Howdy! In today’s edition, a “Walk In My Shoes” Experience and update your headshots on Friday.


STORIES FROM THE STRATEGIC PLAN

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE #1 – DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND ENGAGEMENT

WALK IN MY SHOES EXPERIENCE

The Walk in My Shoes Experience allows participants to adopt the point of view of a person diverse from themselves. Through a curated blend of clothing, scenarios, and discussion, we explore the persona of someone unlike ourselves – and figuratively walk in this person’s shoes, seeing events unfold through their eyes via a series of interactive vignettes. Each unique persona within Walk is based on actual individuals of diverse gender and race identities, sexual orientations, ages, body types, financial backgrounds, and other identity points. We’re guided through the experience as participants share their insights, revelations, questions, and curiosities about the affirming and discouraging encounters this particular person has faced in daily life. By cultivating new, unfamiliar experiences, Walk provides an opportunity to consider new perspectives within a safe space of non-assumption. By responding to how the various scenarios within Walk impact their thoughts and emotions, participants are able to build relatable understanding that creates empathy and promotes the language of advocacy.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is offering The Walk in My Shoes Experience throughout April as part of Celebrate Diversity Month.

Use this link to RSVP for any of the following sessions:
April 28 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
April 30 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.


ANNOUNCEMENTS

THIS WEEK: MAYS FACULTY / STAFF MEETING, FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2021

Please save the date for our Spring 2021 Faculty / Staff Meeting! The meeting will be held virtually on April 30, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Missy Lund sent a calendar invite previously, including the Zoom link.

THIS WEEK: SPRING UNIVERSITY STAFF COUNCIL FORUM

University Staff Council will be hosting a virtual, open-dialogue panel with Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness on April 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Be sure to register and submit questions for the panelists here!

Panelists include:
Dr. Jeff Risinger, Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness
Elizabeth Schwartz, Director of Total Rewards
Andrew Barna, Jr., Director of Employee Relations

A SPECIAL INVITATION FOR YOU: A DISCUSSION SESSION WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

This is a complimentary invitation to all faculty, staff, and students of Mays Business School, from the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston to attend a discussion session with Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Wednesday, April 28 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. He will highlight the vital work of the WEF and the new Davos Manifesto – ‘a set of ethical principles to guide companies in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. He will discuss the role of Public-Private partnerships in making access to technology more equal and being more inclusive in support of innovators around the globe. Brende will also address: the need for transparency and social responsibility in business; the evolving role of energy in the global economy; and ‘The Great Reset’ – the urgent need for all global stakeholders to cooperate in order for the world to recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis.

Kindly contact Tony Okoromadu if further information is needed.

YOU’RE INVITED: TEXAS/WARSAW INNOVATION BRIDGE EVENT

The Polish Investment and Trade Agency and CIC’s Venture Cafe are excited to invite students from the Mays Business School to attend the April 29th Texas/Warsaw Innovation Bridge Event, which will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central time. At this event you’ll learn why Silicon Valley icon, Tim Draper, is bullish on Poland; the Financial Times ranks its cities as top innovation centers; and why Google and Microsoft have made billion-dollar investments in the country.

Other important highlights of the ecosystem include:

  • Several Polish startups are expanding into the US and making headlines in the tech press such as BrainlyBooksy, and Airly.
  • VC funding of startups grew by nearly 70% in 2020, making it the top recipient in the region.
  • And our gaming industry is fire!
  • Government funding for foreign startups.

Please contact Zuzanna Kobrzynski, the head of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency’s office in Texas for more information. Those interested can RSVP here.


ACHIEVEMENTS

PPA’S LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AND PPA RISING STAR AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Mays Business School’s James Benjamin Department of Accounting and Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) are honoring two former students for their outstanding achievements and their continued support of the Accounting program at Texas A&M University. The recipients will be recognized at a dinner in College Station later this fall.

2021 PPA Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a PPA graduate whose collective body of work has resulted in a substantial incremental change in the business community, the accounting profession, and/or the lives of those who practice accounting. The 2021 PPA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Brent Smith ’97, who was a member of PPA Group 5. Brent is the CFO and Treasurer of Main Street Capital Corporation. He began his career at Arthur Andersen before moving on to a manager role at FTI Consulting. For almost a decade, he served Cal Dive International, a multinational marine construction company servicing the offshore oil and gas industry, where for the last half of that time he was Executive Vice-President, CFO, and Treasurer. In 2014, he arrived at Main Street Capital, which focuses on long-term debt and equity capital for lower middle market companies and debt capital for middle market companies. At Main Street Capital, Brent indicates that investments in people are as important as financial investments, and his role allows him to work closely with the owners and managers in Main Street Capital’s investment portfolio. Brent has earned the respect of his peers through his integrity, his work ethic, and his deliberate choice to live a life of balance. He has been an outstanding representative of PPA in the financial world for a significant period of time. He has given back generously as well, supporting scholarships for PPA students. Brent received his BBA and MS degrees in Accounting, and he is a Texas CPA. Congratulations to Brent Smith ’97!

2021 PPA Rising Star Award
The Rising Star Award recognizes a recent PPA graduate who is making a substantial impact on society through business acumen, exceptional leadership, or entrepreneurial success. The 2021 recipient of the PPA Rising Star award is Kyle Koehler ‘09. Kyle is co-founder with his wife, Kelli, of Wildway, which produces “clean” granola without grains, fillers, or added sugars. Kyle is a graduate of PPA Group 17, and he began his career in New York City working for Ernst & Young before returning with Kelli to San Antonio to launch Wildway in late 2012. Kyle and Kelli’s passion is to use business as a force for positive change in the world, and they are committed to using 100% real-food ingredients to improve people’s lives and health. From grain-free granolas to cereals to snack mixes, Kyle and his team manufacture and distribute products focused on the quality of ingredients. If you follow Kyle’s company at all, you will see that the Koehlers are attempting to live a lifestyle aligned with the company’s message. There is an undercurrent of Aggie core values that comes through in all of Wildway’s messaging, including respect for life, excellence in products, integrity in representing what the consumer is getting, and selfless service in making people’s lives better through their business. You can buy their products at HEB, Kroger, Wegmans, and Whole Foods, among many other locations across the country. Kyle is the type of leader who shows loyalty not only to his customers but also to his employees, as shown by the number of team members who have been around for a substantial portion of the company’s history. Congratulations to Kyle Koehler ’09!

SERVING AND PLANTING

The Reynolds and Reynolds Sales Leadership Institute is working with Davila Middle School in Bryan this semester to deliver marketing content for an Intro to Business Course that is taught to 7th and 8th graders. The Institute’s goal is two part: serving the community and planting seeds. The program will be expanded to other schools and districts in the fall. The hope is that some of those middle school students will start thinking about business education early and eventually join us at Mays.

For more information, email sales@mays.tamu.edu.


REMINDERS

COVID-19 Resources

Texas A&M Employee Return to Campus: The Multi-Phase plan for the return to campus
Texas A&M official COVID-19 site: The most up-to-date information from the university level
COVID-19 information for employees: For employment-related information concerning COVID-19
Zoom backgrounds: Made for Mays faculty, staff, and students


FROM MAYS

MASTERCAST- WATCH ON INSIDE MAYS

The New 5 Ways to Learn & the Spirit of Aggieland

On April 19, MasterCast welcomed the Assistant Dean of Learning Transformation & Academic Technology at Mays Business School, `Jon Jasperson. `Jon shared the new realities felt across campus. Students are now taking classes in 5 different ways and faculty are having to make adjustments on the fly.

NOURISHING IDEAS

A Texas A&M University interdisciplinary team led by Mays Business School Full-Time MBA student Ryan Staples ’22 earned third place in the 2021 Norwegian Business School Global Case Competition. The Aggie team–which included Danette Philpot, Garrett Brogan, and Meikah Dado, who are graduate students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Agriculture Leadership, Education and Communications—earned this international recognition by proposing an innovative use of technology to improve food production in Uganda by empowering women. Read more.

IN THE NEWS

MS Marketing – Poets & Quants, Meet The Masters Of Marketing

Gammenthaler, Kyle (STC) – Around Texas with John SharpThe VOOM Foundation — a special medical program helping people in Nigeria

Shaub, Mike (ACCT) – Wall Street JournalTax Bills May Go Up for Big Companies. It Will Be Hard to Tell How Much.