The experience in this team is impressive…
51 Businesses Launched
35 Million in Annual Revenues
225 Members of Staff
Dave Dean - Founder & CEO
Founder of Renegade Entrepreneurs Ltd, Dave Dean has been self-employed since 1990 and launched over 20 businesses in the UK and the US. He’s also acquired and sold several small businesses.
In that time, Dave’s experienced both success and failure.
A business coach since 2012, Dave is ICF trained, certified with US based John Maxwell Team and has coached and mentored business owners across the world.
Along with business partner, Darren James, Dave still retains investments in several businesses and commercial property… though he has successfully removed himself from these businesses day to day.
Having spent several years working with numerous Mastermind providers Dave felt there was more that could be done. As a result, in 2017, he launched Renegade Entrepreneurs Ltd to make the Masterminding process available to every business owner and not just the Elite!
Dave is married to Michelle (Renegades Head of Admin) and proud father to 26-year-old twins Jon and Tom, and 15-year-old Joe.
He loves to read, listen and write… enjoys cycling, walking and travel, regularly spending time in Andalucia, Southern Spain and enjoys great food and good wine.
Steve Matthews - CTO
Steve Matthews is a tech entrepreneur who is passionate about helping other business owners achieve their goals.
From a humble childhood, brought up on a tough council estate, Steve then spent 7 years in the Armed Forces serving in the Gulf, Adriatic and the Falkland Islands before moving into a career in civvy street.
With an ingrained entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to succeed, Steve set up on his own in 2005 but tasted the bitter disappointment of failure in 2007.
Hardened and wiser from that set back, Steve founded Foresee in 2009 which has seen considerable growth ever since.
“Begin with the end in mind”, has always been a mantra and having set out to make himself redundant from his own business, he managed to achieve that in 2016.
Steve now focuses on coaching and mentoring his internal staff that will ensure the business can continue to thrive without him being involved in the day to day operation. “The purpose of a leader is to build more leaders not followers”, can be heard every day.
In addition, he coaches and mentors several private clients around the UK.
Married to Michele, with two teenage children, Martha and Daniel he enjoys family time but is passionate about travelling, all thing sport and the odd glass of red wine.
A former 3 handicap on the golf course, Steve still hits the links every now and again, though he’s more passionate about cycling these days. He uses this passion to raise money for Velindre Cancer Hospital which included cycling across New Zealand which raised over £120,000.
Clare Byrne - CFO (UK)
A Chartered Accountant for over 25 years, Clare spent 13 of those years “working for the Man”, cutting her teeth so to speak, in some of the UK’s leading accounting firms such as BDO, BPU and Grant Thornton.
She then got the “entrepreneurial seizure” moment and left to create her own accounting practice, Medrus, and has since worked with hundreds of small businesses in completely diverse sectors including manufacturing, retail, leisure, consultancy, television, media and charitable organisations.
When she’s not knee deep in the numbers Clare loves to spend her free time doing fun-run’s, swimming or skiing and walking with her twin mongrel terriers, Bowie and Jagger… she says, “Bowie was named first as she has two different coloured eyes!”
She also loves to watch ice-hockey, synchronised swimming and of course rugby but says she can’t understand the attraction of Boxing and other fighting or blood sports, as she’s mystified as to why any reasonable human being can enjoy watching two people hit the living daylights out of one another until one is knocked unconscious, seriously injured or disfigured!
Clare loves reading and listening to music, whether it’s curling up on the couch with a nice cup of tea and a newspaper (though not the ones full of nude ladies and adverts) or a good book (serial killers and other weird people are particular favourites!)… or listening to some jazz or acoustic guitar with a G&T or a cocktail or two.
Our Clare also loves to travel and says “You can’t beat Europe for diversity… France is a particular favourite. Where else can you kayak down gorges and see flamingos and bulls and then go to an artist’s colony or a museum… all in a day……”.
She’s enjoyed watching people on horseback as human chess pieces in Italy, taking part in a drinking marathon around 26 miles of Medoc vineyards, paragliding off an alpine mountainside on skis and several US road trips, taking in the New Orleans Mardi Gras, Nashville, Memphis…..also the West Coast from San Francisco to San Diego via LA, Vegas and Phoenix.
Other than that, she doesn’t do much at all…..
Dean Thistleton - Founding Member
Dean Thistleton (AKA Rhino to his mastermind colleagues) is a serial entrepreneur and currently owns of 4 businesses within the wet leisure industry. His companies include Concept Pools, The Swimming Pool Shop, Concept Container Pools and The Swim Club.
Over the years Dean has worked for many famous faces within the world of sport designing and installing their leisure facilities, but his proudest moment so far to date is that in 2010 he began work on a rather large building site in London where he dedicated 2 years of his life installing and delivering the London Olympic Pools for the 2012 Olympic Games.
At 36 years old, Dean’s already discovered the highs and lows of what life can offer and has very clear views on his entrepreneurial experience so far…
As he puts it, “We’re all on a journey and you must design your own life to suit your needs.”
Dean lives life on his own terms. He currently lives on a farm set in the Huddersfield countryside with his life partner and soul mate, Lauren, and his two dogs Mia and Kia.
His hobbies are working out in the gym and mixed martial arts training and is a huge advocate for personal growth and development.
“I believe for any person to grow and develop their business, they need to make educating themselves a priority in life. When you leave school, many people think learning stops but it’s only just started.”
To keep learning Dean reads business and personal growth material for a minimum of 1 hour a day and is a founding faculty member of Renegade Masterminds.
“This is my inner circle”, he says, “These are 9 fantastic, growth-oriented people who only have my best interest at heart, my board I can’t afford. In life, you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. We’re in contact daily via social media, email, conference calls and phone calls. We’re there to help and support each other on our entrepreneurial journey.”
Dean is not only a go-getter but he’s a giver too, “My aim in life is to have no regrets. I want to leave a legacy behind that I have helped and contributed to others to help them lead a better life and achieve their goals. Life is a journey and every day we either win or we learn. Entrepreneurial life can be a lonely place and it’s sometimes difficult to keep focused on the end goal.”
To keep himself on the right track, Dean not only has his “inner circle” but he also has some of his favourite quotes that he’s framed and strategically placed around his office to help his focus…
I only look back to see how far I have come….
Life begins outside your comfort zone….
Winners never quit….
When asked what advice he would give to business owners, he said, “I encourage you to be the best version of you. Get clear on your goals and visions? Take control of, and design, a life that suits you. Work hard to find financial freedom. Live life on your terms and then help others to do the same.”
Wise words indeed from the Rhino.
Michelle Dean - Head of Admin
Having spent 10 years in the business support team with the South Wales Fire Service, Michelle took a Sabbatical to work with Husband, Dave, on one of his projects. This led her to identify an opportunity to provide Personal Assistant services to entrepreneurs (not the easiest task in the world she says!)
Now, Michelle runs her own business, Peridot PA, providing services to Entrepreneurs and Business Owners and also manages a small property portfolio.
Michelle heads the Renegade Admin Team and ensures the Board and Faculty, (and Dave in particular!!) are kept on their toes!
Ian Stewart - Chief Strategist!
Serial entrepreneur, Ian Stewart is the Founder and CEO of Auto Sport Dynamics (ASD) in Charlotte NC. He’s been involved as a race engineer in numerous disciplines of racing, and has been winning races and championships since 1990.
After leaving a management position in NASCAR in 2007, Ian founded ASD with the intent to bring race car engineering to a higher level in professional drifting. He began with one race car, and a couple key members to his team. Within 2 seasons, he was running four of the top cars in the sport. By the end of the third season, ASD had brought home the Championship.
He subsequently led the Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang built by ASD to the Formula Drift Championship with 6 podiums in 7 races, a Formula Drift record. The team’s phenomenal success continues.
Ian is also founder of RTR Mustang, their exclusive customisation options for Ford’s iconic Mustang are now available through Ford dealers worldwide.
When not strategizing new ways to grow his now numerous business ventures, Ian loves spending time relaxing with his family.
Andy Stace - Head of Membership
Andrew Stace has been a business owner since 1998 starting his entrepreneurial journey in the construction industry.
He’s had a varied business experience spanning several sectors including Advertising, Marketing, Photography, Design, Catering, Retail Management, Hospitality & Tourism and E- Commerce.
Andrew is no stranger to personal development having invested more than £45,000 in coaching, mentorship, training and Masterminding groups the last 3 years alone and is a certified Coach, Trainer & Speaker with the US based John Maxwell Team.
His journey and investment continues and has helped Andrew take a company that consistently turned over £250,000 a year, (for 14 years), and quadrupled it in size to over £1,000,000 in just 3 years.
The successful, and the not so successful, endeavours of the past 20 years have collectively developed Andrew’s awareness, knowledge and experience. He now passionately shares his thirst for knowledge and increased-awareness along with the experiences, tricks and tools of the trade he’s gathered during this time with other start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Andrew currently lives in the East Midlands of the UK with his wife Jane and 3 Children.
James Vanreusel - CFO (US)
James Vanreusel is the founder and CEO of Vanreusel Ventures LLC. The company provides CFO advisory services and executive coaching to help organizations develop strong foundations upon which to scale and replicate internationally. We combine finance and coaching skills to allow our clients to set ambitious financial goals for their company and develop the mindset and personal processes needed to execute this vision.
James had an 8-year career on Wall Street generated approximately US$8 Million annually by leveraging primary and secondary capital markets and building deep relationships with hedge funds and mutual funds.
As a consultant with Grassroots Capital (private equity) and Blue Orchard Finance S.A. (asset management) in New York in 2008 and 2009, he worked primarily on fundraising and building proprietary portfolio and holding company models.
From 2009-2014, he served as CFO at SPBD Microfinance, where he launched and operated 3 start-up micro-finance banks in Tonga, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands. He also created a network-wide holding company based in Singapore, growing the platform by 600%.
James is a CFA Charter holder since 2009 and has been published in CFA Magazine on the topic of Microfinance. He holds a MBA from Rice University and a BA in Mathematics and Accounting from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Originally from Oostende, Belgium, he speaks English, Dutch, and French and is conversant in Spanish. He played Division 1 Varsity Tennis and continues to play competitively for the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Jay Emery - Founding Member
Jay Emery is the Founder and CEO of Kidderminster based, Dingley Dell Enterprises, the manufacturers of Bushman Wood Fired Ovens. He is also the author of ‘From a Spark to a Flame’.
Jay is a passionate business owner who loves to help his customers develop their businesses and themselves to their peak potential. In previous careers, Jay has also been a ski-instructor and an entertainer.
Married to Elaine and step father to Kelly and Tori.
His passion is his business, but in his spare time he also loves cooking, traveling, powder skiing, scuba diving and flying Para-Motors.