August, 2012 | Mays Impacts

The 23 veterans who looked a little unsure when they started their weeklong Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) at Mays Business School were smiling and confident six days and dozens of hours later. After presenting business plans and answering questions from a panel of EBV graduates, the 2012 class members laughed together and looked eager to start their business ventures.

The EBV offers training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities resulting from their service to our country. The EBV at Texas A&M is a significant collaboration between the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) and the Center for Executive Development at Mays. The cost is about $5,000 per participant, but thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors and private individuals, the veterans are allowed to attend the entire program — including tuition, travel and accommodations — at no cost.

The Texas A&M Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Class of 2012
The Texas A&M Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Class of 2012 (view more photos)

Pamela Curry, the EBV program coordinator and unofficial “mom” to each class that comes through Texas A&M, commented on the friendships that formed throughout the program. “The first night, I prayed that the right people would be brought together,” she recalled during the commencement ceremony. “God put a magnificent puzzle together, putting these people together. Each group that comes through this place, I think it can’t get any better — and then it does.”

Class member John Signorino called the program “a one-week MBA course on steroids,” and remarked on how “professionally and smoothly” it was presented. “You brought people from all around the country and all walks of life and executed the whole thing beautifully so that it impacted every one of us. We really appreciate it.”

At Texas A&M, ranked 7th nationally by the Military Times Edge for being a “veteran-friendly” campus, information shared by top faculty members and seasoned business owners provided a baseline of knowledge for participants.

This year’s class members hailed from around Texas, Georgia, Louisiana and Florida. Their projects ranged from the technical to the eccentric to the touchy-feely, and everything in between. Pam Tilley, creator of a plush toy shaped like a soldier’s helmet that will generate funds for veterans, dreams of selling them in H-E-B stores. Douglas Frederick of El Paso hopes to move to Georgia and emulate the renovation reality show “Property Brothers.” Liza Matos is working to export computers to Median, Colombia.

Cornelius Nash, a graduate from the EBV’s 2010 class, returned from Tombstone, Ariz., to serve on a panel to give advice and answer questions. While he was attending his class in 2010, the Marines chose his company as a subject matter expert on improvised explosive devices. “The things I learned in EBV and the mentors I met continue to help me to this day.” His wife attended the EBV family program at Florida State.

FIVE YEARS AND 500 GRADUATES LATER

Statistics from the national EBV program:

  • 69 percent have launched a new venture since attending EBV
  • 65 percent of the ventures remain operational
  • 13 percent went back to school instead of starting their ventures
  • 5 percent went to work for someone else
  • 16 percent are still in the planning stage
  • 91 percent use the EBV Technical Assistance Program

Rep. Bill Flores ’76 spoke to the veterans at the opening dinner. Gen. Hal M. Hornburg  ’68, a four-star U.S. Air Force general and commander, was the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony. He told the graduates in their closing ceremony that life is “all about balance,” then he thanked them for their service — “not for what you have done, but for what you will do. Be a beacon in your communities, be a stalwart in the PTO meetings and the civic organizations. Take the things you’ve learned here and use it to make this a better place.”

ABOUT THE EBV CONSORTIUM

The EBV Consortium was formed in 2008 as a national educational initiative designed to help veterans with disabilities to make the transition to self-employment, develop professional networks and ultimately start and grow sustainable businesses. In addition to Texas A&M, the EBV Consortium is composed of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, the College of Business at The Florida State University, the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, the College of Business at the University of Connecticut, the E. J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University and the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

Categories: Centers, Featured Stories, Programs

This August, Mays launched its new Professional MBA program with a 36-member inaugural class.

The Professional MBA Class of 2014

After an orientation on the Texas A&M University campus, the students began course work at the new custom finished facility at CityCentre in Houston that will house both the Professional and Executive MBA programs from Mays. The Professional MBA’s 36 entering students have an average of 5.5 years of work experience and represent 33 organizations.

Mike Alexander, director of the Professional MBA program, said that the students represent a fantastic first class for the program. “Our new students are smart, driven, and highly engaged. I look forward to watching them grow as a class and as individuals under the guidance of our world-class faculty in our new facility in CityCentre.”

In addition, Mays admitted its 14th Executive MBA class this year, which is the first class to move from its previous location in The Woodlands to the CityCentre facility. The 54 entering Executive MBA students have 18 years of work experience and represent 47 organizations. Mays also has a Full-Time MBA program that runs 16 months on the Texas A&M campus.

To prepare for their studies in the fall, PMBA students participated in a pair of weekend bootcamps, online coursework and a week in residence on the Texas A&M campus over the summer.
To prepare for their studies in the fall, PMBA students participated in a pair of weekend bootcamps, online coursework and a week in residence on the Texas A&M campus over the summer.

Mary Lea McAnally, associate dean for graduate programs at Mays, explained that adding the Professional MBA rounds out the school’s suite of MBA programs “We are now able to offer programs to people at all levels of experience. We can accommodate both working professionals and students who want to study full time. This increases the accessibility of a MBA degree from Mays Business School. I am tremendously excited about the future of our programs.”

Lisa Raines, a senior analyst at NCI Building Systems Inc., says she is “beyond excited to come back to the Texas A&M family” to pursue her graduate degree through the PMBA program. “From personal experience, I know A&M not only offers a world-class education, but it also fosters lasting relationships. Texas A&M is a family, and that is exactly what the inaugural PMBA class has already started to become. As the first class we are excited to set the standards high by striving for integrity and academic excellence. We are eager to apply what we learn during weekend classes to Monday morning.”

Categories: Programs, Texas A&M

Becky and J. David Mims ’71 committed $25,000 to endow an undergraduate business scholarship at Mays Business School. The purpose of their gift is to impact students pursuing an education and excellence in the business world and has become even more special to the family with the loss of David last year.

In the winter of 2010, David Mims sat at his desk in Midland, Texas talking about the university that had meant so much to him. He remembered his days in the Corps of Cadets, the friendships he forged around campus and the difference that his time spent at Texas A&M had made in his life. It was during this time that he made the decision, with his wife Becky, to establish a scholarship at Mays Business School to invest in future generations of Aggies.

J. David '71 and Becky Mims
J. David ’71 and Becky Mims

“Mentoring young people was important to him,” Becky Mims says of David. “His business degree had provided a good life for him and our family, so we talked about doing something to give back.”

Equipped with a management degree from Texas A&M and a master’s of business administration from Auburn University, where he met Becky, David and his bride moved to Houston in 1973 where David was a national bank examiner and worked for Southwest Bancshares Holding Company. Then, in 1977, they moved to his hometown of Midland and David joined his father in the insurance business — two things Becky said he swore he would never do. But David found success in that business due to his example of integrity that gave his customers comfort they would be taken care of when they worked with him.

“His priority in business was to be a man of integrity, to practice honesty. He treated people how he wanted to be treated. He was a Christian man of incredible values,” says Becky.

Becky and David shared these core qualities with their daughters Melanie Curtis and Allison Greer, and now the Mims family hopes to share David’s legacy with many more Aggie business students who receive their scholarship. David Mims passed away on September 11, 2011, but thanks to the gift that David started and his family’s promise to continue it in his memory, his impact on Mays Business School and the young people he cared so much for will live on.

“We are so thankful to the Mims family for their generous commitment to our School,” says Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “Their decision to honor David’s lifetime and legacy of excellence will provide opportunities for our students for many years to come.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. Its mission is to create knowledge and develop ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Donors Corner, Former Students

More than a dozen leading retailers and industry experts have been confirmed for the 2012 Retailing Summit, which is taking place in Dallas, a hub for many retail company headquarters.

2012 Retailing Summit

The Retailing Summit organizers are predicting record attendance across the two-day conference, which includes not only the keynote presentations, but also breakout sessions, strategic networking events and student participants who are eager to be recruited by the executive attendees. Cheryl Bridges, Director of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University that hosts the Retailing Summit, notes that “The conference will maintain its “boutique’ feel. With an expected audience of 300, this event offers exclusivity. As an educator, I feel this is a major strength of the conference. Guests can genuinely interact with the speakers to maximize their learning experience. The size also ensures attendees can effectively meet and network together.”

Among the confirmed speakers are:

  • H-E-B – Craig Boyan, president and COO
  • AT&T – Kelly King, president
  • GameStop – Jenn McMillen, vice president of loyalty and CRM
  • Gilt Groupe – Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder
  • Southwest Airlines – Ginger Hardage, SVP of culture & communication
  • Toys “R” Us – Harold Mulet and Kelly O’Neill, EVPs in HR
  • Maritz — Mary Beth McEuen, Executive Director, Maritz Institute

A formal agenda is available at retailingsummit.org. All speakers will be focused on the most important topics affecting the retail industry today including:

  • The effects of the global economic crisis on retail
  • Technology power players in the retail landscape
  • Building brands through organization culture
  • Understanding the future of the store and the evolution of the shopping experience
  • Managing Big Data to grow customer loyalty
  • Leveraging employee branding through HR and attracting top talent to the retail industry

The Retailing Summit will take place at the elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel in uptown Dallas. Guests will experience the exclusivity and convenience of this premier property. Conference attendees can book room accommodations at a group rate of $219 per night.

“American retailers are quickly moving into a post-recession world characterized by changed customer purchase patterns and higher expectations,” said Cheryl Bridges. “Retailers are actively seeking new knowledge to understand the future of this industry. We are confident that everyone visiting the Retailing Summit and Dallas will find it inspiring and of great value to their businesses.”

Conference proceeds fund educational programs for students pursuing retail studies at Texas A&M University — the future leaders of the retail industry.

About the Retailing Summit

The Retailing Summit was launched in 1983 to be the primary executive education program hosted by Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies for senior retail executives to meet and explore the most important topics affecting retailers. It is held annually in Dallas and is attended by up to 300 industry leaders from more than 30 states, Canada and Mexico.

Co-sponsors of the 2012 Retailing Summit include BDO, Gardere Wynne Sewell, SAS, Brierly+Partners, Zale Corp and King Retail Solutions. Sponsorship options remain available.

Registration fees:

  • $495 – Sponsor companies of the Center for Retailing Studies and Maritz
  • $595 – General registration

Register online at retailingsummit.org.

For more information

For further information, contact Center for Retailing Studies Associate Director Kelli Hollinger at (979) 845-5898 or khollinger@tamu.edu.

Categories: Centers

Business students Deon Lendore ’15, Rita Medrano ’12 and Jaele Patrick ’12 went the ultimate distance as student athletes when they participated in the 2012 Olympics.

(L to R) Aggie Olympians Deon Lendore '15, Rita Medrano '12 and Jaele Patrick '12
(L to R) Aggie Olympians Deon Lendore ’15, Rita Medrano ’12 and Jaele Patrick ’12

The largest group of Texas A&M Olympians in school history – 23 students and two coaches – brought home four medals, including three gold. Aggie women’s swimming head coach Steve Bultman was on the Team USA staff and swimming letterman Rick Walker was on the Egyptian swimming staff.

The Aggies representing 15 countries saw action in four sports – swimming and diving (12), track and field (8), archery (2) and basketball (1).

Lendore, a freshman, anchored Trinidad & Tobago to win a bronze in the men’s 4x400m relay. The squad held off the British for the bronze medal position.

Categories: Students, Texas A&M

The Communication Lab has recently been under renovation to provide a new and improved look for the fall 2012 semester.

The lab will double in physical space, with increased individual and group work spaces, consultation space and flexible workshop space.

Although the remodeling on the third floor of the Wehner Building is almost complete, students are encouraged to remodel their written and oral communication assignments at any time throughout the semester.

Learn more about the lab at mays.tamu.edu/commlab/.

Mays Communication Lab

Mays Communication Lab

Mays Communication Lab

Mays Communication Lab

Mays Communication Lab

Categories: Programs

Laura and Kim Eubanks did not attend Mays Business School, but they are so impressed with the School and its students that they created a scholarship to help ensure its continued excellence.

Kim '79 and Laura EubanksKim ’79 and Laura Eubanks

Eubanks says he and his wife are “three for three, with 12 years’ worth of Aggies,” referring to one son who graduated from Mays, one who is currently enrolled as a finance major, and a daughter about to enter Texas A&M.

The Laura and Kim Eubanks ’79 Endowed Scholarship, created by a $125,000 donation to Mays Business School, will be used to fund scholarships for full-time students at Mays — focusing on those with financial need.

“I have been so impressed with the students. They are are all unbelievably respectful and prepared — a great reflection on Mays,” describes Kim Eubanks. “We have a heart and a bias toward not only the academically excellent students, but more than that, to someone who is struggling financially.”

Mays Dean Jerry Strawser appreciates the Eubanks’ contribution. “Laura and Kim’s most generous commitment will provide a wonderful opportunity for future Mays students. Their gift is one from the heart and will assist students who might not otherwise have an opportunity to attend Texas A&M University and Mays. This is a gift that will change lives.”

Kim Eubanks, who is president of oil and gas exploration and development company Camwest in McKinney, received his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M and an MBA at the University of Houston. He says his affinity for Mays stems from his sons’ experience there and his interactions with Dean Jerry Strawser and the Mays faculty. “[Strawser] has extraordinary character and is so gracious…,” he says. “I can see how his character and his energy shape the business school. The faculty there excel not only academically, but also in the way they care so phenomenally about their students.”

About Mays Business School

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Donors Corner, Former Students

To commence the new Professional MBA program at Mays Business School, 36 new class members were on the Texas A&M University campus July 24-28 for PMBA Residency Week.

The inaugural class of Professional MBAs learned about becoming an Aggie, spent time with faculty engaging in various academic leveling activities, learned more about themselves and their team through “StrengthsFinder,” and grew to know each other better. During the week, the class participated in Texas A&M’s ChallengeWorks, had dinner at the Corps of Cadets Center with a keynote from General John Van Alstyne and enjoyed an evening with faculty and former students at the Association of Former Students.

Mike Alexander, director of the Professional MBA program, said the Recruiting and Admissions team at Mays put together a fantastic inaugural class for the program. “Our new students are smart, driven, and highly engaged. They’ve successfully completed Boot Camps and Residency Week. And I look forward to watching them grow as a class and as individuals under the guidance of our world-class faculty in our new facility in CityCentre.”

PMBA Class of 2014

Categories: Programs