service industry. He leads a team of over 40 talented and skilled M&A professionals across 3 offices and 6 practice teams focused on serving clients with excellence in a relational values based approach summarized best by the “Golden Rule Plus” to “Treat others better than you would expect to be treated”.
Career Background / Career Experience
Duane began his career as a project engineer for Global Industries, an industry-leading oil and gas offshore construction company. During his tenure at Global, the company made several strategic acquisitions and completed a successful IPO. Duane’s exposure to the tremendous growth and success that Global Industries realized through M&A and its ultimate IPO, encouraged him to pursue entrepreneurism and ultimately a career as an M&A advisor. In 1995 after completing his MBA, Duane successfully started a branded food manufacturing and distribution company that he expanded through a subsequent strategic acquisition and eventually sold. This experience provided him first-hand experience with the intricate details involved in owning, growing, acquiring, and preparing a business for a liquidity event. After selling his company, Duane partnered with a large regional CPA firm to launch a mergers and acquisition practice group from the ground up. His experiences eventually led him to the opportunity to start Founders in 2003 and focus on M&A advisory by using a values-based relationship-driven process approach to serving clients, defined as the Founders Way.
Duane received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette and his M.B.A. from the University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business. He holds his Series 79 and 63 securities licenses.
Duane also served as a Platoon Leader in a Mechanized Infantry Brigade. During his military tenure, he attended Army Basic Training, Inf. Basic Course, Officer Candidate School, Inf. Officer Basic Course and Bradley’s Commander Course.
Currently, Duane is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and he serves on the boards of several operating companies including: Integrity Industries, Louisiana Marine Operators, Lakehomes.com, and Spartan Energy LLC.
Duane serves on several community-based ministry boards including Highlands College highlandscollege.com and Bridge2Rwanda bridge2rwanda.org. He has been actively involved in lay leadership at Church of the Highlands churchofthehighlands.com since 2001. Duane also founded the Heritage Forum heritageforums.com in 2016 to help inspire, educate and equip high-capacity leaders to reach their full God-given potential in the area of Heritage and Legacy.
Duane is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana and is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys wing shooting and coastal fishing. He and his wife, Amy live in Birmingham. They have three daughters, two sons-in-laws, six grandchildren and two hunting dogs.