Healthcare customers are a unique type of consumer reluctant to purchase, at risk and often highly stressed. During a visit with business students in the Improving Service Quality in Healthcare course, J.R. Thomas, executive vice president of Optum, shared some of the complicated challenges healthcare providers face today.

The visit was the second day of a trip to Mays for Thomas and Optum senior executives Doug Hansen ’89, Allison Miller ’99 and Kevin Kuhn. The first day, Thomas presented to Business Honors students in the Executive Speaker Series, followed by a networking session and student dinner sponsored by Optum. The second day Thomas and his team members from Optum spoke with MBA students and to students from the School of Public Health.

Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, taught the lecture for the Improving Service Quality in Healthcare course discussion and facilitated discussion between students and their visitors. The focus on Healthcare is one of Mays’ Grand Challenges.

Managing stress

In the discussion, Thomas underscored one of the most important issues facing healthcare providers: stress. “Patients and their families are faced with life-altering decisions, nurses and doctors work long hours and endure emotional exhaustion to provide the best service possible, and management is stressed with striking a balance between good will toward those who can’t afford expensive healthcare and staying in business,” he said.

The key, he said, is to remember that patients are more than customers; they’re people. He provided an example of an end-of life scenario: “If a patient is dying, it’s important to personally talk to the family. Give them your instinct. You can’t always prevent death, but you can control how it will happen.”

He elaborated on another complex situation: “Some customers can’t always afford healthcare. But remember you also owe it to patients to stay in business.”

Technology creates new challenges, opportunities

Thomas also shared how technology is changing the landscape of medicine. “Routine visits and checkups for common maladies are moving towards telemedicine, such as simple phone calls instead of expensive in-office visits,” he said. “But for the more serious cases, the value of a personal touch in an in-person visit will never go away. Patients need that.”

Marketing senior Rachel Claggett said she was impressed by the amount of involvement the business side of healthcare has in the lives of patients. “It’s reassuring to know that there is humanity and passion in this industry – it’s not just about profits.”

Thomas received his master’s of business administration focusing on finance and management at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Arkansas.

Categories: Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Former Students, Health Care, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

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As a Mays Business School student, Hans George ’91 decided to combine his passions for marketing and sports into a meaningful career. However, his career path took unanticipated detours through high-end men’s suits and mac-and-cheese before George reached the holy grail – a position working at sportswear giant Nike.

George shared stories and lessons learned during his career, including his two decades at the global athletic wear company, with Mays Business Honors students at a recent roundtable discussion. “My biggest takeaway from Hans was the importance of pursuing your passions strategically,” said Loryn Setterquist ’18. “Through the decisions he made in his career, he developed tangible skills, fostered important relationships, and learned about the retailing industry.”
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Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, Students, Texas A&M

30077345983_ab4ac9d1af_oStrike when conditions are good and exercise restraint when they are not, Bruce Petersen ’83, said of succeeding in the real estate market. On his recent visit to Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, he sat down with a group of Business Honors students to discuss his experience navigating an ever-evolving – and often volatile – real estate market over the last three decades.
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Categories: Alumni, Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Real Estate, Texas A&M

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Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones ’82 and his wife Fern Jones are personally doing their part to develop transformational leaders by stepping up to endow a $50,000 gift to Mays Business School.

The endowment will provide scholarships to full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree in marketing who are also pursuing the Professional Selling and Sales Management career track.

“Fern and I are giving back to support students interested in a career in professional selling, a career that blessed me immensely when I was in corporate America,” said Eli Jones. “Sales is at the core of every business discipline, so we are pleased to bolster that aspect of the educational offerings here at Mays. This field also aligns with our vision at Mays to advance the world’s prosperity by creating impactful knowledge and developing transformational leaders.”

Since 2015, Jones has served Texas A&M as a marketing professor, dean, and the Lowry and Peggy Mays Eminent Scholar. His association with the university, which spans four decades, includes three degrees from Texas A&M: a bachelor’s in journalism, an MBA and a doctorate in marketing. …Read more

Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

30624496395_4326378b01_zBen Keating ’94 and Don Whitaker ’96 believe in disrupting the marketplace and then strategically investing in their business. Their success in growing the Keating Auto Group — a family-owned company that includes a number of popular Texas dealerships selling domestic and foreign cars — underscores the wisdom of their approach.

Keating’s and Whitaker’s approach to entrepreneurship resonated with a group of Mays Business School Business Honor majors who listened to their recent presentation. “I learned how having a broad perspective, possessing strong analytical skills and thinking long-term were some of the key elements that enable them to thrive in such a competitive field,” said Bao Nguyen ’20. “As the lecture progressed, it dawned on me that there was more to their business than simply selling cars, trucks and other vehicles for profit.” …Read more

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

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Bret Kidd ’90 is guided by a firm commitment to his priorities: first faith, then family, friends and finally, fortune. In his recent conversation with Business Honors students at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, he shared how maintaining this order has ensured balance and purpose in everything he undertakes.

Kidd is president of Travelport Americas. His role encompasses strategic direction, financial results and operations of Travelport’s travel agency, travel management company (TMC) and regional online travel agency (OTA) customers throughout North America, the Caribbean and South America.

“I love travel and the travel industry,” Kidd said. “At Travelport, I get to travel a lot – I’ve already been to 13 countries in 2016. But I am also in the business of simplifying the travel process for the industry. Travelport centralizes key data and make it accessible to travel agencies big and small, both online or brick-and-mortar shops.”

Business Honors major Isabel Gonzalez ’18 was engaged by the discussion about global distribution systems like Travelport.  “I never knew that there are intermediaries between airlines and travel sites like Expedia,” she said.  

Several students asked how Kidd maintains a work-life balance.

“I’ve never missed a day of vacation,” Kidd admitted. “Taking time to unplug mentally and spend time with family is invaluable. Your company can continue to run without you.”

Kidd said he also builds walls around his weekends and disconnects from technology during time with people he cares about. He encouraged students: “Get involved in your church or your community and hold leadership positions. This gives you something else purposeful outside of your job and keeps you from the temptation to overwork.”

While an undergraduate at Texas A&M University, Kidd studied management and was a member of the Business Fellows program. He was also involved in the Wiley Lecture Series, which sparked his interest in politics and opened doors to begin his career working on Capitol Hill.

After graduating from Texas A&M, Kidd served as special assistant to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm, supporting Gramm in a variety of areas, including health care and fiscal/economic matters. His work brought him in touch with dignitaries like Margaret Thatcher, who once was visiting for a fund-raiser. “I even had a conversation in Russian with Mikhail Gorbachev,” Kidd joked of his one-word exchange with the former leader of USSR.
…Read more

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

Mays Business School graduates Lisa Burton and Ann Strouhal have been named among the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA)’s 2017 Top Ten Business Women of the Year.

The Top Ten Business Women of ABWA honors women around the country who achieve excellence in their careers, education and community involvement. The women will be recognized at ABWA’s National Women’s Leadership Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn., in October. One will be chosen as the Top Business Woman of the Year.

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Burton has worked for the Texas A&M University Career Center for four years with a focus on career advising juniors and seniors in Mays Business School. She earned her Master of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School in 2010 and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Radio-TV-Film from Sam Houston State University in 1992. Burton also completed a Graduate Certificate in Non-Profit Management from The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M.

Burton is a member of the Leading Women Express Network (LWEN) of ABWA. She has served on LWEN’s board in several roles, including VP of Membership, VP of Hospitality and VP of Networking. She is currently serving as the advisor for the Texas A&M Student Chapter of ABWA and President-Elect of the Brazos County A&M Club.

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Strouhal is owner of Strouhal & Associates in Pearland, Texas, and holds both the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Professional certification. Strouhal received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in 1981 and a Master of Business Administration in HR from the University of Houston Clear Lake in 2012.

Strouhal is also actively involved in her community as a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce, the Daughters of the American Revolution and St. Helen Catholic School Board of Directors. She is a member of the South East Express Network of ABWA.

 

Categories: Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Staff, 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

Bruce D. Broussard ’84, CEO of Humana, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School on Sept. 29 as part of Dean Eli Jones’ Leadership Series. Broussard will speak from 11:10 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. in Wehner 113, also known as Ray Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
preview-full-Bruce_Broussard_MEDIresNo American university has turned out more Fortune 100 company CEOs than Texas A&M, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking. Broussard is CEO of Humana, a Fortune 100 company. He earned his BBA in finance and accounting from Texas A&M.
Jones said he is honored to welcome Broussard back to Mays Business School. “Bruce is a great example of our vision to develop the Mays Transformational Leader: Responsible, ethical leaders with entrepreneurial mindsets and vision, who have strong business competencies and personify selfless service.”
Broussard joined Humana as president in December 2011 and became chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 2013. Under his leadership, Humana is creating an integrated care delivery model that is expected to drive lower costs, enhanced quality, improved outcomes and a better member experience. With its holistic approach, Humana is dedicated to improving the health of the communities it serves by making it easy for people to achieve their best health.
Broussard brings to Humana a wide range of executive leadership experience in publicly traded and private organizations within a variety of healthcare sectors, including oncology, pharmaceuticals, assisted living/senior housing, home care, physician practice management, surgical centers and dental networks.
Broussard’s visit is part of an effort at Mays Business School to disseminate impactful knowledge to the Texas A&M University campus and beyond. Past speakers have included Cigna Corporation president and CEO David Cordani, Halliburton President Jeff Miller and Dean’s Distinguished Scholars VK Kumar, a marketing visionary, and Luk Van Wassenhove, a supply chain thought leader.
Paid parking is available nearby in Lot 72 of the Texas A&M University campus.

Categories: Alumni, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Finance, 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.”

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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.

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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