Dax Whitehouse

Dax Whitehouse –
Managing Director of
Family & Business Advisory Services

Dax Whitehouse has a wealth of business experience, from his roles as a CEO and Senior Advisor for top companies to serving as a Group Chair for Vistage Worldwide, Inc. As the new Managing Director of Family & Business Advisory Services, Dax works with companies in the areas of strategic planning and deployment, governance, succession and exit planning, talent and staff development, and mergers and acquisitions. 

His focus is on setting up effective administrative and strategic structures that allow a business to be transitioned between generations. “I want to provide businesses with the opportunities to yield whatever the family wants to achieve—whether that’s more wealth, more charitable giving or an impactful place in the community,” says Dax. 

One of his biggest goals when dealing with families is getting the entire team rowing in the same direction—not in three years, but right now. With Dax as an advisor, companies get a strategic partner who digs deep into their operations to come up with a tangible plan they can start executing immediately. 

Dax hones these facilitation skills while serving as a Vistage Chair. Acting as an executive coach, he uses his emotional intelligence and candor to get people to address issues that are often considered sensitive. He strongly believes it’s only by examining every aspect of a business that one can address the “real’ issues, the ones that are stopping owners from achieving their ultimate goals.  

One of Dax’s biggest successes was the turnaround and growth of NetShape Technologies, a metal components manufacturer using additive technology. When he came on board, it was a struggling company that had lost its brand and culture, and was saddled with debt. Within the span of six years, Dax helped transform NetShape into the dominant player in its global niche.

Dax earned his Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University. He also completed the Executive Development Program in business leadership and strategy at The Wharton School.

In his free time, Dax likes to travel, cook and stay up on all things technology.

He and his wife Bonnie have a 20-year-old daughter, Peyton, who he describes as “an awesome human being.”

The Other Side of Dax Whitehouse

Your Unique Business Strategy 
“I bring experience to the table, not just theory. A lot of times when people are experiencing problems, I’ve been through those myself. I bring not only the empathy, but hopefully the confidence that we’re going to get through whatever challenge they’re facing.”

How do people come to the decision they need to work with someone like you?
“I think many times they have not gone through this type of process or they think they have, but actually they may have had an advisor who “softballed” things and did not address the real, underlying issues.”

Did you ever face a really unusual business challenge and if so, how did you solve it?
“I needed a piece of equipment in a matter of weeks that everyone told me it would take months to get, unless I went to another country. So, in nine days, a colleague and I went to five different cities in four countries (Japan, China, Germany, Italy) to find and test equipment we could ship to the U.S., in order to meet our schedule. We were successful, but I’ve never been so jetlagged in my whole life.”

What do you find most rewarding about your work?
“When I’m working with a team, and I see things click in terms of a direction or solution to a problem that’s been plaguing them for a while, that is so gratifying because I know I’ve done my job well. It’s very rewarding when they can make the decision themselves because of my facilitation or involvement.”

Is there a business leader you admire and if so, why?
“I would say the most important one is Edward Deming. He highlighted the idea that you can’t have an environment of fear, where people are afraid to give you bad news or tell you there’s quality issues. It’s also important to watch how you react and treat people who may be giving you what appears to be bad news, because most of the time they’re trying to help you.”

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?
“Two things come to mind: ‘Leaders get paid to have effective conversations.’ Words and the way you use them matter and affect your success. And the second is from Admiral Stockdale, who survived nine years in a POW camp. He stressed, ‘You must maintain faith that you’ll succeed, while at the same time deal with the most brutal facts of your current reality.’”

What are 3 words to describe you?
“Empathetic. Candid. Strategic.” People might add a fourth one, which is ‘geek.’ I’m not only a strategist, but I love technology.”

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