Executive Involvement

From its inception, Houston-area executives have been involved with and committed to the Texas A&M MS Human Resource Management for Professionals program. Beginning with the initial program design phase, industry leaders provided input to shape the curriculum according to the most relevant needs and challenges faced by today’s organizations. Many executives now serve as course instructors, allowing students to transcend conceptual learning and gain real-world perspective on HR issues. Beyond the classroom, these leaders make themselves available for one-on-one coaching and mentoring with students, an excellent opportunity to seek guidance and wisdom as you make the next step on your career journey. We are grateful to the executives below for their service to the program and our students:

Hollie Castro (YETI)

Hollie Castro is the Head of Talent and Employee Experience at YETI, and has the privilege of leading all things talent and culture. Before coming to YETI, Hollie was President of Castro Consulting Group, where she provided coaching and advising to executives and teams from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups on executive onboarding, organizational changes and job transitions.

Hollie also served as the SVP of Administration at BMC Software (5th largest pure play software company in the world), where she was responsible for Global HR, Real Estate and Facilities, Government and Community Affairs and Employee and Executive Communication. In this role, she successfully defined and executed a global human capital strategy.

Prior to that, Hollie was the SVP of Corporate Services for Talisman-Energy, an $18B global energy company based in Calgary, Alberta. She was responsible for Global HR, Corporate Communications, Supply Management and Corporate Project Management.

Hollie gained much of her experience at Cisco Systems and General Electric where she held various executive HR roles, including experiences in large global acquisitions and driving change. Prior to GE, Hollie held various marketing positions at IBM, as well as successfully founded two start-up businesses including Global Rainmakers, a coaching and consulting company. The company specializes in acceleration coaching for Generation X/Y professionals, leveraging technology and cohort learning.

Hollie earned her international MBA from Thunderbird University and her undergraduate degree from Marlboro College. She has worked with and served on numerous Boards, including GoodFx, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Society for the Performing Arts of Houston, and was a founding member of Caprock Academy. Fluent in English, Italian, Portuguese, French, and Spanish, Hollie has lived in many cities and countries. She currently lives in Austin with her husband, Dan, and daughter, Isabella. 

 

Vivek Arora (Mears Group)

Vivek Arora currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel for Mears Group, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Quanta Services. In this role, Vivek is responsible for the overall direction and strategy for the administrative functions for the companies managed by Mears, including legal, human resources, safety, quality, risk management, and other functions. Prior to taking this role in 2015, Vivek served in a variety of roles at Quanta including as the head of HR and senior positions in the legal department. Prior to joining Quanta in 2010, Vivek was in private practice in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s Washington DC Office. Vivek currently serves on the Board of the Center for Energy Workforce Development.

Vivek earned his Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School, his Masters of Business Administration from Rice University, and his Bachelor of Arts from University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), History, and Political Science. Vivek is the instructor for the Talent Management and Employment Law courses within the MSHRM-P Program.

 

Matthew Legg (Par-Pacific)

Matthew Legg is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Par Pacific.  Prior to joining Par Pacific, Mr. Legg served as Vice President of Human Resources for Emerald Performance Materials in Vancouver, Washington. Previously, he served in a variety of HR leadership roles with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Ensco plc, and Chevron Corporation in Texas, California, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.  Mr. Legg previously served as an Adjunct Professor at Houston Baptist University teaching global HR management.

Mr. Legg holds a Master of Science in HR Management from University of Southern California, an MBA from University of Houston-Clear Lake, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Texas A&M University.  He lives in Spring Valley Village, Texas with his wife Carri, daughter Peyton, and son Aiden.  Mr. Legg is the instructor for the Global HRM course within the MSHRM-P Program.

 

 

Lisa Ortega (Beacon Offshore Energy)

Lisa Ortega currently serves as VP of HR & Administration for Beacon Offshore Energy. She has over 21 years of energy-focused HR experience, helping to lead organizations in international, corporate, and field locations. Lisa has been instrumental in working with executive leadership teams, helping them prioritize their most important asset, their people. 

Prior to Beacon Offshore, Lisa held the VP of HR role at publicly traded EXXI (Energy 21)/EGC, leading the HR side of the sale to Cox Oil, LLC.  She was responsible for the 900 employees + contractor population, HR material for the board of directors and compensation committee, proxy data, restricted stock and benefits administration, executive compensation, succession planning, and more. She began her career at Arthur Andersen and then entered the oil and gas industry, spending 10 years with Marathon Oil in multiple roles, including a year rotating in West Africa.

She then spent two years with Hess Corp. as the Senior HR Manager of the Unconventionals Team (Bakken, Eagle Ford and Permian assets). She was the lead HR on the Eagle Ford Divestiture. After Hess, Ms. Ortega started and ran Decisive HR Associates for four years, consulting for companies like Yates Petroleum and their sale to EOG as well as other operators in the Bakken. 

Lisa holds her BBA from Baylor University and an MS in HRM from Texas A&M University.  She is married with 3 adorable children, twins Clark & Kennedy and Giancarlo.  When not preparing for board meetings, she can be seen coaching little league basketball, volunteering through National Charity League and running around the football fields as a part of the SBMSA Football Board.

 

Cindy Garcia (formerly with Noble Energy)

Cindy Reyes Garcia has over 20 years of Human Resources experience in the energy industry.  Areas of focus include talent management, talent acquisition, leadership & employee development, employee relations, crisis management, reward programs, acquisitions and divestments. 

Most recently, she held the role of Vice President, Global Human Resources & Talent Acquisition at Noble Energy. In this role, she was accountable for leading a team of 35 HR professionals in the delivery of the company’s human resources strategy. Noble Energy, an Exploration & Production company with 2,300 employees globally, was acquired by Chevron Corporation in late 2020. Prior to joining Noble, she held various Human Resources leadership roles at BP, including Human Resources Vice President and the HR Officer role in BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident Management Response team.  

Cindy is married to John, and they have three children – Shelby, Isabela and Daniel.  She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending as much time as possible with her family.  

She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Texas A&M University.

 

Margie Harris (Tellurian)

Margie Harris is an accomplished HR leader. Over the last 25 years, she has worked in both  industry and consulting leading Human Resource change initiatives. 

Ms. Harris currently serves as the Executive Vice President, CHRO of Tellurian Inc, an LNG global development  company. Previously, Ms. Harris has held leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies and served as the Executive Vice President of Human Resources of Apache Corporation. Prior to Apache, Ms. Harris served as an  Executive Vice President at Texas Genco, where she established the human resources group. She also led the human resources groups at Integrated Electrical Services and Santa Fe Snyder. Ms. Harris was a lead design  consultant at Hewitt Associates, focusing primarily on executive compensation, broad based compensation and benefit program design. Prior to her emphasis in Human Resources  Management, she also held the position of financial controller for the international division of  Continental Airlines and served as a landman with Shell Oil Company. 

She serves on the dean’s advisory council of the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, as a board of director of the alumni board of The Ohio State University, and as a board of director of the University of St. Thomas and the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Ms. Harris is a frequent speaker at industry events and coaches and mentors professionals regarding their career goals. 

Ms. Harris holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in finance from The Ohio State University. She also earned an MBA with concentrations in finance and marketing from the University of St.  Thomas, Houston, Texas.