Three men who personify the mission of Mays Business School were honored at a dinner that celebrated their contributions: Craig C. Brown ’75, Jeffrey A. Miller ’88 and Craig R. McMahen ’89.
(L to R) 2012 Mays Outstanding Alumni Award honorees Jeffrey A. Miller ’88, Craig C. Brown ’75 and Craig R. McMahen ’89 (view more photos)
Mays Dean Jerry Strawser called the recipients role models. “Living the Mays mission of creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society is simple to say, but difficult to do,” he said. “Tonight, we are honoring three men who do that every day.”
Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin echoed Strawser’s congratulations, saying the honorees “have impacted their places of employment very deeply.” He said Mays graduates have helped build the brand of Texas A&M. “The graduates of schools like this are prepared to make a difference the first day on the job. They don’t need special favors, they just get to work.”
CRAIG C. BROWN ’75
Brown credits his parents with instilling in him the qualities that have led to his position as president and CEO of Bray International, Inc., a Houston-based global control valve company and actuator manufacturer.
He says his parents and his younger brother taught him to live life to the fullest. His mother passed away when he was 21, and his father lived for 19 years as a dialysis patient — at the time of his death, the longest survivor on a dialysis machine of anyone in the United States.
Brown says he defines success this way: “It’s not what you take with you, but what you leave behind that counts.”
He also mentioned the teachers who taught him along the way, saying they all had one common trait: They showed him respect.
Brown says he chose to attend Texas A&M because the spirit and values were similar to what he learned from his family. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and an MBA from Texas A&M. He served in the Corps of Cadets, lettered in track and served on the Ross Volunteers and Engineering Student Council. He received a President’s Endowed Scholarship, was a recipient of the College of Engineering Faculty Outstanding Senior Award, and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.
At the awards banquet, Brown lauded Mays’ recent rise in undergraduate program rankings among both overall and among public universities in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report. He noted the 12-place jump among public schools — the largest of any school included in the rankings — as well as the advancement to 24th from 36th overall. “I sense a horse race, and Mays Business School is Secretariat and Sea Biscuit rolled into one.”
He is also chairman of the board of the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation — named for Brown and his father — which was created in 1988 to provide scholarships to deserving students and to support educational and medical organizations. In 1984, Craig was awarded the Outstanding Young Houstonian by the Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 2006, he was chosen the Outstanding Alumni for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M.
CRAIG R. MCMAHEN ’89
The dreams of Mays students to work in investment banking have become realities thanks to McMahen, whose firm has hired and trained numerous Aggies over the years. After identifying the need from his own experience, he helped create the Aggies on Wall Street program — a highly selective program designed for exceptional students to receive a broad overview of the high finance world, as well as opportunities to network with former students who are working in the industry and obtain critical knowledge and skills needed to launch a finance career. McMahen has since supported the program in various ways, including underwriting dinners and events.
“It is extremely rewarding to work with these students, seeing the gleam in their eyes and the fire in their bellies,” he says.
Craig is a managing director in the Investment Banking Department of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, Inc. — a New York Stock Exchange listed, full-service investment bank that specializes exclusively in the financial services sector.
Craig specializes in the commercial banking industry and his current responsibilities involve mergers and acquisitions, capital raising (including initial public offerings), follow-on equity offerings, recapitalizations and debt for banks in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. He is also a member of KBW’s Capital Commitment Committee.
Craig joined KBW in 1989 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M. He has remained active throughout his professional career with Mays and interacts regularly with its students.
He has been on the Advisory Board of the Department of Finance for 10 years and endowed the Craig R. McMahen Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Research.
JEFFREY A. MILLER ’88
Miller has sought roles throughout his business career that allow contribution through leadership, insight and analysis, building and improving business, making important changes to organizations and developing staff. He enjoys working with organizations that want to change the way they do business.
His celebration of his award was amplified when he received a promotion a few hours before the banquet to Chief Operating Officer of Halliburton. He had started that day in his previous role — as the company’s vice president of global business and development. From his base in Dubai, he oversaw strategic account management, sales, marketing, commercialization, global business and technical solutions for Halliburton.
He began his career with Halliburton in 1997 as director of financial reporting and says he and his wife consider the company “extended family.”
Before joining Halliburton, Miller worked for Arthur Andersen LLP for eight years. He received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and business from McNeese State University and an MBA from Texas A&M University. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Texas A&M University Look College of Engineering Advisory Board.
He says his wife supported his master’s degree with her job as an assistant to the student government president. “Her “Aggieology’ is exceptional,” he says. Their son is a freshman in Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets, which he says shows the ultimate level of commitment: “I am trusting my own child to the place I love.”