DCV Team

DCV Franchise Group Team

Reg Byrd

Managing Partner

For over 25 years Mr. Byrd has been a business venture strategist assisting entrepreneurs in all aspects of business development with a focus on financing, business planning and financial modeling. The scope of his work ranges from mom and pop brick and mortar independent businesses to Fortune 500 hotel development projects, acquisitions and dispositions. Securing debt being his forte, Mr. Byrd has been successful in placing nearly one-billion dollars in debt; vis-à-vis relationships with traditional lenders using SBA products, commercial lending, and leasing. Within the franchise community, Mr. Byrd is known as the “master” when it comes to SBA financing.

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In 1980, Mr. Byrd began working in the hotel business for Holiday Inns. Having found his purpose in life, and seeking advancement, Mr. Byrd was recruited by ITT Sheraton in 1984. Then, in 1990 he was recruited by Hyatt Hotels as Financial Controller. Mr. Byrd call Hyatt Hotels home for more than a decade. While with Hyatt he worked at three of their Southern California properties: The Westlake Plaza, the Regency Long Beach, and the Regency La Jolla. Taking it up a notch, Mr. Byrd was scooped up by Loews Hotels to serve as CFO at the Loews on Coronado in San Diego. Mr. Byrd has been responsible for budgets over $55,000,000.

One who has the spirit of an entrepreneur, Mr. Byrd left corporate America in 2004 to start his own business. As a California licensed real estate broker, he began representing hotel owners around the country. His broker portfolio represents transactions ranging from $500,000 to $30,000,000. During this time, it became “part of the job” to place financing for his brokered deals and so the building of lender relations began. Before the economy took a downward spiral, Mr. Byrd organically began including other franchise organizations, not just hotels. To date, Direct Connect Ventures has serviced nearly 300 franchise systems placing debt for transactions in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Panama.

Mr. Byrd can be found published in franchise and business financial periodicals. He has contributed on many panels over the years and has been a guest speaker at a variety of franchise conferences and forums.

Supported by a sales staff, underwriters, and a business plan copywriting team, DCV successfully represents and secures financing for entrepreneurs at varying stages in business; startups and expansions alike. The motto at DCV is “Delivering dedication and commitment to excellence, without mediocrity.”

In addition to Direct Connect Ventures being a firm that consults, guides, and directs entrepreneurs with their business goals and objectives, DCV is a licensed insurance agent with the California Department of Insurance.

Larry Schwartz

Managing Partner

Larry Schwartz has more than 25 years of corporate and business development experience and has held executive level positions in the ancillary healthcare and franchise industries. During that time, he has been instrumental in developing and managing new business ventures and has spearheaded the growth of several start-ups, early and middle stage companies.

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Larry began his career in franchising as a Master Developer for a multi-brand organization in Southern California. Shortly after, he was asked to help lead the company’s national franchise development efforts as well as assist in the launch of a new high-profile brand. In that capacity, Larry was responsible for developing, implementing and executing a national rollout strategy with emphasis on sales and marketing, resale transactions, contract negotiation and real estate procurement. He also served as Regional Vice President for a multi-brand international franchise company where he was responsible for the development of several brands in the Southwestern US.

Since 2009, Larry has worked as a senior level consultant to the franchise industry and has helped facilitate the development of several start-ups, early stage and established franchise organizations. He has brought years of small business and corporate development experience to clients in several critical areas including infrastructure development, sales, branding/marketing, operations and investment capital procurement.

Larry joined DCV Franchise Services Group as a Partner and Sr. Consultant to pursue his passion for working with companies to develop new and existing brands, create new business opportunities and facilitate the growth and development of regional, national and international franchise systems.

John Hajgato

VP Performance & Relationship Manager

John was educated in Europe with a degree in Economics from the University of Middlesex, London. His experience as a young professional include working in industries such as marketing, sales, and executive coaching. Coming from a family and background of business owners and entrepreneurs going generations back, John understands and knows what makes a small to medium business work. As the Business Plan Developer and Financial Modeler, John creates the ultimate tool for clients to successfully source competitive funding for their business. Additionally, John speaks fluent German and Hungarian and enjoys all types of motor sports, and traveling.

Anthony Byrd

EVP Business Development

With nearly two decades of experience in customer relations and business development from a Fortune Top 10 company, Anthony has brought unparalled depth and knowledge to DCV. He worked his way up the ladder into retail management and is the recipient of countless accommodations in both sales and customer services. His commitment and loyalty to every individual with whom he comes into contact is unmatched. Being the genuine, sincere and humble individual that he is, everyone looks forward to spending time with Anthony; either in person or thousands of miles away being on the phone together! Since joining the DCV Franchise Group family, Anthony has organically established himself within the franchise community as a most respected, responsive and engaging partner to both franchisors and franchisees. He is always ready to help in any capacity necessary to make his partner’s dreams come true. Something that cannot be “learned,” Anthony has the innate capacity to be caregiver. This is evident in every conversation had with him. Anthony is a family man with an amazing wife, a son and a daughter. His other passions include modern American muscle cars and barbecuing.

Ebony Zepeda

Director of Consulting & Project Management

Ebony has over a decade of experience in client service management having supervised 300+ client relationships working for a prestigious wealth management firm in Southern California. In addition, she was responsible for developing and implementing a strategic marketing plan for the entire Western US., while working closely with senior management to develop Wealth Management sales strategies involving national and regional campaigns in order to increase fee revenue and develop new COI relationships. To further her career in a management capacity, Ebony joined a portfolio management team that was made up clients with $1-3M in assets. She successfully worked with a team tailoring plans to help her clients reach their financial and growth objectives. Combining her passion for working with clients to achieve their personal and professional objectives, coupled with her extensive marketing experience, Ebony joined one of the largest consulting firms in the US (the largest in CA) to work in their Franchise Consulting Group. Her highly recognized success of turning a dream into a reality has made her one of the most sought out professionals in the franchise industry. Her position at DCV Franchise Group allows her to continue working on becoming the best she can be while also making her DCV clients the best they can be!

Lance Lorang

Business Development Advisor

Lance is the center and quarterback for DCV! He has made a name for himself in the franchise industry by providing exemplary services for all of our clients, and showing an innate ability to communicate and coordinate both externally with clients and internally with team members. Effortlessly Lance handles numerous and various kinds of projects at the same time. He is able to keep himself on track and manages to keep the rest of the team on track as well! Efficiency is the name of the game and Lance is our ace in the hole! Committed to higher education, Lance is a graduate of California Lutheran University with a degree in Marketing Communications. He is a bit of a daredevil and always loves a good challenge. Last year’s challenge was surfing and this year it is dirt biking!