Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Meet the Team Transworld Business Advisors of Houston UA-80176035-1

Meet the Team

Our Team in Houston

Gerald Brisson


President of Transworld Business Advisors of Houston. A member of the Texas Association of Business Brokers and the International Business Brokers Association. Thirty years global business executive...

experience which includes managing international business units, directing global marketing, directing global procurement, sales, and operations. Gerry has been involved in hundreds of negotiations across 5 continents and dozens of business sales.

Gerry's uniquely diverse global business experience includes contract and lease negotiations, retail network development, new business development, global and local marketing, global retail brand management, retail revenue stream development, contract & lease negotiations, strategic global procurement, franchise development, general and operational management, and global franchise development.

He has held executive leadership positions in 3 Fortune 500 companies covering 50+ countries across North America, Latin America, Central America, The Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and Africa.

Gerry is thrilled to have the opportunity to leverage his extensive business experience to assist others in realizing their business & life goals.

(281) 769-4277

Bob Latham

Vice President

Robert Latham is the Vice President and a top producing broker of the Houston office with over 30 years of hands-on experience and a uniquely broad range of skills, experiences, and abilities. These provide him with a...

rare perspective when working with clients to achieve their business objectives. His key attributes in deal-making are creative problem solving, attention to detail and follow-through. He has worked in a wide spectrum of industries including heavy manufacturing, petrochemical equipment, aerospace and defense, construction, gas transmission, plastics and commercial real estate brokerage and investment. Positions held include Owner/Founder of a light construction company, President and COO of ATG Group, a plastics manufacturer, and VP of Business Development and Director of Operations for a petrochemical equipment manufacturer (ultimately acquired by Oceaneering). Bob has a BS in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Columbia University Business School in New York City. He has also achieved the industry designations of Certified Business Intermediary and M&A Master Intermediary, demonstrating his commitment to excellence in his work. His interests include automobile restoration, cooking, and flying, including being a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight and he once sailed across the Atlantic.

(281) 769-4277

Carmen Saad Hanna

Senior Business Advisor

Carmen Hanna is a Senior Business Advisor with Transworld in Houston, Texas, and has over 25 years of experience in international business and finance. She has held executive leadership positions...

in corporate finance, venture capital, and non-profit management, and has been an advisor and mentor to entrepreneurial ventures in the U.S. and emerging markets.

As a former investment banker, Carmen has extensive experience in buying and selling businesses and has executed several transactions including mergers & acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity placements. She is well versed in valuation techniques to determine the best entry and exit price for an investment.

Carmen holds an MBA in management from Imperial College Business School, London, UK, where she specialized in corporate finance and customer-focused strategy. Carmen is a member of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Source where she has earned both a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation and a Merger and Acquisition Master Intermediary (M&AMI) designation. Carmen also holds a Texas Real Estate License.

(281) 769-4277

Elizabeth Gonzalez

Marketing Director

Elizabeth Gonzalez is Transworld Houston's exclusive Marketing Director, she joins Transworld with several years of education and hands-on experience working with various marketing platforms...

She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Austin College where she double-majored in Business Finance and Psychology. Elizabeth is primarily responsible for creating and driving the company’s marketing and community relations initiatives. She also directly supports the Houston M&A team along with manages vendor relations for the office. She is a Texas Real Estate Licenses Agent and her hobbies include dancing, fishing, spending time with family, watching crime shows/movies. She is also the proud owner of a pavement princess oIIIIIIIo.

(346) 319-5955

Austin Zhao

Senior Business Advisor

Austin Zhao is a Senior Business Advisor at the Transworld Business Advisors Houston team and a Co-founder & President of China-US Pathway. He is also the immediate Past Chairman (2016-2017)...

of the Asian Chamber of Commerce in Houston and a founding board member and the International Committee Chair of Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) Houston Chapter.

Austin has more than 30 years of experience in international business with an extensive background in conducting business in both China and the U.S. His expertise includes:

  • Business sales and M&A
  • Real estate investment
  • Sourcing, outsourcing, import and export trade
  • Setting up distribution networks and identifying markets for established and introductory products

Austin has been an executive officer for several Chinese and U.S. companies. Formerly he was General Manger of A & G Toys, Inc., Houston, Texas; Executive Vice-President of DL America, Inc., Houston, Texas; and General Manager of Shunlida Company, a unit of The Import and Export Corporation of Dalian Development Zone, which was a state-owned international trade corporation ranking in the top 500 companies in the foreign trade industry in China. He was also one of the eleven Board Directors of the Paraffin Wax Committee for China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals & Chemicals Importers & Exporters in 1995 and 1996.

Austin speaks Chinese, English and basic Japanese, and has extensive cross cultural experience in business communication between China and America. He is also a Certified Business Intermediary, Certified Mergers and Acquisitions Professional, and a Business Certified Appraiser.

(281) 630-6666

Bobbi Coffey

Senior Business Advisor

Bobbi Coffey is a strategic financial visionary with over 25 years of experience in a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial support roles in both domestic and international organizations. She has served as...

CFO and right hand to CEO's and business owners ranging from $5M to $850M across several industries including technology, services, construction and light manufacturing.

Bobbi is well versed in the management of all areas of an organization including operations, legal, HR, IT, systems and FP&A. As Senior Business Advisor, Bobbi brings direct hands on experience in the negotiation, acquisition and integration of small and medium sized businesses globally. Bobbi is known for problem solving, creative business structuring and a unique approach to deal completion for the benefit of both the seller and buyer.

Bobbi has a BS in Accounting from Florida State University. Her passions include jeeping off-road, international travel, animal advocacy, and time outdoors with her five large dogs.

(832) 481-4406

Ana Ruiz

Director of Operations

Ana Ruiz is the Director of Operations for Transworld Business Advisors of Houston. In this role, Ana provides our agents with general operational and systems support in the marketing and sale of our client’s businesses.

She has several years of experience working in various Marketing and Public Relations roles and has excellent problem solving, project management and system development skills. Ana has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Trinity University, where she specialized in Marketing. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, discovering new restaurants around the city, working out, traveling and cooking. Ana is fluent in English and Spanish.

(346) 319-4138

Shathi Govender

Senior Business Advisor

Shathi Govender has worked internationally in the capacity of management consultant for the past 20 years which has been interspersed with a number of interim general management assignments...

at senior executive levels. He has worked for a wide range of organizations. His experience extends to assisting in setting up of enterprises by providing management and business strategy. His area of expertise is business process re-engineering and has been successful in turnaround strategies for under-performing companies. His special interests are organization strategy, implementation of change, and aligning the purpose of the organization with that of its stakeholders. Shathi has also had 15 years of financial and general management experience and has been instrumental in many business ventures in the areas of Publishing, Mining, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Risk Management, Retail, and Logistics thus making his knowledge base flexible and widespread. Shathi has served on various boards and audit committees. He also served and chaired the board of several non-profit boards in South Africa and currently serves as a board member for TWRC and IMC USA.

(901) 827-9964

Quoc Pham

Senior Business Advisor

Quoc Pham is a senior business advisor with over 10+ years of corporate and small business management experience. He has previously held positions at IBC Bank and Capital One Bank where he thrived...

as a licensed banker and assisted in roles such as management, investments, lending and mentoring. Through the ownership of multiple dry clean stores, Quoc has developed tremendous business acumen. He prides himself in his creativity and strong problem-solving capabilities. These skills have helped him flourish as an entrepreneur and as a professional business advisor, prior to joining Transworld Quoc owned and operated his own business brokerage. Quoc has a BBA in Finance from the University of Houston. He is also a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) and licensed Texas Real Estate Agent. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, working out, traveling, fishing and spending time with his wife and two kids. Quoc Pham is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

(832) 758-7756

Steve Merritt

Senior Business Advisor

Steve Merritt is a Senior Business Advisor in the Houston office with over 30 years of experience in Finance and Business Development in Corporate America. He has also owned his own business for...

over 15 years. His experience spans many industries including transportation, oilfield services, waste management, equipment rental, fast food, pharmaceutical, reverse/forward logistics and pool services. Steve is the former Director of Finance for a large publicly traded company where he managed the investment portfolio with a collective valuation in excess of $200M. Within that role, he was a board member and advisor to many of the portfolio companies, creating deals that promoted growth and innovation. His extensive experience as an owner/operator of a multi-unit nationally recognized fast food franchise brings a unique perspective that will help his clients achieve their business objectives. Steve’s exposure in building a business from the ground up brings a beneficial perspective to his clients. He is versed in finding solutions to challenges that were not otherwise visible to others. Steve is a Certified Public Accountant with a BBA from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Steve is a native Texan and lives in Houston with his wife of 20 years, and two teenage daughters. His hobbies include watching sports, boating, wake surfing, and spending time with family and friends.

(713) 582-2353

Wayne Blease

Senior Business Advisor

Wayne Blease is an accomplished entrepreneur and business professional with over 30 years experience in the restaurant and real estate industries. Wayne has a proven track record as a restaurant owner...

having owned and managed multiple locations. Wayne has personally sold multiple of his own businesses bringing this unique perspective to the selling process. His background also includes investments in single-family and multifamily properties. Wayne earned his BBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston’s Bauer School of Business. He also served as a volunteer for many nonprofit organizations, including the Houston Rotary Club, the Spring Klein Chamber of Commerce, Katy Business Network International, and Tri-County Business Associates. Wayne served as president of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship Alumni Association, as well as on the board of the University of Houston Bauer College of Business Alumni Association. In addition, Wayne served as an advisory board member for the Katy chapter of the National Hispanic Professional Organization. In his spare time, Wayne enjoys traveling, gardening and hiking.

(713) 201-2346

Pedro Palacios-Rhode

Senior Business Advisor

Senior Business Advisor on the Transworld Houston team, Pedro Palacios-Rhode is a Venezuelan licensed attorney with over 30 years experience in international business. Pedro has practiced business and...

commercial law for over 25 years and has extensive experience structuring commercial and business transactions including the sale of small and mid-size businesses. He has been an advisor to management and board members and is experienced in the analysis of financial information. Pedro has been partner of a boutique law firm in Venezuela for the past 12 years, handling mostly business and commercial transactions. Pedro holds a Master’s degree in Business Management and Corporate Law from the top management school in Venezuela as well as a Master’s degree in Taxation Law. He has taken various courses on finance and has been certified as a Compliance & Ethics Professional.

(954) 249-0634

Ron Hankamer

Senior Business Advisor

Ron has over 20 years of experience as a franchise owner and franchise development executive with several franchise brands, including Shipley Donuts, Marble Slab Creamery, Papa Murphy's Pizza, and Closet Factory.

Ron's prior experience includes assisting hundreds of new franchisee candidates with opening their own businesses. He also facilitated dozens of franchise resales and has purchased and sold businesses ranging from $200K to $20M. His strengths include problem-solving, creative solutions, and “win-win" transactions.

Ron has a BBA in Finance from Texas Christian University. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the state of Texas. Ron was born and raised in Houston and enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids, traveling, and playing tennis.

(713) 854-1302

Rusty Fisher

Senior Business Advisor

Rusty Fisher is a Senior Business Advisor in the Houston office. He spent more than 25 years in the financial service sector working first in equity research where he analyzed financial statements...

and published stock recommendations for institutional investors before moving into institutional equity sales where he helped mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and money managers choose their stock investments. As a generalist in equity sales, he was required to have a working knowledge of most industries including manufacturing, restaurants, retail, business services, banking, technology, energy, healthcare, real estate, etc. Among his client base, Rusty was known for his honesty, prompt service and his passion for his clients’ success. During his career he acquired and divested of a franchise in the education space and ran the investor relations department for an oil and gas company. Rusty is a native Houstonian who worked in construction before receiving his BBA and then an MBA from the University of Houston. He is a member of the International Association of Business Brokers and the Texas Association of Business Brokers. His interests include cooking, camping, hiking and snow skiing.

(713) 516-0116

Lou Sabbagh

Senior Business Advisor

Lou is a Senior Business Advisor at Transworld Business Advisors in Houston, Texas. He has over 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry globally. He started his career on oilfield wellsites, with a major...

service company, and progressed to operations management and sales management. His experience in the oil and gas industry covers the domestic and the international space; both across the US, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Over the years he has started, operated, and sold an importing business in New York and a real estate business in Houston. Lou has a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Khartoum, Sudan and has successfully completed several petroleum engineering and sales management continued professional education courses. He speaks English and Arabic. He also has strong multi-cultural knowledge gained through residing in several countries. As a trusted advisor, he is available to advise on a variety of commercial matters including operations planning and management, business evaluations and sales, mergers and acquisitions, franchising, restructuring, cost reduction, process development and implementation. His professional approach is founded on three core values at the heart of building deep client relationships: honesty, communication, and integrity. His mission is to exceed client expectations on every transaction.

(713) 231-8995

Tony Keane

Senior Business Advisor

Tony Keane has served as the president, CEO, or COO of several global organizations. He is a former CPA and has owned three small businesses. His understanding of the challenges and opportunities running a...

small business allows him to understand the dynamics of your business. His experience in acquisitions, financial analysis, and market assessments make him a great asset to buyers and sellers. He serves on several advisory committees for various companies where he applies his extensive global business expertise. Past positions over the last thirty-plus years have provided him with a broad range of skills, from accounting to business management. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati with a business degree in accounting and management. He is a non-practicing Certified Public Accountant and has an Executive Leadership Certificate from Rice University.

(713) 591-2768

Bo Hudson

Senior Business Advisor

Bo Hudson is a Senior Business Advisor with over 20 years of Executive Corporate Management experience. His career path has provided an extensive background with multinational corporations in both the...

private equity and public sector. While serving as CEO for building product manufacturers DECRA Roofing Systems and Royal Manufacturing he fostered business growth by creating value, making transformational business process changes, and providing exceptional leadership. As an “entrepreneurial” executive, he thrived on the daily involvement with business operations and sales while spearheading product development initiatives which included the granting of 6 different patents. His background provides complete insight into the daily workings of organizations both large and small. Business Brokerage provides Bo with an opportunity to continue being a successful team builder while delivering a win-win situation for all parties involved. He received a BS Degree in Psychology from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama and an MBA from the University of Dallas. His spare time is usually spent with family and travel, but he is always up for the challenge of a woodworking project.

(714) 343-0669

Katie Holditch

Senior Business Advisor

Katie Holditch is a seasoned multipreneur and franchise business owner with over 17 years of experience in small business and franchise operations. Katie has started, grown, and sold a successful house cleaning franchise...

with 45 employees, 750 customers, and $1.5 million in revenues. She is currently the owner of a successful salon franchise, a Franchise Advisory Council Member, a Franchise Marketing Council Member, and was recently selected as a Multi-Unit Franchise Partner of The Year. With her small business and franchise experience, Katie is well-positioned to support sellers in the sale of their businesses and at communicating with buyers. Katie’s favorite part of her job is the people—meeting and working with sellers and buyers who want honesty, clear communication, and full support through the selling and buying process. Katie is a native Texan and proud Texas A&M graduate (Class of 97) with two boys, who she will tell you are the best reflection of her character, Stephen (22) and Jackson (18). In her free time, she loves spending time with her friends and family, indoor cycling, and traveling anywhere there is sand.

(713) 377-3189

Tosha Perkins

Senior Business Advisor

Tosha Perkins has over 15 years of experience in business consulting related to performance and productivity improvement. She has held a number of executive positions in large global public companies.

In addition to her experience as a corporate executive, she owns two successful franchises. Tosha has experience across a variety of industries and is well versed in all areas within an organization. As a senior business advisor, she brings specific expertise in structuring and negotiating a business deal that will benefit both the seller and buyer. Tosha holds a Doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a Masters of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Mathematics, and an Executive Leadership certification from Rice University. Her passions include spending time with her three children.

(415) 297-7080

Javier Zorrilla

Senior Business Advisor

Javier Zorrilla is a Senior Business Advisor with Transworld in Houston, Texas. Javier has 15 years of experience in Investment Banking advising multinational corporations with M&A, capital raising and...

liability management transactions. He is also an experienced small business owner. While in Banking, Javier developed a deep understanding of credit analysis, valuation methods, due diligence and structuring solutions for companies in the Oil & Gas, Energy, Infrastructure, Consumer and Telecommunications sectors. Moreover, he has published research reports with investment recommendations on several companies in Emerging Markets for institutional investors globally. His experience as a small business owner brings a firsthand understanding of the challenges of small business ownership. As a Business Advisor, Javier is known for his problem-solving skills, creative deal structuring and focus execution approach to achieve both sellers and buyers’ goals. Javier holds an MBA from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management, where he specialized in Entrepreneurship. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Florida. He is fluent in English and Spanish. In his free time, he loves spending time with his two daughters.

(305) 308-9989