Management Bios

Darren Blanton, Founder

Mr. Blanton is the founder and managing director of Colt Ventures.  Mr. Blanton has over twenty two years of Investment experience and has invested in over 100 private companies across every stage of corporate finance.  Prior to forming Colt Ventures, Mr. Blanton worked with the family office of Perry E. (Bill) Esping, the founder of First Data Corporation.  Prior to working with the Esping family office, Mr. Blanton ran Able Investments, a distressed real estate fund which acquired commercial real estate from the RTC.  Prior to his work with Able, Darren started his career as a commercial real estate broker in Dallas, Texas.  Mr. Blanton currently serves on the Board of Colt Oil and Gas, The SMU Cox School of Business Venture Fund, Esping Family Foundation, and the SM Wright Foundation.


J.D. McCulloch, Managing Director

Mr. McCulloch is a Managing Director of Colt Ventures, where he is responsible for public and private investment activities and overall portfolio management. Mr. McCulloch was previously Vice President of Investments at TRT Holdings, where he managed TRT’s value retailing business headquartered in Mexico City.  Prior to TRT, Mr. McCulloch was an analyst at a multi-strategy hedge fund and also worked in the Industrials and Consumer Investment banking groups at JPMorgan in New York and Dallas.  Mr. McCulloch holds both a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and has been awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  Mr. McCulloch currently serves on the Board of Colt Oil and Gas.


Chad Hennings, Vice President - Business Development

Chad attended the United States Air Force Academy.  There he was honored academically as well as on the gridiron.  Named most valuable athlete at the academy, he also earned; defensive player of the year honors from the Western Athletic Conference, a spot on the WAC's All-Decade Team, the 1987 Outland Trophy, MVP of the 1988 Freedom Bowl, 2 time Academic All-American, Academic All-American Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, and several other accolades.  These achievements earned him a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster.  However, he postponed his entry into the NFL to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. Chad entered the Euro-NATO training program for top pilots and went on to fly 45 missions, in operation “Provide Comfort” behind the controls of an A-10 Thunderbolt.  This operation provided support to the Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.  He received two aerial achievement medals, a humanitarian award and an outstanding unit award for his actions.   Hennings then joined the Dallas Cowboys, earning a starting position as a defensive lineman. He spent his entire 9-year professional football career with the Cowboys, retiring in 2001 with three Super Bowl rings.   Aside from his duties with Colt Ventures, Chad is also the President of Hennings Management Corporation – a management and consulting business -- and founder of Wingmen Ministries.   He continues to serve the community as an advisory board member of Christian Community Action, a trustee of the Falcon Foundation, board member for the Dallas Gridiron Club, advisory board for the Dallas Football Classic, and board member for Friends of Falcon Football.  He is active in several veterans’ initiatives and speaks to both businesses and non profits on the topic of commitment.   He is the author of the book, “It Takes Commitment” and the recently released “Rules of Engagement.”   Chad is married to Tammy and they have two children, Chase and Brenna.


Christina Kirby- Equine Manager

Christina is the Equine Manager for High Brow Cat and the Colt Ventures’ ranching division.  Christina is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Production & Management.  Prior to joining Colt Ventures she served as the office manager for Weatherford Equine Breeding Center and as a veterinary technician at the North Carolina State Veterinary Teaching Hospital.