Eight Mays Business School students have been named 2017 YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund recipients, winning $40,000 in scholarships.

Established in 1937, the Young Menswear Association (YMA) Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) is the premier educational fashion non-profit in the United States. FSF offers scholarships to the best and brightest students seeking business, technology and design careers in the fashion industry.

Cheryl Bridges, adjunct professor of marketing at Mays,  teaches the Advanced Retail Case Study course (MKTG 426). She said the advanced retail case study course is designed to challenge each student to “use critical thinking to develop a business plan that is both viable and creative providing financial and marketing solutions.” The class is part of the certificate in retailing curriculum through the Center for Retailing Studies.

Students evaluated the recent partnership between Etsy, an online marketplace for selling and buying unique goods, and Macy’s – the 159 year-old chain. To combat the trend of successful sellers leaving the site, Etsy Manufacturing, it opened The Etsy Shop at Macy’s Herald Square. This gave Etsy sellers physical store space at one of America’s busiest and famous department stores. The partnership also allowed Macy’s an assortment of artisanal products that many millennials desire.

Students were asked to (1) identify the end-use customer the collaboration should target and (2) identify Etsy sellers who would create the most demand. By envisioning their role as the Director of Special Merchandising Projects at Macy’s, they also developed a marketing campaign and six-month financial plan for The Etsy Shop.

In total, 229 students were selected out of 569 applications from 58 schools, including Cornell, University of California-Berkeley, FIT-Fashion Institute of Technology and the Wharton School of Business.

Each winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship and will travel to New York City in January to be recognized at a formal awards gala. The scholarship also guarantees a fashion internship in New York City during the summer 2017.

Bridges and the eight scholarship recipients network with over 1,500 executives, including influential fashion designers, retail CEOs and top manufacturer brands.

 Texas A&M University has been recognized in the top 10 percent of universities across the country for having the most winners. Since 2012, FSF has awarded 35 scholarships to Mays Business School students, totaling $175,000.

2017 Scholarship Recipients:

  • Leslie Bonorden, Marketing ’18
  • Loryn Setterquist, Business Honors ’18
  • Alex Marks, Marketing ’18
  • Tori Kloeppel, Supply Chain Management ’17
  • Sarah Stroup, Business Honors/Marketing ’17
  • Frances Uzoukwu, Marketing ’17
  • Riden Reiter, Marketing ’17
  • Tess Williamson, Marketing ’17

Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University senior Sarah Shaw is most enthusiastic about the future. The twist is it’s not her own future that’s exciting her, which has been her approach to life since her elementary school days.

“I’m excited about it because it blends my two biggest passions,” Shaw said. “I’ve played soccer since I was 6, and I’ve volunteered at the food pantry since I was 10. It’s always been one of my biggest goals to have a nonprofit, so why not start now?”

Shaw’s idea is much like TOMS Shoes, which matches shoe purchases one for one and donates the second pair to children in need. For every soccer ball Goals for Bowls sells or donation it receives, the organization will donate a soccer ball and meal to a child in Nepal or Ghana.

Charity work runs in Shaw’s family, which has logged more than 1,000 volunteer hours at the Community Enrichment Center in North Richland Hills in Fort Worth, where her father serves on the board.

“It’s always been a big part of my life, volunteering and giving food to people,” Shaw said. “I interned there to get the feel of how to run a nonprofit, and it’s been one of my biggest goals to have a nonprofit, so why not start now.”

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Categories: Entrepreneurship, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

andrew-jarrettA startup that competed in the annual MBA Venture Challenge at Mays Business School in February was recently admitted to Startup Aggieland as a client company. It joined the campus-based accelerator program’s Lifestyle group, exclusive for early-stage ventures that generate revenue.

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ResponderX is a team of technical, non-technical and emergency service providers who are dedicated to engineering safety solutions for firefighters across the nation. Volunteer firefighter Andrew Jarrett formed the company team to promote the use of TaskForceTracker, his patent-pending technology consisting of small device attaches to the top of firefighter helmets and is able to provide critical information such as location and condition of the personnel on the scene.

He said he was inspired to create TaskForce technology to save lives after two local firemen lost their lives during a Feb. 2013 rescue at the Knights of Colombus hall. “Someone got lost in the fire and we had to go search for him,” Jarrett recalled. “When the dust settled, we realized that the guy they came to rescue was very close to an external door to the back building. That’s when it came to me that there is a better way to do this.”

ResponderX founders Jarrett and Jerry Lozano participated in the annual MBA Venture Challenge through Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in February 2016. Over an intensive two-week period, they worked with two Texas A&M MBA students whose task was to complete an in-depth analysis of the business and market segment of Jarrett’s startup company, ResponderX.

“Armed with the research provided to ResponderX by the MBA team, we were able to approach serious investors for the first time with a truly accurate depiction of our business valuation and well-documented market research,” said Jarrett.

The information helped Jarrett raise almost $200,000 in funding.

“The MBA Venture Challenge may have been one of the single most important things to happen to our startup in the past year,” Jarrett explained. “The research, projections, and recommendations provided to me by the student team we were partnered with were priceless, and we continue to use the materials they created to help us in our projections to this day.”

As a client company of Startup Aggieland, ResponderX has been assigned three mentors:

  • Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Nathan Day, a retired founding CTO of SoftLayer and Texas A&M former student who lives near Austin;
  • Startup Aggieland Entrepreneur-in-Residence Brian Kralyevich, a VP UX for Amazon in Seattle and a Texas A&M former student;
  • Dave Manzer, an Aggie mentor for Startup Aggieland who owns Manzer Communications in Austin;
  • Shelly Brenckman, a student co-founder and marketing coordinator as well as manager of the CNVE Mentor Network and Startup Aggieland’s Dormcubator.
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Burnt gear from the firefighters who died in February 2013 is used to demonstrate how important safety is on the fireground.

Categories: Centers, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, MBA, News, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

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(Paletta, Dang, Strawser and Kelly)

Mays Business School recognized four of its most engaged and productive former students with the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award on Nov. 10. The 2016 recipients are Louis Paletta ’78T. Mark Kelly ’79, Jerry Strawser ’83 and Kimberly Allen Dang ’92. All are graduates of the accounting program.

Paletta is a founding partner, board member and chief operating officer of Kildare Partners. He has served Texas A&M
University as a member of the board of trustees of the 12th Man Foundation and as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at Mays, where he currently serves as chairman of the fundraising and development committee. At the banquet, he shared his life philosophies: “You’re only as good as your word and you can never go wrong taking the high road.”

Kelly is chairman of Vinson & Elkins LLP, an international law firm with approximately 700 lawyers across the globe. His practice is concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and corporate governance. Under Kelly’s leadership, the firm has posted record revenues and net income and has nine domestic and seven international offices. Kelly serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Mays and is a member of the Champions Council and the Council of Athletic Ambassadors. He said he is impressed with the passion and desire to be the best he sees in the current students. “I hope through our work, we will continue to attract the best and the brightest to Mays Business School.”

Strawser holds the KPMG Chair in Accounting at Mays and serves as executive vice president of finance and administration and chief financial officer of Texas A&M University. He oversees a budget of more than $1.6 billion and works with the university and Texas A&M System leadership to develop and identify funding for strategic university priorities. He was dean of Mays 2001-2007 and 2008-2014, and interim executive vice president and provost of Texas A&M 2007-2008. He commented on the character of the school’s current students. “They don’t just want to get a job, they want to make a difference. They have huge brains, and they also have huge, huge hearts.”

Dang is vice president, chief financial officer and a member of the Office of the Chairman of Kinder Morgan, the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. After graduating from Texas A&M, she earned an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She said she will always be grateful for the foundation Texas A&M provided for her life. “Many years ago my father told me the broader you build the base, the higher you can build the tower. Texas A&M provided a strong base on which I continue to build.”

The 2017 Mays Business School Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner was on April 6, 2017.

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M