Roger Montemeyor headshot

Having grown up in Galveston, Texas, post Hurricane Alicia and during the 1980’s oil crisis, Roger Montemayor ’99 understands what it is like to live without. Montemayor, who received his bachelor’s degree in management from Texas A&M University, shared his path to success with current students and presented them with tips on how to be successful post-graduation.

Montemayor currently serves as Area President for Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) and has served on the leadership team for AJG since his merger with them in 2016. During this time, Montemayor has led his team to exponential growth by innovating property and casualty insurance programs for a number of different industries that include public entities, energy, construction, manufacturing, and real estate. Montemayor recently visited with business honors students as part of the Mays Transformational Leader Speaker series, which recognizes leaders in today’s society and gives them an opportunity to share their knowledge with Mays students.

In the beginning of the session, Montemayor explained that his purpose, his drive, and his faith are the three main components of his success. “The most important piece of advice I can give to each and every one of you is to know your purpose,” he said. “Very few things in life will impact everything you do, but your purpose is one of them.”

Along with knowing your purpose, Montemayor used his life experiences to come up with three other pieces of advice for the students:

  • Your “go” has to be greater than your “know.” Knowledge is important, but a good education will mean nothing if you are lazy and have no sense of hustle.
  • Surround yourself with mentors and people you love. You lose your edge the moment you start thinking you have everything figured out. This is when mentors can come into play by helping you stay grounded.  Also, success means so much more when you share it with people you love, both at work and at home.
  • Paranoia is complacency’s greatest defense. “My company continues to grow because my competition stays complacent. Do not ever let yourself reach that point. Stay paranoid,” Montemayor said.

Although Montemayor is successful now, this was not always the case. When he was young, his dad was laid off, which led to some very tough times. His dad picked himself up and went all in on himself.  He went on to build one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in his area.  He knew the risk, but he also knew what he had to do for his family.  Montemayor vowed to do the same.

“My dad is my biggest inspiration,” he said. Between the years of 2004 and 2016, Montemayor faced many challenges and tribulations, but his faith, motivation, and reminder of his father’s success kept him going.

As the session came to a close, Montemayor gave the students one last piece of advice: If you are ever doubting yourself, just remember his story. “I was rejected from Texas A&M twice before I was accepted, and I am probably not the smartest guy in this room,” he said. “I am where I am today because of my hustle, my drive, my faith, and this little piece of gold on my finger. The Aggie network is real, and I encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of it for the rest of your lives.”

Roger Montemeyor group photo

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

With around 200 attendees coming “together with technology,” The 19th annual Women in Information Technology Conference brought together women to network and learn from others currently building their careers in information technology. It was hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) on March 2 in the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University.

Female students with an interest in information technology participated in roundtable discussions on topics such as lessons learned from senior executives, managers, professionals and new graduates in the workforce. They also discussed advice such as finding a job, career building, finding a mentor and new technology trends.

After a welcome speech by Executive Professor and CMIS Director Robin Starnes, the conference attendees heard from three keynote speakers:

  • Amy Suhl, CIO, Shell Oil – #Makethefuture & ‘Aha’ Moments in Leadership
  • Diane Schwarz, VP and CIO, Textron – Tech Trends From My Career to Yours
  • Tammy Hermann, Director of IT, H-E-B – Mind-Blowing Tech – at the grocery store?

In her presentation, Suhl advised the women to “get clear on what you will be measured on.” This is done through credibility, reliability, and intimacy, which all culminates into trust. Key components of leadership Suhl spoke on were performance, image, and exposure.

When sharing “Tech Trends,” Schwarz shed light on self-healing, shared insights from security in the past, explained the concept of how technology constantly changes, and highlighted the benefits of mentoring and listening.

Hermann’s presentation on “Mind-Blowing Tech – at the grocery store?” outlined Gig economies, the desire for conversation, short attention spans, and how tech

The conference ended with the announcement of door prize winners including two iPads provided by the Texas A&M IT department, a Katie Decker pendant donated by David Gardner’s Jewelers, $500 in scholarship funds, and many more. All guests received gift bags as well.

Feedback on the event was positive, with guests commenting that “the ratio of company representatives to students ratio at the tables was perfect this year,” and that the “speakers were great, but the best part was interacting with the students and being able to trade advice.”

CMIS will celebrate its 20th annual Women in IT Conference on March 1, 2019, at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.




Categories: Departments, Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

After serving as the Class of 2019 president three years in a row, Mays management junior Amy Sharp readily steps up as the next Texas A&M University Student Body President. She received 66.03 percent of the votes.

Sharp grew up in Conroe, Texas, where she attended Oak Ridge High School before coming to Texas A&M. From the start of her college experience, Sharp knew she wanted to make a difference on campus. As student body president, Sharp will focus on three things: academic improvement, increased inclusion, and improved access to mental and physical health services.

“A student body president’s job is to represent student voices in all affairs and amplify them to any platform necessary to enact positive change,” Sharp said. As the student body president-elect, I am committed to embodying the Texas Aggie core value of selfless service by working tirelessly to serve students.”

Sharp and her supporters spent weeks poring over the platform they had written together, brainstorming ideas to set them apart from the competition, and coordinating the execution of their plans. By the time the four-day campaign period started, Sharp and her team were ready to convince all students why Sharp should be elected student body president. “My team put forth an incredible campaign that was meticulous, genuine, and bursting with integrity, and that is exactly what we set out to do,” Sharp said.

A long-time leader

Along with her recurring role as Class of 2019 president, Sharp has also been actively involved in the business honors program during her time at Mays Business School. Through business honors, Sharp has been able to network with executive speakers, travel to businesses across the country, and grow as a leader both inside and outside of the classroom.

“The community that I have been surrounded by in business honors has been so supportive,” Sharp said. “All of the students in business honors are hard- working, kind, impact-driven individuals who want each other to succeed, and I get the honor of sitting next to them in class and learning from them on a daily basis.”

While in the role of student body president, Sharp hopes she can work to build bridges between the student body and the Student Government Association. “I will make it a priority to meet students where they are and build relationships with them, because I know this is the best way to understand the student experience on our campus,” she said. By creating a stellar classroom experience, making Texas A&M a more inclusive campus, and improving the quality of mental and physical health care services, Sharp hopes to improve the college experience for many Aggies.

Sharp will take office on April 21 after current student body president Bobby Brooks completes his term with a speech at the campus Muster ceremony. As the time to take office comes closer, Sharp cannot help but think about what Mays has done for her the past three years. “My courses at Mays have taught me much about giving back, integrity, and choosing styles of leadership, all of which will be very necessary skills and knowledge points as I begin to serve Texas A&M as student body president,” Sharp said.

After she graduates, she is hoping to pursue her passions of helping people with mental health and substance abuse problems, as well as relieve children in poverty. She is applying for 2+2 programs and hopes to pursue an MBA.

Categories: Business Honors, Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

When 54 business undergraduate students got on a bus, filled mostly with strangers, and traveled to Stoney Creek Ranch for a three-day retreat in late February, building lasting friendships wasn’t what most of them expected. But through speaker sessions, small group discussions, and personal reflection time, the SUMMIT conference communicated one thing consistently: people matter to your story, and you matter to other people’s stories.

In the words of one delegate, “I think this really came out of the social impact mindset. You really think more about other people’s stories. Step into someone else’s shoes, you know?”

Several delegates said the conference pushed them to think differently about creating opportunities, using their unique strengths and valuing the strengths of others. “I can more comfortably find ways to learn from others, and maybe even let them learn from me, too.”

The purpose of SUMMIT (Students Understanding, Maximizing, and Mentoring Individual Talent) is to empower students as developing leaders through purposeful reflection and honest self-awareness. Whether students participate as freshmen or seniors, SUMMIT challenges students to think about how they can intentionally shape their own story and influence the people and organizations to which they are connected.

“Smile more,” said Alec Calvillo ’19. “The people around you matter, and sometimes all it takes to let them know that is to smile.”

Lauren Secrest wrapped it up perfectly. “The SUMMIT experience changes who you are and what you think based on what you are going through right now. I’m not sure you can say this is what SUMMIT is about or that is what SUMMIT is about. Just go and find out!”

SUMMIT accomplishes this by:

  • Equipping student facilitators to lead small group discussions with conference delegates on topics such as values, resilience, dreams and goals, and personality assessments
  • Challenging student participants (delegates, facilitators, and executive team) to think intentionally about choices they make and the habits they build
  • Offering a model for meaningful dialogue about difficult topics using productive vulnerability
  • By Jeana Guillory

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

This year’s 4th Annual Leadership Initiative Conference (LINC) brought 50 admitted high school seniors from all across the state of Texas, from Plano to Brownsville to Beaumont, and everywhere in between, to Texas A&M University the last weekend of February.

LINC introduces talented admitted students to the Mays Transformational Leader framework, with an emphasis on the mindsets, core competencies, and collaborative community that sets Mays apart from other undergraduate business programs.

Selected “delegates” participated in small group discussions led by small group leaders who are current Mays undergraduate students. On the second day of the conference, attendees competed in a case competition focused on ethical decision making.

Additionally, these admitted students experienced interactive lectures and presentations from faculty and staff members including Dr. Annie McGowan, Dr. Mike Shaub, Patrick Williams, Bailey Urban, and Claire Raabe.

This year, LINC was directed by junior finance major Brandon Biavaschi and sophomore management major Deborah Rao. The staff directors for the program are Jeana Guillory and Corey Stone.

Founded by Andres Bustos in 2015, with support from Marty Loudder, LINC operates as a collaboration between Undergraduate Special Programs and Undergraduate Recruiting. LINC remains a key resource in matriculating Texas’ top future undergraduate business students.

Revealing the Mays entreneurial mindset video in the final session of the conference, which features Bustos and Loudder discussing the creation of LINC, reinforced the value of student leadership and innovation at Mays, and attending delegates left the conference informed and excited about transformational leadership at Mays Business School.



Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

Upon arrival at Mays Business School and Texas A&M University, then-freshman Daniel Jefferson ’19, hailing from Houston, Texas where he attended Jersey Village High School, quickly noticed an opportunity for establishing community among African-American students. It was this opportunity that led to the vision of creating an organization that strived to establish a community amongst his fellow young black collegians at Mays. Bringing his vision into action this past September, Jefferson began the new student organization process to create Black Wall Street.

Daniel Jefferson

“During my time here, I’ve realized the importance of surrounding yourself with those who are both similar to you but also challenge your ideas,” Jefferson, a management major, described his motivation. “By creating Black Wall Street my hope is that I give a platform for those who may be new to the business school or those who feel as though they haven’t found their place to find those people.”

Black Wall Street is a space to celebrate the contribution of black Americans to the broader business community,” said Mays recruiter Corey Stone, who also serves as the student organization advisor for Black Wall Street. “It is a place of fellowship and shared learning for students at Mays Business School who want to engage further with the black community at Mays.

In its first year, Jefferson can already attest to how close-knit of an organization it is. “Not only is the organization one of a kind, but the idea is that even if you are not an executive board member you still have the ability to have just as much say in the direction that the organization goes,” said Jefferson. “As a new organization, the things that we do now will set the tone for the future so this is their chance to be a part of history.”

As the organization advisor, Stone has been impressed with the growth in Black Wall Street in its first year as well. “There has been a great turnout for Black Wall Street informationals, as many business majors and minors have interest in celebrating the spirit and future of businesses historically and presently tied to the black community,” Stone said.

Throughout February – Black History month – several activities and events were hosted by different organizations. Jefferson and Black Wall Street participated, in hopes of the “A&M student body understanding the essence of Black History month and to observe the culture that will be showcased without,” said Jefferson. “We are firm believers that it is important to try your best to understand other cultures, you never know what you may learn while doing so.

Black Wall Street hosted a lecture on Feb. 20, “The Importance of Supporting Black Business,” in the Memorial Student Center featuring Shawn A. Taylor, president of Zaxby’s Houston and Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Houston Astros. The program showcased the importance of supporting African American business, which helps support families and communities that otherwise may not have much support.

Going forward, Jefferson hopes to see Black Wall Street thrive as an organization, and grow in the next few years to become one of the premiere organizations of Mays Business School, all while building representation on campus. Black Wall Street will continue to seek to provide tools of personal and professional development to its members, through professional development, academic achievement, and community involvement, and to promote a positive social environment amongst members to build a network they can thrive in.

Stone’s hopes for Black Wall Street is that the organization can continue to collaborate and create dialogue in ways that “promote cross-cultural conversations, shared learning, and ultimately lasting friendships between both people with shared experiences and those who may have little in common.”

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

Mays business honors junior Taylor Welch eagerly awaits the opportunity to leave her mark on Texas A&M University as the 69th president of the Memorial Student Center.

Welch came to Texas A&M from Houston, where she attended St. John’s School all the way through high school. She began her long history of service within the MSC as soon as she transitioned from high school to college.

Welch currently serves as the chair of the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for International Awareness, one of the 19 subcommittees she will oversee as president. The Jordan Institute aims to promote international awareness at Texas A&M through both on-campus programming and travel-abroad opportunities. “It has been so refreshing to serve my community with an incredible group of individuals so dedicated to learning more about the world,” Welch said.

Along with her role as chair of the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute, Welch was also a member of MSC Freshmen in Service and Hosting (MSC FISH), MSC Wiley Lecture Series, and MSC Business Associates. She has also participated in MSC conferences and trips, such as the MSC Fall Leadership Conference, Stark Northeast Trip, and Champe Fitzhugh International Honors Leadership Seminar.

In addition to her intense involvement with the MSC, Welch is also actively involved within Mays. She is an enthusiastic member of the Business Fellows Group XXXVI, which has given her extensive knowledge about effectively leading and contributing to something she is passionate about. She is also a part of the Business Honors Program, which has allowed her to gain bits of wisdom through various professional development events.

“I am so thankful to be a student within Mays Business School. The knowledge I have been able to gain from incredibly intelligent professors invested in my success is invaluable,” Welch said. “I often find myself thinking about connections to the Memorial Student Center when we discuss certain topics in class, and I cannot wait to apply the insights I am gaining to serve a department that does so much for this student body and this community.”

After shadowing current MSC president Annie Carnegie for a couple of months to learn the ins and outs of being president, Welch will step up on April 23. “Having always been a huge advocate of involvement both inside and outside of the classroom, I am incredibly excited to see how what Mays has taught me about leadership, teamwork, and organizational knowledge will aid me in serving the Memorial Student Center,” Welch said. 

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

Having learned what it means to find good culture during her time at Texas A&M University, Jana Ahlfinger Bell ’86 wanted to share with current students the insights she has gained in her career on her way to becoming the Executive Vice President and CFO of RMG Networks.

Bell, who received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Texas A&M, also worked as the CFO of EF Johnson Technologies, Inc., as president and CEO of Simple Products Inc., and as the CEO, president, and director of @TRACK Communications, Inc. Bell recently visited with Mays business honors students as part of the Mays Transformational Leader Speaker series, which recognizes business leaders in today’s society and gives them the opportunity to share their expertise with the Mays Community.

“Interviewing is important for both the employer and the potential employee,” Bell said, when she explained her wish for the students in the session – that when they go to their first job, they find a place that is interesting and get to work with great people.

“But how can one decipher what a company’s culture is like just based on the first initial interview?” one of the students asked. Bell responded: “You have to interview as if you’re already there, inside the company. See yourself there, and then you will ask more in-depth questions.”

Bell continued to highlight other ways to discover a company’s culture:

  • Think about yourself actually working there and what that would be like. Delve into their daily happenings to gain that understanding.
  • Pay attention to the tone at the top of the company, what is important to the leadership of the company, because it really matters.
  • Do your homework on the company and the industry to gain insight into the culture. A defense contractor, for example, has a different culture as compared with a media company, or a technology company, or a professional firm, or an oil & gas company.

Bell closed the discussion by telling the students, “I love what I am doing, and I have found that ethical center in what I do. I love being a mentor.”

Bell advised the students to “make the most of the opportunities presented to you during your time at Texas A&M like these speaker sessions.” Bell told the students she wishes she had the opportunities that the students have now to network with speakers like herself, and she encouraged them to take advantage of all of the networking opportunities provided to them during their time here.

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

Eighteen teams of Texas A&M University students competed Feb. 9 in the Mays 2018 TAMU Case Challenge competition, hosted by Mays Business School. As part of the competition, the teams presented in front of nine management consulting judges and three sponsoring consulting companies.

Judges included professionals from Deloitte, Accenture, Trenegy, PwC, a former McKinsey partner, and Texas A&M faculty.  Undergraduates of all majors and disciplines were welcome, and a total of 18 teams with 72 participants registered to compete.

The teams were competing for a cash prize and a chance to travel and represent Texas A&M against other accredited universities. The teams also had the opportunity to network with industry professionals, gain insight into working in the consulting industry, and develop their practical case skills.

The winners for this year’s case challenge were:

First place – The Blockchain Smokers:

Robin Herrington ’18 – Business Honors

Joshua Anderson ’18 – Business Honors

Blake Harvey ’18 – Business Honors

Maggie Talbot ’18 – Business Honors

Second place – The 12th Case:

Joseph Scott ’19 – Finance

Hayley Eckert ’18 – Computer engineering

Cameron Dawley ’18 – Industrial distribution

Chris Bettiol ’18 – Finance

Third place – Team 18:

Arijon Horvat ’18 – Management information systems

William McCanless ’19 – Mechanical engineering

Mutaharah Wani ’19 – Industrial engineering

Karisa Coe ’20 – Business Honors

Kathryn King-Metters, an executive professor of management, coordinated the competition.

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

The Mays Office of Diversity and Inclusion hosted Chuck Saia, CEO of Deloitte Risk, Consulting, and Financial Advisory Services, as part of the “Mays Speaks” series. The critical dialogue series seeks to educate students on ways to respond to acts of bias in a manner that invites dialogue rather than anger. Saia led an open discussion with participants on the role of a courageous leader on a global scale.

From the start of the session, however, one could tell that it wouldn’t be difficult for Saia to get his message across, as he was impressed by Texas A&M University and acknowledged that he could see the courageous leadership that is embedded here deep in the history of the campus. “As students attending, you see it and are reminded of it each and every day,” said Saia.

But what is the definition of being a courageous leader, and what does a culture of courageous leadership look like? Saia broke it down into five unique steps:

• Speak openly and be an authentic leader
• Never stop learning
• Build teams that are smarter than you
• Focus on action more than words
• Invite diversity of thought

Saia came to the realization of this concept first-hand after enduring the national tragedy our country experienced on 9/11. Saia opened up to the students when he talked about being on the scene that day, and being one of the last two people to leave the World Financial Center, which is connected to the World Trade Center.

Experiencing that disrupted his perspective and kick-started the implementation of courageous leadership within his company. This was done through, what is now a company tradition, called Impact Day, where the entire firm spends a day making an impact on society and the surrounding community – much like Texas A&M’s Big Event – to create a culture of courage among employees.

Saia then explained to students the steps it takes to embrace the concept of being a courageous leader. One must:

• Walk with swagger and confidence in everything you do
• Elevate your profile, disrupt, and execute
• Learn not to rely on the relationships you currently have

Elaborating on what he meant by being able to disrupt, Saia said that one had to “step outside of yourself and discuss solutions. Even clients don’t know what they truly need.” Continuing with what it means to execute, Saia said “that it is the obligation to leave a firm better tomorrow than it is today. better firm tomorrow than it is today.

Closing the discussion, Saia left participants with some key words of advice on building great relationships:

• Bring breadth and depth to every capability
• Explore new opportunities and step out of your comfort zone
• Be present. Don’t be afraid to have a candid conversation

Saia concluded by asking the students what differentiates them as an individual. “You can’t stay in your own silo, you have to grow as an individual,” he said.  “You have to round yourself out in different ways.”

Categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M