Sound Advice

Kim and Melvin Dunlap outside their business

Kim and Melvin Dunlap are entrepreneurs and business owners, a husband-and-wife team for the past 18 years, dedicated  parents, and faithful members of Fairview Baptist Church – but they wouldn't  prioritize the list in that order. Their busy lives flow seemingly easily from one role to another, as they blend their personal and professional lives. A big part of their ease in going for – and managing – it all comes from the inspiration of Kim's father, Izzy Aleman, a local real estate developer and business owner who owned Sherman Roofing and A&M Asphalt and Paving.

"Go to church, put God first, and work hard. Honest hard work always pays off," Kim says, sharing the advice passed down to her by her father.    

"Izzy gave me the inspiration to step out and not be afraid to succeed," Melvin says about advice his father-in-law gave him when he was considering leaving the corporate world to start his own business. "He taught me to never be afraid to fail or succeed."

Izzy passed away five years ago, but his motivation and influence is still a part of the couple's lives. 

A team-oriented approach
Hard-working, the couple says that, when they started dating, they both always knew they wanted more. In addition to full-time jobs, they worked odd jobs in a continuous drive for improvement.  

"We were motivated to better ourselves and help others along the way," says Kim. "We wanted to set a good example for our kids and show them, if you want bigger and better things, you have to earn them."

Kim, who works part-time as a radiology technologist for Carrus Specialty Hospital in Sherman, started her own business, Railside CrossFit, four years ago. 

"CrossFit was an answer from God for me," Kim says. 

She says her passion for Crossfit started with her own personal goals and needs, as she started pursuing the activity simply to get healthy and fit. After six months, she was hooked and competed in the  2012 Crossfit Games.   

The more active she became, the more she wanted to share the benefits of Crossfit with others. Answering that need to serve others, she started the business out of her garage. 

Today, Railside Crossfit trains 115 members with the help of eight certified trainers at a fully equipped facility, purchased three years ago from Landmark Bank. 

"I get to do a job I love – work out and coach," Kim says. "Crossfit can be intimidating at first, and people often come in unsure if they can do it. They want and need a change in their fitness and health. Many come in unfit, overweight, with a low self-esteem. I get to train, coach, motivate, and hold them accountable to better themselves in all areas of life. I like being part of their journey."

"Today, Railside Crossfit trains 115 members with the help of eight certified trainers at a fully equipped facility, purchased three years ago from Landmark Bank."

"I admire Kim's passion," Melvin says about his wife. "She does just what she preaches to her athletes. She works out faithfully, and she strives to be the fittest of the fit. I also admire her heart for every athlete at our gym."

As partners, Kim and Melvin divvy up duties between their businesses – with Kim taking the lead at Railside and Melvin leading Dun-All Cleaning Services – as well as the rental properties they own. Melvin works with Kim as a Railside trainer and as handyman at the gym and for their real estate properties.

Kim handles the finances for Railside, Dun-All, and their rental business. Melvin spent 22 years working as a client services manager for Cigna Health, and during his corporate career, he kept himself busy with side jobs – detailing cars, cleaning office buildings. His side work kept getting bigger and bigger until he finally took a leap of faith and retired from Cigna to start Dun-All Cleaning full-time. 

"I like having the flexibility to go about daily activities without being hampered by having to be somewhere or stuck in meetings," Melvin says. "(Managing your own business) is stressful to some extent, but it's also a huge burden lifted off me.

"Being the owner/manager of the cleaning service, plus taking care of the rental properties – I like serving people," he adds about his motivation.

Using Landmark for all their banking needs
With 22 employees, Dun-All services commercial businesses, including cleaning all of the Landmark Bank locations in Texas and Oklahoma. Melvin says one of the most challenging aspects of the business is managing employees to keep up with the flex hours demanded by their service. Most of their employees work between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. and already have full-time jobs.

"What I know about Melvin is this – if something needs to be done, it doesn't matter what the task is or what time of the day, he gets it done! You can always count on him," Kim says about her husband.  "He goes over and beyond the call of duty for his clients, and they know they can depend on him."

Kim says she also admires how Melvin handles his staff. "He treats his employees very fair, and he doesn't mind working right beside them," she says. 

Valuing fairness and trust, plus a desire to help others, have been hallmarks of how Kim and Melvin run their businesses, and those values reflect what they appreciate about Landmark Bank.

In the early 2000s, as their number of business ventures grew, Kim and Melvin found themselves with multiple loans across multiple banks. They became Landmark Bank customers in 2004, when they sought to bundle their loans into one loan. They brought their real estate, business, savings and loan accounts into the Landmark family.   

Melvin says that Landmark's customer service is what keeps them as Landmark customers.   

"There's not a time we don't walk into the bank and they don't call us by name," Melvin says. "And it's not just us. We see them treat others the same way. We know we are blessed in many ways and that God has allowed us to have all of these opportunities. We are thankful for all of our business relationships and don't take anything for granted. When you try to do right by God and people, good things will come to you," Melvin says. "To whom much is given, much is required... We are successful, but we do work hard."

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