The common denominator across Mr. Sumner’s career has been the development and growth of entrepreneurial business ventures. Whether the role has been conceptualization, financing, operations, strategy or general management he has thrived on the challenge of solving the myriad problems associated with growth. Preston brings this wide range of skills to the entrepreneurial community via his Las Vegas CEO mastermind groups.
Mr. Sumner has led the development, financing, and management of entrepreneurial businesses for over 30 years. Currently he serves as a strategic and tactical advisor to businesses seeking to accelerate their growth in revenue and profits. In February 1997 he rejoined Startek, Inc. (which he had helped found in 1987) as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In June of that same year Startek raised $55 million in its Initial Public Offering and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. During Mr. Sumner’s tenure as COO Startek grew from $72 million in revenue to $208 million and increased operating margins from 9% to 14%.
From January of 1995 until he rejoined Startek Mr. Sumner was Vice President at Merrick & Company where his responsibilities included the identification and development of corporate growth opportunities. In that capacity he was a founder and director of Reality Capture Corporation, a consortium of U.S., British, and Indian companies formed by Merrick and its international partners to provide close range photogrammetry services to the commercial marketplace. Mr. Sumner served on the Board of Directors of Merrick for 19 years during a portion of which he was Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Early in his career as a Vice President with United Bank of Denver Mr. Sumner established the bank’s lending activity to the high technology markets after participating in United’s initial entry into asset based lending to fast growing enterprises. After these two successful business expansions within commercial banking Mr. Sumner chose to transition from bank financing to equity financing. He formed Rocky Mountain Ventures, a consulting firm serving venture capital firms and emerging growth companies. During this time he also served as investment advisor for an SBIC.
Subsequently Mr. Sumner became Managing Director of Stephenson Merchant Banking, a private equity firm whose activities were focused on building businesses in which it had a controlling interest. This transition broadened his expertise from financing to operations, strategic planning, and general management. In this role Mr. Sumner served as an executive officer and board member of companies in a variety of industries including environmental services, environmental equipment manufacturing, agricultural equipment manufacturing, electronic device development and manufacturing, technology licensing, and turnkey services for software publishers. Most significantly he was a founder and Vice Chairman of Starpak, Inc. (now known as Startek, Inc.), a service firm originally dedicated to meeting the manufacturing, distribution, fulfillment, and technical support needs of the software and computer OEM industries which evolved into a global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm. In May of 1994 Starpak was inducted into the Inc. Magazine Hall of Fame as one of fewer than two dozen companies that had earned a spot on the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing private companies for 5 consecutive years.
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