James Kruse - Ownership & Transitions
James Kruse is the Owner, President, & CEO of D.A. Burns & Sons, the largest rug cleaning company in the state of Washington. An Aerospace Engineer by training, he started his career with Boeing in 2009. He later earned his MBA from I.E. Business School in Madrid, Spain, before joining a leadership development program at oil conglomerate BP. There he held a variety of roles ranging from Strategy to Retail Operations to Mergers & Acquisitions. Growing up in a family of small business owners in rural Illinois, James always knew he wanted to run his own company someday. In business school he was intrigued by a concept called “Entrepreneurship through Acquisition”, which led him to launch a Search Fund (HSX Ventures) in 2020, and ultimately resulted in acquiring D.A. Burns & Sons from the Dix family in June of 2021. James and his wife Rachael live in Tacoma, WA, with their three small children ages 6, 4, & almost 2. “Spare time” is rare, but he enjoys skiing, SCUBA diving, & fly fishing.
Zac Garside - The Power of Your People
Zac Garside is the CEO of Power Selling Pros and the host of This Call May Be Recorded, the weekly show where he listens to recorded customer service phone calls and coaches them up! A believer in the power of a well-asked question and well-told stories, Zac shows up every day with the belief that you don't have to be smart enough to manipulate people, you have to be sincere enough to move them. In the last 7 years, Zac has been a customer service coach, salesman, Head of Marketing, and now the CEO of the company where contractors turn their customer service department into a profit center.
Jordan King & EJ Marcus - Supercharge Your Sales Process!
Jordan attended Purdue University with a focus on Organizational Leadership & Supervision. He is the owner & Chief Operations Officer of Sani-Bright & Oriental Rug Cleaning of Indianapolis. His companies specialize in on-location carpet, upholstery, & hard surface cleaning as well as in-plant cleaning, repair, and appraisal of oriental and area rugs. Since 2019, Jordan has owned & operated MasterBlend, a premier manufacturer of specialty cleaning products for the cleaning & restoration industry. Jordan has served as secretary and general board member for the Association of Rug Care Specialists since 2018 - providing teaching and education to others in the industry through classes hosted by ARCS and MasterBlend, helping to advance the care and science of rug cleaning.
EJ Marcus graduated from Mercy College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Arts & Design in 2016. Since then, he has worked for design agencies where he has held many roles – photographer, videographer, 3D modeler, motion graphics, web & graphics design, social media management, as well as real-world marketing experience for service companies. From products like children’s toys to kitchen appliances, for brands like Realtree to Lamborghini – EJ has had his hand in all aspects of design & marketing. He currently is on staff with Xenia Hill, owned by Jordan & Tom King, as the Communications Coordinator across their family of brands.
If there is a “man for all seasons” among contemporary Diné (Navajo), Roy Kady might be that man. Kady is a well-established sheep herder and a male weaver residing in the community of Goats Spring on the outskirts of Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, and a sort of Mecca for sheep herders and Diné (Navajo) weavers. Serious sheep herding and weaving/fiber arts reappeared for Roy in 1985. Traditional designs are important to him, and he considers each rug a story and expression of feeling and inspirations. Time spent after his sheep and at the loom is spiritual for Roy, who weaves only when he feels inspired the rest of the time he is herding his sheep.
Some years ago, his elders declared him a Master Weaver and a Leader with a Blessing Way ceremony for beauty, balance and harmony. Roy’s outlook is broad and contemporary, the old and new woven into the fabric of his 44 years and going. “The Navajo rug is no longer just a blanket for wearing or a cover for the floor. It is now an art form to grace your wall,” Roy says proudly.