30003351720_4583b600c2_oFew professionals can say they’ve been with the same company their entire career. But Gina Luna ’95, chairman of JPMorgan Chase in the Houston region, is an exception.

Luna has been with JPMorgan Chase since she graduated from Texas A&M in 1995. On her visit to Mays Business School, she had lunch with Business Honors students and shared how she has navigated such a large corporation for so many years. For more than 20 years, her willingness to plunge into new challenges and optimism about new relationships has guided her through positions in finance, recruiting, operations and marketing.

Luna leads the Middle Market Banking business and is active in recruiting, mentoring and leadership development within the organization. “I’ve held many challenging but rewarding roles at JPMorgan Chase,” Luna said, “Each one has taught me something new and has been a wonderful opportunity to build relationships.”

She believes the challenge is always worth it because of her coworkers. “Every day I get to work with such high-caliber, intelligent individuals.”

Her career with JPMorgan Chase started with a summer internship before her senior year of college. The next year she graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s of business administration degree with a double major in finance and management, and went to work full-time for JPMorgan Chase.

But Luna wouldn’t stay an analyst for long. Within a few years she was offered an opportunity to lead entry-level recruiting for the organization. “I had no experience in recruiting, but I remember it sounded like an interesting and unique opportunity.” Luna accepted the offer with enthusiasm and found that she really enjoyed building relationships with new recruits and colleagues across the Firm.

She later moved into a management role overseeing analysts and associates, many of whom she had recruited. Next she moved into leadership positions in investment banking and commercial banking. Prior to her current role, she was chief marketing officer for Chase Commercial Banking, for which she directed marketing and communications for the national commercial banking business.

When students asked how she was able to adapt to such diverse roles within the company, she said the key was to be open to what others might teach her. “I was often surrounded by people who had far more knowledge and experience than I did,” she said. “But I had to ask myself, ‘What can I learn from others in this situation?’”

Even in leadership, she prefers a consultative style. “I always try to involve others in the decision-making process. Even if the final decision is my responsibility, I value others’ contributions.”

Business Honors major Will Locke ’20 said he found the discussion extremely enjoyable. “I learned that crafting relationships in truly invaluable in the business world,” he said. “Not only do they provide you with meaningful friendships, they also provide excellent opportunities for advancement.”

Emily Clark ’20 said she was inspired to make some personal changes. “Going forward, I will make my values a priority and make an effort to develop relationships in school as well as my future career.”

Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Departments, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Finance, Management, Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) has recently been restructured. Don Lewis has been appointed as director of the Blackstone LaunchPad Initiative at Texas A&M University.

Chuck Hinton, who works with the NSF I-Corps program at Startup Aggieland, will assume many of the responsibilities of the assistant director of Startup Aggieland. He will also continue to serve the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Corps (I-Corps) program.

Earlier this year, the Blackstone Charitable Foundation expanded its campus entrepreneurship program to include Texas A&M University along with the University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas at Dallas. Established by the foundation’s three-year, $3 million grant, the partnership between the three institutions will 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. The CNVE was tasked with leading the initiative across campus.

The goals of the initiative are to identify 10 percent of the student body and engage them in a meaningful way in the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, from one-on-one mentoring to entrepreneurial-oriented events and more.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Management, Mays Business, News, Staff, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M


Ben Welch

To strengthen ties with its corporate partners in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, Texas A&M’s Mays Business School hosted more than 60 companies at AT&T Stadium – home of the Dallas Cowboys – on Sept. 23.

The focus of the reception and networking event was to explore opportunities with the Center for Executive Development (CED) at Mays.

Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, Mays Dean Eli Jones and Mays Assistant Dean for Executive Education Ben Welch spoke of the importance of lifelong learning and how Mays Business School is stepping up to provide it.

The CED offers executive certificates in business essentials, energy, health care, construction and cyber data in programs at the College Station campus and on the sites of the clients around the world. The programs are geared toward individuals who are serving in managerial/leadership roles who would like to refine their higher-level business skills and those who are preparing to enter a management-level position.

Young said the high caliber and strong work ethic of Texas A&M students and faculty have affirmed his decision to come here 18 months ago. He called it a “unique and extraordinary institution,” where the work the faculty is doing is of global import. “They are going to teach you how to use the knowledge and how to work with others. The students come to this university wanting to be citizens of substance, and they’re working with faculty members who feel the same way.”

The event was part of an expanded outreach to Mays alumni and corporate partners. The guests were corporate leaders from the Dallas area, and Jones said the business school partners with corporate leaders. “You’re here because you’re curious and you want to take your organization to the next level,” he said. “We at Mays can help you do that.”

Mays recently set a vision to  “advance the world’s prosperity,” building on three Grand Challenges: Entrepreneurship, energy and healthcare. Faculty members with expertise in those areas were available at the Dallas event to visit with the guests about how Mays is addressing them.

In his keynote speech, Welch – who has led the CED since 1990 – described five things that will guarantee return on investment: Priorities, respect, integrity, determination and enthusiasm. He said it is essential that each person express his priorities to those around him.

He targeted his message to the executives in the room who are developing their employees. “We want you to come away with what is integral at Texas A&M, and that is these five characteristics,” he said. “We want you to look at partnering with Mays Business School for one day, five days or a series of classes.”

Welch described the Leading Champions Program, a new experiential learning program that will launch in April. Mays and the Texas A&M Athletics Department are partnering to give participants exclusive access to athletic staff, facilities and social events. Enrollment will be limited to 30 people, and a highlight of the event was a drawing in which Debbie Hinson from Accenture received a free enrollment to the program.

Nancy Cramer, who received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1984 and is now president of Dallas-based Correct Course Consulting, said she enjoyed meeting with Mays leaders and learning about the school’s programs. “I look forward to renewing my relationships with the school and connecting with the students and faculty there,” she said.


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

In the first CurrentlyMAYS session, the four deans of Mays Business School discussed current events from their various perspectives. Most of their conversation with students centered on a case study using Mays as a business model. The players were Dean Eli Jones as CEO, Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland as COO, and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Arvind Mahajan and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Martha Loudder as division heads.

currently-maysModerator Sandra Lampo, a clinical associate professor of marketing, said any successful business requires all the various disciplines. Jones concurred, and said, “This is one of the most complicated businesses I have encountered. There is usually a clear line of sight to the ultimate customer. What makes this business exciting and a challenge is there is not clear single customer.”

Some customers include the Texas Legislature, which helps fund the school financially; students who are enrolled; parents who are invested; prospective employers; faculty and staff who support the programs; the Texas A&M University campus; and the state of Texas.

“Professors and administrators are in the business of knowledge,” Loudder said. “In our business, we create new knowledge through research. Each of us start as professors with a narrow, technical expertise in our own fields. But as we advance in our careers and moved into administrative positions, we have understand the big picture and broaden our horizons to better understand other fields.”

The deans advised students that they can stay current by keeping with news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Mahajan suggested reading news from outlets that give different political perspectives than his own. “It will force you to challenge your own biases, opinions and beliefs.”

Ireland added: “Find one or two news sources in which you have great confidence and read those often. Soon you’ll pick up on the cadence of the writing and be able to efficiently process the things you are reading.”

Ireland also recommended that the students increase the breadth of individuals with whom they interact. “In management, we talk a lot about strong and weak ties. We value strong ties as our close relationships with others, but even weak ties can be valuable opportunities through which you can have sporadic interaction with people different from yourself.”

Junior finance major Andrew Hitscherich said he appreciated that the deans took time to share their wisdom with students and their vision for transformational leaders at Mays. “I’m looking forward to seeing where Mays is headed,” he said.

Senior PPA and business student Sarah Burns said the deans inspired her and other students to pursue a global, well-rounded mindset. She said she appreciated the cross-functional education at Mays. “We have incredible leaders at all levels behind the scenes of Mays’ success,” she said. “It was really special that the deans took the time to answer our questions, ask for our input, and discuss with us one on one.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, 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.  


“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

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School has a long history of maintaining strong relationships with its alumni and corporate partners, which are often potential employers for its students. With more than 62,000 living alumni around the world, Mays is expanding its reach with the “Mays Connection”  – an initiative to increase engagement with its former students, industry partners and employers.

This fall, events include a “Mays Corporate Connection” program featuring the Center for Executive Development (CED) at Mays Business School. The corporate event, to be held at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 23 prior to the Texas A&M-Arkansas football game, features special guest speakers Texas A&M President Michael K. Young and Mays Dean Eli Jones, as well as a keynote on “5 Words that Guarantee ROI” by CED Assistant Dean Ben Welch. The CED provides fully custom executive education programs that cultivate ethical leaders.

Mays delivers lifelong value to its graduates by providing them with networking opportunities. Upcoming alumni events include a Yell Practice at its CityCentre Houston campus at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Former Texas Aggie Yell Leaders will lead the Yell Practice in preparation for the game on Saturday, Sept. 17, when  the Aggies take on the Auburn Tigers. The event is free and open to all Texas A&M alumni and friends in the Houston area. In addition, Mays will host an MBA alumni tailgate for Mays Full-Time, Professional and Executive MBA graduates on Saturday, Oct. 8 before the Aggies take on the Tennessee Volunteers at Kyle Field.

Mays alumni play an important role in advancing the school’s mission by serving as guest speakers, corporate recruiters, student mentors and advisory board members. Bruce D. Broussard ’84, CEO of Humana, will speak at Mays Business School from 11:10 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. on Sept. 29 as part of Dean Eli Jones’ Leadership Series. The event is free and open to the public. Additional executive speakers this fall include Bruce Peterson of USAA; representatives from JP Morgan Chase; and David Williams of Noble Corporation. Banquets are also scheduled to honor scholarship donors and recipients, as well as outstanding alumni. …Read more

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

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, received two awards and two other faculty members were recognized during the 2016 Summer Educators Conference of the American Marketing Association (AMA), held Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta.

Jones was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the American Marketing Association’s Ph.D. Project, a national group the works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members. The Ph.D. Project’s annual recognition of faculty members started in 2011 to honor commitment, involvement and inspiration, and to recognize “a select few who have greatly inspired many,” organizers said.

This year was the first time a charity component was added to the award. Members of the AMA’s Selling and Sales Management Special Interest Group (Sales SIG) gave personally to a charity in Jones’ name, and raised more than $14,000 – the highest raised by a single individual. The fund-raising component was a surprise to Jones until the night of his award. When presenting the Hall of Fame honor to Jones, KPMG Foundation and Ph.D. Project President Bernard Milano said: “You have been a wonderful role model and mentor to many, many people.”


Venkatesh Shankar (left)

Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales SIG, which provides programs designed to enhance selling and sales management scholarship, teaching and practice in an inclusive and collegial environment. The Lifetime Achievement Award honors the outstanding scholar who has made meaningful contributions to the field of sales through publications in top journals, teaching excellence, fostering professional development among others, and generally contributing to scholarship in the area of sales. 

Mays faculty members who were recognized at the conference were marketing professors Venkatesh Shankar and Manjit Yadav.

Manjit award

Manjit Yadav (left)

Shankar was recognized with the 2016 Outstanding Area Editor Award for the Journal of Marketing (JM). Yadav was recognized as Outstanding Reviewer for JM.

Jones said of the school’s positive representation at the conference: “Part of our mission is to create a vibrant learning organization. The awards garnered recently are a testament to the quality of our people and the vibrancy of our culture. People make the place. I’m pleased with the culture we’ve  created and the desire to continuously improve it.” 
Faculty members from other Mays departments have also been recognized in recent months:


Lorraine EdenManagement Professor Lorraine Eden won the inaugural Woman of the Year award from the Women in the Academy of International Business, a special-interest group within the Academy of International Business. She was presented the award at the annual AIB meeting in New Orleans in June.

Alina SorescuAlina Sorescu has been invited to join the editorial review board of the top-tier Journal of Marketing Research.

BarrickA paper University Distinguished Professor of Management Murray Barrick co-wrote won best paper in Personnel Psychology. It was titled “Personality and Leadership Composition in Top Management Teams: Implications for Organizational Effectiveness.”

Duane IrelandUniversity Distinguished Professor of Management and Executive Associate Dean Duane Ireland was on a team that won the 2016 Journal of Management Scholarly Impact Award for “Signaling Theory: A Review and Assessment.” His colleagues were Brian L. Connelly, Trevis C. Certo and Christopher R. Reutzel.

Michael HowardManagement Assistant Professor Mike Howard’s paper won a “Best Paper” honor from the Business Policy and Strategy division of the Academy of Management. “The Influence of Founder Collaborations on Venture Knowledge Quality” was co-written with Warren Boeker, Sandip Basu and Arvin Sahaym.

CourtrightManagement Assistant Professor Stephen Courtright received a Best Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Review.

James-Abbey-3James Abbey, Assistant Professor in the Deparment of Information and Operations Management, was invited to and joined the Editorial Review Boards for two top-tier journals: Production and Operations Management Journal and Journal of Operations Management. Abbey also received a “Best Reviewer Award” for review work at Production and Operations Management Journal and was recognized for “Outstanding Review Work” at the Production and Operations Management 2016 Annual Conference.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Programs, 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

Dwight Garey ’67 has joined the Commercial Banking Program at Mays Business School as executive director. He will lead the program, which provides well-trained talent to the banking industry while introducing Texas A&M University students to outstanding career opportunities. The program combines academics and industry exposure, and every student enrolls in a summer internship.

Garey is an executive professor in the Department of Finance at Mays. He will teach banking-related courses in Commercial Credit, Enterprise Risk Management, and Sales of Financial Products and Services. In addition, as executive director, Dwight will promote the mission of the Commercial Banking Program with a focus on increasing enrollments and revenue generation.

He was involved in the formation of the Commercial Banking Program. From the beginning, he served on the Executive Council of the Banking Advisory Board, and was head of the program’s Bank Membership Committee. …Read more

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Finance, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M