Meet the 40 Under 40 who left Goldman Sachs to start a new industry

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Charles Lusk left his job at Goldman, Sachs & Co. to found a business in an industry that hadn’t existed before: dental suites for major corporate campuses.
Lusk, 34, did his homework and saw a need, so he rolled up his sleeves and created Dent-Well. A husband and a father of two, he took on significant financial risk to start the business. He went without a paycheck and benefits to see his vision of “creating value” come to life, he said.

Almost three years later, the company has contracts on both the East and West coasts, and Lusk has landed on the 2014 Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. Dent-Well has now grown to 32 employees. The company recently set up a location inside a converted a 660-square-foot conference room on the first floor of Phillips 66’s interim headquarters at Pinnacle Westchase in April.

“While in school, the most coveted jobs were those defined by the ability to add value to an existing value-producing entity,” Lusk said in his application. “However, I was driven by the ability to put my hands in the clay and create something that had never been done before.”

As a founder of a startup, Lusk went through challenges, especially trying to navigate uncharted territory. He made two mistakes early on: hiring too quickly and not hiring to fit.
“I realize now how important it is to recruit talent that aligns with the nature and stage of your company. … Today I press in on what makes someone tick beyond showing up to work,” Lusk said in his application.

 

Nora Olabi

Houston Business Journal

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