May, 2016 | Mays Impacts - Part 2

Adam Sinn doesn’t want finances to be the reason talented students don’t apply to or attend Mays Business School.

Adam Sinn donor

The 38-year-old commodities trader and member of Texas A&M University’s Class of 2000 has pledged $1 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support scholarships for Mays Business School students, to encourage high school graduates from Dorado, Puerto Rico—where he now lives—and from Hoopeston, Ill.—his small hometown—to become Aggies.

“If you’re from Hoopeston or Dorado, you’d likely never think of applying to Texas A&M because you wouldn’t think you could afford it,” Sinn explained. “But knowing there’s a scholarship available can change that student’s mind. It can make being an Aggie a reality.”

Sinn’s brother became the family’s first college graduate, and Sinn hoped to follow in his footsteps to Notre Dame. When he wasn’t admitted, he accepted a scholarship and financial aid to Southern Methodist University (SMU). After a friend transferred from SMU to Texas A&M, Sinn visited the campus and was immediately taken. “The first time I walked across campus I remember thinking, ‘I want to be an Aggie.’”

He transferred, found a job bussing tables at Kona Ranch, and spent his final two undergraduate years studying finance. Looking back, if he could do his college experience all over again, he would have come to Texas A&M as a freshman. “My brother always told me that if I couldn’t proudly tell someone where I graduated from, then I was at the wrong school,” Sinn said. “Lucky for me, I’m proud to have graduated from A&M.”

Sinn’s career began in accounting and eventually led him to energy trading. In 2009, after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Sinn lost his job, he took the biggest risk of his career and applied for membership on an exchange to begin trading his own life savings. The bet paid off. Later, business incentives led him to Puerto Rico, where his company Aspire Commodities, LP now employs five electricity and natural gas traders.

Sinn is living proof that significant giving isn’t just for the over-40 crowd. He has previously generously donated to A&M athletics. This Mays Business School scholarship, named for Sinn, is endowed, meaning the principal will be invested by the Texas A&M Foundation. Income from the endowment will support scholarships for four students each year forever.

“Luck and circumstance has had a lot to do with my career success, but I attribute much of that luck to the Aggie network,” he said. “You shouldn’t ever forget where you came from, so I’m going to be proud when someone from Hoopeston or Dorado receives one of these scholarships and joins the Aggie Network.”

This article was originally published by the Texas A&M Foundation.

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

KPMG Spring 2016

The 2nd Annual KPMG Fraud Case Competition Final Round was held May 3 at Mays Business School. The three teams competing in the Final Round had advanced from the Preliminary Round held there the prior week.

Final Round judging was facilitated by Nic D’Ambrosio, director, and Kelsey Brooks from the Houston office of KPMG’s U.S .Forensic Advisory Practice.

The Final Round participants included:

Darby Adamson                     Lauren Beurlot                                   William Chambers

Brent Garcia                           Jena Hemann                                     Robert Demarest

Aaron Mendoza                     Sydney Hunemuller                           Kyle Francis

Andre Thomas                      Natalie Lyon                                       Kyle Hamilton

Maci Watson                          Zidan Wang

The first-place team members are, left to right, Kyle Hamilton, William Chambers, KPMG Director Nic D’Ambrosio, KPMG representative Kelsey Brooks, Robert Demarest and Kyle Francis.

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

FEATURE 1 - Lord Hastings

Lord Hastings, second from the right, visited the Mays CityCentre campus.

Purpose-driven businesses and employees who commit to doing more than an occasional project will be key to ensuring sustainability, Lord Michael Hastings urged a group at Mays Business School’s CityCentre campus in Houston.

Hastings, who is KPMG International’s Global Lead of Corporate Citizenship, shared with Texas A&M University BA students, faculty, staff and community members his experience and insights related to corporate responsibility in the context of leading responsibly and sustainably.

The invitation was extended to Hastings through a developing partnership between Mays and Josh Dickson, vice president of regional engagement for Teach for America.

“Through our conversations, Josh realized Lord Hastings would be a perfect fit to discuss how corporations can leverage their impact in the world,” said Kyle Gammenthaler, who is teaching a Strategic Philanthropy class at Mays. “From there, KPMG leadership helped facilitate the coordination of the schedules and materials, so we were able to hear from one of the leading experts on global citizenship.”

Hastings, a former teacher who has done extensive work with children in need, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2002 in recognition of his services to crime reduction. He is listed as one of the 100 most influential black people in Britain and is No. 6 on the 2016 list of 100 black British business leaders. He represents KPMG International on the Global Corporate Citizenship Committee of the World Economic Forum and is a board member of the Global Reporting Initiative.

Hastings spelled out the grim picture of the future:

  • About 1 billion people will live in areas of water stress by 2030 in a “business-as-usual scenario”
  • The world’s population of people 65 and older will double by 2030, to about 1 billion
  • 90 percent of the youth population globally will live in undeveloped countries
  • 1 million young people in India will enter the workforce every month for the next 20 years.

The good news, he said, is that an increasing number of businesses are implementing goals of improving the lives of others. Unilever, for example, defines its purpose “to ensure 1 billion people get access to water and food.” “We’ve got to look at where the pressures are, and to change necessitates investment of ideas,” he said. “If we’re honest about the world’s sharable resources, population isn’t an issue. Allocation is, and overpopulation in some places.”

After the seminar, Hastings and his son Paul Payne, a business manager in London, met with a smaller group for a roundtable discussion. Payne said before any real progress can occur, the business world must change how it operates. For instance, companies should integrate corporate responsibility into their daily operations rather than allocating a percentage of the profit toward it afterward. “I think until we allow ourselves to do good without the recognition, we won’t make a dent on it,” he said.

“I think young people, as emerging leaders, should systematically change how business is done,” he said.
Payne encouraged collaborations across business sectors and between industries, because he said no single organization can make a dent. “Until we allow ourselves to do good without wanting to take any credit, I think there’s only so far we can get in this journey of trying to see sustainable change.”


Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, MBA, News, Texas A&M

strategicphilanthropychecksCourtesy of a $50,000 grant from the Once Upon a Time Foundation and their initiative called The Philanthropy Lab, Mays Business School embarked on an adventure that transformed the lives of many students while deeply impacting local community issues. Freshman Mallory Smith ’19 said, “I don’t want this class to be the end, but I want it to be just the beginning of a lifetime of giving and learning.” This diverse group of students challenged each other, themselves, and myself as we attempted to navigate the nebulous topic of philanthropy. By the end of the course, students were to strategically give away the entire $50,000 to local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. and they accomplished this with impeccable maturity and determination. These decisions did not come easy or without a significant amount of work and due diligence.

The student board used their mission statement; “We seek to empower Brazos Valley nonprofits to advance positive and sustainable development through strategic giving” to guide their decision making. In addition, they applied their learning by conducting interviews with key organizational staff and initiating site visits to the nonprofit organizations. Finally, the student board wrote and compiled full grant proposals, executive summaries and relevant financial data for each of the 10 finalists in order to discuss and deliberate the best use of these funds.

Our students took this challenge to heart and were able to strategically discuss the merits, challenges and concerns of every single proposal. Along the way, personal philanthropic ideals, values, and motivations were challenged, but a collaborative environment pervaded the inner workings of the class. According to graduating senior Taylor Mehling ’16, “We created a culture of collaboration, where every student genuinely wished to achieve the best solution. People laid aside their egos and spoke transparently about what they had learned through the due diligence process.” …Read more

Categories: Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School alumni David G. Eller ’59 and Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 were among the 2016 Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University.

DA Medallion shot

Since the inception of the award in 1962, only 261 of Texas A&M’s 440,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Awarded jointly by the university and The Association, this award recognizes those Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.

“Texas A&M’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni demonstrate the broad reach and influence of Texas A&M,” said Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young. “This group includes fearless leaders and influencers in the fields of engineering, technology, energy, medicine, veterinary medicine, national defense, finance, education and philanthropy. Their stories truly display the power of a Texas A&M University education.”


Eller is a longtime biotechnology leader. He is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Celltex Therapeutics Corp. Previous positions include president of DuPont Pharmaceuticals-Europe; CEO and president of Virbac Corp.; and founder, chairman and CEO of Granada BioSciences. He served on The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents from 1983 to 1989, chaired it from 1985 to 1989, and was the first in A&M’s history to be designated a chairman emeritus; for a time, he was simultaneously System chancellor. He established the Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences & Technology in Houston and has served on boards for the Texas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houston Partnership, Baylor College of Medicine, Hermann Hospital, Allied Bancshares, First Interstate Bank, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, the Houston Ballet and the Rice University Energy & Environmental Systems Institute. He served eight years as an officer on active duty and reserves in the U.S. Army.

Cynthia B. Taylor ’84 is CEO of Oil States International, a diversified oilfield services company that she helped take public. She was among the first female CEOs in the energy industry, Houston’s first public company female CEO and one of only 50 female CEOs in the Fortune 1000. She is a board member for AT&Tand Tidewater Inc. Her business accolades include being ranked on the All-American Executive Team for Energy.


A former trustee of the 12th Man Foundation and member of Mays Business School’s Dean’s Development Council, she was named an Outstanding Alumna of Mays Business School in 2011. Recent awards include the McLane Leadership in Business Award; the Aggie 100 Summit Award; and the Women Former Students’ Network Legacy Award. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Texas Children’s Hospital and was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame in 2014.

The recipients learned of their honor when surprised in their places of business and other locations by a group of university and Association representatives, including Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72, Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young, The Association of Former Students’ 2016 Chair of the Board of Directors Dwain Mayfield ’59, Association President and CEO Porter S. Garner III ’79 and a Ross Volunteer, along with university mascot Reveille IX and her handler.

“Our 2016 Distinguished Alumni are an inspiration to Aggies everywhere,” Mayfield said. “Their varied professional pursuits and far-reaching influences across our Aggie Network are all strongly rooted in our core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

The Association of Former Students will further honor all recipients of this award during its annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Oct. 7. In addition, the 2016 recipients will be recognized during the Oct. 8 Texas A&M football game against Tennessee.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sarah Knop 2016

The Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees awarded Sarah Knop with its fourth Outstanding Student Award, a $2,500 honor, during a trustee dinner on Wednesday at the Foundation’s headquarters. The Austin native expects to graduate this month with a 4.0 GPA, and will receive degrees in business honors and finance with a minor in economics. This fall, she will begin a position with the consulting firm Bain & Co.

Former Foundation Trustee Melbern Glasscock and his wife Susanne created the endowed award in 2012 to honor an exceptional student at Texas A&M University and Foundation scholarship recipient each year with a cash award. Recipients of the award have distinguished themselves as leaders, and candidates are required to demonstrate that they have overcome personal or family financial challenges. Despite their tight budgets, these students have flourished on campus and in the classroom.

As the youngest of four siblings, Knop spent her senior year of high school finding scholarship support that would lighten her parents’ financial load. To her, the Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award is the culmination of her hard work and a reminder of the generosity she received as a student. …Read more

Categories: Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Mays lecturer Henry Musoma ’00 was the keynote speaker of Big Event 2016.

This year, 22,616 Aggies served 2,330 separate residences in Bryan-College Station.

FEATURE 1 - Big Event

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