WE’RE A PRIVATE INVESTMENT FIRM FOCUSING ON
Wheelhouse Ventures is a Frisco, Texas-based private investment firm focused on opportunistic investments with unique and compelling stories.
Wheelhouse was founded in 2008 to pursue microcap, small, and lower middle-market companies, diversified businesses, and the acquisition and development of real estate.
We provide equity capital, strategic advice, and management expertise to underperforming, distressed, or undercapitalized companies. We are backed by experienced and trusted local investors, angel investors, high net worth individuals, and family offices.
OUTSIDE THE BOX.
INSIDE OUR WHEELHOUSE.
WE FOLLOW A PROVEN PATH
SMART THINKING. POSITIVE CHANGE.
VISION – Recognizing off-market opportunities where others do not. ANALYSIS – Conducting a thorough vetting of an opportunity without getting 'paralysis by analysis.' PLANNING – Creating cultures and structures where stand-up doubles are commonplace and home runs are expected and achievable. MINDSET – Maintaining a positive yet realistic mindset and recognizing that getting a deal done is not easy and requires relentless pursuit. CAPITAL – Properly capitalizing the opportunity with the correct mix of debt and equity without being overly risk-averse. GOAL SETTING – Creating realistic goals and incentivizing stakeholders to achieve them. GROWTH – Pursuing an aggressive growth strategy that maximizes cash flow and creates long-term value.
WE ARE OPPORTUNISTIC AND FLEXIBLE.
We are industry agnostic, and this remains one of the least-critical deal evaluation parameters at Wheelhouse. A compelling story will always serve as the primary metric for judging potential opportunities. We have invested in deals ranging from real estate to start-ups and everything in between. We generally shy away, however, from deals in oil and gas, banking, and high-tech.
Because we do not deploy fund-based capital, we are incredibly flexible in the types of deals we can pursue and the kinds of structures we can work within.
We are one of the few private equity firms in the Southwest willing to work on transactions valued under $10 million.
While we prefer profitable businesses with a positive EBITDA, Wheelhouse is one of the few private equity firms nationwide that will invest in small companies that are losing money or have a troubled operating history.
Wheelhouse brings significant operational expertise to our portfolio company investments through active board-level involvement.
We remain very flexible and can structure opportunities creatively, backing proven management teams to allow shareholders to stay active in the business and continue to participate as owners, or we can replace senior management with proven operating executives if desired.
Given the favorable regulatory and business environment and our experience in Texas, Wheelhouse prefers opportunities within the state. However, given our flexibility, we will pursue deals anywhere in the United States.
WE'RE ENTREPRENEURS OURSELVES AND UNDERSTAND THAT DEALS OFTEN DON'T FIT IN A BOX.
We are best defined as "opportunistic" by nature. Because we are entrepreneurs ourselves, we understand how tricky starting or growing a business can be and further understand that not every situation or opportunity fits within a defined box. Deals are not always simple and straightforward. Wheelhouse Ventures was born out of the idea of investing in deals that may not fit in the limiting boxes of most private equity firms. We bet on people and are willing to take on risk. Put simply, with Wheelhouse, the story and the jockey are more important than the horse.
SCOTT JOHNSON, CEO & Managing Partner
Scott Johnson serves as CEO & Managing Partner of Wheelhouse Ventures. A serial entrepreneur, Johnson also serves as the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Wheelhouse portfolio company ZapStand, a medical technology start-up and CEO of portfolio company Wheelhouse Marinas. In addition, Johnson serves as an Operating Partner for Dallas real estate developer Wolverine Interests. He previously served as President and CEO of one of Wheelhouse’s portfolio companies, insulation manufacturer Amerrock Products. His experience as a self-made businessman, entrepreneur, and employer gives him a unique perspective on economic issues and public policy.
Previously, Johnson served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for Omni Hotels and TRT Holdings, responsible for sourcing, negotiating and closing all worldwide real estate investments for Omni and growing the Omni brand throughout the United States and internationally. During his tenure at Omni, Johnson was responsible for more than $500,000,000 in real estate acquisition and development including the acquisition of the famed La Mansion Hotel and Watermark Hotel in San Antonio, the development of the Omni San Diego Hotel and Condominiums, and the development of the $210 million Omni Fort Worth Hotel and Condominiums which now serves as a model for public/private development throughout the country.
Scott Johnson served on the City Council in Frisco, Texas (Pop. 205,000) from 2008-2017 having been elected city-wide in 2008 and re-elected in 2011 and again in 2014. As a lifetime conservative, Johnson has consistently fought for low taxes, private property rights, balanced budgets, and controlled growth.
Johnson is also on the front lines of Texas’ job growth as an Executive Board member of the Texas Business Leadership Council – a 100-CEO organization dedicated to Texas’ prosperity. Additionally, he served as an officer on the Board of Directors for the Texas Economic Development Corporation (TexasOne) having been appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2006 and having served until 2015. Johnson has led missions on behalf of the Governor to Georgia, New York, and California meeting with CEO’s and site selectors and recruiting corporations to Texas. His efforts have contributed to the longest sustained period of job growth in Texas history. He is also a graduate of Leadership North Texas Class 7.
Johnson was named to the Dallas Business Journal’s “40 under 40” in both 2005 and 2010, and the Collin County Business Press “40 under 40” in 2012 recognizing him as one of the top 40 business professionals under the age of 40 in the area. Additionally, Johnson serves on the boards of numerous private companies and charitable foundations including the Collin College Foundation (as an officer of the Board). Scott Johnson is a 4-time IRONMAN triathlon finisher and is the first person known to have completed the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii with an artificial lumbar disc. His inspiring story of struggle and determination following four back surgeries caused NBC to profile Johnson during its yearly IRONMAN broadcast in 2010.
Johnson has served 2 U.S. Presidents (Bush 43, Trump 45) as Lead Advance Man and press aide, traveling to 14 states and coordinating all aspects of media, communications, events, operations, and travel for the President, his family, and surrogates.
Johnson is an involved dad, including coaching the U11 Army football team and the U7 Tigers basketball team. He is a product of the Richardson ISD and is a graduate of Auburn University. Scott is proud of his Christian faith and deeply held beliefs and is an active member of Prestonwood Baptist Church where he has been a member for more than 30 years. He has been married to Julia for 17 years, with whom he has four children – Finley (15), Palmer (13), Creed (11), and Breck (8).