Lead Story

Professional MBAs develop leadership through a day of high-impact experiences

Kelli Levey Reynolds, June 5th, 2018

Mental and physical challenges in an unfamiliar environment with a brand-new team taught the second-year students in the Professional MBA Class of 2019 at Mays Business School about leading. The experience was part of their “Leadership and Professional Development Course” on May 5 at the Corps of Cadets Leader Reaction Course (LRC) at Texas A&M University.

The goal for the Mays group’s LRC event was for students to experience leadership, make quick decisions, communicate thoroughly, express adaptability and use teamwork – all in a new environment under time pressure with limited resources. Through the obstacles and experiences the students were able to build their leadership skills and confidence and team.

Zach Majzun, Professional MBA Class of 2018, wrote the curriculum and led much of the day using his knowledge of LRCs in both military and civilian training job to best fit the Mays Professional MBAs learning objectives. The objectives included: experiencing a high-pressure leadership situation, using and learning a straightforward task leadership framework, and exposing students to teamwork within a new environment. …Read more

Mays’ Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team brought home Rookie of the Year honors from the SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City.

During the national competition, SIFE teams presented multi-media summaries of the educational outreach projects they developed and implemented throughout the year. In its first year, Mays’ SIFE team participated in projects such as “Breaking the Cycle” with Phoebe’s Home and Project Unity, “Be Your Own Boss” with Snook High School and “Penci-Cola” with College Hills Elementary.

“Making it to the national competition in our first year was amazing in itself,” says Cynthia Billington of the Center for Retailing Studies, who serves as Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow (adviser) for the team. “But receiving Rookie of the Year at the National Exposition was a true testament to our team.”

Texas A&M SIFE team members include: Anthony Sullivan, sophomore; Chris Anderson, sophomore; Brady Ferguson, sophomore; Jonathan Collins, freshman; Lindsay Cox, freshman; Tennessee Walker, junior; Kelly Philbeck, freshman; Chet Creel, sophomore; Brettne Vitek, senior; and Kenny Kwong, an MBA student.

The business advisory board members for SIFE Texas A&M are Cheryl Holland, Center for Retailing Studies; Pat Sullivan, Blue Beacon Intl; Larry Hodges, Copy Corner; John Bernheim, Sam’s Club; and Rick James, Walgreens.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Students

Whipping up successful business ventures is nothing new to Lynn and Creed Ford III. In fact, you can probably attest to that if you’ve ever dined at Chili’s Grill and Bar, Kona Steak House or Johnny Carino’s Country Italian.

After more than 20 successful years with Brinker International Inc. (formerly Chili’s Inc.), Creed ’75 formed the Ford Restaurant Group with Lynn, which supports franchised restaurants such as Chili’s Grill and Bar, Rudy’s Texas Bar BQ and Ozona Grill and Bar. Creed also co-founded Fired Up Inc. with Norman Adballah, which is the parent company for Johnny Carino’s Country Italian.

The Fords are hoping to ignite a similar entrepreneurial passion in Mays faculty and students through a recently committed security interest with a current market value of $1.85 million. As part of the One Spirit One Vision Campaign, their gift will establish the Ford Entrepreneurship Endowed Fund within Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship to support faculty research, course development and student opportunities.

“Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone for all successful businesses,” says Creed, who with Lynn have two Aggie children, Harper ’00 and Creed IV ’02, and a daughter-in-law Cassie ’01. “Our wish is that this contribution will provide support for the center to educate and research the ever-changing dynamics of new business ventures. Hopefully, the center will play a major role in helping entrepreneurs build companies, create jobs and ultimately benefit Texas A&M.”

Categories: Centers, Former Students

Management Professor Bert Cannella and Information and Operations Management Professor Bala Shetty have received new appointments.

Cannella, director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, has been appointed to the B. Marie Oth Professorship in Business. With his research focusing on post-acquisition executive turnover, executive labor markets, executive compensation and boards of directors, Cannella was a Mays Faculty Fellow in 2001 and received the Mays Outstanding Research Award in 1996. Serving at A&M since 1989, he was also awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Association of Former Students in 1994.

Shetty, head of the INFO department, has been named to the Jenna and Calvin R. Guest Professorship in Business Administration. Shetty joined A&M in 1985 and was the recipient of the Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement Award in 2002. With his research focusing on optimization and finance, Shetty was awarded the Mays Outstanding Research Award in 1995.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Harley Davidson Chairman and CEO Jeffrey L. Bluestein was presented the 2003 M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Award from the Center for Retailing Studies. Delivering the 6th annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture in April, Bluestein credited quality products and customer loyalty for the 100-year-old company’s success.

“We’ve been great students of our customers,” said Bluestein, who received a standing ovation from devoted Harley Davidson riders from the Bryan/College Station area. “We’ve spent a lot of time with them. Learned from them about what they are dreaming about. What they would love to do. How they would like to live their lives. And then set about the task of helping to fulfill their dreams.”

The M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series celebrates innovative merchandising and recognizes M.B. Zale’s vision and outstanding achievements in retailing. Zale founded the Zale Corp., an international jewelry chain, in 1924 and is widely respected as one of the giants in retailing. His son, Don, a member of Texas A&M’s Class of 1955 and chairman of the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation, helped create the Center for Retailing Studies in 1983.

Categories: Centers, Former Students

Larry Gresham, associate professor of marketing and assistant department head, was one of three faculty members awarded a 2003 International Excellence Award by Texas A&M’s International Programs Office.

Gresham, who has been at Texas A&M for 22 years, teaches global marketing and has been the faculty coordinator for the department’s study abroad program to Europe since 1987. He served as director of the Center for Teaching Excellence from 1991-1998.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

If someone along the likes of Lowry Mays is handing out advice, it’s probably a good time to take notes. The school’s namesake recently gave first- and second-year MBA students a dose of his own lessons learned as founder, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications.

Mays was quick to point out that being of high ethical standards is what often determines success, as illustrated by the fall of high-profile corporations. “I think the important thing is to understand that 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies stress integrity in their businesses and haven’t gone askew,” he said.

In fact, Mays shared with the students that Clear Channel is in the process of implementing an in-depth code of conduct that addresses numerous topics, such as anti-trust and anti-conflict policies. And he explained that he expects all 60,000 employees to commit to it.

Mays also provided insight into how he grew the company from a single radio station in San Antonio in 1972 to today owning 1,225 radio stations, 39 television stations, more than 776,000 outdoor advertising displays, and a live entertainment company.

When asked when the job market might turn around, Mays said he anticipates it picking up within the next year. But he cautioned students to not overlook the value of where they are in their current pursuits.

“I think you are all doing the right thing by concentrating on your education,” he said. “It will pay huge dividends in the future. Just because employers aren’t knocking on the door at this time doesn’t mean that you should get down. Because, you are building upon the assets you will need in the business world.”

Categories: Executive Speakers, Students

Mays’ new SBC Foundation Lecture Hall was recently dedicated in the Wehner Building. John Atterbury III, a 1970 Texas A&M graduate and group president of SBC Communications Inc., was on hand to celebrate the event, as was Texas A&M President Robert Gates.

“A&M and SBC have a lot in common,” Atterbury told the students, faculty and staff in attendance. “They have both endured over the years because they do things right. They also both take pride in the tradition of serving people, the spirit of being the best, and the vision that we have yet to see our best days.”

The SBC Foundation contributed $500,000 to Wehner’s expansion, which also includes the new Cox Graduate Business Center slated to open in the fall.

Categories: Centers, Donors Corner, Faculty, Former Students, Students

Mays student Matt Josefy ’04, an accounting major from Midland, Texas, will serve as Texas A&M’s 2003-2004 student body president, a position he won in a run-off election in April.

“It is a critical time on campus for students to make their voice heard, and I am excited about the opportunity to play a vital role in that process,” said Josefy, who will represent Texas A&M’s 45,000 students.

Josefy, who served on the Student Government Association’s Executive Council as vice president of public relations this past year, is a member of Fellows Group XX and part of the Professional Program. He is also a member of the Business Student Council, where he has served as copy editor for the organization’s magazine, The Edge.

In 2001, Josefy co-founded Mays’ Freshman Business Initiative, a program that introduces freshman to opportunities for involvement at Mays and teaches them time management, study, critical thinking and communication skills.

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

Mays’ Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was recently named champion at the Dallas SIFE regional competition, qualifying them to compete at the SIFE USA National Exposition in Kansas City May 11-13.

Members of the team include undergraduates Anthony Sullivan, Chris Anderson, Brady Ferguson, Jonathan Collins, Lindsay Cox, Tennessee Walker, Kelly Philbeck, Chet Creel and Brettne Vitek and MBA student Kenny Kwong.

A new student organization this year, the SIFE group works to create and implement educational outreach projects that teach others the principles of the free enterprise system, entrepreneurship, ethics and financial responsibility. In this inaugural year, the group has collaborated on projects with Phoebe’s Home, Project Unity, Snook High School and College Hills Elementary.

“Winning in our first year [as a chapter] is amazing and a real testament to our students,” said Cindy Billington ’87, of the Center for Retailing Studies, who serves as the Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow (advisor) for the team. She also praised every member for working extremely hard on the projects.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Former Students, Programs, Students

Four faculty members have been awarded Mays Faculty Fellowships to fund their research. Faculty members will each receive $15,000 for four years to support their research and to supplement their summer salaries.

Those awarded fellowships include:

Leonard Bierman, a professor of management, who has taught at Texas A&M for 20 years. His research interests include employee regulation, negotiations and international trade.

Wendy Boswell, assistant professor of management, researches employee attraction and retention, strategic alignment, work-related stress and executive job search. She joined Mays in 2000.

Mary Lea McAnally, associate professor of accounting, enjoys researching capital markets and bank accounting and regulation. She joined Mays last year.

Sorin Sorescu, an associate professor of finance who also joined Mays last year, researches free markets.

The fellowships, which become effective Sept. 1, 2003, are awarded based on past research performance and potential future research opportunities.

Categories: Departments, Faculty