Throughout his career, Don H. Davis Jr. ’61 was intentional about noticing the lessons he was learning as he helped his company and his fellow employees succeed. Ten years after retiring as CEO and earning the title of chairman emeritus of Rockwell Automation, Davis shared those lessons with Business Honors students at Mays Business School.

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from Texas A&M University. He said the engineering background and his penchant for logic and order provided a good basis for a business career. He said it also taught him how to analyze situations and to refrain from jumping to conclusions.

Davis took his first job in 1963 in Milwaukee with Allen-Bradley. Then he and his family moved to Birmingham, Ala., in 1965 — a place he said was not popular at the time because of Civil Rights unrest. But there he learned self-discipline, to take initiative and persevere. “When you really, really want something, you just don’t give up on it,” he said.

“My first job was the second-lowest job offer I got, financially, but I just knew that company was something I’d really enjoy working in,” he said. “That’s a lesson I’ll share with you — don’t always judge jobs by what everyone says you should consider. Go with your gut instinct.”

Davis became president of Allen-Bradley in 1989, after it was purchased by Rockwell International in 1985. Davis held a series of key corporate and business unit executive positions. In 1995 he was brought into Rockwell International as an executive vice president, then became president and chief executive officer in 1997.

As he was promoted and his responsibilities grew, he said, he learned about organizing things, became very decisive and learned the importance of candid, straightforward, non-ambiguous conversation.

Davis shared a set of lessons he had learned:

  • How to get things done when you’re out of your comfort zone
  • The importance of team. Even the leader is a part of the team.
  • Be externally focused – and especially focused on the customers.
  • The importance of “just plain common sense.” Common sense is not as common as it should be.
  • Keeping a positive attitude regardless of terrible situations.
  • The importance of getting the right people in the right jobs, including reassigning responsibilities as needed.
  • Learn to operate with the resources you have, even if you have to reallocate some of them.
  • Listening is a very important part of communications because you can learn more when you are listening than when you are talking.

Throughout his career, Davis learned the importance of making timely decisions even if the risks seemed high.

“Through every step of my career, my goal was to create the brightest future a person or that business had ever had,” he said. “Trust is the basis of leadership. You develop a trust over time with your integrity and your demand for excellence. That runs both ways so you can create an open environment where every person feels valued.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Executive Speakers, Mays Business

Jerry R. Strawser was appointed vice president for finance and administration and CFO of Texas A&M University on Sept. 3, 2014. We at Mays want to thank him for all he accomplished during his time as dean of Mays Business School. The school firmly established itself as one of the leading business schools in the world.

Following are highlights of the many successes Mays accomplished during his distinguished 13-year tenure:

  • The most recent rankings by Bloomberg Businessweek identified Mays as only one of 16 U.S. institutions (and one of only seven U.S. public institutions) whose Full-Time MBA and undergraduate programs are both ranked among the top 30 in the country.
  • Philanthropic giving to Mays exceeded $134 million, with primary focus on faculty endowments, merit-based undergraduate scholarships, MBA fellowships, and endowments and funds to support student travel and high-impact learning experiences.
  • Annual revenues from custom non-degree executive programs offered by the Center for Executive Development have increased in the last 10 years from $655,000 to $6.1 million.
  • A Business Honors major was created to attract high-achieving high school students and provide them with enhanced learning opportunities.
  • The Executive MBA program was relocated from The Woodlands to CityCentre Houston and a Professional MBA program was launched in 2012.
  • Research and Teaching Councils comprising Mays faculty were created to enhance the research and teaching environments at the school as well as to proactively encourage and reward research and teaching excellence.
  • An overall communication and branding strategy was implemented to raise the profile of Mays Business School in both the business and academic communities. This ongoing effort includes annual multimedia advertising campaigns as well as Mays Business Online (a monthly electronic publication), Benefactor (an annual donor recognition publication), @Mays (a semiannual alumni publication) and Business Research in Action (a semiannual publication that features important Mays faculty and their research).

Categories: Mays Business, Texas A&M

After several close friends were diagnosed with cancer, Andrew Lo began looking into cancer therapeutics. What he found was a weak pharmaceutical industry experiencing a decline in productivity and suffering from a lack of funding. However, he maintains that financial engineering has the potential to reshape the industry and enable the development of a cure for cancer, as well as other diseases.

Lo spoke to a packed audience of faculty and students at Ray Auditorium as part of the 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series, a forum that presents distinguished scholars from an array of business disciplines.

Lo is currently the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor of Finance and Director of the MIT Laboratory for Finance Engineering at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Lo holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University and an AM and PhD in economics from Harvard University.

He has published numerous articles in top finance and economics journals and has written several books, including “The Economics of Financial Markets, A Non-Random Walk Down Wall Street” and “Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective.” In 2012, Lo was included in Time Magazine’s list of the “100 most influential people in the world” and has received awards for teaching from the University of Pennsylvania and MIT.

The lecture highlighted Lo’s research on how financial engineering can support translational medicine in cancer, orphan diseases and Alzheimer’s disease. Specifically, Lo has investigated a paradox in the pharmaceutical industry: even with many recent breakthroughs in biomedicine, pharmaceutical companies have continued to suffer from mediocre financial performance. “From January 2002 through January 2012, biopharmaceutical companies saw a -1.2 percent rate of return,” said Lo.

The number of biotech firms decreased from 201 in 2008 to just 136 in 2012, and public and private funding continues to decline, Lo said. He explained that the biotech “bubble” has burst due to increasing risk and uncertainty associated with these types of investments. In fact, there is a 95 percent chance of failure, or put differently, a mere 5 percent chance of payoff. “If you are investing, you don’t want to put your money into this,” said Lo. “It’s way too risky.” For long-term investments that range in the hundreds of millions of dollars, this is an especially bleak outlook.

However, according to Lo, financial engineering can help. Specifically, diversifying investments in multiple programs simultaneously would help reduce risks and would dramatically raise the probability of discovering at least one successful drug.
Reduced risk increases the feasibility of debt financing, which is a source of funding that has remained untapped. By offering “cancer bonds,” the biopharmaceutical industry would be able to grow without the need for public and private funding. “This is what we did in the ’90s for real estate,” Lo said.

He also emphasized the need to invest in early-stage research, especially for neurodegenerative diseases where the basic science is not as developed as in oncology. This is a need not currently being met by pharmaceutical companies. “The business of pharma is changing,” explained Lo. “These businesses are keeping cash so they can buy late-stage portfolios rather than investing in early-stage research.”

Lo said that with some imagination, the concept of debt financing is viable. In addition to creating a multibillion-dollar cancer mega fund, he discussed creating an advisory board of experts; one-time mutual funds offered to households across the nation; corporate pension funds, foundations and endowments; and governmental tax incentives.

Despite many challenges facing the biopharmaceutical industry, Lo maintains a positive outlook. “Don’t declare war on disease,” he said. “Instead, put a price tag on its head.” He explained that finance is a means to an end, not an end in itself. “With sufficient scale, we can do well by doing good.”

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Executive Speakers, Mays Business

[cycloneslider id=”retail”]
The Center for Retailing Studies hosted the annual Retailing Summit on Oct. 2-3 at the Adolphus hotel in Dallas. During the two-day accelerated learning forum, more than 275 C-suite executives, industry leaders, entrepreneurs and rising professionals were pressed on the topic of CHANGE! by representatives from Starbucks, Barnes & Noble College, RetailMeNot, Salvatore Ferragamo, GoldieBlox, Kurt Salmon, Nordstrom, Walmart and Frito-Lay.

Starbucks’ growth journey and the impact on the global supply chain

Jump-starting the 2014 Retailing Summit, Steve Lovejoy, SVP of Global Supply Chain at Starbucks Coffee Co., outlined the company’s position as a continually innovative brand, striving to maintain a creative culture.

Spanning an international presence of 21,000 stores, Starbucks’ 300,000 employees serve over 70 million customers a week with help from 16,000 suppliers, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

The company also upholds its mission statement by following a “blueprint for growth” that includes acquiring new businesses, introducing new beverages (Refreshers), experimenting with new foods in stores and more recently, introducing the concept of Starbucks “coffee trucks” on university campuses.

Lovejoy works specifically in the China and Asia Pacific region, combating issues of food safety and quality control, while managing consumer expectations in-store and online.

The coffee giant has plans to drive performance with its new plant in Augusta, Ga.; supply chain integration with Starbucks’ subsidiary companies, La Boulange and Evolution Fresh; local relevance; new store formats; local roasting and capital investments.

Capturing millennial attention: Why retail resonates

Utilizing data from a recent study conducted by Barnes & Noble College with more than 3,000 student respondents, SVP of Marketing and Operations Lisa Malat shared remarkable statistics regarding the effects of millennials within the retail industry.

Future predictions slate millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025. This generation will be heavily responsible for supporting the economy, in both jobs and spending.

However, data has also shown a decline in retention of those working in the retail industry post-graduation. Less than 1 percent of students will pursue a full-time career in retail.

Companies must now find a way to increase engagement with the 63 percent of millennials working in retailing while they have a chance.

Malat listed three ways for leadership to best achieve this:

Share the big picture with your employees
Give them the opportunity to seek ownership and responsibility
Be intentional about leadership development

As proof of Barnes & Noble’s “formula for success,” 80 percent of participants in the Bestsellers Management Program will be employed with the company one year from now. Those who attain a senior management position will average 15+ years with Barnes & Noble College.

But, as Malat put it best, today’s part timers are tomorrow’s future retail leaders. Treat them well.

Going digital and reinventing the mall experience

Joined together in a fireside chat, Debbie Hauss, Editor-in-Chief of Retail TouchPoints, and Steven Pho, SVP of Corporate Development for RetailMeNot, turned the conversation towards the emergence of technology in retail.

Founded in 2006, Austin based RetailMeNot operates the world’s largest marketplace for digital promotions and coupons.

Pho believes that while his company operates solely online, traditional brick and mortar stores will not disappear anytime soon. The retail industry has now been presented with the challenge to creatively integrate and drive traffic to the original storefront.

However, companies must also take advantage of the increased use and development of smartphones.

Unsurprisingly, the average American shopper admitted to checking their phone over 150 times a day with 75 percent admitting to using the phone while in the bathroom. For retailers, 60-80 percent shared they had conducted research on their devices before shopping.

RetailMeNot uses this information to partner with brands such as Kohl’s and Macy’s, to promote their products and services using consumer data through an app like feature, for example, beacon technology and geo-fencing. But now, brands themselves are competing with RetailMeNot for wallet share.

While a customer visits a shopping mall or specialty department, geo-fencing utilizes the Global Positioning System technology to create a radial map of the area they are within. Once the user has subscribed to an app with geo-fencing capabilities, the program will send push notification for promotional offers in the area.

But companies be warned.

While RetailMeNot has collected this data to show a positive response rate to targeted messaging, participation and subscription significantly decreased on the second touch point with more than 300 percent of users opting out and disengaging.

With some messaging, you may only get one chance.

Driving the Ferragamo Business through our A, B, College Station

Together, Vincent Ottomanelli, CEO and Regional Director and Amy Zuckerman, SVP of Human Resources at Salvatore Ferragamo — The Americas, shared the secrets to the historic company’s 100 years of success.

As described, A stands for Associates, B stands for Brands and C stands for Clients.

To ensure top-talent acquisition of associates, Ferragamo uses Talent Plus to strategically evaluate skill sets and personalities for optimum placement in the stores.

The company has also developed an extensive recognition program to reward those who contribute a strong work ethic, teamwork and outstanding sales. Corso Talenti is a development program for associates interested in advancing to an executive position. Candidates are selected based on performance, experience, talent, potential and fit. Super Stelle honors those who have exceeded sales goals and have provided superior customer service by developing unique client relationships.

The story

For the afternoon program, Brad Stone, Senior Writer for Bloomberg Business Week and best-selling author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” took the stage to offer up his insight on America’s largest online-only retailer.

Across the audience, Amazon was noted as a top competitor, disrupting the retail industry and causing companies to rise to Amazon’s example of change.

Amazon became a pioneer for absorbing every niche of the retail industry starting with bookselling and its Kindle readers. It changed the way we shop, how we read and more importantly, how companies are made.

By maintaining a price advantage through e-commerce, Amazon’s rise could best be attributed to how the company took initial risks. Providing variety, ease, convenience and value, the company set the bar for how retailers should attack the digital landscape.

During the break, attendees were treated to signed copies of Stone’s book.

Disrupting the pink aisle: Rethinking the retail conversation

Adding a bit of entrepreneurial inspiration at the Retailing Summit, Debbie Sterling, Founder and Chief Officer of Fun at GoldieBlox, reaffirmed Brad Stone’s claim that successful businesses take risks.

Determined to break down stereotypical gender roles in a predominantly male environment, Sterling channeled her engineering background and passion for youth to create a reading series starring female heroine “Goldie,” integrating problem solving and skill development, using axels, pulleys and building blocks.

Sterling used the internet to promote her idea through Kickstarter, leaving GoldieBlox’s future in the hands of the online community.

And in just a short amount of time, the project was fully funded, raising more than $285,000.

Since its launch in 2013 the demand and consumer enthusiasm for GoldieBlox has skyrocketed, even winning the team a Superbowl commercial spot. Last year, the company was a top seller on Amazon and has international product placement in over 4,800 stores.

Omnichannel = Engagement

Longtime veteran of the retail industry, Tom Cole, Partner at Kurt Salmon and retired CAO of Macy’s, concluded Thursday’s program with a case study evaluation of how retailers can best define Omni channel capabilities.

Because the internet is a powerful tool as well as a threat, brands must be able to tailor content, product and experience, so that it may be widely shared and communicated. Cole mentioned that social media is a platform in which customers and consumers can be truthful about their engagement with companies.

Cole also listed seven steps to be successful in Omni channel:

Secure and communicate commitment from the top
Make one person ultimately responsible for Omni channel transition
Invest heavily in customer analytics, supply chain and IT architecture
Redesign the organization to specify cross channel vs. single channel roles and all their interaction points and processes
Establish clear accountability for inventory within and across channels
Realign P&Ls and KPIs to drive the right behavior
Embrace risk, move fast and stay focused

In more than 41 years of professional experience in the department store, Cole agreed that the single largest change that has affected retail is that the customer now has all the power to push retailers into competition for their business.

Pioneering the digital rush and creating one customer experience

Beginning Friday’s program, Todd Buntin, recently promoted VP of Customer Experience at Nordstrom, shared his rise up the ranks within the 113-year old company, along with goals for his new position.

Realizing the need to establish a connection with consumers from all sides of the purchasing process, Nordstrom developed the “Customer Centric Strategy.”

With the creation of Nordstrom Rack, businesses opportunities increased and more customers are introduced to the company through the off-price, value-driven channel.

As well, sales associates have much less of an influence on consumers today.

Nordstrom has developed many diverse touch points to connect with an expanded audience including: mobile commerce through, and, a members only flash side acquired in 2011 and Trunk Club, an online personal styling service based in Chicago.

The company has also embraced digital communities as they understand them to be Nordstrom’s best form of advertising. Word of mouth + customer service = social media.

Recently, Nordstrom developed the “Instalog,” believed to be the first of its kind for a retailer.

Uniting social media, the catalog, creative and web teams Nordstrom was able to reach new and younger customers by partnering with top social media influencers and bloggers.

For Nordstrom, the aim was – and still is – to break down barriers between traditional and digital worlds.


As a world leader in retail, Walmart prides itself on momentum, discipline and investment, all factors that make the company successful to many different audiences.

Ashley Buchanan, SVP of Dry Grocery for Walmart, outlined the significant role that attitude and purchase behavior of the consumer can have on the overall customer experience.

Walmart has reported seeing an overall growth in technological change, citing an influx in smart phone usage in-store.

With over 50 percent of customers shopping online electing to pick up in-store, mobile influence has increased four times since 2012 and 74 percent of consumers prefer mobile as their device of choice during their shopping experience.

However, Buchanan also cautioned that retailers will forever be challenged to meet expectations about convenience, price, product selection and shopping experiences to best serve the customer.

He stated that “ultimately, the customer is in control and we will serve them where and however they want to shop.”

The new age of marketing: The convergence of the consumer and the shopper

Ann Mukherjee, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Frito-Lay, rounded off the final keynote presentation at the 2014 Retailing Summit.

Mukherjee began by stating “growth comes from those who are humble and hungry.”

Second, she mentioned that the U.S. food and beverage industry has begun to slow down, prompting the increase in macro-snack food options. She predicted by 2019, more people will eat out rather than at home.

In the consumer space, there are strong demographic changes and shifts with a rise of the millennial generation and a desire to control the hypothetical bidding process for the customer’s business.

Similar to Debbie Sterling’s talk about GoldieBlox, Mukherjee also hinted that successful companies are the ones that have disrupted the industry.

Examples of energetic and bold risks that Frito-Lay has taken include the Doritos #BoldStage at SXSW, the empowering Lays “Do Us a Flavor” campaign and Tostitos’ “Party Time Anytime.” Each campaign provided consumer generated content and was primarily pushed out by millennials within the mobile and digital technology space.

However, Mukherjee also emphasized that millennials are not homogenous. It is imperative for retailers to dig into this target market with an open mind.

Along with attention to how different brands interact, consumer demand is the focus of the future.

Between networking breaks, attendees also heard from breakout session leaders Ted Vaughn, Partner, and Bob Snape, Managing Director at BDO, as well as Matt Schmitt, President and Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at Reflect Systems.

The 2015 Retailing Summit will be held Oct. 8-9 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas. Visit for more information.

Categories: Centers

[cycloneslider id=”banking”]

Banking executive Jonathan Homeyer ’90 shared with Mays Business Honors students stories about his career path in banking and tips for success in the professional world.

He had two pieces of advice for the group: get involved and learn as much as possible. “I encourage you all to find something you’re passionate about and get involved,” he said.

Homeyer is executive vice president for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking based in Houston. He began his banking career upon graduating from Mays in 1993 with First Interstate Bank of Texas, Wells Fargo’s predecessor in the Houston market.   A Houston native, Homeyer received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in finance from Texas A&M.

He told the students that what he appreciates most about banking is its inherent variety. “I was attracted to banking because of the diversity of what we do and the variety it offers,” he explained. “No two deals are alike, and you are exposed to many different industries.” Homeyer also noted the significant career potential for someone in the banking industry. “Banking is a great launching pad for your career,” he said.

“His career seemed incredibly interesting,” reflected Courtney Kiolbassa ’18. “He told us that there is no typical day for him, and that he’s exposed to many new people and companies on a day-to-day basis.”

Homeyer attributes Wells Fargo’s continued success to the fact that it is the best at taking complicated processes and making them simple. “We don’t do things we don’t understand,” he said. “We start every credit decision with understanding who people are and what we know about them.”

He listed the four main questions Wells Fargo asks when making credit decisions:

  • Who are they?
  • What do we know about them?
  • Can we build a relationship?
  • Does it make sense?

Unlike its more aggressive competitors, Wells Fargo focuses on growing its business steadily over time, with a commitment to its underlying foundation. “We won’t compromise our structure in order to gain more business,” he said. According to Homeyer, Wells Fargo is the most valuable bank in the world by market capitalization.

Despite facing a growing number of regulatory issues in an economy that remains tepid, Homeyer remains confident that Wells Fargo will be able to navigate these challenges as it has done before. “Sometimes challenges seem like a nightmare, but you can turn those challenges into opportunities,” he said.

“Mr. Homeyer told stories of how he turned rough patches into opportunities and how he built a legacy for himself in his community through his employment at Wells Fargo,” said Ashley Kolar ’17. “He discussed how banking can be a challenging, yet rewarding career.”

Homeyer spoke about Wells Fargo’s firm belief in giving back. “We can’t be successful in communities that aren’t successful,” he said. Along with volunteering for organizations within Wells Fargo, Homeyer also serves on the boards for Houston’s Society for the Performing Arts and the United Way of Greater Houston, among others. He currently serves as chairman of the board for Panther Creek Inspiration Ranch, a horse therapy program for children with special needs.

He also noted the importance of curiosity and a desire to learn, which are two important qualities of bankers. “Learn a lot about a lot of different things,” he said. He said he looks for people who have demonstrated an aptitude to learn. “Be flexible, open-minded and able to change and adapt without compromising your core values,” he advised.

“My main takeaway from the event was Mr. Homeyer’s advice for a successful career, which involves a combination of hard work and effort, a willingness to learn new information and the fortitude to power through troublesome times,” said Matthew Baldree ’15.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Executive Speakers


The Mays Executive MBA program (EMBA) at Texas A&M University continues its upward trajectory among the top 10 U.S.-based programs at public universities, rising to 6th among U.S. public schools (up from 8th last year) in rankings released Monday by Financial Times.

The program stands 16th among all U.S.-based schools and 60th in the world — up from 65th previously.

To determine its rankings, London-based Financial Times surveyed thousands of EMBA alumni from more than 100 of the top programs in the world. This year, alumni surveyed were from the Class of 2011.

The improvement from last year in nearly every category indicates the Texas A&M Executive MBA continues to deliver a high-quality learning experience and helps graduates achieve their professional goals. Located at Texas A&M’s CityCentre Houston facility, the Mays EMBA performed particularly well in several of the rankings’ key measures:

  • Aims Achieved: 1st among U.S. public institutions, 2nd among all U.S. schools, 2nd in Texas and 15th
  • Work Experience: 2nd among U.S. public institutions, 5th among all U.S. schools, 1st in Texas and 30th globally. Executives enrolled in the Texas A&M program consistently average 15 to 17 years of work experience.
  • Research: 9th among U.S. public institutions, 20th among U.S. overall and 36th globally. This ranking is based on the number of scholarly publications by full-time faculty during a designated period.

Mary Lea McAnally, associate dean for graduate programs, said this latest ranking recognizes a number of important aspects of the Texas A&M EMBA program.

“We start each class with a group of solid, experienced executives, a select set of men and women from across the U.S., eager to learn from their peers, ” she said. “Our careful selection process ensures a class with diverse backgrounds and proven leadership track records.

“When our students graduate they leave having accomplished what they set out to — that is, to gain valuable tools and skills that boost their leadership abilities. In addition, our program’s success owes in large part to a strong, research-active faculty, who are experts in their field and who are passionate about teaching. I could not be more pleased with this year’s Financial Times rankings.”

Click here to view the full rankings.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business

Mays Business School recognized three of its most prolific graduates during the 23rd annual Outstanding Alumni Banquet. Two of the honorees — Kevin McEvoy ’79 and Robert Jordan ’86 — received their MBAs from Mays, and Susan Reese McFarland ’83 received a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

When introducing the outstanding alumni at the banquet at Traditions Country Club, former Mays Dean Jerry Strawser noted that they all hold dear Texas A&M University’s Core Values. “These are the values they personify both in their personal lives and in their business lives,” he said. “They have all excelled in the business world and have given back mightily to their communities.” All three credited the business school with molding their characters.

McEvoy said for every story about negative business practices, there are “scores more of good, decent people standing up for their values.” Texas A&M teaches those values, and carries them out every day, he said. “Cynics say the American dream is dead. But I see the American dream alive and well, and I see it working for my children.”

McEvoy is president and chief executive officer of Oceaneering International, Inc., an advanced applied technology company that focuses on deep water engineered products and services for the oil and gas industry. The Houston-based publicly traded company employs more than 12,500 employees worldwide.

McEvoy graduated from Brown University with a biology and geology degree, and his 40-year career in offshore-related endeavors began in June 1972 upon entering the U. S. Navy. On active duty for four years, he was engaged in diving, salvage and submarine rescue duties. After leaving active duty, he earned his MBA from Texas A&M University in 1979.

McFarland said the value of her education at Texas A&M — a bachelor’s of business administration — has far exceeded her investment. The value comes not just from the academics, which are strong, but also from the opportunities offered to students. “The culture of involvement is what really propelled me and got me ready to work beyond college,” she said. “I had an opportunity to do so much — organizational skills, communications, problem solving and working with people. I entered the workforce prepared to approach anyone and do anything, with no hesitation.”

McFarland is a graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Program and is a Certified Public Accountant. She started her career as a senior auditor at Deloitte & Touche, then worked for more than 15 years at Bank One Corporation. She was executive vice president and CFO of Fannie Mae. Now she serves on the board of Exeter Financial Corporation and chairs the Audit & Risk Committee.

Jordan received a bachelor’s in computer science and an MBA from Texas A&M. He began his career at Hewlett-Packard as a programmer and a financial analyst. Currently, he serves as Southwest Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer, and he serves as president of Southwest subsidiary AirTran Airways.

Jordan recognized his family and friends at the banquet, then he thanked Marketing Professor Stephen McDaniel for his influence while Jordan was a student. “I still remember your advice and counsel about having balance in my life, and not getting too caught up in what my career would look like,” Jordan said. “These are not the most important things in life. I am glad you taught me that.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business

Aggie 100

Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Texas A&M University recognized this year’s recipients of the Aggie 100, which honors the fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.

The university, built on its core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and self-service, is producing some of the nation’s best and brightest business leaders.

Celebrating the 10th year of the Aggie 100, the CNVE honored 1,000 Aggie leaders who continue to positively impact the university, their local communities, and this nation with their success. The legacy of entrepreneurial spirit continues with each of these Aggie 100 honorees who live it every day.

“Over the past 10 years, Aggie honorees have demonstrated that the core values developed at our great university continue to play a significant role in their success,” said Richard Lester, the CNVE’s executive director. “As we reflect on the past decade of the Aggie 100, it is apparent that the 1,000 Aggie leaders who have been honored continuously strive for excellence and have proven that solid business ideas, strong character, dedication and hard work pay off.”

Texas Precious Metals of Shiner, Texas, led the list ( as the fastest-growing company, with a 371.964 percent growth rate.

About the Aggie 100

The Aggie 100, the first of its kind at the college level, was created by the CNVE, which has the mission of providing encouragement, education, networking and assistance to entrepreneurially-minded students, faculty and Texas businesses. The Aggie 100 is a unique way for Texas A&M to demonstrate its pride in the accomplishments of its former students while enriching the educational experience for today’s students

While there are many ways to define business success, the Aggie 100 focuses on growth as an indicator of job creation, product acceptance and entrepreneurial vision. The Aggie 100 identifies, recognizes, and celebrates the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.

To qualify, companies were required to meet the following criteria:

In business for five years or more as of June 30, 2014
Verifiable revenues of $250,000 or more for calendar year 2011
Operations consistent with the Aggie Code of Honor
Additionally, the company must meet one of the following leadership criteria:

A Texas A&M University former student or group of former students must have owned 50% or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013,
A Texas A&M former student must have served as the company’s chief executive (for example chairman, CEO, president or managing partner) from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013, or
A Texas A&M former student must have founded the company and been active as a member of its most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2013.


The CNVE 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. The Texas A&M faculty and Office of Technology Commercialization also benefit from the center’s educational programs, extensive business community network, and the entrepreneurial services.

The center reaches the state’s business community through educational programs, business assistance, and access to university resources. The center receives financial support from corporations, individuals and sponsors who believe in the value of entrepreneurial education and the value of Texas businesses working with a world-class university.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business, Texas A&M

The key to good networking is to not only show up and speak up, but to also have a few ideas about how you can serve the other person. Master networker, international speaker and best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi called those acts of care “five packets of generosity.”

“Everything you want to achieve—every job, every volunteer opportunity and every interaction—depends on other people,” Ferrazzi told more than 175 people, mostly graduate business students, attending a day-long conference at Texas A&M University. The “Relationships for Career Success” conference was sponsored by Mays Business School’s Graduate Business Career Services. “It is worth it to invest time in building a more purposeful people plan.”

Ferrazzi asserted in his keynote speech that relationship style isn’t about being big. “It isn’t about bounding into a room, it’s about being authentic and caring about the other person,” he said. He advised that each of us meet people where they are and mirror their social styles to help them feel comfortable. “The people with better social capital get better jobs more quickly. Managers are better leaders and sales people get better sales.”

Ferrazzi is widely published; his book “Never Eat Alone” has been a bestseller since 2005, and “Who’s Got Your Back” is based on accountability groups.

After conference attendees heard from Ferrazzi, they practiced what they learned, starting with a short networking warmup during the break. After lunch, students initiated conversations with recruiters in 10-minute speed-networking sessions, then were critiqued on their ability to do so. They also visited the nine corporate booths that were set up along the perimeter of the room.

Event organizer Cindy Billington, associate director of MBA Career Education at Mays, patterned the event after a professional conference, and scheduled it in the middle of recruiting season. She met Ferrazzi several years ago, when Texas A&M was the first campus to benefit from a training program for college students offered by Ferrazzi’s research institute.

During a panel discussion following Ferrazzi’s remarks, leaders from five companies gave advice and fielded questions. Matthieu Tagnon, director of Essilor Lenses, a long-time recruiter of Mays graduates, summarized the advice of all the panelists. “Don’t hesitate to take risks, but stay true to yourself,” he said. “If you are fake, we will see it and we will smell it. Don’t overdo it.”


Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, Texas A&M

Everyone makes mistakes, but the key is to learn from them. A panel of four business professionals recently shared with a group of MS Marketing students the biggest mistakes they have made in their professional careers, as well as what lessons they have learned as a result.

Tami Cannizzaro ’80, principal of Cannizzaro Consulting, shared two pieces of career advice with the students: network and be open to change. Her mantra, “you can’t turn it down until they make you an offer,” stems from her own decision to turn down a great opportunity near the beginning of her career.

“Always, always be open to anything,” she said. Cannizzaro advised the students to be open-minded enough to try something new when the opportunity arises, rather than passing up the chance and later regretting their inaction.

Chris Miller ’90 agreed. “Don’t let yourself become stale and stay in one role too long,” he said. “Figure out what you’re passionate about and then figure out the next logical step that will challenge and push you.” Miller, formerly director of media, promotions and strategic planning at Golfsmith, admitted it has been hard for him to leave a job in the past when he has been emotionally invested.

Ultimately, he emphasized that students should take ownership of their own career paths, saying, “Nobody’s going to manage your career but you.”

Missy Douthit ’88 of Douthit Consulting, said she initially struggled to learn how to manage people, which is a skill not often taught formally.  “Often you are thrown into a role without much training where you are expected to manage people,” she said. “In these situations, seek out as many opportunities as you can to learn more, ask questions, find a mentor and ask for help.”

Like many others, Huck Creative’s Founding Partner Sterling Hayman ’96 said he has often found himself dwelling too much on the next step in his career. However, too much self-pressure to advance can easily wind up driving all your thoughts and behaviors.

“Too many people are focused on money, promotions, and what others are doing,” he said. “This sacrifices job satisfaction.” Instead, Hayman urged the students to focus on becoming excellent at the jobs they already have. “Have a passion for excellence,” he advised. “You want to get excited about what the next day holds for you.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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: Mays Business