The Professional Program in Accounting has announced two of its former students as recipients of the Rising Star Award and Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award. Phil Graves ’04 and Christy Baumann ’95 will be recognized at a dinner in College Station on May 9.

Rising Star

This year’s Rising Star award goes to Phil Graves ’04, senior director of corporate development for Patagonia and managing director of Tin Shed Ventures. He is in charge of the company’s investments and merger and acquisition activities. Graves also serves as a Senior Advisory Board Member of the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business’s Center for Responsible Business.

He has been recognized on Global Corporate Venturing’s Powerlist 100, and by Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students’ “12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight.” Graves was previously a senior manager in the Business Valuation practice at Deloitte, and he began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He models selfless service in the community as well through his work with the homeless and as a long-time Big Brother mentor.

Graves earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in finance in four years through PPA, and graduated in 2004.

The Rising Star Award recognizes a recent Professional Program graduate who is making a substantial im
pact on society through business acumen, exceptional leadership or entrepreneurial success.

Lifetime Achievement

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Christy Baumann ’95, a partner in the San Antonio assurance practice of Ernst & Young. She is also the Southwest Region Campus Recruiting Partner, and she has previously led both the general recruiting efforts and the diversity recruiting efforts at Texas A&M. Baumann was honored in 2012 by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of its “40 Under 40” honorees. She is an active member of the advisory council of the Department of Accounting at Mays.  

Baumann is passionate about mentoring women pursuing careers in business and has been actively involved in charitable organizations focused on children, including the Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County and San Antonio Youth Literacy. She worked for nine years of her career with EY in a flexible work arrangement and is, in the words of her nominator, “. . .  a role model for current and future students.”

Baumann earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in 1996 through PPA.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a PPA graduate whose collective body of work has resulted in a substantial incremental change in the business community, the accounting profession, and/or the lives of those that practice accounting.