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Frisco STYLE Magazine

2023 Best of Business

Oct 01, 2023 ● By Ben Johnson
Our local business community is an essential thread in the fabric that makes up Frisco. They provide jobs so we can both live, play, and work in this fantastic community. Local business owners are also often the ones who step up to support area nonprofits and community events. Their success is our success, collectively, and we as a community get the opportunity to thank them through a celebration of those who stand out for their excellence.

It’s a long-standing tradition that the Frisco Chamber plays a role in helping select the winners in Frisco STYLE Magazine’s Best of Business, but personally, this is my first year to get to serve in this capacity. It is an absolute honor, and I have to say, it’s also no easy task. We have incredibly innovative, customer-first businesses that are focused on performing at a high level and continually raising the bar. That’s the theme you’ll find among this year’s winners.

In acknowledging excellence in the business world, Frisco STYLE Magazine sets a lofty standard for businesses aiming to excel and operate successfully. The accolades are distributed across various categories, such as Leadership and Vision, Structure and Organzation, and Financial Management, among others. These prestigious awards are designed to comprehensively evaluate every facet of a business.

Such businesses don’t stop at satisfactory but choose to think big about opportunities to achieve excellence in their respective categories. Businesses like these and the many others in our community inspire me to do more, think big, and be better every day. As you read through these pages and celebrate their successes, I hope it will inspire you as well.

Congratulations to the winners and to all who were finalists. Congrats as well to all the businesses serving our community day in and day out. Frisco wouldn’t be the great city it is without you, so cheers to you and your contributions to making this an excellent place to live and visit!

Introduction by Christal Howard, Interim President and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce.

2023 Best of Business Selection Comittee

 Rich Allen | Tour de Profit

Rich Allen is on a mission to help business owners and key leaders create, build, grow and sustain the business of their dreams with the guidance of his company Tour de Profit. Allen has been a business coach and investor since 2007 and has worked with hundreds of leaders and business owners to help them solve their most difficult business challenges. He is a founding partner of Eagles Innovation Group, a company that funds, supports and nurtures new business startups. Allen has authored two books: Tour de Profit and The Ultimate Business Tune Up: A Simple Yet Powerful Business Model That Will Transform the Lives of Small Business Owners. He previously was a division president and vice president of human relations for Pella Corporation, a vice president of human relations for Texas Instruments and a U.S. Army Corp of Engineers captain. Allen holds a bachelor’s in accounting from Arizona State University and an MBA in international business from the University of Texas at Dallas.

 Christal Howard  |  Interim President & CEO, Frisco Chamber of Commerce

Christal Howard is the Interim President & CEO for the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. She and her family moved to Frisco in 2013. They immediately fell in love with this city, and after serving on the Chamber board for six years and as Chair in 2020, she was given the opportunity to come on board as Chief Operating Officer before moving into her current role. Prior to working at the Chamber, Christal served as publisher for Community Impact in the DFW region, where she led the rapid growth of the brand, eventually overseeing ten publications. Christal started her career in broadcast news as a TV reporter, then morning anchor, and managing editor. She’s a twice Emmy-nominated former reporter of the year as named by the Texas Associated Press Broadcaster. Christal loves to serve and sits on several boards, including Frisco Fastpacs and Visit Frisco. She is also a graduate of Leadership North Texas, class 13. Her most important role, however, is mom to Emma (age 12) and Bennett (age 8), who keep she and her husband, Michael, busy running from soccer to cheer competitions and football games.

 Chris Johnson | Media Strategist, MediaOS

Chris Johnson is currently the media strategist with MediaOS, a SAAS company serving the media and association industries. In this position, he consults with media and publishing companies throughout the U.S. and a number of other countries. He is also the former publisher of Frisco STYLE Magazine. Prior professional positions include chief operating officer of, an Internet technology/hospitality company; sr. vice president of product marketing & development for TIV Operations Group, an international hospitality-consulting firm; and director of retail finance for Bank of America. Before this, he had a nine-year tenure with Sprint/T-Mobile, holding several positions within its business and consumer marketing organizations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and completed coursework toward a master’s in marketing from Webster University.

 Michelle Young | CEO, Legacy Plumbing

Michelle Young has served as CEO of Legacy Plumbing in Frisco for the past 16 years. Prior to founding this company with her husband, Michelle led an accounting team for a Plano consulting firm where she managed the organization’s budgeting processes and financial reporting activities. Young has a bachelor’s in finance and accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is actively involved in several community organizations and enjoys her involvement with two business mastermind groups, as well as coaching business owners in her spare time. Her business has been the recipient of many awards and she has served on several selection committee panels including the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics. Young resides in Frisco with her husband and is a proud mother of three Frisco ISD students.

 Dr. Clinton Purtell  |  Professor of Operations Management, Logistics and
Corporate Strategy, University of North Texas

A professor of operations management, logistics, and corporate strategy, Dr. Clinton Purtell serves as Associate Director of the Jim McNatt Institute for Logistics Research at the University of North Texas and is a member of its Center for Integrated Intelligent Mobility Systems research team. His career and industry experience span more than two decades in executive leadership roles with numerous Fortune 500 and Euro 50 firms leading global supply chains, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic operations in several industries. While active in venture capital in North Texas, Purtell also serves on a number of boards and independently consults in areas of strategy, supply chain, and operations. He received his Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State University, an MBA from Belmont University, and a Bachelor of Finance from Oklahoma City University as well as the honorable designation of executive scholar from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business in Management Science.  Dr. Purtell is also a proud member of the Choctaw Nation.

 Structure & Organization | Graves Family Chiropractic

Structure and organization are vital parts of a successful business as they allow companies to run efficiently, operate at high levels, and take care of both their employees and customers while ensuring overall success. Graves Family Chiropractic has mastered all of the aforementioned, as its structure and organization have helped it earn the Best of Business award in Structure and Organization. 

After receiving his Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Paul Graves opened Graves Family Chiropractic of Frisco in 1998. Dr. Graves and his team’s primary focus lies in providing exceptional care while finding the underlying cause of a patient’s pain and recommending individualized care. The team uses the most advanced scientific techniques to remove nerve interference, allowing the body to function properly and heal naturally. 

When asked what he’s most proud of, Dr. Graves admits that his pride lies in his team. “Together, we are able to help more people in our community heal naturally through the wonderful benefits of Chiropractic,” Dr. Graves shares. 

In order for his team to function at its best, Dr. Graves knows and understands just how incremental structure and organization are in his practice. “We have a straightforward organizational chart for a health and wellness office. As the owner and CEO, I direct individual job descriptions and roles,” Dr. Graves explains. “Each procedure was created with the customer in mind and how to wildly exceed their expectations and provide a Ritz-Carlton experience. As a team, we train and test competency every week at our weekly trainings.

Being organized and having structured trainings are integral to success. Having systems and procedures of best practices gives each team member  certainty and confidence in expectations. This enables us to provide the best care and customer service to our patients,” he includes. Dr. Graves says that such structure and organization allow each team member to have certainty and confidence in their specific role. 

Dr. Graves and his team begin their weekly meetings with patients’ Chiropractic success stories from the week before, which both inspires the team and allows them to stay focused on their main purpose - to get results with each and every patient. 

“As I have built this practice over the past 25 years, I love the people of Frisco and the wonderful relationships built. It has been amazing to be part of such a vibrant community that continues to grow. Graves Family Chiropractic will continue to promote health and wellness in the city of Frisco for many years to come,” Dr. Graves concludes.

 Leadership & Vision | Lone Star Roots

Leadership and vision go hand in hand, and having one successfully without the other is difficult. Lone Star Roots understands this close relationship well as they have grown, thrived, and led in our community, which is why it was selected as the Best of Business in the Leadership and Vision category. 

In 2006, Lone Star Roots Owner Carrie Ermence and her family moved to Frisco from Chicago and haven’t looked back, as they’re now proud Texans and even more proud to be a part of the Frisco community. That move and a love for where they are eventually spurred the business’s motto: “Love Where You Come From…Root Where You Are.” 

Ms. Ermence knows well that leadership and vision can make or break a business and that businesses are only as successful as those working hard to grow them. She shares, “Optimism, relationship building, forward-looking, flexibility to adapt, and being involved in the communities we serve are very important to me.” As a leader at Lone Star Roots and in the community, when she’s not at work, Ms. Ermence serves on the Board for Women in Enhancing Business, the Board for Refresh, volunteers for Frisco Women’s League, and actively supports new business in the community as a Frisco Chamber Ambassador Team Lead.
In creating and founding Lone Star Roots, Ms. Ermence says she and her family wanted the company to reflect time well spent, community, faith, friendship, and “a whole lot of laughter.” She explains, “Texas is home, and we couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Frisco community. There are a lot of great businesses out there. I encourage everyone to support us all. Texas is a huge state! As a leader in our community, it is important to me that we continue to lift, build, and support one another in our growing business community. A success for one is a success for all.”

While there are many points of pride in growing a successful business, Ms. Ermence says she is most proud that Lone Star Roots is about family, community, and connection and serves as a testament to the idea that it’s never too late to go for it. “The idea of Lone Star Roots started with many years of talking about it, a trademark started in 2016, which led to us revisiting once again in 2020 and launching, she recalls. “Our family moved to Frisco in 2006, which led to my entire family relocating here, and Frisco has been our home and a true testament to Love Where You Come From…Root Where You Are!”

 Giving Back | Texas Health Frisco

Giving back to one’s community is both a monumental and equally fulfilling task, especially while working to run a successful business in a thriving community. However, businesses that prioritize philanthropy do it with servant hearts and a willingness to give back in significant ways. It serves as a testament to who and what the business is. In serving those who need it most and their community, Texas Health is Frisco STYLE’s Best of Business in Giving Back. 

It’s no surprise that hospitals and the medical field, in general, were hit hardest by our ever-changing world in the past few years, especially in all they had to deal with and adapt to during the pandemic. Regardless of those changes and challenges, Texas Health Frisco has continued to show up monumentally for its patients and community while providing excellent healthcare and top-notch customer service.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Health Frisco, Brett Lee, is proud that the organization continually cares for its community. He shares, “We were all tested over the past several years with the pressures of a global pandemic. I am incredibly proud that we were able to be here for our neighbors to provide outstanding care in a time when they needed us the most. As well, we have worked hard to be strong and consistent partners by supporting a wide variety of organizations that touch all parts of our community—from Safety Town and Merry Main Street to Frisco Family Services and the Frisco Education Foundation and a host of many others.”

Texas Health Frisco seeks to partner in the community by giving back in multiple ways as they participate in numerous forms of community service and volunteerism throughout the year. In promoting that spirit of giving back, Texas Health Frisco team members are all given a paid volunteer day annually while leadership volunteers their time serving on boards in the community. Staff are encouraged to bring ideas and organizations they are passionate about to support to the table. 

While the hospital’s work in caring for patients is a vital part of giving back to the community in and of itself, Texas Health Frisco knows and understands just how important giving back outside the hospital is. “We have always said that we did not just want to be a community hospital but are dedicated to being an engaged member of this community,” Mr. Lee explains. “The relationships that we have made while supporting local charities and community organizations have reminded all our staff of the power of a life in service to others and reinforces the commitment to our mission as a leading healthcare organization. Our foundation is to be here to serve our community, no matter the need.”

 Serving Customers | Beautiful Backyard Living

Serving customers is the cornerstone of success for any business, and putting customer’s needs at the forefront of business operations provides countless opportunities to generate customer satisfaction and growth. Businesses that put customer service above all else seek relationships, gratification, and an overall appreciation for jobs well done and meeting customers’ needs. Bobby Cravens and the team at Beautiful Backyard Living put customers first day in and day out and are the recipients of Frisco STYLE’s Best of Business in Serving Customers. 

Twelve years ago, owner Bobby Cravens threw caution to the wind, quit his job in Corporate America, and cashed out his 401K. Leveraging his experience in business with a mindset of continuous improvement, Mr. Cravens started Beautiful Backyard Living with little to no money and no real industry experience but with a passion for designing and building outdoor living environments. “After working countless hours seven days a week for several years, I’m proud to have grown Beautiful Backyard Living as a company to provide my family, employees and over 25 subcontractors a way to earn a living for themselves and their families,” Mr. Cravens explains. 

Mr. Cravens believes that serving one’s customers isn’t simply about being friendly, but a strategic imperative designed to formulate bonds and trust. He explains, “It’s the foundation of long-term success by driving loyalty, brand reputation, revenue growth, and adaptability in an ever-changing business landscape. Our focus on customer service has been and always will be crucial for Beautiful Backyard Living to thrive and succeed.” 

By embracing a familial approach and being transparent with customers, the team at Beautiful Backyard Living has created a unique and trustworthy brand identity that resonates with homeowners. Mr. Cravens says this approach helps them build lasting relationships, instill confidence, and differentiate Beautiful Backyard Living within a competitive market.

Mr. Cravens and his staff know and understand well that loving to serve their customers is about finding personal satisfaction in the impact they have on their lives. Given that the team completes projects that are ultimately large parts of customers’ lives, he says there is no better reward than rejoicing with customers when projects are complete. “They know they made a sound investment choosing Beautiful Backyard Living as their contractor, and this satisfaction ensures the success of our business over the long term. It’s also about valuing the relationships we’ve built and the contributions made to the well-being of our customers and our own professional growth.”

 Customer Engagement | 7 Notes Modern Music School

Successful businesses know well how vital customer engagement is, and the team at 7 Notes Modern Music School continues to make innovative strides to put its students’ success first. 7 Notes Modern Music School, started in 2013, is led by visionary leader and educator Eileen Tan, who aims to revolutionize musical education and empower children to become lifelong learners and musicians. “This began with my childhood hobby - playing the piano. Little did I know then that this passion would shape my future and become the cornerstone of my career,” Ms. Tan shares.

Inside 7 Notes, customers find an inviting space where families can come together and embark on a musical journey. Unlike traditional music schools that focus mainly on private lessons, 7 Notes believes in the power of group classes. Hence, children and parents learn side by side, creating a collaborative and supportive atmosphere, which establishes a real sense of camaraderie and encouragement.

7 Notes recognizes that every child possesses unique potential waiting to be nurtured. “I wanted to inspire children, to show them the wonders of playing the piano, and to instill within them a sense of confidence and self-esteem,” Ms. Tan shares. She and her team provide an enriching musical experience to the Frisco community, whether parents and children bond through classes or adults rekindle their love for piano lessons and ensure that the school has something to offer everyone.
Ms. Tan knows successful customer engagement is achieved in part through small things, like remembering what someone likes or asking about their latest vacation. Emotional intelligence, showing up, and being human helps build the trust of customers. “My team is trained to consider that family dynamics have a lot to do with how a child practices at home. This helps shape music lessons and curates a better lesson plan,” Ms. Tan shares. “I have a lot of parent workshops and follow-ups on how a child is doing at home. It’s not just about signing up students, but about guiding them along their musical journey so they can stay focused and committed.”

Oftentimes, kids drop out of music lessons due to a lack of parental involvement. To account for this, 7 Notes provides a practice app for older children, allowing them to record and monitor practice sessions, which helps parents track their child’s progress and stay involved in their child’s unique musical journey.

“By exposing children to different musical experiences, their horizons are broadened. This business revolves around building character and spreading happiness in an inclusive manner,” Ms. Tan emphasizes. “This is more than a job to me. This is my life’s work. I’m a big believer in following your dreams. Follow your passion, and the rest will follow. In a world where technology is dominant, we need tools and something analog to express ourselves, and that form of expression is in the form of music!”

 Building a Team | Cool Pool People

Admittedly, building a team of like-minded people who all care for customers and share company values can be a monumental task, but when Todd Gustafson started Cool Pool People in 2008, he was up for the challenge. The company, offering year-round weekly pool maintenance in Frisco and surrounding areas, prides itself on being transparent and honest about its work and has not missed a day of service for customers in 15 years.

Cool Pool People communicates via email, text, social media, and monthly newsletters. Team members document work in an app to reference client history, chemistry, repairs, etc., allowing outside communication with clients and internal communication as a team.
Mr. Gustafson shares, “We treat our employees like family. Truly. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and life events. I didn’t realize the true importance of teamwork until our company began to grow at a rapid pace. Team members have carved out management and leadership roles throughout the organization. The amount of teamwork needed to grow a business has been beyond my imagination.” 

Pool care is an independent and methodical job, both physically and mentally. However, teamwork turned out to be the game changer for Cool Pool People’s growth. Teamwork proves important because it produces an environment where employees thrive and have the confidence and desire to grow.

Cool Pool People continually looks to improve its hiring process as multiple people conduct interviews and collaborate to cover pertinent questions. When hiring, potential employees often apply to other positions, but Cool Pool People is not interested in applicants just trying to bring home a paycheck. Mr. Gustafson notes, ”Team members who feel valued and respected help do wonders in any organization. The key characteristics of a good team are members who are committed to what the company stands for. Those who are proficient and confident will have the drive, desire, and ability to help out another team member.”

“Our clients often mention they are impressed with the kindness of our team members. Our team members are polished, knowledgeable, competent, confident, energized, and friendly. We promote honesty and integrity, and our technicians are always advocating for customers when something doesn’t work or feel right. Cool Pool People includes team members of all ages like dads, husbands, sons, moms, wives, daughters, former athletes, gamers, musicians, woodworkers, booster club presidents, coaches, pastors, firemen, grad students, electricians, farmers, marines, movie producers, pet lovers, and more! We have come together for various reasons to be a part of this team,” Mr. Gustafson says.

Mr. Gustafson feels that watching God work through Cool Pool People has been one of the most powerful things he has ever witnessed. “God is very creative and powerful. Get out of your own way, be willing to let go, and watch what He does. It is so cool!” Mr. Gustafson says.

 Metrics & Financial Results | Natalie Roberson Photography

Metrics and financial results keep the world spinning for businesses, which is something owner Natalie Roberson knows all too well. Natalie Roberson Photography is a studio with locations in both Frisco and Celina that has served Frisco and surrounding areas for more than a decade. Ms. Roberson’s focus lies in creating beautiful portraits of families, children, high school seniors, and newborn babies. “I’ve always been captivated by the power of visual storytelling and the ability of a photograph to convey emotions, memories, and moments frozen in time. My inspiration to get into photography stems from my deep love for preserving these fleeting moments and creating lasting memories for people,” she shares.

Ms. Roberson’s choice to establish her business in Frisco was influenced by the city’s vibrant community, family-friendly atmosphere, picturesque locations, economic opportunities, and the support of the local business network. These factors aligned perfectly with her vision, making it an ideal location.

“Over the years, I honed my skills, studied different styles, and invested in top-notch equipment to ensure I could provide the best possible service to my clients. Today, as the owner of Natalie Roberson Photography, my inspiration remains unchanged: to capture the magic in each moment and create timeless images that families can treasure for generations to come,” Ms. Roberson shares.

Ms. Roberson started by defining key metrics and financial indicators most relevant to a photography business, including revenue sources (session fees, print sales, digital downloads, etc.), expenses (equipment, studio rent, utilities, marketing costs, insurance, etc.), profit margin, client metrics (new client 
acquisition, client retention, and referrals), and average sale value.
By using accounting software, detailed record-keeping, regular financial statements, a budget and forecast, marketing and advertising analytics, a client management system, regular analysis and adjustments, financial goals, and consulting financial professionals, Ms. Roberson also ensures her business’s financial health and growth. 

Ms. Roberson shares, “By consistently employing evaluation methods, I ensure that Natalie Roberson Photography maintains a strong financial foundation, identifies areas for improvement, and continues to thrive in the photography industry.”

Evaluating the financial performance of her business is a crucial aspect of maintaining its health and achieving long-term success. Ms. Roberson assesses and analyzes her financial performance by reviewing financial statements, revenue analysis, expense tracking, profit margin assessment, budget vs. actual comparison, cash flow analysis, client metrics, average sale value, marketing ROI, profitability by service/package, trend analysis, benchmarking, financial goal tracking, and seeking professional advice.

Natalie Roberson Photography is more than a photography business; it’s a labor of love, creativity, and passion. Ms. Roberson goes to great lengths to demonstrate her commitment to excellence, client-centric approach, versatile photography services, artistic creativity, continuous improvement, community engagement, memories that last, being passion-driven, and being accessible and inclusive.

 Winning Customers | The Success Door

The Success Door is a coaching academy and consulting firm focused on growth. After an assorted experience spanning two decades, owner Neetu Rishi decided to share her lifelong learnings with the world. “Here, we remodel lives by customized training and workshops on people skills, personality development, personal development, and more so people can say they chose their life and didn’t settle for it,” she shares.
After working with her high school daughter, who was struggling with confidence, Ms. Rishi was encouraged to help kids who might be facing similar challenges. “I deviated her mind from her weaknesses to her strengths and made her believe in herself,” Ms. Rishi shares.

“The main goal of my business is to help as many kids and adults as I can to be the architects of their own lives - to be so confident that they can achieve anything in life!” Ms. Rishi says. “One word that describes me best is ‘passionpreneur’ because I converted my passion into my business!”

Customers are drawn to The Success Door because of its Youth Academy (focuses on public speaking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and authorship), Adult Academy (focuses on one-on-one mentorship programs), and Fashion Academy (pageant and confidence coaching). Ms. Rishi strives to understand parents’ expectations and the personality of each student to create a tailor-made program, all while keeping her classes activity based.

When Ms. Rishi launched The Success Door, friends in Frisco enrolled their kids in her encouraging, helpful classes. “Through them, I learned about the school district, initiatives the school takes, and met with a few of the trustees. When I saw that their vision and my goal were in alignment, I was convinced that Frisco was the best location for this,” she says.

To demonstrate how valued customers are, Ms. Rishi often sends them gratitude cards, benefits, and referral discounts. “I treat them as family because of the love I get from them,” she says. “Working patiently and not giving up easily on any student makes me different. New customers are looking for someone who can take ownership of working with their child. They are looking for transformation, and I assure them that if we work hand-in-hand, they will see the results!”

Ms. Rishi credits her success and ability to win over customers to Frisco’s unique environment and culture. “People in Frisco believe in teamwork, and they are always ready to support each other. I love everything about my job because it’s not a job for me - it’s my passion, purpose, and reason. When I see someone confidently making a way in their life because of my coaching, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I love when there is a challenge and I figure out the way!” Ms. Rishi adds.