For Roger Montemayor ’99, entrepreneurship is synonymous with confidence.

His guiding question is simple: “Do you believe enough in yourself to take on great risk for great gain?”

Believing in himself to take risks has been integral to his success in taking the helm of his father’s company, Victory Insurance, and growing it to the point of attracting the attention of the one of the largest brokerage firms in the world, Arthur J. Gallagher, where he is now area president.

Since he was a college student majoring in business management, he has had all the makings of an entrepreneurial spirit — drive, passion, and a love of leading others to accomplish great things.

“I knew early on that I wanted my performance to control my destiny and took a job offer from my dad to work in sales,” he said. He worked for his father’s company Victory Insurance selling commercial property and casualty to businesses in around the Houston area.

In 2009, Montemayor decided to purchase the agency from his dad and his partner.

“Immediately after he closed, I formulated a plan to diversify our business and focus heavily on growth. I created a personal lines division, that focused on high net worth, complex personal insurance needs. I also opened up a group benefits division, Victory Benefits Advisors.”

Montemayor said that both of these divisions created instant organic growth for the company. By 2016, he had doubled the top line growth of his agency.

Montemayor said he has always had a passion to build business and to lead. “I think it’s because I love the pressure, I love the hustle, I love competition and I’ve never been complacent.”

Montemayor easily recalls a highlight of his career: In 2016, when Fortune 500 company Arthur J. Gallagher sought out with interest in a merger.

The rewards of his endeavors with Victory Insurance have been vast for Montemayor, especially when it comes to the people with whom he works. “I love the responsibility of taking care of my employees,” he said. “It’s extremely fulfilling to know that if I do my job the way that I should, many others will also share in the success.”

Montemayor also underscored that his background Mays has been invaluable in helping him succeed. “The environment at Mays promoted competition and cultivated a drive that prepared me for the real world.” He credited the community of professors and mentors who were attentive to his preparation and growth.

He added that that the strength of the Aggie network has been crucial. “As Aggies, we take care of each other and we do business with each other. I’ve created so many professional relationships with Aggies, it’s unbelievable.”




Categories: Alumni, Center for Executive Development, Entrepreneurship, Management, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

The airline industry is dynamic and in constant flux, perfect for entrepreneurial-minded types like Michael Cox ’77, vice chairman of the Seabury Advisory Group. A self-proclaimed airline geek since childhood, Cox has spent nearly 20 years with consulting and overseeing the restructuring of numerous airline clients on a variety of projects, including airline treasury corporate finance and airline restructuring.

Cox joined Business Honors students for lunch on his visit to Mays Business School, where he spoke of the current state of the airline industry and some of the lessons he’s learned in his career.

Globalization is changing the game

“Consolidation of airlines around the world is happening at a faster pace,” Cox said, adding “often at the expense of medium to smaller airlines. Yet we’re also seeing more joint ventures supplanting global airlines in importance.”

He said the most important part of Seabury’s business is restructuring. “Airlines that are restructured are driving global profitability. In order to be effective, the restructuring must be comprehensive, touching everything from labor to network, capacity, fleet and other costs. Not many airlines realize this when they first approach us. We have to show how important a holistic restructuring is.”

Some of the restructuring efforts Cox has led include those for Frontier Airlines, South African Airways, Air Mauritius and Gulf Air. He also led the Seabury team in successfully restructuring the aircraft debt/lease obligations for the reorganization efforts US Airways, Air Canada and Northwest Airlines.

The creative side of finance

Cox earned his bachelor’s of business administration in finance from Texas A&M University and an MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.

He said he was drawn to the industry by his love of air travel and natural inclination for environments that require creative thinking. “Restructuring in the industry requires being comfortable with risk-taking and ambiguity. I like to think of restructuring as the creative side of finance.”

Be open to others’ perspectives

Some students wanted to hear about what lessons in teamwork he’d learned from his years overseeing negotiations and functioning as a project manager. “I make sure everyone has a voice, from the new college graduate to the veteran consultant,” Cox said. “I’ve learned that you have to respect the other person’s perspective and that it’s OK to not have all the answers.”

Business Honors major Arun Mathew ’19 said the lunch with Cox was a great experience. “He was a very down-to-earth individual, and he made the presentation interesting and interactive,” Mathew said.   

PPA and Business Honors major Preston Pownell ’16 added that he enjoyed the discussion and appreciated the opportunity to “see glimpses into what it truly takes to succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment.”

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Aggieland Credit Union donated $10,000 to the Master of Science (MS) Business program at Texas A&M University to fund five new companies created by graduate students enrolled in the integrated business experience course. The course is a key component of the “learning business by doing business” approach of the program at Mays Business School.

In the first eight weeks of the fall 2016 semester, students in the course identified a product or service they would like to sell, conducted market research to determine how their product would be received, developed a business plan for a new company and requested up to $2,000 in start-up funds from loan officers of Aggieland Credit Union. The learning objective for the students is creation, refinement and delivery of a fundamentally sound business case. The measure of their success was the outcome of the loan decision.

Each of the five teams was successful with their respective pitches, and Aggieland Credit Union agreed to provide the necessary capital for each company to move forward in executing their business. “The integrated business experience is a remarkable opportunity for students to gain insights and perspectives about running a business that are difficult to obtain in a classroom setting. Our team is delighted to be part of making this experience possible for the students,” said Jason Goodman, senior vice president/COO at Aggieland Credit Union, who delivered the check on Oct. 7.

…Read more

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

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and holder of the Peggy Pitman Mays Eminent Scholar Chair in Business, joined an elite group when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Ph.D. Project, a national group that works to increase the diversity of business school faculty members.

The award came during the Ph.D. Project’s annual Faculty Dinner, held in conjunction with the American Marketing Association (AMA)’s conference Aug. 5-6 in Atlanta. The AMA is a sponsor of the Ph.D. Project. About 100 of the Ph.D. project’s 200 Marketing Doctoral Students Association members attended.


Dean Eli Jones and Bernard Milano

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.

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.”

In his acceptance speech, Jones said the Ph.D. Project stemmed from a need to increase the supply of underrepresented minority college graduates.

“One significant way to do so is to increase the minority representation at the front of the classroom,” he said. “In organizing the Ph.D. Project, what may not have been anticipated is the greater impact that this wonderful initiative would have on society.”

Jones added, “We are the light.  Let’s focus on our calling and keep pressing on to make a difference. Be still. Be the light.”

Jones also was presented with the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the AMA’s Sales and Sales Management Special Interest Group (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.

This year was the first time a charity component was added to the awards program to raise funds for the Ph.D. Project. Members of the AMA’s Sales SIG, as well as some of his friends and colleagues, 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 afternoon he received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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

Tara Blasor, an accounting lecturer and assistant department head at Mays Business School, was selected as the 2016 recipient of the David Baggett Endowed Teaching Excellence Award.

Tara Blasor

Blasor is coordinator of the Internal Audit Certificate program and is responsible for developing a course for the MS-HRM program.

The annual award is intended to recognize extraordinary efforts and innovation in teaching effectiveness, curriculum development and student services in the accounting department.

The recipients receive a plaque and a cash award. The award ismade possible through an endowment created by Denise and David Baggett ’81. David, who graduated with honors with an accounting degree, is the senior partner of Opportune LLP.

Previous awards went to Kevin Roach in 2015, Joan Sanders in 2014, Karen Farmer in 2013, Shannon Deer in 2012 and Christopher Wolfe in 2011.

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Mays Business School alumni David G. Eller ’59 and Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 were among the 2016 Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University.

DA Medallion shot

Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 261 of Texas A&M’s 440,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Awarded jointly by the university and The Association, this award recognizes those Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

“Texas A&M’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the broad reach and influence of Texas A&M,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “This group includes fearless leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, technology, energy, medicine, veterinary medicine, national defense, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education.”


Eller is a longtime biotechnology leader. He is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Celltex Therapeutics Corp. Previous positions include president of DuPont Pharmaceuticals-Europe; CEO and president of Virbac Corp.; and founder, chairman and CEO of Granada BioSciences. He served on The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents from 1983 to 1989, chaired it from 1985 to 1989, and was the first in A&M’s history to be designated a chairman emeritus; for a time, he was simultaneously System chancellor. He established the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences & Technology in Houston and has served on boards for the Texas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Partnership, Baylor College of Medicine, Hermann Hospital, Allied Bancshares, First Interstate Bank, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Houston Ballet and the Rice University Energy & Environmental Systems Institute. He served eight years as an officer on active duty and reserves in the U.S. Army.

Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 is CEO of Oil States International, a diversified oilfield services company that she helped take public. She was among the first female CEOs in the energy industry, Houston’s first public company female CEO and one of only 50 female CEOs in the Fortune 1000. She is a board member for AT&Tand Tidewater Inc. Her business accolades include being ranked on the All-American Executive Team for Energy.


A former trustee of the 12th Man Foundation and member of Mays Business School’s Dean’s Development Council, she was named an Outstanding Alumna of Mays Business School in 2011. Recent awards include the McLane Leadership in Business Award; the Aggie 100 Summit Award; and the Women Former Students’ Network Legacy Award. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Texas Children’s Hospital and was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2014.

The recipients learned of their honor when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of university and Association representatives, including Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72, Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, The Association of Former Students’ 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors Dwain Mayfield ’59, Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79 and a Ross Volunteer, along with university mascot Reveille IX and her handler.

“Our 2016 Distinguished Alumni are an inspiration to Aggies everywhere,” Mayfield said. “Their varied professional pursuits and far-reaching influences across our Aggie Network are all strongly rooted in our core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Oct. 7. In addition, the 2016 recipients will be recognized during the Oct. 8 Texas A&M football game against Tennessee.

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Mays Business School placed 7th in the 2016 College Choice rankings.

Factors considered were cost of attendance (annual tuition), where each school falls in existing ra2016-Rankings-of-Master-of-Business-Administration-Programsnking data and each program’s reputation and track record in the business community. The data was gathered from U.S. News & World Report, individual school websites, The Economist, Bloomberg Business, and other public sources.

Find the full rankings here:


Categories: Mays Business, News, Rankings, Texas A&M, Uncategorized


Texas A&M University placed third at the 2016 SEC MBA Case Competition, held Saturday at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

The University of Alabama placed first, the University of Florida placed second and Mississippi State University placed fourth.

At the competition, teams of four MBA students from every SEC university were presented a business case by Henkel, a multinational company that produces consumer and industrial products. The teams, who were separated into four divisions, proposed their solutions to a panel of judges, including Henkel executives, on Saturday morning in divisional rounds. The top proposals from each division moved on to the final round to determine the winner of the competition.

Team members from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School were Kendall Daniel, Lillian Niakan, Maulik Mehta and Jared Sprunk. In other awards given during the divisional rounds, Lillian Niakan was named Best Presenter in her division and Kendall Daniel won the Best Q&A Award. Full-Time MBA Director Shannon Deer accompanied the team and Dean Eli Jones surprised the team by joining them on Saturday for the finals presentations.

Before the competition, professors Janet Marcantonio and John Krajicek provided coaching on problem-solving and presenting.

Deer said the entire Mays community is proud of the team and the faculty coaches who helped them prepare. “The team represented Texas A&M well all weekend through polished presentations, excellent ideas and in their interactions with other teams,” she said. “The students worked very hard  before and during the presentation, which showed in their success in the competition.”

This marks the fourth year for the SEC MBA Case Competition, which provides an opportunity for SEC business schools to showcase their students’ skills at solving simulated, real-world problems that cover the spectrum of business disciplines. The 2017 SEC MBA Case Competition will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville.



Categories: Mays Business, MBA, News, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized


Jeff Miller ’88, president and Chief Health, Safety and Environment officer of Halliburton, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School April 14 as a part of Dean Eli Jones’ Executive Speaker Series. The program will begin at 12:45 p.m. in Wehner 114.

In his presentation, Miller will use his personal journey to share insights on career and leadership development. He will also discuss the many aspects of his current role at Halliburton, a world leader in providing products and services to the energy industry.

Jones said he is honored to welcome Jeff Miller back to Mays Business School. “Jeff has always sought roles throughout his business career that allow contribution through leadership, insight and analysis, building and improving business, making important changes to organizations and developing staff,” he said. “Mays Business School develops ethical leaders that display excellence in their business careers,” Jones said. “Jeff exemplifies this mission remarkably.”

Miller is on the Halliburton Board of Directors. He earned a bachelor of science in agriculture and business from McNeese State University and an MBA from Texas A&M. He is a 2012 Mays Outstanding Alumni Award honoree.

Miller was named president and chief Health, Safety, and Environmental Officer at Halliburton in 2012. He began his career with Halliburton in 1997 as director of financial reporting, and has held a number of leadership roles that have enabled him to work and live all over the globe. Before joining Halliburton, Miller worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for eight years.

He is also a certified public accountant and a member of the board of directors of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. Miller has continued to engage with Texas A&M as a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Engineering.

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Discrimination is sometimes discrete, often unexpected and usually not easy to address. Those were some of the remarks that emerged from “Mays Speaks,” as a panel of students, faculty and staff of Mays Business School shared their experiences at Texas A&M University and beyond from a range of different perspectives. The discussion came after a viewing of “Color Blind or Color Brave?” a TED Talk on unconscious biases by Mellody Hopson, an American businesswoman who is the president of Ariel Investments and the current chair of the board of directors of Dreamworks Animation.

The panel was the first in a series of programs planned at Mays to address diversity and inclusion. “Biases about race, culture, religion, age and other differences can create thought patterns and habits that cause us to behave in ways that impede our ability to meet our goals,” explained Annie McGowan, Professional Program director, who coordinated the event. “Some biases are deeply held but considered politically incorrect to act upon. Others are not intentional. We may not even be aware that they exist.”

Cultural acumen is an important leadership skill, and McGowan believes that proactive conversations about the unconscious biases that we all possess will help our students, faculty and staff develop the inclusive leadership skills that they need to navigate in the global society. Planning is underway for additional  “Mays Speaks” forums designed to increase awareness about important issues that are sometimes difficult to talk about.

Panelists from the spring event included students Ryan Zepeda, Azra Razvi, Timi Fadugbata, Olivia Williams, Kendal Galimore and Joshua Arey; faculty members Henry Musoma and Antonio Arrelola-Risa; and staff members Venita Mahajan, Shannon Deer and Kelli Levey.


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