Four years ago, Robert DeVore hit the brakes on an 11-year run in the restaurant business to shift to financial consulting. He hasn't looked back since.
DeVore joined Baron Financial Group LLC in spring 2008, leaving his role as marketing managing partner of a Florida-based Internet upstart MenuVenue.
“The career change required a leap of faith and a spirit of entrepreneurship as I sold my successful business and started over,” says DeVore, who also had spent years in front-of-house, kitchen and service management for Logan’s Roadhouse, California Pizza Kitchen and Applebee’s.
At Baron Financial, DeVore studies the markets and specializes in managing personal and business 401(k) plans and handling retirement plan rollovers. He wasn’t a complete stranger to financial management.
“Since I was 17 years old, I had actively and successfully handled my own investment portfolio, but now it was time for a commitment to clients,” he says.
The career move also opened the door for DeVore and business partner BJ Richardson to launch Ozarks Entertainment LLC, a company that rents mobile casino equipment. The business specializes in nonprofit fundraising events, and DeVore estimates the company has helped raise more than $200,000 for charitable organizations and communities in the last two years.
“When the Joplin tornado hit, I quickly organized and ran a Joplin Tornado Casino event,” DeVore says. “In just one night, we raised more than $5,000 that went directly to Convoy of Hope, the Rotary Foundation and the Misner Foundation to benefit the people of Joplin.”
In the community, DeVore is involved with the Rotary and Sertoma Clubs, Junior Achievement and GYN Cancer Alliance, for which he serves as a board member.
Through his work and community endeavors, he also has taken several opportunities to help others grow professionally.
For example, Ozarks Entertainment employs about 60 college students, giving them opportunities to earn income while studying and to observe the importance of giving back to the community.
“I’ve used my sphere of influence and networking abilities to (help) several of the students get permanent jobs,” he notes.
At Baron Financial, DeVore works with interns, offering guidance on life decisions and appropriate education for desired career paths. He also founded a breakfast club, 417Networking.com, to help other professionals execute their career plans.
“As an entrepreneur, I understand … it’s not where you are now but where you desire to be down the road,” he says.Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.