Our Team

Thomas McMillan
Director, Center for Retailing Studies
Professor of Practice

Thomas McMillan recently joined the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) in October 2022 as its Director.

Thomas brings a deep background in retail, marketing, and technology to the Mays Business School – an omnichannel executive serving consumers and business-to-business customers. Thomas was the Sr. Director/General Manager of Digital B2B Commerce (LowesForPros.com), launching an e-commerce and e-procurement enabled platform to drive B2B digital sales growth at Lowe’s Companies, Inc, a FORTUNE 50 home improvement retailer. Thomas worked for over a decade at Lowe’s in previous positions on the digital leadership team such as Onsite Marketing & Online Promotions Director for Lowes.com, growing e-commerce sales from $300 Million to over $1.5 Billion, and the corporate marketing team including Sr. Integrated Marketing Manager, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, and B2B Customer Marketing Manager. While at Lowe’s, Thomas was named twice to the “Who’s Who in Digital Shopper Marketing and E-Commerce” by the Path to Purchase Institute.

Thomas also led marketing and merchandising efforts for a start-up retail brand targeted at small businesses and consumers that was acquired by a big box retailer. As Vice President of Marketing at CompuCom, he launched a retail industry solution in partnership with Apple and other mobility partner applications making it easy for retailers to empower their employees to elevate the in-store customer experience. Thomas has also worked with former NFL athletes transitioning from the league to entrepreneurship in a teaching/coaching capacity and consulted with many businesses on their marketing strategies and plans in retail, hard goods, and services.

Thomas is a Former Student of Texas A&M University, having earned his MBA from the Mays Business School. Married with three daughters, he joins us in College Station, TX from Charlotte, NC where he previously served as President of the Charlotte A&M Club.


Venkatesh Shankar
Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies
Coleman Chair Professor of Marketing

Venkatesh (Venky) Shankar is Coleman Chair Professor of Marketing and Director of Research at the Center for Retailing Studies, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. His areas of specialization include digital business, marketing strategy, innovation, retailing, international marketing, and pricing.

He has been recognized as one among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters and as a Top 10 scholar worldwide on innovation. He is a three-time winner of the Krowe Award for outstanding teaching. He has been a visiting faculty at MIT, INSEAD, Singapore Management University, SDA Bocconi, Chinese European International Business School, and the Indian School of Business. He was selected as the 2014 Guru to deliver the Guruspeak lecture across India. He is a Research Fellow of Northwestern University’s Retail Analytics Council. Venky has a Ph.D. in marketing from the Kellogg School, Northwestern University.


Alex Pratt
Clinical Assistant Professor

Alex Pratt is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School. His research focuses on leveraging psychology theory to explain the effectiveness of marketing strategies in influencing customers’ evaluations of experiences and overall perceptions of their relationships with firms.

His research interests include customer experience management, service recovery, digital marketing strategy, sales-service interface, retailing strategy



Don Lewis
Executive Professor

Don Lewis has been a faculty member in the Department of Management at the Mays Business School since 1999. He is currently an executive professor and the director of Blackstone Launchpad TAMU.

Lewis received his BBA (Management) ’86 and MBA (IT) ’92 from Texas A&M; and Texas A&M; International University. His professional areas of interest include issues in entrepreneurial and small business education and international business.

Prior to his academic career, Lewis spent several years in Europe and then in Bryan College Station as an entrepreneur. Lewis is a Fish Camp Namesake 2016, a recipient of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Excellence in Teaching Award, the John J. Koldus III Faculty and Staff Achievement award, the Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence, International Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship, Newman 10 award for one of the 10 fastest growing businesses in Bryan College Station and is involved in a number of service roles in the local community. He is married and has two children, Megan and Kylan.