John Lippe, Founder and Director

John is an optimist, who believes in building up the Midwest through entrepreneurship. He founded Heartland to pursue his dream of owning and operating a small business. Growing up in Tulsa, John’s drive started early founding a firewood business with his dad at age thirteen. Through this experience and his achievement of Eagle Scout, he learned the importance of work ethic to reach his goals.

John previously worked as an Operations Director at DaVita, a Fortune 500 health care services provider, where he led 180 employees and managed $45 million in P&L. In this role, John grew the business 15% over two years, while delivering excellent operational and clinical results. Prior to DaVita, John worked at several small, high growth businesses in sales, marketing and product management positions. John began his career at Deloitte Consulting focusing on technology services.

John is married to his wife, Rachael, and enjoys hunting, reading, and fitness. He is an active member of the community in Big Brothers Big Sisters, KC Chamber Centurion (Spring ‘21), and President of his local alumni chapter. John earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Midwestern small business is the backbone of the American economy. Guided by hardworking, committed owners, these companies create jobs and give back to their local communities. John started Heartland to steward the legacy of one business, while building lasting value for future generations of Midwesterners.


Philip Kurtz

Philip Kurtz became the CEO of CareATC in 2013 after having founded and served as the CEO of Benefit Informatics, a healthcare data analytics company with more than 7,000 employers and 5 million members on the platform.

William Paiva, Ph.D.

Dr. William Paiva is Executive Director of Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Systems Innovation (CHSI), focusing on transforming rural health care. He brings a broad range of knowledge, including management consulting and investment banking.

Jim Sharpe

Jim Sharpe is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Harvard Business School. His teachings include acquisitions, manufacturing, B2B marketing… He has ownership positions in more than 25 entrepreneurial companies. His blog covers running SMEs.

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