The Smart Business Dealmakers Dealmaker of the Year Awards recognize exceptional individuals who are shaping the landscape of business and innovation in Dallas.

In addition, The Dallas Hall of Fame is recognizing a class of dealmakers that has made an often-groundbreaking impact on their organizations, industries and the region over the course of decades in business.

We're celebrating the accomplishments of the 2024 class of winners March 21 at the Dallas Smart Business Dealmakers Conference. Together, they provide a strong picture of the Dallas business community.


Dealmaker Of The Year Honorees


George Lee is the former owner of Horny Toad Harley-Davidson, a dealership offering new and used motorcycles, in addition to service and parts teams, and was the first ever Harley-Davidson owner to sell to a Fortune 500 company. Prior to Lee, Harley-Davidson had a prohibition on selling to public companies and PE or VC firms. Once Lee closed the deal, it opened the door for all dealers across the USA, which is a very select group of individuals. 

Andrew Whitcolm is Vice President, Mergers and Acquisitions at Builders Firstsource, a manufacturer and supplier of building materials. The company completed a $700 million debt refinancing round.

Rogers Healy is founder of Morrison Seger, a Venture Capital firm. With more than 20 years of investing experience, Healy is a seasoned investor, as well as a multi-time startup guru. Healy made his first investment in the world of venture capital in the early 2010’s, in the then pre-revenue men’s clothing company, Mizzen + Main. He fell in love with the idea of connecting the dots in the ecosystem of finance, and has since become one of North America’s most active investors. After over a decade of actively investing in deals ranging from CPG to SaaS, Healy founded Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners. Within the first few years of operations, Morrison Seger has made significant investments in various industries with innovations including health care, CPG, tech, and more. The firm has closed 16 deals in the last 18 months ranging from pre-seed to Series C. Healy has been a part of numerous portfolio companies as they expand rapidly in a challenging environment, and fully expect multiple portfolio companies to raise money in 2024 at a significant multiplier than the previous round.

Tanner Cope is Managing Director at Trive Capital, a private equity firm. On the buy-side, he helped create, along with Formula Wellness’ Michael Bennet, a partnership between two Dallas firms and has onboarded several local Dallas executives. He also was involved in significant additional acquisitions and de novo growth with the new HQ in fast-growing founder-owned businesses, and has created a great partnership of several health care executives to accelerate growth of a leading brand in wellness and aesthetics.

Michael Bennett is CEO of Formula Wellness, a provider of health care and wellness services. On the sell-side, Bennett helped create, along with Trive Capital’s Tanne Cope, a partnership between two Dallas firms that onboarded of several local Dallas executives. He was involved in significant additional acquisitions and de novo growth with new HQ in fast-growing founder-owned businesses, and created a great partnership of several health care executives to accelerate growth of a leading brand in wellness and aesthetics. 

Wade Myers is General Partner at Eagle Venture Fund, a venture capital firm with eight funds. The firm has had 19 major investments in 2022 and 2023, notably among which were Immerse, ArborXR, Evidencity, VeroSkills, BankingON, FreightPOP, Patient Sortal, Altus Solutions, and Pro-Forma.


Dealmakers Hall of Fame


Steven Demetriou is Executive Chair of Jacobs Solutions. He also sits on the boards of FirstEnergy and Arcosa. Additionally, Demetriou is Chairman of Scythe LLC and a Managing Partner at Shearson Sports Fund. Formerly, he led Aleris Corporation, guiding it through Chapter 11. His prior roles also include CEO at Noveon, EVP at IMC Global, and various positions at Exxon. Past boards include Kraton, Foster-Wheeler AG and OM Group. Demetriou holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Tufts University.


John Muse began his career in investment banking in Los Angeles and then moved to Dallas and eventually joined Prudential Securities where he directed and headed the investment/merchant banking activities of Prudential Securities for the southwestern region of the United States. At Prudential, Muse provided investment banking and financial advisory services in connection with several transactions led by Hicks & Haas.

In 1989, he co-founded Hicks Muse & Co., a private equity fund. During the next 10 years, Hicks, Muse raised six funds totaling over $6 billion wherein the firm’s investment activities concentrated on consumer products, energy, and media. Muse served as a board member on a number of portfolio companies and served on the firm’s investment committee.

In 1998, he successfully extended the firm’s investment activities into Europe and raised two funds totaling over $3 billion. Upon Muse’s return to the U.S. in 2005, he continued to serve on the investment committee of the European operation and as a board of director for a number of the European portfolio companies.

In 2007, HM Capital Partners (the successor to Hicks, Muse) raised its eighth fund — the Sector Performance Fund. In 2011, he directed the rebranding of the firm to Kainos Capital, focusing exclusively on the consumer branded products sector. Thereafter, he stepped away from his day-to-day chief executive responsibilities and became Chairman of Kainos Capital. He continues to serve on the board of NexStar, the largest television broadcasting company which acquired Media General, an HM Capital portfolio company. He previously served on the Board of Advisors at the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.

In 2017, Muse retired from Kainos Capital but continues to invest with them and share investment ideas. He now manages his family office, Muse Family Enterprises out of Dallas. Its holdings include a majority stake in Lucchese, Inc., the premier manufacturer of western boots, and Free Flow Wines, the leading supplier of alternative packaging to the wine industry through kegs and cans. He is Chairman of both Lucchese and Free Flow. He also develops commercial real estate, principally in hotels and single-family residential projects. His family office manages intergenerational wealth for his family, his grown children, and for his family’s Muse Family Foundation, whose principal initiatives are to address opportunity gaps in education, affordable housing, and health care.

Muse is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and received his MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Sam L. Susser is Chairman and CEO of Susser Bank, and President of Susser Holdings II, L.P. A University of Texas finance alum, he started at Salomon Brothers in New York, joining the family business in Texas in 1988. Under his leadership, Susser Holdings grew into a Fortune 500, $6.7 billion operation, went public in 2006 as "SUSS," with its division "SUSP" following in 2012. Post-acquisition by ETP in 2014, Susser chaired "SUN" until 2015. He heads Susser Bank, Corpus Christi Athletic Club, chairs multiple boards, and contributes to MD Anderson, Southwestern Medical Foundation, and Texas research and planning initiatives. A UT benefactor, he's honored in the Texas Business Hall of Fame and received multiple accolades for his contributions.