He is a partner and co-founder of Fifth Avenue Advisors, a wealth management, mergers/acquisitions and angel investing management firm. He’s also managing director of the FAA subsidiary he founded in 2003, Compass Advisory Group, a consultancy that completes business transactions and corporate restructurings for mid-market companies.
Add to that his chairmanship of Tamiami Angel Funds, which are member managed investments in promising young companies, and his service as president of the Gulf Coast Venture Forum, a Southwest Florida-focused, nonprofit, angel investment network.
These professional pursuits, as with his life, are infused with the teachings of his Christian faith, something he has in common with his partners in FAA, Craig Lyon and Gary Price. He says they share philosophies, ethics and an appreciation for serving customers.
“It really emanates from our core value of using our Judeo-Christian beliefs and implementing them in our business: respect for every individual, a servant-leadership mentality that we take into our business every day, recognizing the talents we have been given and determining to use those talents to their highest and best use in serving others,” Mr. Cartwright says.
“I think it’s equally important that you recognize that everyone has talents and gifts, so no one person has all the skill sets required. That’s why we’ve come together in a partnership; we’ve found that a team approach to serving clients is much better than an individual approach.”
He and Mr. Lyon formed FAA in 2006, bringing their individual businesses, Compass Advisory Group and Magnus Capital, together in a one-stop shop.
“He was a regular investment advisor who managed family wealth and I had a merger and acquisition advisory firm that helped people sell their companies and become liquid,” Mr. Cartwright says.
Mr. Price, a former vice-mayor of Naples, added his wealth management skills to the mix in 2008.
A native of suburban Chicago, Mr. Cartwright has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s of management in finance and accounting from Northwestern University. College was followed by two years with Arthur Andersen, a holding company and former Big Five accounting firm, in Chicago.
Next, Mr. Cartwright dove into entrepreneurship by starting a supply chain consulting company, Benchmark Solutions, which grew to have locations in four Midwest cities. After leaving that company in 1999, he started Byproducts Interactive, an internet marketplace for food and agricultural byproducts, which was victimized by the economic downturn that occurred after 9/11.
He and his wife, Amy, visited Naples in 2002, as he considered his next move. A beachfront lunch at Lowdermilk Park helped prompt their decision to move their family, which included three young children, from suburban Chicago to Collier County.
After the move, Mr. Cartwright became involved in organizing and educating angel investors and facilitating the funding of small businesses to diversify the region’s economic development through investment in innovative industries. This led to the creation of Tamiami Angel Funds in 2008.
He describes the impact of the Tamiami Angel Funds as one of his major sources of pride, citing the company Taste of Immokalee as a prime example behind that feeling.
Taste of Immokalee was launched in 2014 by Immokalee High School students. The company sells hot sauces, spices, salsa and barbecue sauces the students create in stores such as Publix and Winn-Dixie. With mentoring provided by Naples-area business leaders, students from the economically challenged community gain hands-on experience in various aspects of running a business.
Tamiami Angel Funds has raised $12,000 from its members for the company, in a partnership with the nonprofit Community Foundation of Collier County. Investors are working to raise a total of $250,000 to enable Taste of Immokalee to bring manufacturing and distribution of its products to Immokalee from Sarasota.
“The greatest satisfaction comes out of serving people and helping them achieve their dreams and their goals,” Mr. Cartwright says. “That goes across the board, whether it is serving high net worth families and helping them accomplish their goals of charitable giving or paying grandchildren’s tuitions, whether it’s working with entrepreneurs and angel investors, all the way to the public service and volunteer roles that we play in various organizations.” ¦
Interview with Tim Cartwright
Business mentors: My partners.
First jobs: Delivering the newspaper and detasseling corn.
Business words of wisdom: Operate at the intersection of professional drive and personal humility.
Favorite business book: Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.”
Two things you look for when hiring: People who are confident but coachable.
Any job openings? No.
Last time you had to fire someone, and reason? Sorry, that’s confidential.