Damien Harmon delivered his message about building trust with customers — who he called “boss”— to a packed house of nearly 500 students, faculty and staff at Mays Business School on Sept. 7. Harmon, the vice president of operations at Bridgestone Retail Operations, was the featured speaker of the 19th annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series, hosted by The Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School.

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Journey onward

A father of six and a former NFL player, Harmon began his career in retail while working as a store manager for Best Buy. Overseeing $16 million in sales annually, he demonstrated his ability to lead and know different types of people. He was soon selected to oversee the opening of Best Buy operations in China and Turkey.

From an early age, Harmon’s success was credited to his mother for her entrepreneurial spirit and determination to see her children do well in life. Growing up in small town Gary, Indiana, academic study became the promise to a broader world. Through his mother’s encouragement, he developed an outside-the-box mindset that would propel him forward.

Logging upwards of a million miles a year to implement and grow Best Buy’s international business, Harmon developed expertise in marketing and store operations with the electronics giant, before joining Bridgestone Retail Operations.

Harmon’s eagerness to embrace challenge became the foundation for his current role as vice president of operations, leading to development of its strategic customer experience platform. He also maintains direct responsibility over retail operations, supply chain, IT, customer retention and service capability. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

The Petroleum Ventures Program has kicked off its inaugural semester with 25 petroleum engineering students, several finance students and a 23-member advisory board.

The interdisciplinary partnership between the business and engineering schools at Texas A&M University started with a $12 million gift from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, who gave $6 million each to the finance (FINC) and petroleum engineering (PETE) departments. The petroleum engineering graduates own WildHorse Resources in Houston. Their goal is to teach finance skills to PETE students and petroleum engineering skills to FINC students.

Anthony Bahr

Anthony Bahr

“I’d say we are off to a good start, and the advisory board members are excited at what is to come,” said Detlef Hallermann, a Mays Business School clinical professor who oversees the program. “What I am hearing from the board is that it’s been a long time coming. We’ve made the first step.  Now the board is going to help us look at what we are doing and provide direction for where we wish to go next.”

Students wrote multiple analytical analyses, reviewed by advisory board members prior to being  accepted into the program. Approximately 100 students attended the informational sessions and more than 60 students applied.

Princewill Imouokhome, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in finance, said he was “immediately both interested and curious” about the program and the current state of the oil and gas industry’s impact on it. He applied because he wants to be involved in the energy industry.

“I saw an opportunity to gain both a competitive edge and to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “In my time in the program I have already seen a change in the way I see many things that a contingent upon the energy industry. I hope to gain knowledge, new perspectives on problem solving, and exposure to situations that force me to grow as an individual and a professional.”

Bahr said he is happy to hear about the popularity of the program. “I’m thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of business and engineering students into the Petroleum Ventures Program, and excited these students have made a significant commitment to their future careers in the energy business,” he said.

When fully implemented, the program will offer a Certificate in Petroleum Ventures for both PETE and FINC students. Hallermann is also director of the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) and the Reliant Trading Center.

The program will have a profound impact on Mays at many levels, Hallermann said. It provides :

  • Increased visibility of Mays programs
  • Integration of engineering students in Mays undergraduate classes – mostly in finance, but also in other disciplines
  • Strategic importance
  • Groundwork for other programs

The advisory board’s first meeting is Oct. 6-7.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School invests significantly in global study opportunities for its undergraduate and graduate students. In 2015, the 599 Mays students who studied abroad comprised 13 percent of the Texas A&M students who did so. Within Mays, about 24 percent of graduating seniors had an overseas study experience.

A number of programs are coordinated by Mays’ Center for International Business Studies (CIBS). Julian Gaspar, CIBS executive director, explained, “CIBS’ mission is to empower Mays students to become globally competent and operate at a professional level in intercultural and international contexts.”

CIBS is a member of the national Center for International Business Education & Research (CIBER) Network: a select group of 17 universities, chosen by the U.S. Department of Education.  

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“At Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, we believe that awareness of global issues is just as important as knowledge of accounting, finance, management, marketing, management information systems or supply chain issues… business is truly a global enterprise,” said Dean Eli Jones. “For anyone aspiring to leadership of a business – especially one that is has a global reach – cross-cultural skills and global competence are critical.”

Last year, 14 faculty and staff members led Mays study-abroad excursions to such places as Southern Africa, Brazil, Cuba and India. (tx.ag/abroad). “As leaders, we really immerse ourselves in the education of our students,” Gaspar explained. “Before you take a group abroad you recruit the students, you then take the students abroad and teach. When you are abroad with them, you’re not only their faculty member, you’re like their parent and on call 24/7.”

One program with strong Mays participation is the Texas A&M Global Business Brigades (GBB), a chapter of Global Business Brigades – the world’s largest student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Over the past few years, Mays GBB students have provided basic business and financial literacy to micro enterprises (primarily in Panama) to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Gaspar also explained that CIBS offers Certificates in International Business (a minor in International Business) to Mays undergraduate and graduate students. Certificates entail both international business courses as well as a study-abroad component. While most of Mays certificate programs are available to all students, the school has also worked with the Department of Petroleum Engineering for 15 years on a specialized master’s-level certificate in International Petroleum Management.

Gaspar recently announced plans to grow Mays study-abroad programs. “To impact the world, you must first know the world,” he said. “The dean’s goal is to raise the overseas study experience from the current 24 percent to 50 percent, which is possible, provided we restructure our programs accordingly.”  In Fall 2017, seven new exchange partnerships will be added in Asia/Oceania and Europe.

The growth in study-abroad programs is in part due to the generosity of Mays corporate partners and donors. Corporate partners include Phillips 66, PwC and Deloitte. A recent $200,000 gift from former students Jarrett ’93 and Tracy Anderson ’92 will assist students who go abroad to study sustainable business development programs. The II Corinthians 9:7 Foundation CIBS Excellence Endowment, created through the Texas A&M Foundation, will provide financial support to the programs that assist micro-business expansion in developing countries.

The Andersons have generously supported Mays and Texas A&M in the past: An earlier gift came from their II Corinthians 9:7 Foundation, and the couple funded an endowed Presidential Scholarship at Texas A&M. Jarrett’s degree was in business management and Tracy’s was in accounting.

 

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

Applications for 3 Day Startup are open until Sept. 14.

3 Day Startup is a learning-by-doing campus workshop designed to teach students entrepreneurial skills within 72 hours in a hands-on environment. This year’s workshop will be held Oct. 14-16 at Startup Aggieland, a business incubator located in Research Park.

Students are encouraged to use the weekend’s risk-free environment to work on business ideas for which they have a passion and may want to pursue after the program has ended. Mentors and professors from Texas A&M University will be available throughout the weekend to help students fine-tune their businesses.

Accepted participants will also attend a boot camp two weeks before the event, where they will learn key entrepreneurial principles and best practices for maximizing their experience in the program.

Texas A&M’s 3 Day Startup program is affiliated with 3 Day Startup, Inc., a nonprofit that helps teams run 3 Day Startup events by providing tools, resources and consulting. Learn more.

 

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Startup Aggieland, Students, Texas A&M

Two long-time employees retired Aug. 31 from the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, which is part of Mays Business School.

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William “Judon” Fambrough stepped down after 39 years with the center. He has been one of the center’s most prolific writers and one of its most requested speakers. An attorney, Judon has written extensively about Texas property rights, including oil and gas, wind power, hunting leases and landowner liability.

Fambrough was a senior lecturer. He has held a joint appointment with the Agricultural Economics Department, where he taught Oil and Gas Law and Agricultural Law. He served in Vietnam as a Forward Observer, where he earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He used his GI Bill to attend law school.

Assistant Director Claudia Orum retired after 27 years of service with the Texas A&M System.

claudia

Orum joined the Real Estate Center staff in March 2013, bringing with her 24 years of Texas A&M experience and 12 years of banking and corporate experience. She has overseen the business and financial aspects of the center, as well as the human resource functions.

Before joining the Real Estate Center staff, Orum was with Mays’ Center for International Business Studies for 15 years and the Texas Forest Service for eight. Prior to that, she worked for 12 years with the private sector in Houston.

Categories: Centers, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

Dean Eli Jones recently announced appointments of new leadership. Duane Ireland was appointed to executive associate dean after serving in an interim capacity for the past year. Annie McGowan was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Arvind Mahajan (FINC) will take the lead as associate dean for graduate programs and Mike Kinney (ACCT) will become assistant dean. Mike Shaub will become director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA).

Duane IrelandIreland served in an interim capacity for the past year. “The interim position allowed us to get to know each other as colleagues and close work partners and enabled members of the college to work more closely with Duane in his new role,” Jones said. “The feedback I received was very positive.”

Ireland is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the Benton Cocanaugher Chair in Business at Texas A&M University. He joined the Department of Management in Mays in 2004. Previously, he served two years as head of the management department.

Annie McGowan was named Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion. Effective Sept. 1, McGowan will head the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which aims to realize Mays’ strategic vision as a vibrant learning organization that respects differences and embraces connectedness. “Annie will work with members of our college in the areas of cultural sensitivity and inclusion, diversity in student recruitment and retention and community relations,” Jones said.
McGowan is an associate professor of accounting and has served as the director of the Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) at Mays since 2008. Mike Shaub, Clinical Professor of Accounting, will take over as PPA director when McGowan steps into her new role.

29284304856_c097c34d4c_z“I am very excited to lead Mays Business School’s strategic effort to foster an inclusive environment where future leaders develop the cultural integrity to honor and leverage individual differences to achieve a competitive advantage,” McGowan said. “If academic institutions are to sustainably supply sufficient numbers of trained graduates to meet the needs of the workforce, diversity must be embraced as a mission imperative. Further, empirical evidence confirms that more diverse learning environments lead to improved problem solving and critical thinking skills because students that learn in them are better able to conceptualize multiple perspectives.”

McGowan will report to Dean Jones and work closely with Christine Stanley, Vice President and Associate Provost of Texas A&M University.

Changes were also announced in top administration of Mays MBA programs, which will have two academic leaders for the first time.

Presidential-Award-Pic-March-2016-IMG_5272Finance Professor Arvind Mahajan will take the lead as associate dean for graduate programs and Accounting Associate Professor Mike Kinney will become assistant dean. Both positions begin Aug. 1.

After many years of distinguished service in various leadership roles including serving the past year as the interim associate dean for graduate programs, Bala Shetty, an information and operations management professor and holder of the Cullen Trust for Higher Education Chair in Business, will return to a faculty position.

Mike KinneyMahajan, a Texas A&M faculty member since 1980, is a Texas A&M University System Regents Professor, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and Lamar Savings Professor of Finance. He has served as director of the Aggies on Wall Street Investment Banking Program and the MS (Finance) Program, and as associate director of the Center for International Business Studies and the Center for International Business Education and Research.

Kinney is a KPMG Fellow. He teaches in the MBA and Executive MBA programs and the executive development programs, and has taught in the PPA. He currently serves as coordinator of the Ph.D. Program in Accounting.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Sixteen veteran entrepreneurs from across several states spent hours last week studying and learning the ins and outs of launching their new business endeavors through Texas A&M University’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) program. After presenting their business plans to their peers and esteemed mentors, the participants each went home excited to begin their personal and professional passions, taking along with them the wisdom, advice and much-appreciated guidance shared with them over the eight-day residency.

In its ninth year to be hosted by Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), the 2016 EBV program once again served veterans with a military service-linked disability who have started or are interested in starting their own business. The national EBV program was launched in 2007 by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and in 2008, added Texas A&M University to a consortium that now includes 10 additional universities across the nation. Each university in the consortia makes a strong commitment to support this nation’s veterans and help to guide them down the path of starting and maintaining a successful business venture.

At Texas A&M, the EBV week is filled with expert lectures, one-on-one mentoring from volunteer entrepreneurs, access to tremendous resources, a lot of food and a full dose of the Spirit of Aggieland. …Read more

Categories: Centers, Departments, Management, Mays Business, Programs, Texas A&M

Mays Business School hosted an inaugural visit to Texas A&M University of distinguished faculty from The University of Havana in Cuba. After meeting with Mays Professor Don Lewis, assistant director of Startup Aggieland, and with Professor Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), through Mays’ Center for International Business Studies, faculty were invited by CNVE to visit Lewis and Lester this summer in Aggieland. Lewis and Lester met the faculty in January while leading Texas A&M’s first study abroad trip to Cuba.
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Three professors from The University of Havana accepted CNVE’s offer, including Anicia Garcia Alvarez, Jose Luis Perello Cabrera and Humberto Blanco Rosales. Alvarez and Rosales are expert economists, while Cabrera is a tourism expert. The cadre arrived in Texas from New York on May 31, but not without challenges as airplanes were late or diverted to different airports and required last-minute, late pickups.

During their first day on campus, Lewis introduced his Cuban guests to representatives with the Association of Former Students (AFS). The AFS provided a tour of campus, including visits to the George Bush Presidential Library, Kyle Field and Memorial Student Center. On the second day, Cuban faculty toured Mays Business School with management faculty members, including Department Head Wendy Boswell and Professor David Flint. Katy Lane with the Center for International Business Studies also joined the tour.

“This inaugural visit by faculty from The University of Havana is the start of a new global collaboration for Texas A&M with a country that has been closed off to Americans for a half-century,” explained Lewis. “The opportunities for both universities are endless and exciting. We look forward to sharing research and innovations with the Cubans and helping each other through joint initiatives.”

Former AFS Chair Jorge Bermudez, a retired Citibank executive and Cuban-born immigrant to the U.S., hosted Cuban faculty on a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank. Lewis’ students from his 2015 study abroad class and Startup Aggieland joined the visiting faculty membesr in Downtown Historic Bryan for the monthly “First Friday” event. AFS President-Elect Phil Miner, founder of The Miner Corporation in San Antonio, hosted the visitors on a tour of NASA and the Port of Houston – then attended an Astros game at Reliant Stadium.

The Cuban faculty members toured the Engineering Innovation Center on June 6 with engineering faculty Magda Lagoudas and Rodney Boehm, then enjoyed dinner at Christopher’s. The next day, they visited the College of Architecture, where Dean Jorge Vanegas hosted a tour of the Live Lab and Viz Arts programs, in addition to the BIM Cave. Faculty later visited the Corps of Cadets Museum and Miramont Country Club, then celebrated new faculty friends from architecture and Mays at Sodolack’s Original Steakhouse, where Rosales was surprised with a “Texas-sized” steak that hung over the serving platter.

On June 9, the day before the end of their 11-day visit, visiting faculty delivered presentations on tourism and the economy in Cuba for a classroom of Texas A&M University faculty, students and former students after a breakfast at Startup Aggieland. Upon their return to Cuba, Cabrera wrote Lewis a note:
“Dear Don. I want to thank all (for) their attention and efforts on the days we were there, where we learned the ways to achieve greater development. The days we stayed, were exploited to the maximum, at least for me. Convey my thanks to all (who) shared their time and chores: Shelly, Abby, Phil, Richard; and others. It is painful for us not to correspond with the same attention. At least for now…see you soon!”

Lewis will return to Havana in January 2017 with another group of students from Texas A&M for a two-week immersion experience in Cuban culture and entrepreneurship. Students will stay mostly in hostels. For more information about the trip, email Lewis at dlewis@mays.tamu.edu or go to http://mays.tamu.edu/center-for-international-business-studies/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2015/03/Cuba-Winter-2017.pdf

Read a past student participant’s blog here: mays.tamu.edu/cuba/

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Programs, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

The Blackstone Charitable Foundation has expanded its campus entrepreneurship program, Blackstone LaunchPad, to three Texas universities: Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas. The Blackstone Charitable Foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant will establish a partnership between the three institutions to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career option and offer opportunities to the universities’ 130,000 students, regardless of major, with a network of venture coaches and an entrepreneurial support system.
Blackstone photo2“Texas has a strong business environment and is a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman, CEO and co-founder. “As universities look to the private sector to expand their capabilities and provide experiential opportunities to their students, we are pleased to help meet that need and deliver the tools and resources to build strong enterprises rooted in the state and connected to a global network of entrepreneurs.”
The announcement was made at the UT Dallas Visitor Center Atrium, and speakers included Blackstone Chairman, CEO and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman; co-founder and CEO of Vengo Labs (a Blackstone LaunchPad venture) Brian Shimmerlik; and executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation Amy Stursberg. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Britt Harris, chief investment officer at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, were also scheduled to deliver remarks, but were unable to attend due to severe weather.
…Read more

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Startup Aggieland, Students, Texas A&M

_Q4A0149-43During the three-day event, 45 research papers were presented in rapid succession. Following only 20 minutes of content overview, scholars received feedback about their topic’s relevancy and potential for application in a business setting from academic peers and industry executives.  …Read more

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