October, 2007 | Mays Impacts

In business there are few better indicators of success than continuous growth. For the third year in a row, the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, hosted the Aggie 100, an award ceremony recognizing the fastest growing 100 Aggie-owned and operated businesses. This year the top honor went to Hubert Glover ’92, CEO and president of REDE, Inc.

“This is my Oscar. I will cherish this the rest of my life,” said Glover holding his crystal plaque in an acceptance speech at the Aggie 100 luncheon on Friday, October 22, at the Zone Club in Kyle Stadium. More than 600 people were present to celebrate the success of the entrepreneurs being honored.

REDE, Inc., based in Metairie, Louisiana, provides IT and administrative services to clients such as NASA and the United States Department of Energy. In the 2004-2006 period, they experienced an incredible compounded annual growth rate of 371.32 percent.

Glover’s win of the number one spot in the Aggie 100 is significant: he is the first Mays Business School grad to achieve that honor. Glover earned his PhD in accounting from Texas A&M University in 1992. He founded REDE, Inc. in 1998 and since that time has served corporate entities ranging from federal small business contractors to Fortune 500 commercial enterprises. Glover has also served as a senior member of the business faculty at Clemson and Georgia State Universities.

The Aggie 100 class of 2007 can boast $3.3 billion in total revenues, and has alumni from as far back as 1959 and as recent as 2001. The minimum annual growth rate experienced by one of these companies is 30 percent. To view the entire list of winners, visit the site www.aggie100.com.

At the award ceremony, the Aggie 100 classes of 2005 and 2006 announced a gift of $55,000, which will establish the Aggie 100 Entrepreneurial Scholars Fund to support the Aggies of tomorrow. The class of 2007 was challenged to make a similar investment in the future of their alma mater.

Richard Scruggs, director of the CNVE concluded the ceremony with the announcement of plans to host the first annual conference for entrepreneurs. Called “Envision08”, this summit will be held at the Marriot River Center in San Antonio, April 23-25, and will feature successful entrepreneurs and well-known authors. For more information, visit the website http://www.envision08.com/.

The Texas A&M Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship provides encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially-minded students, faculty and Texas businesses. Founded in 1999, the Center is part of Mays Business School’s Department of Management. The Center enhances student education through campus speakers, competitions, work experiences and financial support.

For more information, please contact Lenae Huebner, assistant director of the CNVE, at lhuebner@mays.tamu.edu.

Categories: Centers, Former Students, Texas A&M

Laura Fulton ’85 wears many hats: she’s a mom, a wife, a Sunday school teacher, and also the general auditor of one of the top three chemical companies in the nation. Fulton returned to her alma mater recently to talk with students at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School about a career in accounting and about finding a work-life balance that makes that career worthwhile.

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Laura Fulton ’85 recently spoke to Mays students about finding a balance between one’s personal and professional lives.
Fulton spoke to an auditorium full of freshman in an introduction to business course, as well as ten Business Honors students over breakfast. To both groups, her message was the same: don’t make a big salary the number one priority that drives your career. Instead, find a job you like, with coworkers you can learn from, and a company you respect and that respects you.

“If you work hard and do your best, those opportunities will come to you, and the salary will follow,” said Fulton, who is currently the general auditor of Lyondell, a chemical company headquartered in Houston.

In the 11 years Fulton has been with the company, she has seen it grow from a $5 billion local operation, to a multinational conglomerate worth more than $20 billion, with facilities in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Fulton manages a team of auditors in Houston and in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. She spoke about the challenges of working with employees with a different culture and a seven-hour time lag. “You’ve got to be very open-minded, and respectful of other cultures,” she said, in addition to having great communication, which she sees as the key to successful leadership. “When you have a common vision, it is possible to be very, very successful,” she said.

Fulton told how the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) legislation of 2002 has changed the accounting world and her job as an internal auditor. Accurate and detailed reporting was already part of the company’s procedure at Lyondell, she said, so the new regulation was not as hard to adjust to for them as it was for some other companies. Instead of a hardship, Fulton viewed SOX as a chance to shine as she set about creating and implementing a new process without disrupting the day-to-day processes that kept things running. “It was really a tremendous opportunity for me to sit down with the CEO and CFO and discuss a process created by my team that personally benefited them, giving them the understanding needed to sign the required certifications,” she said.

Prior to her time at Lyondell, Fulton spent 11 years working at Deloitte & Touche as a CPA. She serves on two Mays advisory boards: the Mays Fellows program and the Department of Accounting.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students

It was a sweet homecoming for three alumni that returned to campus on October 8 for the second annual Mays Business School Outstanding Doctoral Alumni ceremony, held in the Cocanougher Special Events Center. Nanda Rangan, Linda Klebe Treviño, and Venkat Venkataramanan were honored for their achievements since graduating from Mays and were held up to the current crop of PhD students as role models of excellence.

The three honorees were presented with medallions and the congratulations of many of their former instructors and mentors. Each was also given the opportunity to reflect on their career journey and share some of the wisdom they’ve acquired over the years.

Nanda Rangan
Rangan

Rangan thanked all the faculty at Texas A&M that were so helpful to him in his academic success. He also had some advice for the PhD students present: “Don’t rush through your dissertation!” Rangan encouraged students to pick a broad topic of research and to examine it deeply, so that when they are ready to “go to the market” and find a job, they can be highly competitive. He spoke at length about the challenges of getting published and the importance of continuing publishing efforts through out an academic’s career.

Linda Klebe Treviño
Treviño

Treviño, an internationally renowned expert in the field of corporate ethics, talked to the audience about the challenges and successes she experienced while delving into a previously unexamined area of business. “I was treading new territory, and it was risky,” she said, thanking her former professors for encouraging her to explore this new frontier. Treviño told current students to be sure to take advantage of the talented scholars all around them, and to get to know professors from other disciplines. She also recommended that students pursue their passion and “find something that matters in the world,” rather than follow job trends.

Treviño gave some humorous career advice from her own experience, such as be sure to show up for your interview on the right day, and don’t fall asleep while you’re meeting with the dean. In seriousness, she told students the key to finding success on the faculty: “Make sure you know what it takes, and then do more.”

Venkat Venkataramanan
Venkataramanan

Venkataramanan had similar advice. His secret to success? “It’s very simple: a lot of hard work,” he said. Venkataramanan encouraged students to “leave your ego at the door,” because one must be humble to succeed in this profession. Despite all the challenges, Venkataramanan told the students to persevere. “The academic life is a phenomenal life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s one of the best careers available.”

All three honorees agreed that they received a top-notch education at A&M that well equipped them for careers. “This place taught me everything I know,” said Venkataramanan.

Categories: Former Students

“Public service is duty,” Chairman Donald E. Powell told a room full of Mays MBA students. “Lots of us talk about it, but few of us do it.”

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Chairman Donald E. Powell recently spoke to Mays MBA students about the important of public service for the business community.
If anyone is qualified to motivate students about public service, it’s Chairman Powell. President George W. Bush appointed Powell as the Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding on November 1, 2005, making him the liaison between state, local and federal governments in handling the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Chairman Powell was hard-pressed to find a team who would work with him on this challenging project, as many thought no significant good could be done. But that answer wasn’t sufficient for Chairman Powell.

Chairman Donald E. Powell recently spoke to Mays MBA students about his work with the Gulf Coast rebuilding effort.”Don’t let anyone override your heart or tell you what you can and cannot do,” he says.

Powell accepted an invitation by Interim Dean of Mays Business School Ricky Griffin to speak to MBA students at the Cocanougher Center on September 28, 2007. Powell spoke with authority, as he isn’t new to the realm of public service.

After founding The First National Bank of Amarillo (his hometown) in 1997, Powell eventually became its president and CEO. He’s joined numerous boards and committees, and served as chairman of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the Board of Regents of the Texas A&M University System, and advisory board member of the George Bush School of Government and Public Service. Before his appointment by President Bush, Powell acted as the 18th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from August 29, 2001 through November 15, 2005.

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Chairman Powell, seen here meeting with MBA students, is a former chairman of the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Chairman Powell stressed to Mays MBAs that community service is not just meant for leaders in power or people with free time—it’s meant for everyone, especially the business world.

“Care about public schools. Care about healthcare. Care about quality of life issues,” he says. “Who should take care of these issues? Some would say government officials. I say the business community. The business community is always involved.”

Students sat with wide eyes and open ears as Chairman Powell told them of his business failures, emphasizing the importance of fundamentals and integrity, as well as the value of capitalism and the competitive spirit. Before opening up a question and answer session, Chairman Powell left students with this charge:

“Young people, we should never forget that for our quality of life, capitalism is the main component. Defend it. Cherish it. Make it better.”

Categories: Executive Speakers, Programs

KPMG LLP, the audit, tax, and advisory firm, has selected Texas A&M student Silvio Canto for its Future Diversity Leaders (FDL) program.

Fifty students from across the nation have been chosen to participate in the program. FDL is designed to provide leadership training and financial support for outstanding minority undergraduate business students. KPMG launched the program this summer as part of its continuing effort to increase and support minority representation in the accounting profession.

Canto was nominated for the FDL program as a result of his commitment to high academic achievement, community and campus involvement and active participation in diversity organizations.

“We are pleased that these high-caliber students accepted our offer to participate in the program, and we hope they will come away with the skills, knowledge, and business perspective to become the business leaders of tomorrow,” said Manny Fernandez, National Managing Partner of Campus Recruiting. “KPMG is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce, and we believe that focused programs such as this can help increase the number of minority business leaders in the accounting profession and other areas of business.”

Upon successful completion of his summer internship prior to his junior year, Canto will become eligible for additional scholarship money, as well as an offer to remain in the intern program the following summer. The internship prior to participants’ senior year is a “practice internship,” where the they will gain hands-on experience with clients in their chosen business area. In addition to gaining work experience, Canto will be mentored by faculty advisors and KPMG professionals.

For more about KPMG LLP, visit their web site at http://www.us.kpmg.com or contact Cassandra Osei, KPMG LLP, (201) 307-7503 or cosei@kpmg.com.

Categories: Students

Chalam Narayanan
Narayanan
The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has selected Chalam Narayanan to receive the 2007 Doctoral Dissertation Award. Narayanan is a 2006 graduate of Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at the Dwight Look College of Engineering at A&M.

“As a first-year faculty member, it is an honor to receive CSCMP’s Doctoral Dissertation Award,” said Narayanan. “The award is special to me because it is given by scholars in the field as well as leaders in the industry. This recognition encourages me to continue to examine significant issues in both academic and industry research in my future work.”

Narayanan will be presented with the award in October at the annual CSCMP meeting in Philadelphia.

Narayanan’s dissertation research focuses on coordinated lot-sizing problems in which a common set-up cost is shared among multiple product types. These problems are commonly encountered in procurement, transportation, distribution, and operations management. The new formulation and solution procedures presented in Narayanan’s research represent a marked improvement in modeling and solution technologies over those reported in academic literature, and are currently being implemented in commercially-available procurement software.

Initiated in 1973 to encourage logistics-related research, the CSCMP Doctoral Dissertation Award is a prestigious honor presented annually to the author of a submitted doctoral dissertation in logistics or a related field, demonstrating significant originality and technical competence, while contributing to the logistics/supply chain knowledge base. The award’s objective is to encourage research leading to the advancement of the theory and practice of logistics and supply chain management-related areas. The 1982 honoree, E. Powell Robinson, Jr., currently serves as department head for the Department of Information and Operations Management at Mays.

Narayanan also received honorable mention in the Decision Sciences Institute’s Doctoral Dissertation Contest. He will be presented an award at the annual DSI meeting this November in Arizona.

In addition to his research accolades, Narayanan recently received an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Industrial Distribution Students Association during the 50th Year Anniversary Celebration of the Industrial Distribution Program.

Narayanan has been a noted speaker and educator at many professional conferences of organizations like Decision Sciences Institute (DSI), Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), and CSCMP. His teaching and research interests focus on supply chain management, industrial distribution, and mathematical programming and optimization.

Narayanan’s research has been published in the International Journal of Production Research, Journal of the Operational Research Society, and Omega: The International Journal of Management Science. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering at Anna University, Guindy, Madras; an MS in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University; and a PhD in supply chain management from A&M.

In addition, Narayanan has developed a classroom-friendly, online version of the “beer game,” which was demonstrated at the 2006 CSCMP Annual Conference in San Antonio. The game, a supply chain simulation that teaches concepts of logistics, is currently being played in undergraduate, graduate, and executive education classes at numerous universities.

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) has been the preeminent association for individuals involved in supply chain management since it was founded in 1963. CSCMP provides educational, career development, and networking opportunities to its over 9,000 members and to the entire profession.

Categories: Former Students

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25 Mays students attended the two-day Summit in Dallas.

High-ranking executives, academics, and top students, all from the retailing industry converged in Dallas for the annual Retailing Summit, hosted by the Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School.

“We were thrilled with the response,” said Cheryl Holland Bridges, director of the center. The event was completely sold out, with 360 senior retailing professionals in attendance, as well as 25 Mays students and several faculty and staff members.

Speakers included presidents and CEOs of national brands such as JCPenney, Payless ShoeSource, H-E-B, The Container Store, and Kohl’s. The presenters shared stories and strategies from their companies, focusing on the theme of the customer experience.

For those that missed this year’s Summit, or want to hear more from the presenters, a podcast is available through the iTunes store. The podcast was created prior to the Summit and contains interviews with presenters about their topics. To access this podcast, visit the site www.retailleadersforum.com.

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Matt Rubel, CEO and president, Payless ShoeSource: “At the end of the day, the best advertising is the store and the changing dynamics at the store.”
Kicking off the event in electric blue athletic shoes was Matt Rubel, CEO of Payless ShoeSource, who was the keynote speaker on Thursday evening. Rubel kept the audience engaged as he ran through the footwear provider’s recent history, including a two-year rebranding effort that has rejuvenated the business. Payless has recently added several new brands, including Airwalk and American Eagle, to better accomplish its mission to democratize fashion and design in footwear.

The program continued on Friday with a line up of industry experts and professionals. One of the more notable presentations was a tag-team lesson on customer “clues” from Leonard Berry, professor of marketing at Mays, and Lou Carbone, founder and CEO of experienceengineering. Both are authors and experts in the field of customer engagement.

With humorous and thought-provoking examples from ear-lobe massages to towel origami, this dynamic duo posed an important question: if your store were to disappear overnight, would your customers really miss you? Carbone encouraged the audience of retailers to “move from making and selling to sensing and responding” to customer needs.

“Great retailers always connect emotionally with the customer,” said Berry. This emotional tie-in became the unofficial theme for the event, as many of the speakers touched on the importance of creating a product or experience that customers feel good about and will talk about long after the purchase is made.

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Jeffrey Allison, executive vice president, JCPenney: “We have to really engage the customer at an emotional level….Across the thousands of customer touches…where ever we engage the customer, we want to inspire them every day through all the little things that matter to them.”
Participants were pleased with the information at the Summit. “I thought it was great,” said Howard Atlas, operating vice president of Walgreens drug stores. “I think we all get so busy we get tunnel vision about our own stores. When you get to sit down and really think about what we’re doing, we’re all looking at the same exact thing.”

The purpose of the Summit is to provide a forum for innovation in the retail industry, though for Mays students attending the event, there was a secondary motive: networking. According to Bridges, many students that attend the Summit come away from it with valuable connections that often turn into job offers.

“It’s a great opportunity for meeting people and learning more about retail,” said Kristin Albert ’09. Fellow student, April Spurling ’08, agreed that those introductions are important. “You get a chance to talk to CEO’s about how they run their business,” she said.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Summit, scheduled for October 2-3. It will be held once again at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.

Categories: Centers

The Real Estate Center sponsored the 2007 Commercial Real Estate Summit September 26-27 at the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors®. Over 100 commercial real estate practitioners attended the biannual event. Center researchers Mark Dotzour, James Gaines, and Judon Fambrough participated along with speakers from the real estate industry. This year’s event featured updates on new Fort Worth real estate developments; the national and state economies; development impact fees; water, oil and gas issues; and changing Texas demographics.

Proceedings for this and other Real Estate Center events are available at: www.recenter.tamu.edu/speeches.

Categories: Centers

For decades, the border between Canada and the United States has held the distinction of being the world’s longest undefended border. Because of this the Canadian and U.S. economies have been closely linked, with a steadily growing flow of goods and services going in both directions. However, the “hardening of the border” since September 11, 2001, has posed challenges to Canadian-U.S. trade.

So, how can the borders remain closed to terrorists but open to trade?

This the question discussed at recent conference hosted in part by the Center for International Business Studies at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. The Homeland Security and Canada-U.S. Border Trade: Implications for Public Policy and Business Strategy conference was held October 25-26 at the Casino Windsor Hotel in Windsor, Ontario.

One hundred and twenty business executives, government officials, and academics attended the conference. It addressed bi-national dimensions of issues with the goal of greater cooperation between nations. The intent was for the private and public sectors to identify means of fully engaging the private sector in security efforts, initiate constructive policy action, and stimulate meaningful research.

For more information about the conference, please visit the website http://cibs.tamu.edu/border. You can also contact Kerry Cooper at 979-324-5939 or at kcooper@mays.tamu.edu or Kelly Murphrey at 979-739-4754.

Categories: Centers

Lowry Mays
Mays
Former President Bush will present the 2007 McLane Leadership in Business Award to businessman-philanthropist Lowry Mays on Oct. 30 during a special dinner.

Mays is chairman of Clear Channel Communications, and the Texas A&M Mays Business School is named for him. He also has served as chairman of the Texas A&M Board of Regents.

The McLane Award for Leadership in Business recognizes a prominent individual in the field of business for outstanding contributions in the area of business, public service or community service at the national level.

The award spotlights the different roles that business plays in maintaining the nation’s economic, political and social vitality. The aim is to also educate our youth and the general public about corporate citizenship and to instill a dedication to public service.

The award is presented as part of the McLane Leadership in Business Program sponsored by the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.

Compass Bank is underwriting this year’s award ceremony.

Categories: Former Students