The Survey of Marketing class (Marketing 621) taught by Professor Paul Busch recently welcomed guest speakers Dallas Shipp ’03 and Nicole Morten Lamb. Shipp runs a marketing strategy company called 6 Shooter Marketing and Lamb owns the video production company Water to Wine Productions.

The class focuses on developing marketing strategies including product, pricing, distribution, and promotion decisions. The pair’s presentation connected those principles by speaking on the “Power of Video.”

Shipp and Lamb reinforced the idea that even though facts are important, the emotion and storytelling behind marketing can sometimes leave a more lasting impression. Shipp introduced students to the idea that people want to do business with companies they feel connected to. Through marketing strategies, including video, you can relay emotion, explain difficult concepts, and make a connection with an audience, creating that vital relationship.  His simple mantra “facts tell, and stories sell” summarizes that idea. As for videos specifically, he emphasized the importance of quality video advertisement by sharing that use of an effective embedded video typically increases customer conversion by 80 percent.

Lamb focused on how to go about telling your story. She creates video projects for weddings, businesses, social media, and for clients in many different industries. Her passion resides with storytelling and bringing her clients vision’s to life. Understanding that so much work goes into creating a business, her hope is to communicate that idea and the finished result through professional, creative, and engaging videos. Lamb showed students a few videos she had produced advertising for businesses in Downtown Brenham.

Students were also shown the current and typical written information found on the Brenham website. When asked to compare the two, students instantly felt more connected to the experiences and emotion depicted the video instead of the written advertisements. This demonstration proved that it is possible to be informative and get the point across without sacrificing creativity and connection.

Their approach to marketing and advertising disproves the idea that there is only “one silver bullet for marketing success.” They encouraged focusing on constructing the right combination of practices to achieve the best marketing strategy for each client.

Categories: Alumni, Featured Stories, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Odin Clack ’02 was just looking for a hobby that would spur his creativity. Instead, his pastime has combined with Clack’s entrepreneurial spirit to turn into Odin Leather Goods, a thriving regional brand.

The seeds of the small business were planted in 2012 when Clack, a corporate director of online marketing, went into a leather shop on a whim and picked up the tools and materials he needed to make a laptop sleeve. 

Soon, his experiment bloomed into a hobby that began to consume a good portion of his evenings and weekends. “Hobbies are expensive,” he said. “I started wondering, ‘How can I get a return?’”

The Dallas-area resident quickly figured out how to turn his passion for leatherworking into a business and now makes a significant side income from his creations. He also has leveraged a small budget, his contacts, and social media to double his business and gain loyal customers around the world.

Clack – who handles all of the production, marketing and shipping – primarily focused on improving his processes in order to increase production. When he started working with leather, he made two to three wallets a week. Now he produces more than 50 wallets along with other types of leather goods in that time span. “I ship 20-30 orders per week. Half are outside the state of Texas,” he said. “It is also normal for me to have bulk orders each week that consist of 50-100 pieces. I would have thought this was impossible four years ago given that I’m a one man shop. By focusing on efficiently managing resources and my processes I’ve been able to dramatically improve production speed.”

Clack currently is focusing on making Oden Leather Goods into a significant regional brand. He also is starting to do co-branded work with a variety of well-established companies, including Southwest Airlines, Willie Nelson’s Luck Reunion, Jack Mason watches, Renaissance Hotels, and Rolls Royce.

Adding fuel to the entrepreneurial spirit

Clack, who earned a degree in marketing, credits Mays and Texas A&M University for instilling a strong work ethic and fueling his entrepreneurial spirit. He especially appreciates Mays internships, which gave him the opportunity to get real-world experience.  

As a student, he held a staff position in Texas A&M’s Department of Multiultural Services Department and served as co-chair for the Southwestern Black Leadership Conference. During his time in school, Clack also started a few businesses, including a small company in which he created web designs. “I came out of Texas A&M with a resume that showed a history of production, a history of work, and a history of success,” he said. “And I had numbers to back it up instead of just having a resume full of activities.”

New horizons opening up

Unlike many entrepreneurs who have a side business, Clack doesn’t want to eliminate his day job. “I enjoy what I do, and I’ve put the last 10-15 years into building my professional career,” he said. “My side business is a way to keep my creativity going, generate some additional income, and network.”

In an unexpected turn, Clack is beginning to share what he has learned from Mays, his day job and his small business with other entrepreneurs who are part of the maker’s movement.  “I have met a whole lot of great people and worked with a ton of great businesses in the area (through Odin Leather Goods),” he said. “Some of those contacts now are turning into consulting gigs. They’re looking at how I have grown my business and they’re asking, ‘How can I grow my business too?’”

Clack believes the combination of entrepreneurship and creativity offers a very viable way to earn a living. “In this day and age, with very little money in your pocket and a little bit of determination, you can generate significant income just off of good ideas, focus and a lot of hustle.”

 

Categories: Alumni, Entrepreneurship, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Louis “Lou” Paletta, a founding partner and the chief operating officer of Kildare Partners, joined the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees on July 1.

Paletta, originally from San Antonio, earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M University in 1978. Prior to joining Kildare—a $4 billion private equity firm organized in 2013 to target distressed European commercial real estate-related opportunities—Paletta spent 20 years with Lone Star Funds, holding a variety of leadership positions. Paletta’s career has taken him to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

During his tenure at Lone Star, he was responsible for coordinating the formation of 10 private equity funds, representing $34 billion in capital commitments from a variety of global institutional investors including public pension funds, corporate pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments, and foundations.

Before Lone Star, he served as director of internal audit for Brazos Asset Management Inc. and senior audit manager of American Savings Bank. He spent the first 12 years of his career with Deloitte specializing in attestation, business reorganization and litigation support.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve Texas A&M University and am privileged to be working with an outstanding group of proven professionals that ‘lead by example’ in distinguishing Texas A&M from its peers,” Paletta said.

He has remained active in the Texas A&M community, serving in volunteer leadership roles for Mays Business School and the 12th Man Foundation. He and his wife, Wanda, are longtime benefactors to Texas A&M and are members of The Association of Former Students’ Century Club, the A&M Legacy Society and the 12th Man Foundation’s Diamond Champions Council. Paletta also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board at Mays Business School and was honored as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2017.

Paletta also serves as chairman of the Board of Managers of Cerebrum Health Centers, a nationally recognized brain rehabilitation center. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Aggie Golf Association and the Vaquero Club in Westlake, as well as captain of the Dallas Area Champions Council. He has regularly visited campus to speak to business honors students about his experience in the finance and investment worlds. In 2016, he was recognized with an Outstanding Alumni Award from Mays Business School.

“Lou and Wanda are action-oriented volunteers who live by our Aggie core values,” said Tyson Voelkel ’96, president of the Texas A&M Foundation. “They embody the Aggie spirit and consistently support athletics and academics. I am proud to welcome Lou to our exceptional Board of Trustees and look forward to his influence on our endowment performance and impact on the university’s ‘Lead by Example’ campaign.”

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This story is posted on Texas A&M Today

Texas A&M Foundation 
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities.

For additional information or for photographs, please contact Dunae Crenwelge at dcrenwelge@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7461.

Media contact: Dunae Crenwelge, Texas A&M Foundation (txamfoundation.com) at (979) 845-7461 or dcrenwelge@txamfoundation.com

  • by Texas A&M Foundation staff

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Peter and Lisa Currie of Houston have always cared deeply about the impact of business education and the dual practices of teaching and research. That’s why they established the first $3 million faculty chair at Mays Business School.

The Curries’ gift creates the Lisa Huddleston Currie ’85 and Peter H. Currie ’85 Chair in Business and helps fund faculty recruitment efforts at Mays.

An appointment to an endowed chair is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member. The highest level of performance in research, teaching and service, based on national and international standards, is required for such an appointment.

Gift agreements with donors may specify the criteria for a position; however, in the absence of such specification research and publication will be given primary consideration.

Peter Currie received a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from the Department of Management at the business school. Lisa Currie received a degree in 1985 in educational curriculum and instruction.

…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School will explore “Strategies for Navigating the Path to Executive Leadership” in its semi-annual Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) conference on Oct. 20 at Texas A&M University. In its eighth year, WLI was created as a vehicle to boost the number of women in leadership positions and demonstrate the school’s commitment to developing women as transformational leaders.

The 2017 Mays WLI Conference is a dynamic one-day leadership conference that focuses on critical issues pertaining to women’s leadership development. The conference theme will focus on the strategies for women to step up to the corner office. Attendees are invited to explore issues that women leaders face through a keynote featuring Col. Kimberly D. Olson, dialogues, networking and a luncheon panel discussion.

“WLI is a great example of our mission to develop the Mays Transformational Leader: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones.

This year’s theme was inspired by the underrepresentation of women in executive leadership positions. National statistics show that 50 percent of all undergraduate degrees and 30 percent of MBAs granted in the U.S. in 2014 went to women. Yet fewer than 5 percent of Fortune 500 firms are headed by women.

According to Annie McGowan, assistant dean for diversity and inclusion at Mays Business School, the goal of WLI is to arrest national trends by leveraging the knowledge of the school’s world-class leadership faculty, the adult learning expertise of the Mays Center for Executive Development, and the power of the Aggie Network to offer a gateway to seats at board tables and development activities for those aspiring to expand the scope of their leadership opportunities.

The event will take place in the Memorial Student Center Bethancourt Ballroom at Texas A&M University.

The conference is open to the public. Registration before Sept.15 is $400 for a table of eight, $60 for business leaders, $30 for faculty and staff, and $12 for college-aged students. All meals and refreshments are included in the registration fee.

The event is sponsored in part by Mays Business School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

For more information and to register, visit tx.ag/MaysWLI17  

About the speakers:

Kimberly D. Olson, Colonel (Retired) – Through her trail-blazing military service as an aviation leader, commander and patriot Col. Olson has reshaped the perception of women serving their country. She was part of the first generation of female military pilots in the United States Air Force and one of the first to command an operational flying squadron. She served in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Air Staff and deployed to several combat zones, including Iraq. As the retired CEO/President of Grace After Fire, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to helping women veterans help themselves, she reshaped how care was delivered to thousands of women veterans.

Annie McGowan, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Mays Business School – McGowan heads the Mays Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which aims to realize Mays’ strategic vision as a vibrant learning organization that respects differences and embraces connectedness. McGowan works with members of the school in the areas of cultural sensitivity and inclusion, diversity in student recruitment and retention and community relations. She is an associate professor of accounting and has served as the director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) at Mays since 2008.

Cynthia Devers, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and a Mays Research Fellow, Mays Business School – Devers is also an International Research Fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation and an outgoing Associate Editor of Academy of Management Review. In her research, she draws on behavioral decision and social psychological perspectives to examine the roles formal and informal governance mechanisms and social evaluations play in individual, group, and organizational behavior and outcomes. Her work has been published in strategy and management journals, including Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Journal of Management.

Renee Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Advisor Services Technology, Schwab Advisor Services – Schroeder is responsible for development and maintenance of the Advisor Services products and websites. This includes Schwab Advisor Center, Schwab Retirement Center, and Schwab Institutional. Before joining Schwab, Schroeder worked for USAA, where she led applications development, systems maintenance and customer support for USAA’s Brokerage & Mutual Funds; Institutional Trading; Life, Health, and Annuities; and Wealth Management systems. She earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.

Susan Rudd Bailey, M.D., Fort Worth Allergy – Bailey is an allergist and immunologist from Fort Worth, Texas, and the Speaker of the American Medical Association House of Delegates. Dr. Bailey brings an impressive record of involvement in organized medicine and is a recent past president of the Texas Medical Association (TMA). In 2016, she was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M University.

Deb Merril, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Just Energy Group Inc. – As the President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of a growing global energy company, Merril applies her passion for raising the bar to delivering forward-thinking solutions and progressive product and service options as a trusted energy advisor for customers across geographical lines. She holds an MBA and a master’s degree in economics from Mays Business School.

 

Categories: Alumni, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Women's Leadership Initiative

For Roger Montemayor ’99, entrepreneurship is synonymous with confidence.

His guiding question is simple: “Do you believe enough in yourself to take on great risk for great gain?”

Believing in himself to take risks has been integral to his success in taking the helm of his father’s company, Victory Insurance, and growing it to the point of attracting the attention of the one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, Arthur J. Gallagher, where he is now area president.

Since he was a college student majoring in business management, he has had all the makings of an entrepreneurial spirit — drive, passion, and a love of leading others to accomplish great things.

“I knew early on that I wanted my performance to control my destiny and took a job offer from my dad to work in sales,” he said. He worked for his father’s company Victory Insurance selling commercial property and casualty to businesses in around the Houston area.

In 2009, Montemayor decided to purchase the agency from his dad and his partner.

“Immediately after he closed, I formulated a plan to diversify our business and focus heavily on growth. I created a personal lines division, that focused on high net worth, complex personal insurance needs. I also opened up a group benefits division, Victory Benefits Advisors.”

Montemayor said that both of these divisions created instant organic growth for the company. By 2016, he had doubled the top line growth of his agency.

Montemayor said he has always had a passion to build business and to lead. “I think it’s because I love the pressure, I love the hustle, I love competition and I’ve never been complacent.”

Montemayor easily recalls a highlight of his career: In 2016, when Fortune 500 company Arthur J. Gallagher sought out with interest in a merger.

The rewards of his endeavors with Victory Insurance have been vast for Montemayor, especially when it comes to the people with whom he works. “I love the responsibility of taking care of my employees,” he said. “It’s extremely fulfilling to know that if I do my job the way that I should, many others will also share in the success.”

Montemayor also underscored that his background at Mays has been invaluable in helping him succeed. “The environment at Mays promoted competition and cultivated a drive that prepared me for the real world.” He credited the community of professors and mentors who were attentive to his preparation and growth.

He added that that the strength of the Aggie network has been crucial. “As Aggies, we take care of each other and we do business with each other. I’ve created so many professional relationships with Aggies, it’s unbelievable.”

 

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Center for Executive Development, Entrepreneurship, Management, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Texas A&M University is tied with the University of Michigan for having the most graduates currently serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, according to a new Fortune magazine study.

With four former students serving as CEOs of some of the largest companies in the United States, Texas A&M has the most of any university in Texas and is only matched by the University of Michigan. Other schools on the Fortune list include Cornell University and Harvard University, both with three CEO graduates.

Texas A&M also is the only Texas school in the survey with a CEO on Fortune’s Top Ten list. Darren Woods, CEO and chairman of Exxon Mobil, studied electrical engineering at Texas A&M and is a 1987 graduate. His wife, Kathryn Woods, is also a 1987 Texas A&M graduate who earned a degree in accounting from Mays Business School.

This year’s Fortune list also includes Bruce D. Broussard, CEO of Humana, Class of 1984; David M. Cordani, CEO of Cigna, Class of 1988. Both Broussard and Cordani earned degrees in accounting from Mays Business School.

“Texas A&M has always been committed to developing leaders of character and the mission of Mays Business School is to develop transformational leaders,” says James Benjamin, head of the department of accounting at Mays Business School. “Beyond that, accounting is often referred to the language of business and graduates are well positioned for success is all aspects of organizations. Both Mr. Broussard and Mr. Cordani worked as auditors with major public accounting firms and became CPA’s before transitioning to the corporate world. Many believe that the discipline and work ethic required in public accounting provides good preparation for leadership roles in business.”

Not included in this year’s survey is Jeff Miller, who was recently appointed as president and CEO of Halliburton Co.  Miller received an MBA from Mays Business School in 1988.

Read more here: http://today.tamu.edu/2017/07/05/texas-am-heads-fortune-magazine-ceo-list/

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Departments, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, MBA, News, Texas A&M

The Aggie Real Estate Network (AREN) is hosting its 40th Annual Conference July 27-29 Bryan/College Station’s newest luxury hotel, the Stella Hotel located at Lake Walk at Traditions Golf Club.

The celebration of the AREN’s accomplishments culminates each year at the Annual Real Estate Conference. This event’s primary focus, since its introduction in 1977, is on continuous education and fundraising. Members satisfy their goal by inviting real estate professionals to College Station and providing them with the opportunity to learn, celebrate, and network with peers.

Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of the original conference, the event begins with a commemorative reception on Thursday evening. It will be followed by speakers and networking opportunities on Friday and Saturday.

For additional information, visit https://aggierealestate.aggienetwork.com/annual-conference/2017-registration/.

What differentiates AREN is the support from its members. Many affiliates serve as mentors to graduate students, host various conferences in the pursuit of lifelong education, and fundraise to create scholarships for students. The organization has raised more than $350,000, with $225,000 of that being awarded to outstanding students.

Mays Executive Professor Cydney Donnell, who is director of real estate programs, is coordinating the conference. A big part of the conference’s purpose is to raise funds in support of the real estate education efforts at Texas A&M,” she said. “Students have benefited greatly from both endowed scholarships and funding for educational events and trainings.”

How the network evolved

Students in the Master of Land Economics and Real Estate (LERE) Program created what is now known as the Aggie Real Estate Network (AREN). Their hope was to establish an organization where students could connect and network with those who had similar interests. These students originally called the organization The Association of Texas Real Estate Economists.

Master’s students who were accepted into the LERE Program were working toward a degree from the College of Agriculture. As finance became a more prominent feature of the real estate industry, the program was transferred to Mays Business School and the name was changed to the Master of Real Estate Program.

There are still close ties between the Master of Real Estate Program and College of Agriculture. The streamlined academic option, 4+1, was created for top students in Agricultural Economics who were interested in obtaining a Masters in Real Estate. The program allows students to register for essential agriculture courses and collaborate with students who are enrolled in a similar program in the College of Architecture.

Typically, the Master of Real Estate Program accepts 30 to 45 students annually and provides them with countless opportunities after college. Numerous students go on to work in banking, mortgage finance, retail site selection, investing, and agricultural appraisal. While graduates venture into the professional world, many continue to stay connected to Texas A&M through membership in The Aggie Real Estate Network.

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Programs, Real Estate, Texas A&M

Three Mays graduates are among the 10 2017 recipients of the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University, the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students are proud to welcome as Distinguished Alumni: Jorge A. Bermúdez ʼ73 of College Station, Craig Brown ’75 of Houston, and William M. “Bill” Huffman ’53 of College Station and Marshall.

A full list of the 10 recipients and their biographical information may be found here.

Jorge A. Bermúdez ʼ73, in a 33-year career with Citibank and Citigroup, was chief risk officer for Citigroup/Citibank, CEO and president of Citibank Commercial Banking Group and CEO of Citigroup Latin America. He is president and CEO of the Byebrook Group. He is an Outstanding International Alumnus of A&M, received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award, and is on the Department of Agricultural Economics’ Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry. He has served on the board and as chair for The Association of Former Students and is on the Texas A&M Foundation board as well as on the College of Agriculture Development Council, the Dean’s Advisory Board for Mays Business School and Texas A&M’s International Advisory Board. He is a board member and past chair of the Community Foundation of the Brazos Valley’s investment committee. He serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Master of Science in Business program congratulated 40 students in its inaugural graduating class with a hooding ceremony at the end of the Spring 2017 semester. ‘Jon Jasperson, MS Business Academic Director, spoke highly of the Class of 2017, describing the students as a diverse group that quickly became a tight-knit community.

Launched in fall 2017, the Mays MS Business program is a one-year program for students who did not study business as undergraduates. The program offers core functional knowledge in the various business disciplines and provides students hands-on experience in creating and running a real business.

“This class drew students from a variety of educational backgrounds and personal interests,” Jasperson said. “The student culture in many majors, especially in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), is very competitive and mostly based on individual performance. As the director, it was fun to observe the change in the students as they learned about cooperation and collaboration in a team-based classroom environment.”

Jasperson said the students began to bond as a family beginning with the first block of classes of the program year. “They met every day, Monday through Friday, in the same classroom from 1:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., for four weeks. This total immersion in the MS Business classes quickly led to establishing relationships with new ‘family’ members for the students. Not only did they meet together in the classroom and for team meetings, but they also began hanging out with each other and socializing.”

…Read more

Categories: Alumni, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Mays Business, MS Business, News, Students, Texas A&M