WIC 2018 Speakers

Doug Tatum, Newport Board Group
What to Do When Your Company is Too Big to Be Small, but Too Small to Be Big

Doug Tatum is Chairman of Newport Board Group, a national partnership of CEOs and senior executives who advise emerging middle market companies and assist private equity firms to invest in and grow portfolio companies.

He is also a member of the Teaching Faculty at the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship at Florida State and also Advisory Board Chairman for the Business Dynamics Research Consortium at the University of Wisconsin – Extension. Its mission is to study exceptional growth companies, the capital markets, and overall business activity to learn more about their impact on employment and economic growth. He is the Former Chairman of the Board for the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), a global not-for-profit organization with 58 Chapters and 14,000 members in the US and internationally, representing middle market private capital investors, intermediaries and the middle market deal community. In 2017 he was given ACG’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization’s Intergrowth 2017 conference in Las Vegas, recognizing his dedication to ACG and the middle market community in the U.S. and around the world.

Previously, Doug was Chairman and CEO of Tatum LLC, which grew into a highly respected national professional services firm with 30 offices and over 1000 professionals and employees. The company was sold to Spherion in 2010.

Doug is the Managing Director of TIP Seed Fund LLC, a newly formed seed stage VC fund with investments and investment rights in a diversified portfolio of companies with unique and proprietary products in the consumer, high-tech, and nutraceutical to pharmaceutical marketplaces.

Doug is the author of No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail, a leading text about growth companies that has been translated into several languages and has won four National Best Business book awards. His insights about the economy and business have been cited in hundreds of media outlets including Inc. Magazine, The Financial Times, and The New York Times online.

Rick Farrell, Tangent Knowledge
Selling Has Nothing to Do with Selling

Richard P. (Rick) Farrell is president of Tangent Knowledge Systems, a Chicago sales training company, and the author of the book; Selling Has Nothing To Do with Selling. He is the unofficial record holder for the number of B2B association speaking engagements (manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, professional services, manufacturers’ representatives, service providers). He has covered virtually every SIC code when speaking to associations and even ones that he swears don’t even exist. His in-depth knowledge of the sales challenges of small to midsize companies (commoditization, price pressure, new market opportunities, transactional selling, poor sales accountability, unqualified sales pipelines, ineffective new business generation, long selling cycles and increasing cost of sales) is unparalleled.

Thomas Landstreet, N3L Capital Partners, LLC
Economic Outlook 

As an analyst, speaker and writer, Tom shares his wit and wisdom on politics, policy, the economy and investing. Though he plumbs a complicated topic, he does so with a comedian’s skill: His presentations are funny and accessible to a broad audience.

Tom’s sessions are content rich. As publisher of “Connecting the Dots” institutional investment research for some of the world’s biggest hedge funds and mutual funds, Tom draws on a vast array of topics. And because he’s actually in the business of making predictions for investors, he often goes out on a limb for his audiences. His impressive record of predictions has made him a top contributor to Forbes.com. Government never stops making policy so there’s always something to talk about.

Tom’s career on Wall Street began as an institutional equity salesman in 1994 at the Robinson Humphrey Co., Atlanta where he rose to be the top producer. In 2003, he returned to his hometown of Nashville, TN to become Managing Director, Head of Institutional Sales for Avondale Partners. Though he managed the department, he remained the number one producer throughout his tenure. He was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as an “All American” broker in 2002 and 2003. In 2005, Avondale was awarded the Wall Street Journal’s “Best on the Street” award for producing the singe best stock-picking record among Wall Street firms.
In 2006, Tom joined Laffer Associates, an economic research firm founded by Reagan economic advisor and father of the “Laffer Curve,” Dr. Arthur Laffer. For five years, Tom worked closely with Laffer where he produced a weekly economic commentary based on Laffer’s supply side framework. Tom credits Dr. Laffer’s supply side framework for informing many of his opinions.

In 2011, Tom realized the dream of becoming an entrepreneur, co-founding Tell-Tale Capital Corp., a money manager and Standard Research Corp. to publish Connecting the Dots research. He is an advisor to some of the biggest institutional investors in the world.

In 2016, Tom founded Trusco Investment Management, a RIA serving endowments, private foundations and entrepreneurs, and N3L Capital Management, a thematic hedge fund.

Perhaps just as important, Tom was once a standup comedian performing at “Catch a Rising Star” and other leading New York comedy clubs. While many find little to laugh at regarding the current economic situation, Tom expresses a refreshingly contrary view.

Tom majored in English at Auburn University and attended Balliol College, Oxford University. He is married with three well-behaved children and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, one of nine states with no income tax.

Manufacturing Executives Panel
The Effect of Tax Reform on Manufacturers’ Investment in New Equipment and Technology


  • Larry Combs, senior vice president and general manager – Jack Daniel’s, Brown-Forman
  • Mike Dillon, president, Lexington ManufacturingMike Dillon is president of Lexington Manufacturing—a supplier of component solutions primarily for the window and door industry. Lexington is a second-generation, family-owned business that was founded in 1982. They have operations in the Minneapolis area as well as Brainerd, MN, with nearly 200 employees company-wide. The company is a market leader supplying OEMs in the residential window and patio door, commercial flush door, fiberglass entry door, and furniture markets. Lexington’s capabilities include panel and solid wood dimensioning, laminating, CNC machining, profile wrapping, and painting. Lexington prides itself on the relationships it forms with their partners—helping them to create solutions and deliver value to their customers. Mike has been with the company for 23 years, holding positions in manufacturing, materials, and sales. He has held the current position of president since 2016. As the first non-family president in company history, Mike is working to prepare the company for the next generation. Mike has a bachelor of science in Forest Products Production Management from the University of Minnesota.
  • Michael Fowler, CFO, Cabinet Door Services