“Treat people the way you want to be treated,” says Larry Evans, co-founder of EMR Elevator. “That’s the best advice I could give anyone seeking to improve their business.”
Larry’s humble advice for finding success is in keeping with his background. At a glance, nobody would guess that the co-founder of EMR, the largest independent company in the southwest that has serviced clients such as the DFW and Austin airports, grew up as one of nine children in Oak Cliff. But as he eagerly shared from the study inside his beautiful estate on Dove Road in Southlake, faith and family remain his highest values.
Larry’s career began as a field mechanic in Dallas, leading him to found Evans Elevators with his brother, which remains an Evans family business today. In 1994, Larry started EMR, which he and Hope Evans, Larry’s wife and co-founder, led to immense success for 28 years before retiring last year.
But one of his proudest achievements with EMR is the charity work they integrated into the company and kept a core cultural value. “We would pay employees to do meals and wheels on their breaks,” says Larry. “We worked with Kids Matter International (KMI) for 13 years and regularly participated in their ‘walk around the block’ at Kohl’s with our employees.”
Larry is big on giving back in his personal life, and it’s one of the reasons he and Hope ultimately settled in Southlake. Being able to invest in the wonderful Carrol ISD schools to help cultivate a thriving community for his daughter and two grandchildren is central to their lives.
“Everyone has to start somewhere, so it’s always exciting to help someone buy their first house,” says Troy George. “I treat all my clients with respect, no matter what price they’re starting at.”
Troy George is co-founder of George & Noonan Real Estate Group, a leading luxury real estate group serving Southlake, Westlake, Colleyville, and surrounding areas. Having worked in real estate since 1988 and brokerage since 2005, Troy brings professional and personal expertise when servicing clients as he grew up locally, and his three children all graduated from Grapevine/Colleyville schools.
He works alongside his business partner, Lucy Noonan, with whom he has an outstanding work relationship, as they share a vision not only for their business but for living vibrant, family-focused lives simultaneously.
“Being in business with the right person is crucial,” says Troy George. “You want to partner with someone who understands the importance of family and work-life balance.”
“I think what makes Southlake so special is the small-town feel and the Dragon pride,” says Vic McLane. “All the kids here thrive and grow up to be so successful. I think a huge aspect of that is the small school district because it helps to cultivate the dragon pride.”
A State Farm agent of 23 years, Vic moved his office from North Richland Hills to Southlake almost three years ago, 20 years after he and his wife first moved to Southlake to provide the best public school option for his kids.
“When I first moved here and went to Tom Thumb for the first time, I remember coming home to tell my wife, ‘we’ve moved to the land of tall and good-looking people!’ because that’s how everyone at the store looked!” Even so, he reports that everyone he meets here is friendly, open and humble, and he delights in getting to know his neighbors and clients of varying backgrounds. “All my clients have my personal cell number,” he says.
Additionally, Vic enjoys giving back to the community, for which he’s so grateful by pouring into local charities. He’s involved with the Southlake Foundation, is on the CISD budget and finance committee, and supports MeSquared.
“I live by the motto that the only failure is failure to try,” shares Gabriel Griess, founder of Excel Medical Staffing.
Gabriel served the country as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force for 20 years before moving to Texas from Nebraska and founding his medical staffing company, which helps medical professionals “accelerate” their careers by finding the perfect job match. Charity work is a core value for Gabriel and his company, which is integrated into their referral program, as all referrals can be matched and donated to one of the four charities Excel Medical Staffing supports.
Despite Gabriel’s impressive background and education, his preferred titles include “Chief Supporter of my beautiful bride, Kristie” and father to his three children, one of whom is the reason behind the local non-profit started by Kristie Griess, Mickie’s Miracles.
“Mickie’s Miracles is named after my daughter, Mikayla, who was diagnosed with Intractable Epilepsy and Infantile Spasms as an infant,” says Gabriel. Mickie’s Miracles advocates for and educates parents on pediatric epilepsy to help them find help and answers the way Gabriel and Mickie did a decade ago for their daughter, who is now seizure free and thriving.
When managing his responsibilities of being a family man, business owner, and non-profit supporter, Gabriel shares advice that has helped him weather the ups and downs: “Remember that you and your spouse are on the same team. My wife and I will say that phrase out loud to each other, and it helps remind us that we really are always fighting on the same team.”
“As a serial entrepreneur, I’ve had a lot of ventures over the years. But by far, my proudest accomplishment is my marriage to Mandy and getting to adopt my beautiful daughter, Ava. They’re my everything,” says Jon Calvin.
Originally from Dallas, Jon is the publisher of Southlake City Lifestyle magazine, which he started from the ground up alongside his wife because “Southlake is the best city in the metroplex,” he says.
Throughout his career, Jon has served as a city councilman, owned schools, built homes, and even acted as a football player in the film “Any Given Sunday,” to name a few of his accomplishments.
Like all of his endeavors, Jon has poured his heart into the magazine, which launched its first issue in April, creating countless connections in the Southlake community that the magazine partners report as being “personal and genuine.”
“It’s my goal to treat everyone I get to work for the magazine as family,” says Jon. “Southlake is such a special place.”