first in a category, or create a new category."
The Dakota Company was formed in 1981 by investment banker F. Michael Graves
to pursue real estate and business development opportunities.
Through the years the company has been on the forefront of a diverse array of
development trends, always capitalizing on the ability to make both a timely
and dramatic entrance.
Today, the collective experience of managing more than $800 million in wildly
successful development continues to provide The Dakota Company with the opportunity
to participate in major restaurant and entertainment projects, as well as to
focus attention on the national roll-out of the company’s proprietary concept
for automotive retail: Autotainment™.
F. MICHAEL GRAVES, CEO - For
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As Chairman of The Dakota Company, F. Michael Graves
has been involved in various roles in developing a variety of high profile
retail/entertainment ventures, including that of the Designer, Owners
Representative, Concept Developer, Construction Manager, Producer, Executive
Producer or Business Partner.
Mr. Graves continues to assist in structuring the operational vehicles
necessary to develop intellectual properties for various companies including
entertainment corporations, theme parks and gaming operations owned by
several Fortune 500 companies.
latest work is focused on developing operational business plans, along
with construction, budget, entertainment concepts, operational staffing
and space design parameters for "retail/entertainment" facilities.
Tom Russo had developed the science of “Behavioral
Engineering” to an art. He has successfully applied this
new “Art of Retail” in organizations that present a theme
like The Disney Company, to organizations that present a passion like
Starbucks Coffee Company, and further to organizations that present an
image like The Dakota Company. Mr. Russo’s company,
Retail Arts, combines the art and science of retail to help clients understand
the effects of place on performance.
RAYMOND R. SCHAEFER*
Raymond R. Schaefer is a licensed Architect
and owner of Maverick Architecture & Design, LLC. Maverick provides Architectural,
Consulting, Master-Planning, Interior Design and Programming/Management
services to clients in and around the Hospitality Industry throughout
the United States and abroad. Consisting of Licensed Architects,
Interior Designers and support staff, Maverick can provide a wide range
of design oriented services either turn-key or as a part of a wider
GREG WITHERSPOON, CFO
Greg Witherspoon serves as the Chief Financial Officer and director
of the Company. Greg began his career as a Certified Public Accountant
with the "big 4" accounting experience. He has since
been the chief financial officer of Nancarrow Enterprises a group of
companies including among others, three restaurant chains, real estate
investments, an FBO and businesses in the water conditioning business. He
the became CFO of Aames Financial Company growing it from a privately
held one state business to a NYSE publicly held nation wide company
with a market capitalization of over one billion dollars. He
has significant experience in raising capital, both debt and equity
and with mergers and acquisitions.
* Associated with Autotainment Ventures L.L.C.