As of Wednesday, May 23, 2018
DALLAS — Mark and Liz Weisensee started a business with a vision and a home equity loan.
Now they have offices in eight cities and employ 130 people in six businesses. Now included on that list are the Dallas and Monmouth offices of Windermere Western View.
“Liz and I, we both kind of have the entrepreneurial bug, so 14 years ago we started a transportation third-party logistics company,” Mark said Friday. “We literally started out without any help. Liz and I really had no money, but we had a home equity line of credit that we used. We used that to get going. It was just lean and mean times, so we made it work.”
For the first three years, the Dallas natives operated the business, OpenRoad Transportation, a third-party logistics company, out of their home.
Third party logistics companies are hired to make connections between businesses that have products to ship and freight carriers. OpenRoad handles the details of getting products to their destinations.
“There’s many, many billions of dollars in this industry. If you googled it, you’d be shocked at how important it is for our standard of living,” Mark said. “Literally for our world to work the way it does the logistics, just the transportation network in general, is absolutely critical. We couldn’t expect strawberries in our grocery store without it.”
The business grew so fast they needed an office, and then more, eventually opening offices in Portland, Tigard, Grants Pass, Eugene, Reno, Nevada and Scottsdale, Ariz. Dallas remains the headquarters of the business.
As that company expanded, the couple began investing in other businesses through Lakeside Investment Group. Now the Weisensees own a separate trucking business, a financial services company, real estate holdings, and have a majority ownership in the car wash in Dallas.
“It really is surreal sometimes. When we talk about it, we really have to pinch ourselves, but are so incredibly grateful to our team,” Liz said.
When the opportunity came up to take ownership of Windermere — former owners Larry Dalton and Colleen Gardner are retiring or pursuing other interests — the couple thought it was a good match business-wise and from a company values perspective.
It’s another sales-oriented company, something Mark said they know how to support.
Liz said there was another consideration.
“Windermere Western View has been around forever. It has tremendous strength in our community,” she said. “Their values and their spirit of community align with ours, so it just seemed like a natural fit. It seems like the staff and the agents have really created something special.”
The couple took over the offices last week.
Dalton will stay on as principal broker at the Monmouth office through the end of the month. Nancie Rogers, who has managed brokers at the Dallas office for 10 years, will remain in that position.
The Weisensees — both lifelong residents — say they are in Dallas to stay.
Mark said it would have made good business sense to move the company’s headquarters to a bigger city, but say they have not been tempted to relocate from their hometown.
They’ve raised their family, daughter, Quinn, who attends Oregon State University, and son Carter, a junior at Dallas High School, in Dallas.
“We feel like staying here, and doing something special in this community is what we want to do,” Mark said.