Mays brought its top administrators and recruiters to prospective students’ neighborhoods this spring for receptions to recruit top students to Mays.

Dean Jerry Strawser personally greeted every student who attended receptions hosted by Mays former students in their homes and at bank meeting rooms in Houston, Dallas, McAllen and Laredo. The receptions, for students who had been accepted but had not yet confirmed their admission to Texas A&M, targeted the highest-achieving and most underrepresented students and their parents.

Overall, 62 percent of the 127 students invited to the small gatherings confirmed their intent to enroll in A&M’s business programs for the fall 2006 semester. Students mingled with Strawser, Undergraduate Recruiter Sonia Garcia and Business Honors Program Director Kris Morley. In McAllen, all 27 students confirmed their desire to make Mays their educational home for the next four years.

“Recruitment research shows that personal contact matters, and thus, we wanted these receptions to be small and intimate in nature,” Garcia said. “These receptions gave students and parents the opportunity to get to know us in a different light, and they also gave us the opportunity to entertain their questions about Mays and Texas A&M. We see the value of going to students in their hometowns and helping them realize how important they are to us.”

The events also put students and parents in touch with successful graduates and their stories:

  • Jerry Cox ’72, an entrepreneur in oil and gas exploration, and his wife Kay ’02 hosted 34 students and their parents.
  • David Van Houten ’71, a retired executive vice president of Coca-Cola Enterprises, hosted a reception for 41 students along with his wife Carol.
  • Ford Sasser III ’76, CEO of Rio Bank in McAllen, opened the doors of his bank to 27 students.
  • Melissa Cigarroa ’78, senior vice president of Laredo National Bank, invited 25 students to her bank.

In other recruiting efforts, Strawser and 20 members of his advisory council called more than 270 students, from National Merit Semi-Finalists to first-generation college students, to answer questions and share stories about Mays. More than 68 percent of those contacted by phone committed to attend A&M.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students, Programs

The new address for the Mays Business School homepage is You’ll also notice a new look and feel and a new site navigation, all designed to make it easier for site visitors to find the information they’re looking for.

The switch is designed to make it easier for folks to find our main Web site. And because we are called Mays, it makes for a better naming convention for the business school’s homepage.

Love the new site? Have some suggestions to make it even better? Please provide your feedback in our Web site redesign survey at

Categories: Uncategorized

Mays students rule — literally.

Junior finance major Nic Taunton was recently elected student body president for 2006-2007, giving Mays the third head student leader in four years.

Prior to being elected, Taunton served as the student advocate for unity on the Student Government Executive Council. He has also been involved in the Aggie Men’s Club and Fish Aides and served in other roles in Student Government Association and Executive Council.

Business students will also rally the crowd as yell leaders. Newly elected yell leaders for the upcoming year include senior marketing major Chris “Buck” Buckner and junior agribusiness major Eric Reed.

Categories: Departments, Students

Joseph Tortorice ’70, founder of Jason’s Deli and president of Deli Management, Inc., says his education at Texas A&M taught him exactly what he needed to know to master the market and build a successful business. But it was his return to A&M years later to hear then-Wal-Mart CEO David Glass introduce the concept of servant leadership that helped Tortorice define his company’s creed.

In the highly competitive food services industry, Tortorice realized that’s how he has always conducted business. Through passion, humility and optimism, in attitude and in action, a leadership role emerges out of servanthood, he says today: “The power that generates the most performance is servant leadership.”

Tortorice shared his business philosophy as he accepted the 2005 Conn Family Entrepreneurial Leadership Award in April. The BBA marketing graduate, who also earned his MBA from Lamar University, opened the first Jason’s Deli — named after his son, Jay ’95 — in 1976 in Beaumont. Today Jason’s Deli has expanded to 144 restaurants in 20 states, employing more than 5,000 people.

The successful launch of that first restaurant was a family affair. Tortorice continued his full-time job as an accountant, so his wife Shelly, his grandfather, a retired butcher, and other family members helped to keep the operation afloat the first year. Now Jason’s Deli has since been voted by Chain Leader magazine as one of the best places to work in the U.S.

“The business is all about people,” he says. “Our product is food, but we’re in the people business.”

Tortorice says Texas A&M instilled him with the spirit of teamwork that he has carried through to his company. “The A&M culture can’t be copied, and the Jason’s Deli culture can’t be copied,” he says.

The Conn Award is presented each year by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship to recognize business leaders whose entrepreneurial vision and business acumen led to the successful new startup or transformation of a company. Tortorice was also named a Mays Outstanding Alumnus in 200

Categories: Centers, Former Students

E. Powell Robinson, a 20-year faculty veteran, will become the new head of the Department of Information and Operations Management in August.

Robinson is a two-time Mays Faculty Fellow who has been on faculty in the business school since 1992. He takes over the top job from interim head and John E. Pearson Professor Dean Wichern, who retires in August after 37 years as a professor and 20 years at Texas A&M.

“We are excited that Powell will be assuming a leadership position in our school,” says Dean Jerry Strawser. “With the opportunities provided by the university’s faculty reinvestment program, the Department of Information and Operations Management has a very unique and significant opportunity to take a tremendous step forward under Powell’s leadership.”

The new department head says his biggest push will be strengthening the department’s expertise in the quantitative decision sciences field and in supply chain management, a new and evolving field that examines efficiencies and information flow in business processes such as product movement from suppliers to distributors and retailers. Robinson plans to add three to four new professors who specialize in supply chain issues by the 2007 academic year.

Robinson explains that no other business school has merged into one department an understanding of the umbrella field of supply chain management with its backbone of operations management, information technology (IT) and decision sciences, as Mays has done.

“We’re in a global environment that is making the world a lot more complex, and we’ve got to link our IT, decision sciences and supply chain management fields,” Robinson says. “We’ve got to integrate the business functions better, and IT is the tool.”

Robinson spent seven years teaching operations management at Indiana University before joining Texas A&M in 1992. He is vice president-at-large for the Decision Sciences Institute and a member of the strategic education committee of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals.

Categories: Departments, Faculty