Leadership for Executive Training
The executive leadership team at the Center for Executive Development (CED) encompasses the core Aggie values and works diligently to provide custom solutions for clients’ leadership development needs. Their backgrounds and influences are congruent in exemplifying the mission and leadership training goals of CED.
Dr. Ben Welch
Position: I am the executive director of Halliburton Programs and clinical professor for the Department of Management at Mays Business School. I have led the Center for Executive Development (CED) since 1993.
Background: I am a Texas Aggie, and I served as the director of the Department of Student Activities for Texas A&M, director of the Mays Business Fellows and Honors programs and associate director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M. I have worked at Texas A&M University for 28 years. For the past 14 years, I have been exclusively training executives from around the world. My education includes a B.B.A. from the University of Dayton, an M.S. from Houston Baptist University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.
Influences: My influencer was Dr. Don Hellriegel, who believed in me enough almost 30 years ago to hire me into Mays Business School. He has served as my department head and executive associate dean within Mays; but, most importantly, he has served as my steadfast mentor, especially when I lost my father unexpectedly. My motto or creed that I attempt to live by are the words, “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give.” Don taught me the meaning of giving from the heart to those around you. I strive every day to live those words when helping our clients here in the CED.
The second individual who has had the most influence upon me is Dave Lesar, chairman and CEO of Halliburton. Twelve years ago, Mr. Lesar profoundly impacted my life by sharing that the legacy he would leave behind with Halliburton would be his personal commitment to that of employee development. He is the most passionate executive I have met regarding succession management planning and how to execute those plans. Mr. Lesar taught me to be a man of uncompromising values, a man of conviction, a man of ethical compass and a man that impacts lives. He truly remains as a steadfast mentor and a man that inspires me every day to be a better leader.
Dr. Brandi Plunkett
Position: As the director for the Center of Executive Development, I have the privilege of working with leaders and high potentials from a wide variety of backgrounds. It is my mission to continue the growth of the center so that it engages leaders through education, enabling them to have a positive impact on their organization and society.
Background: I have served in the education and training field for 26 years and have extensive experience with program development. My passion and educational focus is on continuous improvement, coaching and leadership development. My degrees from Texas A&M include a B.S. in curriculum and instruction and an M.S. and Ph.D. in educational human resource development.
Influences: Dr. Bryan Cole, professor emeritus at Texas A&M, has been the most influential person in my career. He saw potential in me 16 years ago and recruited me back to Texas A&M to attend graduate school and work along side him as he served as our department head. He taught me about continuous improvement and showed me what excellence and hard work truly is. His willingness to invest in me shaped my life and helped me get through the best and worst times, both professionally and personally. Dr. Cole is the very definition of integrity and selfless service, and I strive to live up to his fine example on a daily basis.
Philosophy: I believe in the importance of balance. My influences come first from my family, as well as from leaders in business, education and the military. I am a deeply spiritual person and strive daily to live according to my personal core values.