Mays Communications Specialist Courtney Bosquez has been selected to join Cinemark’s new Chairman’s Advisory Committee. The newly created committee will help provide innovative input and feedback to Cinemark’s management team.

Bosquez has beeCourtney Bosquezn with the Center for Retailing Studies since May 2014. There, she promotes the center across Texas A&M University and to a national audience of retailers through visual, print, e-mail and social communications. She is also responsible for all of the design and marketing efforts for the annual Retailing Summit in Dallas along with providing communications support for the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association.

She was selected for the Chairman’s Advisory Committee through a competitive application and interview process. The committee members, who are not employed by Cinemark, will represent the 10 best and brightest young leaders in the DFW area and beyond.

Cinemark founder and chairman Lee Roy Mitchell created the committee with a vision that, “the program will be mutually beneficial to both Cinemark and our committee members.”

Committee members will serve two-year terms and meet five times a year, to work alongside Mitchell and other members of Cinemark’s management. “The committee members will have the opportunity to work with me and learn how to conduct business in today’s corporate environment in an honest and ethical manner,” Mitchell stated in a news release.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business honors, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

 

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

At Mays Business School, our outstanding faculty are consistently recognized for their research and teaching accomplishments. This year, we welcome 13 new faculty members.

Mark Houston has joined the Department of Marketing as department head, professor and the Blue Bell Creameries Chair in Business. Houston is the inaugural holder of the chair, which was created in 2009.

Prior to joining Texas A&M University, Houston served on the faculties of Texas Christian University (chaired full professor), University of Missouri (endowed professorship), Saint Louis University and Bowling Green State University.

Houston said he was attracted to Mays because of its reputation as a college that encourages research, and he looks forward to working with PhD students again.

“Also, it is a great opportunity to be a part of a nice community and to lead a group of great colleagues,” he said. “I am looking forward to it.”

Christa Bouwman has joined the Department of Finance as an associate professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, she served the faculty of Case Western Reserve University as an associate professor of Banking and Finance.

Bouwman received a master’s degree in Economics and Business from the University of Groningen — the Netherlands, an MBA from Cornell University and a PhD from the University of Michigan.

Her research is empirical and focuses on Financial Intermediation and Corporate Finance. She was a visiting professor at MIT Sloan’s School of Management, and is currently an Associate Editor of two journals (the Review of Finance and the Journal of Banking and Finance), a Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Banks of Cleveland and Boston, and a Fellow of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center.

Cindy Zapata has joined the Department of Management as an associate professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Zapata served the faculty of Georgia Institute of Technology as an assistant professor of Management.

Zapata received both her PhD and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida.

Her research interests include organizational justice and trust, supervisor-employee relationships and personality and individual differences.

Yan Liu has joined the Department of Finance as an assistant professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Liu was a PhD student at Duke University.

Liu’s current research focuses on empirical asset pricing and information bounds.

David R. Skeie has joined the Department of Finance as an assistant professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Skeie worked in New York as a senior economist for the Federal Reserve Bank.

Skeie received his PhD in economics from Princeton University. His primary fields of interest are in financial intermediation, macro-finance and financial stability.

Jeff Yu has joined the Department of Accounting as an assistant professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, he served the faculty of Southern Methodist University as an assistant professor of accounting.

Yu received both a master’s degree and a PhD from The Ohio State University.

His research focuses on empirical capital markets in financial accounting and areas of specialization include debt contracting, information intermediaries and economic effects of financial reporting and disclosure.

Tim Torno has joined the Department of Accounting as an executive professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Torno served the faculty of the University of Dallas as an adjunct professor of Accounting.

Torno received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Ed C. White has joined the Department of Finance as an executive professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, he served the faculty of Bowling Green State University-Ohio as an executive-in-residence. White received an MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Prior to joining academia, White was a Senior Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer of Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) for seven years until his retirement in 2012. During his 38-year career with OI, White worked in a variety of management roles across finance, manufacturing and marketing. His international experiences included senior management positions as an expatriate in Finland, Poland, France and Switzerland. He also served in the United States Army.

Andre Araujo has joined the Department of Information and Operations Management as a clinical assistant professor. He received a PhD from the University of Oklahoma.

Bilal Erturk has joined the Department of Finance as a visiting assistant professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Erturk served on the faculty of Oklahoma State University as an assistant professor of Finance.

Erturk graduated from Bilkent University in Ankara Turkey with an industrial engineering degree. He earned a PhD in finance from Texas A&M.

Marco Rossi has joined the Department of Finance as a visiting assistant professor. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Rossi served the faculty of The University of Notre Dame as an assistant professor of finance.

Rossi obtained a PhD in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University. Before joining academia, Rossi spent approximately one year working full time on a currency options desk for Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (of the Allianz group) in London.

Morgan Moore has joined the Accounting Department as a lecturer. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Moore worked for Ernst & Young in Houston as a CPA.

Moore received a bachelor’s degree from TCU and a master’s degree from the University of Texas-Austin.

Kristopher Muir has joined the Undergraduate Special Programs Office as a lecturer. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Muir served the faculty of Woodward Academy as a Spanish instructor.

Muir received a bachelor’s degree from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Doctorate of Education from Walden University. His goal is to design meaningful work at the intersection of learning, innovation and technology.

Categories: Faculty, Staff

Mays Business School professors Venkatesh Shankar, Duane Ireland and Mike Hitt have been recognized among the most frequently cited economics and business researchers. All three were selected as 2014 Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers.

Inclusion on the list is based on having the most articles cited in the top 1 percent of their field between 2002 and 2012. In other words, the lists feature authors whose published work in their specialty areas has consistently been judged by peers to be of particular significance and utility.

Shankar is the Coleman Chair in Marketing at Mays. Ireland and Hitt are both University Distinguished Professors in Management. Ireland is the Conn Chair in New Ventures Leadership and president of the Academy of Management. Hitt is the Joe B. Foster ’56 Chair in Business Leadership.

Seven other professors on the list are from Texas A&M University, in the disciplines of agricultural sciences, chemistry, computer science, engineering and mathematics.

Categories: Faculty, Staff

Blake Petty

Blake Petty, the former Assistant Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University, has been named the new director for the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School. As director, Blake assumes responsibility for Startup Aggieland along with the student accelerator’s oversight board and the full repertoire of programs at CNVE.

Blake received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M University, and for 14 years he has worked in administrative positions at the university and A&M System, including a 10-year stint in the Texas A&M University System’s Office of Technology Commercialization.

As Assistant Vice President for Research, Blake coordinated all Innovation, Industry Relations and Business Development initiatives at Texas A&M, and facilitated commercialization and entrepreneurship opportunities for the campus’ nearly 3,000 faculty researchers. Blake has been a driving force behind solidifying entrepreneurship and industry partnerships, and has been a vital asset to the innovation ecosystem at Texas A&M.

Blake also brings with him extensive experience in business incubator management and economic development, having directed operations of the Texas A&M Research Park and Bioscience Business Accelerator. It was in this role that Blake was able to secure space and funding support to allow Startup Aggieland to establish operations in the Research Park in 2012. Blake has a great deal of experience in directing the economic development impact of university activities, and he is professionally certified under the National Business Incubators Association’s Incubator Management Program.

CNVE, a part of Mays Business School’s Department of Management, provides encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially minded students, faculty and Texas businesses. Since its launch in 1999, the center has enhanced student education through campus speakers, competitions, programs, work experiences and financial support. Blake has been a major contributor to the growth and development of CNVE and its programs in the following roles:

  • Serving as a member of CNVE’s advisory council
  • Serving as a moderator and CNVE representative at Aggie Entrepreneurship Saturday
  • Mentoring for 3 Day Startup, Startup Aggieland and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities
  • Judging competitions such as Raymond Ideas Challenge and MBA Venture Challenge
  • Serving as a founding partner in the launch and development of Startup Aggieland

Blake’s overarching goal for CNVE is to strategically align and enhance entrepreneurship initiatives across the Texas A&M campus, while ensuring the sustainability of CNVE’s entrepreneurial programs and further establishing CNVE as the hub for entrepreneurial activities. He believes that the CNVE can offer every Aggie the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship in an experiential learning environment, and thereby unleash the true potential of Texas A&M University’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to inspire, innovate, connect and act to make our world a better place.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

ABOUT CNVE

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, a part of Mays Business School’s Department of Management, provides encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially-minded students, faculty and Texas businesses. Since its launch in 1999, the center has enhanced student education through campus speakers, competitions and programs, work experiences and financial support. For more information about CNVE, visit: http://cnve.tamu.edu/

 

 

Categories: Centers, Staff

Kiki McLean
Kiki McLean, Counsel for Porter Novelli
View more photos on Flickr

HOUSTON – National public affairs strategist Catherine “Kiki” McLean breathed belief into nearly 100 women who gathered in the CITYCENTRE campus on Jan. 15. Her interactive presentation, “Making It In a Man’s World — A View from Inside the Beltway,” elicited laughter, groans and applause.

“Women have always been capable, but not necessarily qualified, to rise to the top of public service,” McLean said. “It has evolved to common culture for women to have a place at the table, but not always to be a leader. We now have women who can run for the top offices — governors and president — and we have women running those campaigns and serving as a separate marketplace in bigger numbers than ever before.”

McLean’s presentation was the second in a series of seminars known as the “Women’s Leadership Initiative,” hosted by the MBA Programs Office at Mays Business School’s Houston CITYCENTRE location. The series by and for women is the brainchild of Dr. Mary Lea McAnally, assistant dean for graduate programs, who noted that the percentage of women in business school drops from 53 percent at the undergraduate level to around 30 percent in MBA programs and that fewer than 5 percent in top leadership positions at Fortune 500 firms are held by women. “This initiative provides an opportunity for female leaders to become aware of the issues we face, to build connections and gain the tools for continued success,” McAnally explained at the onset of the series.

The speaker at the first event was strategy consultant and executive coach Rebecca Cooke, who is scheduled to present again on the topic of exercising power and influence on April 2 and next fall on the topic of defining effective roles. “This is a program we have long needed,” Cooke said. “This energy is exciting.”

Female influence in the political arena continues to rise, McLean asserted, citing numerous examples. The 2012 election represented a significant battle for the presidential nomination, and 2014 will be a year of solidifying that momentum. She described such organizations as Burning Glass, an organization charged with getting the women’s vote, and the Walmart Moms research project, which gauges opinions of women with children age 18 or younger at home and who shopped at Walmart at least once in the past month. “With 14 to 17 percent of the electorate, Walmart Moms are the swing vote.”

McLean is a veteran of six presidential campaigns, including the historic 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign. During the 2008 election season, she was senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. McLean’s approach is non-partisan. She co-founded No Labels, a national grassroots movement dedicated to solving problems by engaging people of all party affiliations.

McLean shared this advice for women:

  • Model leadership behaviors for other women
  • Mentor another woman
  • Get involved in politics at the local level, such as city council, school board and homeowners associations
  • Keep up with major issues
  • Watch candidate debates, then act on what is said
  • Drive other voters to a polling place

“I have this to say to all of you: Urgency creates opportunity, and there is no place that is more urgent than politics,” McLean exhorted the women in attendance at the Jan. 15 event in Houston. “Not everyone is ready for state and national politics, but we can all cheer on those who are. If you know a woman who gets a place at the table, encourage her to stay there, not walk away. It’s the walking away that kills us.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Ken Bouyer
Ken Bouyer

Ken Bouyer spends his time looking for ways to support diversity in his company, EY (formerly Ernst & Young). Bouyer is the Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting for EY and a passionate supporter of diversity who has spent years contributing to a corporate culture that empowers diverse hires to succeed. According to Bouyer, one of the most important factors that contributes to that success is a global mindset. In a globally connected business environment, clients of professional services firms like EY expect innovative solutions that succeed on a global level. In order to deliver that, businesses need to help their people cultivate a global mindset and develop inclusive leaders who make the diverse mix and perspectives of its people work to achieve better results.

“Challenge the way you think,” Bouyer recently told a standing-room-only Mays Business School crowd and at least 100 others looking on. “Diversity of thought and perspective drives innovation. This is the magic of diversity.”

EY has 175,000 employees in 150 countries and reported $25.8 billion in FY13 global revenues. Globalization, in fact, is one of the megatrends shaping EY’s business. In 2005 there were 47 companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 that were headquartered in emerging markets. Today, just 8 years later, that number is 135. Globalization means that the world of work that students are entering is more interconnected than ever before — bound by complex supply chains and where customers and competitors can be found the world over … often just a mouse click away.

Like many large, globally integrated companies, EY is looking to hire future leaders who demonstrate a willingness to think and work beyond their own perspectives and borders. “For our high-performing teams, our people need the knowledge and skills to understand our global business environment, be agile and innovative, deal with ambiguity, influence others and lead inclusively,” Bouyer told the Mays crowd.

In the presentation, he also explained one global mindset model that discusses three key components: intellectual, psychological and social capital.

  • Intellectual capital encompasses global business savvy, cognitive complexity, a cosmopolitan outlook and knowledge of cultures around the world and their economic and political issues, concerns and hot topics. To explain this concept, Bouyer described how he has worked with different clients, many of which have grown their businesses outside the U.S. Over time, these companies have come to understand the cultural nuances, and have corrected course to ensure their global operations achieve success.
  • Psychological capital springs from a passion for exploring other parts of the world and the ability to adapt to uncomfortable situations. “Travel,” Bouyer advised the crowd. “You’ll be amazed at what you find.”
  •  Social capital consists of diplomacy, engagement and interpersonal impact among strong networks with people from other cultures. Those who have a natural sense of curiosity and genuine respect can build trust and forge strong relationships with people from different countries and even people on their own teams with very different backgrounds and perspectives right here in the U.S., Bouyer said.

He also stressed the importance of inclusive leadership, which is critical in an organization that serves multinational clients. Inclusive leaders leverage the different perspectives on their teams.  This drives innovation, whether it’s selling to a new market segment or creating a new product.

So how do future leaders develop a global mindset and an inclusive leadership style? Bouyer had many tips to offer the Mays students in attendance. He encouraged students to understand how their life experiences frame how they might view a situation; to have real and authentic conversations; to build relationships with people who have different experiences and viewpoints; and to work on projects with people who have different backgrounds and perspectives.

Organizations like EY expect their employees to bring their own unique perspectives with them. But what differentiates them is their ability to interact and work with all types of people, Bouyer added. “You have to ask yourself if you are ready to serve companies around the world. The world is different than what you’re seeing at A&M. My message to you … prepare now!

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Freshman Business Initiative (FBI)
Freshman Business Initiative (FBI)

Instructors Richard Johnson and Henry Musoma see a need for students in the Freshman Business Initiative (FBI) to gain hands-on research experience as early as possible. In the program that helps Mays Business School freshmen transition into college, small groups of freshmen meet with student peer advisors and faculty mentors.

For the second year in a row, students in FBI were given the opportunity to conduct a research project on a topic of their choice.

“Freshmen come in wanting to know the answers to many questions,” said Johnson. “The FBI research project helps satisfy their interests and helps them become better researchers so they will be able to find their own answers.”

Johnson described the semester-long research project he and Musoma co-created as a developmental opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to specific team situations. Students are especially encouraged to focus on applying the seven Mays core competencies: communication, problem solving, creating new opportunities, leading, managing, working with others and acting ethically.

Students in Johnson’s class chose topics emphasizing a need in the Aggie community, while those in Musoma’s class took a more global perspective. Some of the research topics were:

  • Whether Texas A&M meal plans should be extended to off-campus restaurants
  • Whether there is demand for an on-campus bike repair service
  • The process of acquiring trademarks in the U.S. and China
  • The advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing to India

Students were expected to prepare a five-minute pitch, a poster and a comprehensive business plan, which brought together individual project components, such as financial plans and marketing plans, designed to integrate key concepts learned at Mays.

Johnson said in order to keep the team experiences as authentic as possible, he and Musoma designed the project to have fairly open-ended requirements without step-by-step instructions. “Once teams submit their proposals, we provide guidance and help predict obstacles, but we let the students drive the direction of the project,” said Johnson.

The team projects culminated in FBI Research Week, at which more than 800 FBI students presented their research over two days to faculty, staff and students in the Wehner lobby.

One team, Ag’Merican Traditions, focused its research on mapping the process of acquiring intellectual property trademarks in the United States and China. The group created a logo and is collecting pre-orders for a T-shirt they designed.

Two of the six team members, Pierce Hellman and Carl Ivey, described their research experience as informative and eye-opening. “I learned what it really takes to start a business,” said Hellman. “Our research taught me what an extensive process it is for small businesses to acquire trademarks.”

Another group conducted primary research through surveys and interviews and secondary company research to analyze the pros and cons of outsourcing to India. Team members Megan Crafton and Rachel Gleaves explained that although the project was challenging at times, they were able to utilize the skills of each team member to accomplish the team’s goals.

“It was difficult to find substantial data since we were researching a broad topic,” said Crafton. “However, we used the different strengths of our team members to be successful and ended up learning a great deal about outsourcing.”

One of the most beneficial aspects of the program is the opportunity for students to reach out to faculty and staff at Mays or local businesspeople as part of the research process. “This project allows students to start making connections and begin establishing a network early on,” said Johnson.

He said many exciting and feasible ideas have stemmed from the FBI research program, and that he hopes students apply what they have learned to future teams. “I encourage students to pursue their ideas and develop their skills even beyond the conclusion of this project,” said Johnson.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

Duncan Mac Naughton, Executive Vice President, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Walmart U.S. Duncan Mac Naughton, Executive Vice President,
Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer
for Walmart U.S.

Change. Engagement. Values. Passion. Omni-channel. These themes emerged prominently from the 2013 Retailing Summit recently hosted by Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School.

Below is an overview of key takeaways:

Building a Company with Heart

Retail veteran and entrepreneur Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, opened the conference on a cheerful note with an outline of the teddy bear shopping experience. The chain’s brightly lit stores, happy staff and playful assortment of stuffed animals offer children of all ages more than cuddly products. Instead, Build-A-Bear Workshop transformed traditional retail toy sales into a fun, entertaining, and memorable shopping experience. Clark followed her passion to delight customers, and the company she founded, grew and thrived because its heart-felt foundation cultivated extraordinary customer loyalty and profits.

Hiring and Rewarding “Nice”

Dahna Hull outlined AT&T’s reinvented retail strategy that starts with engaged employees.  “You can’t teach nice. We hire nice,” said Hull. The leader of South Texas store operations said the company interviews more than 1,000 people for 40 positions. To hire, train and retain the right people, AT&T’s new corporate policy emphasizes:

  1. Magnify employee success: Praise employees for achievements, no matter how small, to encourage positive behavior.
  2. Make it personal:  Respect that employees have friends, families and bad days just like managers do.
  3. Give it meaning: Make employees feel like their accomplishments provide real value to the company’s overall performance.
  4. Keep it cool: Cultivate a casual dynamic between corporate and front line employees. Team members work harder for leaders they relate to.

Michael Stallard, author of “Fired Up or Burned Out,” said leaders need to understand the equation: “vision + value + voice = connection.” Like Hull, he emphasized that leaders need to develop positive work environments. This creates a culture of connection that bonds committed employees with managers who are servant leaders. Employees in such workplaces know that their managers trust them to interact with customers; are committed to helping them achieve their career goals; and will give them challenging work that fits their strengths. He concluded that energized, engaged employees are more productive and improve company profits.

Reinventing Loyalty at Walgreens:

Walgreens’ Graham Atkinson also addressed themes of change and employee engagement.  Atkinson joined the 107-year-old pharmacy chain from the airline industry to launch the Walgreens’ loyalty program. He is currently the Chief Marketing and Experience Officer. With more than half of American households visiting Walgreens each week, and the health care needs of an aging population expected to soar, the retailer wanted to understand its customers’ buying behaviors beyond demographic points. The Balance Rewards system launched in September 2012 merged 42 IT systems to offer comprehensive shopper insights. Employees piloted the system. They learned its benefits, such as cash-back, Rx refill reminders and customer-supported weight-loss programs and then supported the program’s social media launch. By the end of 2013, Walgreens is on track to enroll 83 million members in Balance Rewards, all through a paper-free registration process.

Atkinson concluded that this program marked a major change for the retailer. IT, which had always been a support service, now had a major seat at the table in understanding customers.  Change management is hard, but essential, to staying relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

Neiman Marcus President Jim Gold also credited technology with helping the historic retailer maintain a competitive advantage. Neiman Marcus was the first luxury brand to offer a loyalty program and e-commerce site. Today, he said, “there are no boundaries where you can shop.” The lines between brick-and-mortar, online and mobile shopping have blurred. By offering a seamless omni-channel experience, Neiman Marcus protects its brand and delivers a consistent customer experience. In-store, staff members now use iPhones to pull up detailed customer profiles and suggest new items to shoppers. Through neimanmarcus.com, the company delivers its couture items to a global customer base.

Jim Gold started at Neiman Marcus as an intern and rose through the ranks to be President of Bergdorf Goodman in New York City before returning to Dallas. His mentors included former CEOs Stanley Marcus and Burt Tansky and current CEO Karen Katz. They all taught him different and important lessons about focusing on quality, customer service, and innovation. He believes these core values will keep the company unique and help ward off new competitors, “like Amazon.”

Save Money. Live Better.

This year’s conference featured keynote presentations from six of the nation’s top 100 retailers including the largest of them all, Walmart. Duncan Mac Naughton, EVP and Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer of Walmart U.S., said the company’s 1.3 million domestic associates help people save money and live better by enacting Sam Walton’s four price leadership principles:

  1. Reframe the Value Equation: Walmart believes it is important to communicate its price leadership and broad assortment while also highlighting the importance of the customer. Mac Naughton said putting customers first is a “simple business model” that should always be followed.
  2. Shift the Quality Paradigm: Campaigns like “Fresh Over” communicate the company’s initiative to deliver high quality products and foods. To remain relevant to today’s customers, Walmart must rely on its powerful momentum surrounding quality and local sourcing.
  3. Stay Connected and Innovative:  Customers are empowered in more ways than ever. They demand real-time answers and transparency. Walmart communicates with customers across all relevant social media platforms.  It is the #1 brand on Facebook (even overshadowing Facebook itself) with 34 million followers.
  4. Have a Shared Purpose: Walmart’s “Jobs in America” campaign commits the retailer to bring jobs back to the U.S. by reducing use of foreign vendors. Its “Welcome Home” initiative guarantees a job to any veteran who has been honorably discharged from the U.S. military within the last 12 months. On Veteran’s Day, Walmart announced 20,000 returning veterans had been hired.

Serving Customers in Changing Times:

Although Sam’s Club falls under the Walmart portfolio, Jason Kidd, SVP, addressed how Sam’s Club serves its more affluent club members. Through continued innovation and technology, Sam’s Club creates new value for its customers. Beyond aisles of bulk merchandise like toilet paper, Sam’s Instant Savings book showcased differentiated merchandise, such as Nikon camera bundles, home surveillance systems, and leather furniture sets. More than half of shoppers purchased items promoted in the Instant Savings book. Many also took advantage of store innovations, such as self-checkout, convertible registers, and the Click-n-Pull service that lets you order online and pick up items in the club.

In March, the retailer collaborated with Living Social to offer a one-year membership, a $20 gift card, and several fresh items. The results were staggering. In 48 hours, more than 157,000 people signed up for membership and generated significant social media buzz. This enhanced membership offering grew the bottom line.

Lessons from Healthcare

While many speakers addressed the theme of change, Dr. Len Berry of Mays Business School reflected on the value of stability. In a discussion titled “Lessons from Health Care,” he explored the culture of high performance health systems in Wisconsin. Stability offered leaders time to build trust in the organization, confidence to act boldly, and the ability to lead, rather than follow. He also reflected on the importance of functioning, mutually beneficial, and accountable relationships between hospital management and the board of directors. Such collaboration nurtures learning, innovation and increased employee effort and results in attracting top talent. He mused, “People don’t move to Wisconsin for the weather.” The valued, enabled and trusted health care providers then often commit to improving the quality of life in the broader community.  The “social profit” created, often through volunteerism, completes a virtuous cycle which he says are the common factors driving success of the top-ranked health systems he observed … Lessons all retailers can apply to their operations.

Surviving and Thriving in Franchising

Companies franchise in order to rapidly expand, increase recognition, and maintain brand consistency. Gold’s Gym, the leading fitness chain historically associated with overly-muscled body builders, now boasts 50 percent female membership and comprehensive wellness programs for customers at its 700 locations. The company’s growth was mostly fueled by franchising, which Tim Hicks, SVP of Marketing and International, explained as “simply a method of expansion and distribution.” Franchisees can benefit from systems, support and unit economics that individual entrepreneurs lack when starting a business. They can also understand cultural norms critical to international success, as with the case of Eiji Tezuka, a master franchisee in Japan. Gold’s Gym currently franchises in more than 30 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Peru, India and Poland.

The Retailing Summit is the largest annual outreach program hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies. Proceeds from the sell-out crowd of 300 retail executives fund the Center’s campus programs for students.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Staff, Students, Texas A&M

What began as a request from one student for clothes nice enough to wear to a job interview has snowballed into a new service benefiting all students at Mays Business School.

The project began as a simple gesture to help out someone in need. When a student told Mays Lecturer Henry Musoma he needed a suit, Musoma gladly helped by taking up a monetary collection to purchase a suit for the student.

Lisa Burton, a career coordinator for undergraduate students at Mays, heard this story from Musoma and was inspired to expand the service on a much larger scale and accommodate both men and women. The idea was soon proposed to the Business Student Council (BSC) to offer a type of “career closet” amenity to all students at Mays. Through the BSC, these student leaders would be able to coordinate and take ownership of a meaningful project that would help hundreds of students.

Further support was received from representatives at the University of Texas at San Antonio, who cooperated with Burton to share their own experiences in starting a career closet. Senior accounting major and VP of Project Mays Kylen Perry worked closely with Burton on behalf of the BSC. Planning continued over the next few months and, before too long, the Mays career closet was transformed from an idea into reality.

Preparation went into overdrive when the goal was set to open the career closet in time for the fall Business Career Fair. Burton credits a major part of the success of this project to Vicki Flenniken, manager of Macy’s at Post Oak Mall. “She was pivotal in helping secure the number of suits we needed at the best prices,” says Burton. “This was a huge effort considering that the suits had to be located from stores all across the country.”

Heather and Will Simmen, owners of Pride Cleaners, were also instrumental in executing the project. Not only did they donate all of the initial dry cleaning for the suits, but they also reduced dry cleaning costs to $5 per suit for students to have them cleaned after use. “Will Simmen believes in the Career Closet so much so that when he was in Harley’s shopping for himself, he asked to take the box of ties that was going to be thrown out so they could be used for the students,” Burton says. These ties, which Pride Cleaners pressed and cleaned at no charge, were added to the closet’s inventory.

The career closet now offers its business attire to all Mays students whenever they are needed. Apart from the small cleaning fee, students incur no rental expenses. Around career fairs and during interviewing seasons, the closet is available during designated hours. At other times, students have access upon request by emailing careercloset@bsc.tamu.edu.

The closet currently holds 28 suits. During the first career fair after it was created, 16 were checked out.

“The best part of this whole project has been to see how the efforts of many different people have come together to create something that is of such value to our students,” says Burton.

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Staff, Students, Texas A&M

3 Day Startup (3DS)
3 Day Startup (3DS)

Students from across the Texas A&M campus will have the opportunity to see if they have what it takes to form their own tech-based company. The catch: they only have three days.

3 Day Startup (3DS) is an accelerated hands-on program for passionate students with an entrepreneurial drive. The philosophy behind 3DS is “learning by doing.” The program recognizes that students need more than great ideas to launch a successful business. Over one weekend, 40 students will be equipped with resources, tools and real-world knowledge that will help them transform business concepts into functional and sustainable companies.

Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) will host 3DS Aggieland, a locally organized 3DS event founded in 2012. Applications for 3DS are due Sunday, Oct. 13. The event will take place Friday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 17 at Startup Aggieland, located in the Texas A&M University Research Park.

On the first day of the event, students will participate in a brainstorming session to identify the best ideas for a software startup. As part of this effort, they will have the opportunity to consult with top-notch entrepreneurs, investors and professors.

Participants will also experience designing and creating business models, contacting potential customers, creating prototypes and developing both professional and personal relationships.

On the final day, students will present an investor pitch along with a minimal prototype. These final project pitches will be open to the public and will take place in the Cocanougher Center at Mays.

“There are two primary outcomes of 3DS—both of which will significantly enhance a student’s knowledge base,” says Richard Lester, clinical associate professor and executive director of the CNVE. “First, participants will learn the process of launching a new venture and the team dynamics needed to pull it off. Second, there is a distinct possibility that by Sunday night the student team will actually have a new venture that could attract venture capital or angel funding.”

For more information, visit tamu.3daystartup.org or visit 3DS Aggieland’s Facebook page at facebook.com/3DayStartupTAMU.

3 Day Startup (3DS)

3 Day Startup (3DS)

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Programs, Staff, Students, Texas A&M