This year’s 14th annual Raymond Ideas Challenge featured the top 40 “big ideas” from more than 100 applications. Students from across campus and varying majors were asked to explain “What is your big idea?” through both a written proposal and a video pitch. The top 40 ideas were presented live to judges with the selected winners honored at an awards reception.

In addition to the live pitches, the top 40 ideas also participated in an online video pitch competition hosted by Aggie-owned web platform The top three winners were selected based on the number of votes they received by the general public.

The Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) at Mays Business School hosted the May 6 event, which is held annually on Reading Day so that Texas A&M students of all majors and classifications can participate. Students were able to enter the contest individually or in teams.

Pitch presentations allow the students five minute to explain their idea and why it is unique to the judges, as well as their competitive advantage in the market and the overall goal of the student(s) and their idea. A question-and-answer session followed each presentation, in which judges raised concerns and questions that were not addressed during the presentation.

This year’s judging team featured approximately 130 judges from throughout the community and campus who have backgrounds in entrepreneurship, industry, government and academia.

The top awards went to:
– First place ($3,000): Customizable Prostheses via 3D Printing – Charles Sweeney and Blake Teipel
– Second place ($2,000): Wireless Mouse Tracking System – Richard Horner, Lindsey Jenschke, Cody Lewis & Nick Reinoso
– Third place ($1,000): EyeNav System – Lyndon Kageler, Omar Lira, Stephen Sun and Tiffany Turner
– Honorable mentions ($500)
– Lost & Found – Amy Brodeur, Joshua Dunegan, Daniela Garcia, Aaron John and Samuel Kancewick
– Hack.Connect – Jeffrey Zhao
– FireCAT – Ratika Gandhi, Vasiliy Khmelenko, Benita Mordi, Timothy Paulsen, Cameron Shaw and Kyle Yates
– Aggieland Exchange – Daniel Pattison

The video pitches that received the most votes were:
– First place ($1,000): Ea$yList – Tarang Lal & Paola Perez
– Second place ($500): Dutch – Pratheek Lakur & Krishna Murthy
– Third place ($250): Bridgin – Sangeeta Isaac

The Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s Product Development Center (TEEX-PDC) sponsored a Go-to-Market Award. This year’s winner, FireCAT, has the opportunity to work with TEEX-PDC – at no cost – to finalize a marketable produce based on their idea.

For more information on the Ideas Challenge, visit

Categories: Mays Business, Programs, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Ann Rhoads ’85 says she considers herself lucky because she has always known her career path: Banking. She told a group of Business Honors students she worked as a teller in the summers during school, then after graduating with a finance degree she started with a training class of 12. Only three or four of them are still bankers, but she said it was valuable training that introduced her to a broad spectrum of business fields.

Rhoads said her first motivation for working was to have financial security and to give back. “Now what drives me is the enjoyment of what I do and getting to do it with people I like,” she added.

Throughout her career, Rhoads said, she has been fortunate to learn various skills and work with great bosses. “I look at what has happened in my 30 years and look ahead to what’s going to happen in the next 30 years, and it is exciting,” she said.

Ann Rhoads

The last 19 years, her career has been focused on the energy sector. She is currently a managing director at Houston-based BNP Paribas, covering upstream clients. Previously, she was Head of the Americas for Global Energy and Commodities at Natixis, based in New York. She has been part of several interesting deals and has lived in London and traveled to Germany, France, Iraq and Italy. She encouraged the students to be open to traveling for their jobs.

Ashley Shinpaugh ’14, a fifth-year Business Honors and PPA student, said she learned several important business lessons from Rhoads. “First, the importance of people in a business environment is essential because of the impact they can have on the success or failure of your business,” she said. “I also learned that even though performed at high rates, mergers and acquisitions rarely result in a good business transaction. Lastly, I took away her own valuable lesson of stepping outside your comfort zone in order to push yourself to the next level. Overall, it was an excellent presentation.”

Neil Rabroker ’15, a senior Business Honors and accounting major, said Rhoads delivered “a highly informational presentation of life as a professional in investment banking and what it takes to succeed in any way of life.” He recalled her description of her at BNP Paribas and at a firm in London, and then on the importance of M&A activities and how people love to do it even though they have a reputation of being unsuccessful. “Personally, Mrs. Rhoads spoke on how as a young professional having the ability to think and push yourself out of your comfort zone will lead you to a life of success.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 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: Business Honors, Executive Speakers, Mays Business

Many of the 950 Mays Business School undergraduate students who will receive degrees on Saturday will enter the workforce to pursue management positions, work for firms of their choosing or begin graduate school. Some have chosen the path less traveled and are embarking on journeys unique to their time spent at Texas A&M University.

Colby MaynardCarlin Rhea

Management Information Systems (MIS) major Andres Bustos, has completed college with most of his immediate family living in Ecuador. Although he is not classified as an international student, this made his college experience different from that of students who could go home during breaks. But this did not stop him from contributing to Texas A&M University through many leadership roles, including Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow SLOT Conference, Startup Aggieland, Fish Camp, Abbott Family Leadership Conference, Study Abroad in Barcelona, Business Student Council, and as a Mays Communication Lab Portfolio Consultant. He was also a recipient of the Martha L. Loudder Medal of Excellence and will graduate with Cum Lade honors.

Additionally, during the four months before graduation, Bustos launched a new recruiting event: The new Leadership Initiative Conference (LINC), which offers admitted but not committed high school seniors the opportunity to visit Mays Business School, experience leadership teachings from some of Mays’ leading faculty, and stay overnight on campus with current students. The LINC Conference set a foundation of excellence and for many years to come will continue to show future Aggies how Mays Business School will develop them into business leaders.

Bustos not only contributed to the A&M experience, he benefited from it as well. After interning with Shell he accepted a full-time offer and will begin his employment soon after graduation.

Finance major Colby Maynard spent his last fall as an undergraduate student studying abroad at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. The day before his flight he found a private-housing opportunity with a local 66-year-old woman named Hanne who helped him view the world through a different lens. Maynard, a Texas native, took advantage of his time and fully embedded himself into his host country in order to gain valuable insight and knowledge into other cultures. Hanne came to College Station to watch him graduate and the pair will travel around Texas together. For Maynard, this is just the beginning of his travels. He plans to join either the Marines or the Army.

Marketing major Carlin Rhea has been recognized as one of the top retail students at Mays for her involvement and high academics. She has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards including a M.B. Zale Leadership Scholar, and a member of the Student Retailing Association, Aggieland Outfitters Ambassador Board and Gamma Phi Beta. She is on track to graduate Magna Cum Laude.

During her time at Mays she travelled to New York City twice with the Center for Retailing Studies and will be returning there after graduation to work in the Macy’s Merchandising Group. She is the third Aggie in four years to join MMG and move to New York City – helping build a strong network of Aggies working in retail there.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, 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

The 12 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients were recognized at the Oct. 3 football game at Kyle Field.

Five business graduates are among the 12 given 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award – the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University, awarded since 1962 to fewer than 250 of Texas A&M’s 425,000 former students. Presented jointly by the university and The Association of Former Students, this award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

bellStanton P. Bell ’54, bachelor’s in business administration, built and leads Bell Hydrogas, a propane company serving San Antonio and six counties. He served five years as captain of the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council and, among the San Antonio organizations he has worked for and led, he was elected King Antonio of Fiesta 1989 and has been a director of Boysville and the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital Foundation. He is a past president of the San Antonio Better Business Bureau and a former director of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He has served as a director of Compass Bank, Mission Gas Corp. and the Valero Texas Open Golf Tournament. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M. He served in the 24th Infantry Division in Korea and was selected as aide de camp to the commanding general. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of San Antonio and also a past president of the San Antonio Country Club, club golf champion and five-time club senior golf champion.

FragaLupe Fraga ’57, bachelor’s in accounting, built Tejas Office Products into one of Houston’s largest minority-owned businesses and has championed Houston and A&M through work that includes chairing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank’s Houston branch and serving as an Texas A&M University System regent from 2005 to 2011. His company made the Aggie 100 both in the list’s inaugural year and in 2011 and has been listed in the Hispanic Business Magazine Top 500 Companies. He has chaired the Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau and Harris County Child Protective Services and was honored as one of 2004’s Fathers of the Year by Community Partners. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Texas A&M and in 2003 was named a Texas A&M Mays Business School Outstanding Alumnus. He was honored by the Houston Aggie Moms’ Club in February 2015. He has been a trustee of St. Thomas University and has served other organizations including the Galveston-Houston Catholic Diocese, Metropolitan and National YMCA, Sam Houston Area Boy Scouts and United Way Gulf Coast Chapter.

HanniganRay Hannigan ’61, bachelor’s in general business, rose to CEO of an international hospital equipment company and has used his abilities to educate and create opportunities for other Aggies to succeed globally. His involvement with Texas A&M’s Mays Business School has included serving on the advisory council to the Center for International Business Studies, serving as a guest lecturer and, in 1997, receiving the Outstanding Alumnus Award (he received a bachelor’s degree in general business from A&M).
He was president and CEO of Kinetic Concepts Inc. from 1994 to 2000; before that, he was president of the international division of Sterling Drug (Eastman Kodak) and president of Beecham SmithKlein Canada. Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry ’72 to the State Board of Health in 2001, he served four years. In San Antonio, he has served on the board of directors for Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake University and Southwest Research Foundation. He serves as a Meals on Wheels volunteer in Bryan and has served on the leadership council of St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station.

HeldenfelsFrederick W. Heldenfels IV ’79, bachelor’s in business administration, has served Texas colleges and universities as chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board and has served as chairman of the 12th Man Foundation board of trustees and twice as a member of its executive committee. He is the current chairman of the A&M PAC Board. He is founder, president and CEO of Heldenfels Enterprises, Inc., an Aggie 100 award recipient in 2005, 2006 and 2010. He has chaired the industry’s national trade organization, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and was inducted into the Corpus Christi Business Hall of Fame in 2010. He is a past chairman of both the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Foundation and the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, where he helped initiate support for tort reform in the Coastal Bend and creation of a four-year university within the Texas A&M University System. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Texas A&M. He has long taught Sunday school classes at Hyde Park Baptist Church and serves on the Austin Chamber of Commerce board as vice chair of state advocacy.

Ca151003_FB_MissST_1507rri Baker Wells ’84, bachelor’s in marketing, is COO for the San Antonio office of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, a firm she has helped lead to national recognition in serving governments at all levels in collecting receivables. She was chairman of the 12th Man Foundation and led projects such as Kyle Field’s successful Zone Club, a critical asset to raising funds for expansion. She chaired the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. She has held numerous civic leadership roles including co-founder and chair of the San Antonio ISD Foundation, an organization that is investing more than $1 million annually to ignite innovation and excellence in inner city schools. She is a board member for Girl Scouts of the USA and has received the highest honor given by a Girl Scout Council, the Trefoil Award. She served on the board of the San Antonio A&M Club and currently serves on the development council of A&M’s Mays Business School.

Since the inception of the award in 1962, fewer than 250 of Texas A&M’s 425,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor Texas A&M University bestows upon a former student.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, 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: Alumni, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

A group of educators and students from the University of Zambia visited Mays Business School on May 14. It was a reciprocal visit after a group of 15 Regents’ Scholars visited the southern African nation in the summer of 2014. Phillips 66 sponsored that two-week trip.

Mays lecturer Henry Musoma (left) and Associate Dean Marty Loudder (center) hosted the group. It was the first visit to America for Patricia Mwila Sakala, acting manager of international link office; Lastone Trywell Zgambo, dean of students; Martin Nundwe, vice president of the University of Zambia Student Union (Unzasu); and Chinyama Jack Simasiuj, Unzasu academic affairs secretary.

Zambia friends

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, Students, Texas A&M

Namesake Martha L. “Marty” Loudder is associate dean, Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence and PricewaterhouseCooper Teaching Excellence Professor of Accounting. She is a Mays Teaching Fellow and has received teaching awards from the accounting honor fraternity, the Association of Former Students and the Center for Teaching Excellence.

Medal of ExcellenceStudents participate in high-impact learning experiences at Mays Business School and who commit to the practice of reflective, integrative learning can qualify for the medal. Students who satisfactorily complete the requirements are awarded an engraved Mays Business School medal to be worn at graduation.All Mays undergraduate students are invited to pursue this Medal of Excellence, which honors academic achievement as evidenced by engagement and reflection. Requirements for the medal begin with the Freshman Business Initiative (FBI), and culminate with a well-developed web-based portfolio. Other options include participation in case competitions, Startup Aggieland, Titans of Investing and Research Scholars.

The experiences that satisfy Medal of Excellence requirements facilitate rich learning that promotes student success and retention. This is essential to meet not only Texas A&M University’s goal of graduating integrative, lifelong learners, but also to achieve the stated mission of Mays Business School to develop ethical leaders for a global society.

Nancy Simpson, Mays Teaching Fellow and director of Undergraduate Special Programs, called the Medal of Excellence “the embodiment of Marty Loudder’s legacy: a legacy of whole-person education, innovation in undergraduate teaching and learning, and a personal commitment to each and every undergraduate who walks through the halls of Wehner.” Simpson added, “It has long been Marty’s vision that ‘Mays students are educated, not just trained.’”

2015 recipients

2015 recipients

“From the time she created FBI until now, Marty has worked for, talked about and supported an integrated educational experience,” Simpson said. “The undergraduate experience she has helped to shape results in graduates who are skilled in our seven core competencies, and who are multi-dimensional, interesting people, able to have intelligent conversations about everything from current events to sports to the arts.”



Categories: Business Honors, Faculty, Mays Business

Student leadership organization Fish Aides seeks to empower not only its members, but also every individual that its members encounter, through encouragement, enthusiasm and service.

To give back to those who have served the university daily and to provide freshmen students an environment to grow and learn from one another, Fish Aides hosted its third annual Custodial Appreciation Banquet in the Bethancourt Ballroom on May 4. Last year the banquet was given a “Program of the Year” award at the Student Government Association Awards banquet.

The banquet serves as a way to thank the people who maintain the cleanliness of Texas A&M University campus, said event director and Business Honors senior Hunter Dansby. “These hundreds of people we see throughout the day working diligently to ensure that we have a great experience at Texas A&M are frequently not thanked or go unnoticed,” he said. “This event seeks to say one big ‘Thank You’ to all of those who work tirelessly for us. It is a special event because it is one of the very few times that the students get to serve their custodians.”

The event is free each year for all university custodians. Fish Aide members solicit donations to cover the cost of the ballroom rental, food and prizes.


Fish Aides is composed of 40 freshmen, four sophomore co-chairs, two junior assistant directors and one executive director. Members can advance to the position of director after serving as a co-chair and assistant director.

The 2015 director said he had a great year. “If I did not love this organization, I would not have committed my four years of college to it,” Dansby said. “I have loved my experience as director — I love leading and being on a team that spends most of our time investing in the lives of 40 young freshmen. It is a very rewarding experience.”

Dansby is also active in Brotherhood of Christian Aggies, Mays Business School Titans of Investing Group XIX and Mays Business Fellows Group XXXII. Upon graduation in May, he has committed to teaching high school math in Durham, N.C., through Teach For America.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 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, Students