The Mad Entreprenuer
Philip J. Romano is an investor, entrepreneur, artist and nationally-renowned restaurateur. Involved in the restaurant business for over fifty years, he has created over 25 concepts, six of which are national enterprises: Fuddruckers, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Spageddies, Cozymel’s, Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ and eatZi’s Market & Bakery. Romano currently owns and operates eatZi’s Market & Bakery, Nick & Sam’s Steak & Fish House, Nick & Sam’s Grill and Coal Vines Pizza.
Romano’s creativity expands beyond restaurants, to art. He began painting 30 years ago and never sold a piece of art until 2008. To date, he has sold over $1 million of his own artwork. He partnered with Reflectionist Movement Artist, JD Miller of Dallas, in opening Samuel Lynne Galleries. The Galleries feature both Romano’s and Miller’s works, along with an ever-expanding list of additional artists, with a focusing on art of the 21st century.
He was principal in EGP, a partnership that held the licensing rights to the Palmaz-Schatz Stent, purchased by Johnson & Johnson, Inc. It is said to be one of the most successful medical devices of its time and is considered one of the patents that has changed the world. This was the original stent, and the business has become a $6 billion-per-year industry.
Philip Romano and his family established a charitable foundation, The Food Foundation, which operates as Hunger Busters and has been in operation for 16 years. Hunger Busters provides food to the hungry and serves over 450,000 meals per year to school children in Dallas.
Romano’s latest venture is Trinity Groves, comprising approximately 90 acres at the foot of the Calatrava Bridge in Dallas. Fifteen of those acres are devoted to a restaurant concept incubator, which creates brands for millennials, induces entrepreneurs to start businesses, and creates jobs and tax revenue for the city of Dallas.
Philip Romano’s most recent concept is the Network Bar – a “first of its kind,” members-only establishment where people can network, connect, socialize, have dinner and do business, all in the same place. The Network Bar opened in October 2017 in Trinity Groves.
Romano wrote his first book, entitled Food for Thought, in 2005, making the CEO Best Sellers List. His latest book, The MAD Entrepreneur, was released in March 2019, and shares his secrets to success, how he took ideas and turned them into nationally-recognized businesses, and insights into how he’s making a difference in business and in life.
A native of New York State, Mr. Romano presently resides in Dallas, Texas.
Scott B. Walker
Scott B. Walker is a recognized serial entrepreneur and operator. Mr. Walker is largely credited for creating the electronic biller-direct industry. His company, BillMatrix Corporation, was the leading provider of outsourced electronic payment solutions for major utilities, telecommunications companies, and insurance and loan providers. Beginning in 1999, the company experienced explosive growth, eventually processing over $9 billion in annual bill payments. The company’s success was validated with an acquisition in August 2005 by Fiserv, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and prominent provider of information management systems and services to the financial industry, for $350 million.
Mr. Walker plays an active role in a number of national industry organizations and financial groups. He is widely known and well regarded for his perspective on the payments sector and his comprehensive understanding of technology innovations that are shaping the way consumers and businesses manage their data and financial resources.
In 2006, Mr. Walker won the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® award in the Southwest Region for the Services category. Mr. Walker was awarded the 2006 Pinnacle Award from the Sales & Marketing Executives International Academy of Achievement and indoctrinated into its Hall of Fame. In 2003, he earned the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from Thunderbird, and in 2011, he received the Distinguished Executive Alumnus Award from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.
Mr. Walker’s story is illustrated in the seventh, eighth, and ninth editions of “Entrepreneurship,” (Hisrich, Peters, Shepherd) the primary textbook used to teach entrepreneurship skills to undergraduate and graduate business students globally. This educational textbook has been translated in over 11 languages. Other published articles include:
“Life After an Exit,” Case Study No 6; Credit Suisse White Paper 03; 2011
“Distinguished Alumnus Award,” Huntsman Alumni Magazine; October 2011
“Vision,” Huntsman Alumni Magazine; October 2010
“Are You an Entrepreneurial Thinker?” Cox Today; October 2010
“Dallas Maverick,” Thunderbird Magazine; October 2008