Paul Salisbury portrait

Paul Salisbury


Paul Salisbury is the Chief Executive Officer at Dura Software. He is the operational brains behind the organization focused on evaluating, transitioning, and optimizing acquisitions.

Previously, Paul operated as a Senior Vice President for Rackspace, leading a team of 300 employees that delivered “Fanatical Support” to over 55,000 North American Hybrid and Cloud customers. Paul’s organization served 70% of the Fortune 100 delivering superior technical expertise and a world class customer experience. Paul left Rackspace in May of 2017 to pursue entrepreneurial interests and co-founded Dura Software in 2018.

Prior to joining Rackspace, Paul served as Professional Services Regional GM at Dell Computer Corporation where he oversaw the delivery of consulting services engagements for the Eastern United States. Paul’s 25+ year career in technology also includes implementing large-scale ERP solutions at Ernst and Young Consulting in the United States and abroad and leading Manufacturing Process Controls efforts for Procter and Gamble.

Paul holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University California, Santa Barbara and an MBA from the University of Texas. Originally from Northern California, Paul has been in Texas now for more than 20 years and became a San Antonio resident in 2011. Paul loves the Texas outdoors and in his free time you can find him on the golf course or at the beach with his wife and two daughters.

Michael Girdley portrait

Michael Girdley

Executive Chairman

Michael Girdley is the Chairman of the Board and head of strategy at Dura Software. Michael manages the firm’s strategic initiatives including acquisition strategy and growth planning/execution. He also adds technical expertise to Dura’s business operations.

Previously, Michael was Managing Director of the Geekdom Fund, a seed-stage tech venture capital fund with $24 million under management that has invested in over 50 high-growth tech companies.

Michael has also co-founded several tech-related companies and nonprofits: Codeup, Alamo Angels, and the RealCo Accelerator.  Prior to diving into San Antonio’s tech sector, Michael was CEO of Alamo Fireworks, the largest retailer of consumer fireworks in Texas. Under his leadership, the family business transitioned from 3rd to 4th generation leadership and grew by over 50%.

Academically, Michael’s background is rooted in technology. He received a BS in Computer Science from Lafayette College. Michael began his career in San Francisco, where he held engineering and marketing roles at RSA Security and BEA WebLogic, where, at age 25, he was the lead product manager for a $300mm business.

Michael serves on the boards of Alamo Angels, Codeup, RealCo Micro VC, Prospectify, and Alamo Fireworks. In 2015, the San Antonio Business Journal named Michael “Man of the Year”.  Michael has also authored several books on computer programming which have been translated into four languages.

Chris Burney portrait

Chris Burney


Chris Burney is the Chief Financial Officer at Dura Software, where he oversees acquisitions, capital allocation, and financial management of Dura Software’s business lines.  Chris joined Dura Software as an investor and co-founder in September 2018.

Previously, Chris served as the Founding Executive Director and Board Chair at Alamo Angels. Since its inception in December 2016, Chris managed Alamo Angels’ growth to over 100 investor members who have invested over $2.5M in startup businesses.

Prior to Alamo Angels, Chris spent four years at Rackspace where he held roles on the operational and strategic finance teams.  Chris’ responsibilities at Rackspace included leading a team of financial analysts overseeing a $450M annual operating budget as well as supporting corporate M&A activities.

Chris is a native San Antonian who returned home permanently in 2012 after spending 10 years living and working in New York and North Carolina.  During his free time, Chris enjoys playing competitive tennis and exploring new events and locales in the San Antonio area with his wife Lizzie and three young girls.

Chris holds an undergraduate degree from Duke University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has also held roles at J.P. Morgan and Thomson Financial in New York City.

Connor Chamness

Conor Chamness

Corporate Development

Conor Chamness is responsible for sourcing, engaging, and evaluating acquisition opportunities at Dura Software.

Originally from the DC Area, Conor moved to San Antonio in late 2018 as a Venture for America Fellow. Prior to the Fellowship and joining the team at Dura, he worked in business development, marketing, and operations at a number of startups and consulting organizations.

Conor is a graduate of Boston College with degrees in Finance and Economics. Now that he lives in Texas, he cannot conceive of a reason people would choose to live somewhere without palm trees.

Joseph Villafranca


Joseph Villafranca leads the mission to build valuable, sustainable, and evolvable software at each of the businesses Dura operates.

He currently also serves as the CEO of Grok Interactive, one of the longest standing software consultancies in San Antonio, specializing in developing cutting edge software to solve many different business problems. He’s written software professionally for over five years, in as many different languages and technology stacks as that amount of time could reasonably allow.

He holds a Bachelor of Business of Administration from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of the inaugural Codeup cohort.

Amy Garza

Project Manager

Amy Garza manages the due diligence and transition processes for all new acquisitions, along with managing several strategic projects for Dura. 

Amy is a native South Texan and currently a 2020 Venture for America Fellow. Prior to Dura, Amy worked in various roles throughout the food and agricultural industry including marketing and promotions, supply chain management, vendor relationship management, and strategic planning

Amy is a Cornell University graduate  holding a Bachelor of Science in International Agriculture. You can find Amy exploring and drinking her way through the San Antonio coffee scene, enjoying a local farmer’s market, or supporting one of the local sports teams.

Abreham Dadi

Corporate Development

Abreham Dadi assists in deal sourcing and acquisition evaluation at Dura Software.                                                           

Abreham is a Texas native who was raised in Dallas. In the past, Abreham has worked with universities, public policy firms, and a start up he founded and later gave to a large public university. He’s held roles in project management, data analysis, and relationship management. Abreham is currently a Venture for America Fellow and moved to San Antonio mid-2019.

Abreham holds a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Texas A&M University – College Station.

Carlos Navarrete

Operations Manager

Carlos Navarrete is an Operations Manager at Dura Software, where he leads the strategy of the company to extend its footprint into Latin America and bring the culture, vision, and best practices at each of the businesses that Dura operates.                        

Prior to Dura, Carlos served as a Customer Success Manager for Moki, the first company acquired by Dura back in 2018. Carlos also worked as an Enterprise Account Manager at Rackspace, where he successfully helped the businesses serving the top Latin American customers, whom together held $12mm of annual revenue, kept churn under 0.5% and maintained more than 30% growth YoY.

Previously, Carlos spent almost two decades working for the main information technology companies including IBM, Hewlett Packard, and EDS, gaining experience in IT management, digital transformation, and business administration.

Carlos is a proud Mexican living in the US and his formula for success is to bring the best of both cultures. Carlos’ mantra is “You don’t know who you really are until you leave the place you’re from”. He speaks fluent Spanish and English, and loves spending time with his family and traveling to new places all over the world. 

Carlos graduated from Universidad del Valle de Mexico (UVM) with a BS in Computer Sciences and holds an MBA from the “Tec de Monterrey“.

Chris Smith


Chris Smith is the Controller at Dura Software, where he oversees  global accounting operations and guides financial decisions by establishing, monitoring, and enforcing policies and procedures.

Prior to Dura, Chris held accounting leadership roles at Verimatrix, VizExplorer, and Jack Henry & Associates. In those roles, he played an integral part of implementing new systems, streamlining processes, and compliance with complex revenue arrangements. He brings a deep background in software accounting to Dura and San Antonio. 

Chris holds a Master of Accountancy from Missouri State University and is a CPA. He relocated to San Antonio early 2020 from San Diego and is looking forward to exploring all the great things Texas has to offer. Outside of the office you’ll find Chris doing anything active and enjoying the outdoors. Some of his favorite activities are going on hikes or adventures with his wife Sarah and their dog Maximus. 

Simone Tobin


Simone Tobin is the Accountant at Dura Software, where she provides accurate reconciliation of business accounts. This includes bank statements, credit cardsanalysis of accounts and reporting of financial variances and inaccuracies.                                                      

Simone is originally from Brazil and has been a citizen of the US since 2013. She speaks fluent Portuguese, English and is learning Spanish. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Advancing Studies, Boston College since 2008.  

Her knowledge comes from when she worked as a Shared Service Accountant at UPS and Sally Beauty LLC. She lived in Boston until 2014 and decided to move to DFW area after the Money Magazine voted McKinney the 2nd Best Places to Live in the US.

Since then, she has been enjoying small road trips throughout Texas with her husband and dogs. She enjoys attending wineries, Spring Wildflowers, and Hill Country events to help support the local community. 

She has volunteered with Operation Kindness in North Dallas  as a Volunteer Trainer as well as an Adoption Handler. She holds volunteerism and charity close to her heart. Not to mention, she is a huge fan of the Soccer World Cup, Dallas Cowboys, and Boston Bruins. 


Gerry Diaz-Phillips


Gerry Diaz-Phillips is the Recruiter at Dura Software, where he overseas all recruiting and talent acquisition.                                                           

Gerry is a native of New Jersey and attended the University of Richmond on a football scholarship, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. After college he continued his athletic pursuits by becoming a nationally ranked powerlifter and fitness club owner. Gerry began his career in Recruiting in Miami, Florida and quickly realized it was the correct industry for him. 

Gerry relocated to San Antonio in November of 2007 and has been a part of San Antonio’s growing ecosystem ever since. In 2015 Gerry founded Tech Talent Texas. A non-profit organization focused on providing content on resume, writing, interviewing and networking skills to entry and mid-level technology professionals. 

During the course of his recruiting career Gerry has worked on all levels of IT positions, from Help Desk roles with clients to confidential requirements with the Department of Defense. Gerry brings a career’s worth of experience to the Dura team.