How I Built It
Get inspired! Hear from 6 area entrepreneurs and community leaders as they tell "their story" through a moderated panel. The ups, downs and even sideways experiences they have endured to get to where they are today.
Michael Benitez - Whataburger
My name is Mike Benitez. I was born and raised in San Antonio, a native Texan. I relocated to Austin for a promotion opportunity over 10 years ago. I have been blessed to lead at Whataburger for the last 23 years and has been my only job. In my now, career, with Whataburger I have been able to lead and build teams up to 300 family members. I’ve assisted in their development to grow within the Brand and create their own life changing careers. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in opening many Whataburger restaurants across the country and was excited when I was asked to lead the team here at Whataburger in Lakeway. One of my most favorite aspects of the role is community outreach. Being a brand ambassador, fundraising. and giving back to the community we serve is a Core Value of the company. In my off time I enjoy spending time with my wife Beth and raising our two beautiful children.
Mirabelle Med Spa
DR. JEFFREY CONE, MD. Dr. Cone is blessed to do the work he loves. In private practice in Austin, Texas, he provides his patients with beautiful and natural results that enhance their lives and outlooks. An artist with an intense attention to detail and a passion for innovation, Dr. Cone performs a wide variety of rejuvenating treatments, both surgical and non-invasive, including laser therapies. He is committed to understanding and achieving every patient?s unique aesthetic goals.
Dr. Cone has received comprehensive training in plastic surgery in two of the nation?s epicenters of cosmetic surgery?South Florida, at the University of South Florida, and Dallas, at the premiere Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute. A graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Dr. Cone was awarded honors in research, named an Osler scholar for his compassionate, patient-centered care, and was inducted into both the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Society and the Gold Humanism Honor Society.
Dr. Cone has published and lectured on facial aesthetics, rhinoplasty, and breast aesthetics. In addition to cosmetic surgery, he is among a select group of plastic surgeons that have fellowship training in craniofacial and pediatric surgery, allowing him to perform complex pediatric reconstructions. He participates in medical missions for children with LEAP Global Missions and has traveled to India, Haiti, and Guatemala.
Dr. Cone is married to his college sweetheart, Mary Kat, and they have four children. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys skiing, surfing, and cycling.
DR. CLAUDE-JEAN LANGEVIN, MD. Dr. Claude-Jean Langevin is a fellowship trained and double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He specializes in aesthetic plastic surgery, complex reconstruction, and craniofacial & pediatric surgery. He relocated his busy academic practice from Los Angeles/Beverly Hills to Austin, Texas so that his family can enjoy the outdoors and a more traditional and balanced lifestyle.
While in Los Angeles, Dr. Langevin served as a faculty at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with an academic appointment at the University of Southern California (USC). He trained plastic surgery residents, microvascular fellows, general surgery and orthopedic residents. He was also the director of the plastic surgery rotation at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical School. He received numerous recognitions for his excellence in surgical skills, superior outcomes, and compassionate patient care including the Southern California Super Doctors Rising Star and the Cedars-Sinai Circle of Friends.
Prior to his association with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Langevin served on the faculty at the MD Anderson Cancer Center/Orlando Health specializing in cancer reconstruction with expertise in complex microvascular surgery focusing on head and neck reconstruction, breast reconstruction, upper and lower limb reconstruction. He held an academic appointment at the University of Central Florida and was involved in training general surgery residents and medical students.
Dr. Langevin?s commitment to excellence is reflected in his educational accolades. He earned his Diplôme D?Étude Collégiales degree (DEC in Science) from the College Jean-de-Brebeuf, Montreal, PQ, Canada and then attended McGill University. He received his doctorate in dental medicine from the University of Montreal. While undergoing his oral & maxillofacial surgery training at the New York Presbyterian Hospital ? Cornell Campus, he received his medical degree at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and earned the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society award, serving as the president of the Cornell chapter. After fulfilling his general surgery training at the New York Presbyterian Hospital ? Cornell University, he completed a formal comprehensive plastic and reconstructive surgical fellowship at the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Cleveland, Ohio. Finally, he pursued a fellowship in craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas under the directorship of Dr. Craig Hobar.
Dr. Langevin has published numerous articles in several peer-reviewed journals, presented at national professional meetings and has co-authored multiples plastic surgery book chapters. He is currently on the editorial board of the Annals of Plastic Surgery and the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. Dr. Langevin has been an overseas medical volunteer with different non-profit medical organizations, including LEAP Global Missions, founded by Dr. Craig Hobar. He participated in medical missions to underserved countries, including Ecuador, Chile, Haiti, and Belize.
Dr. Langevin is happy to return to Texas and making Austin his new home with his wife and three children. He enjoys hockey, rowing, cycling, and hiking. He is also fluent in French.
Mike Daugherty (51), Founder & CEO DPG Partners & FUSE Dynamic Workspace
Mike Daugherty is the CEO and founder of the FUSE Workspace brand which owns and operates Flex Workspace communities in Houston, Dallas and Lakeway/Bee Cave. FUSE acquired the Falconhead office building in 2019 and opened in November 2020. Mike is also the founder of DPG Partners, a hospitality Development & Management company based in the Dallas area. DPG has developed over $100M in hospitality assets since its founding in 2001. DPG currently owns and operates hotel brands under the Hilton & Marriott flags. DPG also operates the Texarkana Convention Center, a full-service convention facility, developed in a unique Public-Private-Partnership with the city of Texarkana Texas and DPG.
Prior to entering the hospitality and real estate development business, Mike was the Director of Operations & Development for two separate publicly traded cable & wireless companies from 1992 to 2001 which eventually were acquired by AT&T. Mike has a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State and an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Mike and his wife Tamara are active in their community and Mike serves on the advisory board for Grace Bridge/Master Cares Foundation which is a faith based non profit which provides meals for the suburban poor and operates a school and a hospital in Uganda and Mike serves on the school board for Prestonwood Christian Academy based in Plano TX.
Patricia Will, Co-Founder & CEO Belmont Village Senior Living
Mrs. Will co-founded Belmont Village Senior Living in 1997 as an integrated owner, developer and operator of first-rate senior housing communities. The Company’s $3 Billion real estate portfolio has capacity of over 5,000 units and employs more than 3,800 people across eight states and Mexico. Belmont Village is known for built-to- purpose developments, best in class hospitality, unique partnerships with top universities and institutions, and proprietary resident programming. The Company’s associates consistently vote the Company a Great Place to Work® and place in Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces in Aging Services.
Mrs. Will has served on many boards and currently serves on the Boards of the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the UCLA Center for Longevity. In 2018, she was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame. Mrs. Will earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Reed College, Portland, Oregon.
Byron Smith, Co-Founder/Lead Investor, XSpace. Byron
is a Sydney-born entrepreneur now based in Austin, TX with a successful family business background in commercial property - his most recent venture is XSpace in which he is co-founder and lead-investor. He’s also active in the automotive-technology industry as co-founder of artificial intelligence company Ai Automotive Inc and advanced materials company P1 Graphene Solutions Ltd.
Byron has successfully led multi-million dollar funding rounds, executed marketing strategies, built sales teams, developed financial models and spearheaded business development for the ventures he's involved with.
Prior to co-founding XSpace he received his Bachelor of Economics from Macquarie University, Sydney and his MBA from Cass Business School, London.
Byron’s first start-up experience was with the original team that built RA Motorsport Pty Ltd from business plan into Australia's largest motorsport dealership and still has an active
interest in the start-up space.
After five years in London and then five years in New York, Byron currently resides in Austin, TX with his Houston-raised wife Anna and young son Charlie.