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It can be lonely at the top, but it doesn’t have to be.

We know leaders limit their potential when they lead from isolation. But, when surrounded by trusted advisors with a common goal and a biblical worldview, they can maximize performance and energize cultures. With faith as the foundation, this powerful group of peers meet in an exclusive, confidential forums around the Houston metro to have their questions answered and their answers questioned.

Chairs

Business Forum Leaders in the Houston Area

STEVE VAN OOTEGHEM

Steve brings a unique perspective to his role as Houston C12 Area Chair having been a member of one of…

STEVE VAN OOTEGHEM

Steve brings a unique perspective to his role as Houston C12 Area Chair having been a member of one of the three original C12 groups founded in the Tampa Bay area by Buck Jacobs several years ago. Steve was privileged to learn firsthand the profound impact C12 concepts can have on a business Owner/CEO trying to operate successfully according to Biblical principles in the marketplace.   After launching a business in 1994 that grew rapidly, Steve began to feel the pressures felt experienced by all business owners. Steve wished for a Christian mentoring/sharing group of trusted advisors for the support, education and encouragement he needed to expand his business in a way that was both God-honoring and financially successful.  God brought C12 into Steve’s life in His own unique way (ask Steve about it sometime).  Having relocated to Houston, Steve now desires to provide other Christian chief executives with the knowledge, wisdom, and guidance that enabled him to grow in business performance and eternal fruitfulness.   Following college graduation, Steve served three years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry officer in the 1st Recon Battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA.  He later earned an MBA from Indiana University and had a successful 20-year corporate career leading to a position as Regional Vice President for a $250 million public company, Convergent Technologies, Inc.   Steve then went on to build a 21-year career as professional motivational speaker, author and business owner by founding Universal Seminars of America, Inc.  His wife of 40 years, Carolyn, has been Steve’s trusted business partner, and best friend.  They have three grown sons together and enjoy serving their church.   Steve’s life verse is: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you in Christ Jesus (1Thes 5:16-18).

KENT MAJOR

Prior to joining C12, Kent held leadership roles for over 20 years in telecommunications and technology companies.  He served as…

KENT MAJOR

Prior to joining C12, Kent held leadership roles for over 20 years in telecommunications and technology companies.  He served as President of Alpheus Communications for 7 years, leading a period of rapid and profitable growth as Alpheus expanded its footprint of metro fiber networks and data centers.  During his tenure, annual revenue grew from $18M to $62M and the enterprise value increased by $142M.  Kent has also served in various leadership roles at SBC Communications (now AT&T), Oracle Corp, and Compaq Computer (now HP). Kent’s passion is to help business leaders integrate and transform the key areas of life:  work, family, and faith.  His personal mission statement is to glorify God by effectively stewarding his talents, time, and resources in order to provide maximum service to others.  Kent and Caroline, his wife and best friend for 25 years, have seven children and live in the Houston area.  Kent has a B.S. from Oklahoma State University, an MBA from Dallas Baptist University, and started a Ph.D. at Stanford Business School before launching his corporate career.

PETER REMMES

Peter is a Chairman for C12 of Greater Houston. With over 40 years of professional leadership roles in business and…

PETER REMMES

Peter is a Chairman for C12 of Greater Houston. With over 40 years of professional leadership roles in business and ministry, he has a long track record of Business as a Ministry (BaaM). Prior to joining C12 Peter served as the Regional VP for Apartment Life having led the successful launch of this Businesstry model in the Washington DC market and North Atlantic Region.  Before Apartment Life his ministry experience included Director of Development for Cadence International an international mission organization serving the military community. Preceding Peter’s transition to full time ministry, he was a General Manager for several branch operations at Fortune 500 companies gaining a reputation for successfully reengineering unprofitable organizations.  He also co-owned Remmes Food Brokerage in Upstate New York.  Peter and his wife Anastasia have a full quiver (Psalm 127:4-5) with five grown children and four grandchildren. They have actively served the local church as a Pastor, ministry leaders and lay counselors.

KEITH BOWER

As a business leader and owner, Keith understands the challenges marketplace leaders face every day. As a longtime pastor, Keith…

KEITH BOWER

As a business leader and owner, Keith understands the challenges marketplace leaders face every day. As a longtime pastor, Keith knows how to look to God for answers. Keith brings his business and ministry background together in C12, equipping Christian business leaders like you for the work of your ministry in today’s marketplace. His focus includes Houston’s Post Oak area, Brenham and College Station. Keith served the energy industry, primarily Chevron, as a consultant on over 100 major capital projects in roughly 25 countries, and as a project leadership trainer and coach, helping countless oil and gas engineers develop into more effective leaders. Keith also served as VP of Professional Development for Project Management Institute (PMI) Houston, and as energy industry advisor to the Disney Institute, the professional training and development arm of the Walt Disney Company. In addition to his energy industry experience, Keith served for over 30 years in vocational ministry as a lead pastor, executive pastor, seminary professor, conference speaker and author. Keith served most recently as Executive Pastor at Bethel Church of Houston. Keith and his wife Julie have been married 40 years. They have two adult children, both married, and two adorable granddaughters. Keith holds degrees in Chemistry (B.A., University of Houston), Theology (Th.M., Dallas Theological Seminary) and Philosophy (MA, PhD, University of St. Thomas). Keith was trained by Disney in Leadership, People Management, Customer Service, and Team Creativity & Innovation.

ANDREW JACOBSON, SR

Andrew brings over 25 years of leadership & executive experience in facilitating strategic transformation – operationally, structurally, financially and most…

ANDREW JACOBSON, SR

Andrew brings over 25 years of leadership & executive experience in facilitating strategic transformation – operationally, structurally, financially and most importantly, culturally.  Andrew has served in key leadership, coaching and advisory positions in military, Fortune 100 and ministry organizations, and is passionate about partnering with Christian CEO’s and business owners to more effectively steward the resources that God, in his divine plan, has placed under their leadership and to advance the kingdom of God in the marketplace.   Andrew spent the first seventeen years of his career with GMAC/Ally Bank, in a variety of Finance, Operations and HR roles as he progressed through the company.  He spent the last ten years in senior HR Leadership roles, including Western Regional HR Director, North American HR Director and Global Director of Talent Acquisition.   Following his tenure with GMAC/Ally Bank, Andrew served as Executive Pastor & COO of an 11,000-member church in Dallas, Texas.  In this role, Andrew advised the Lead Pastor and Board of Directors on all HR, Finance & Accounting, Risk Management, and Legal and Regulatory matters, and he assisted them with the development, communication and execution of the mission and vision of the ministry, which grew during this time from one location to a multisite ministry serving five different locations. After concluding his time as an Executive Pastor and immediately prior to joining C12, Andrew spent seven years as Chief Operating Officer of Crossmark Global Investments, Inc.  Andrew led the firm’s cultural transformation from a secular investment management firm to a faith-based organization.  This transformation resulted in Crossmark earning recognition for five consecutive years for the health of its culture and employment environment by multiple industry and local market sources including National Business Resources, the Houston Chronicle, and Pension & Investments Magazine.  Largely due to the cultural transformation, Crossmark’s net income increased 273% during the final five years of Andrew’s tenure with the firm.  Andrew attended the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. As an undergrad, Andrew enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve and served eight years before being Honorably Discharged in 2001. Shortly thereafter, Andrew attended Pepperdine University and graduated with a Master of Business Administration.  Andrew, his wife Sarah, and their five children enjoy serving in non-profit, civic, and ministry organizations.  Andrew dedicates an average of two weeks per year to international missions and serves on the Board of Directors of To Give a Smile and as an Advisor to the Board of Governors of Messenger College.  His life verse is Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (NLT)

PRESTON ABBOTT

Preston is a Chair for C12 in the Brazos Valley with a particular focus on bringing those services to the…

PRESTON ABBOTT

Preston is a Chair for C12 in the Brazos Valley with a particular focus on bringing those services to the Christian CEOs and Owners in the Bryan/College Station area.  He is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ, which guides every aspect of his life.  This has enabled him to have a long track record of being a servant leader in his family, his communities, and the marketplace.  After being in the Corps of Cadets and graduating from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering, he served on active duty for four years in the United States Marine Corps.  As an Artillery Officer he was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA.  From there he was also deployed to Okinawa and Korea and trained Marines who fought in Desert Storm.  Upon receiving an Honorable Discharge, he entered the oil and gas industry as Petroleum Engineer and Operations Manager.  Over the course of his 33-year career he had the opportunity to work for a small independent out of Dallas, then with the super-major BP in Houston and Midland, and finished his career with a medium-sized publicly-traded operator in Houston.  He is considered by his business colleagues to be a Subject Matter Expert in onshore US oil and gas production operations. He has been happily married to his lovely and devoted wife Susan since 1990.  They have 3 adult children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.  They are active in their local church as a Mentor Couple in a Young Married Class, and work alongside the church’s Counseling Center as Pre-Marriage Counselors.  They also, along with their extended family, have founded, endowed, and participated in the MSC Abbott Family Leadership Conference at Texas A&M since 1995.   “Be strong and courageous!  Do not be afraid nor discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

“C12 is everything I was looking for and more of what I didn’t know I needed. My peers challenge me in my blind spots, love me in hard times, and encourage me to glorify God in the way I lead my team. It’s a home for business leaders.”

Brittany Zeller, founder and director of Tiny Feet Early Intervention / South Carolina C12 member
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