Alumni | Mays Impacts - Part 12

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Bala Shetty, right, hosts alumni at Dean Eli Jones’ reception at CityCentre.

Mays Dean Eli Jones ’82 enjoyed a welcome celebration Aug. 27, when about 150 current and former Full-Time, Professional and Executive MBA students gathered in Houston CityCentre. Dr. Jones’ wife Fern and Mays faculty and program staff were also in attendance.

The event was a way to introduce Jones and to reach out to Mays alumni, which are 58,470 strong.

Jones is recognized as a visionary leader, sales management expert, accomplished researcher and passionate teacher. His return to College Station is a homecoming for the Houston native and three-time alumnus. He earned his bachelor’s in journalism at Texas A&M and his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing at Mays, and he has strong family ties in the Lone Star State.

Jones assumed deanship of Mays on July 1, 2015, having previously served as dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. Under his leadership, the Walton College of Business raised $32.9 million in FY2014, launched a 100 percent online General Business Degree, expanded the Executive MBA program and signed partnership agreements with schools in China, Brazil and Panama.

Jones returns to Mays at a time of growth and upward trajectory. The Executive MBA Program is 6th among U.S. public schools (Financial Times), the Full-Time MBA Program is 16th among U.S. public schools (U.S. News & World Report) and the Professional MBA program is ranked 21st among U.S. public universities (U.S. News & World Report).

 

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Jones lauded the school’s strength and reputation, and said it was an honor to be invited back to work at his alma mater. He told the group assembled, “I can’t talk about it too much without getting emotional, but Mays changed me. The MBA program at Mays changed my life.”

In 2012, Mays planted the Aggie flag in Houston at CityCentre to serve area businesses, working professionals and former students with MBA and other business programs. CityCentre is home to the Executive MBA program, which requires at least 10 years of professional work experience, including seven years of managerial experience, and the Professional MBA Program, a 22-month program designed for working professionals. Mays also offers custom executive development programs at CityCentre through its Center for Executive Development.

Cynthia Klein ’15, who lives in Tyler and serves as chief strategy officer of Mentoring Minds, traveled to Houston for the Executive MBA program until she graduated last May. She returned for the reception to honor Jones and to reconnect with some of her classmates. “The most valuable part of the program is being in a classroom not only with top-notch professors – the most seasoned, typically – who bring the theoretical part of business, but also your class of real-world professionals who bring their experience and we talk about what’s really happening in the world and balance that with the theoretical part of business,” she explained. “What it has really done for me is enabled me to think in ways I’ve never thought and bring that to my own workplace.”

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Alumni, Mays Business, News, Programs, Staff, Texas A&M

Mays Business School graduate Denise Byington ’86 and her husband, Bert Garcia, have committed $30,000 to establish a scholarship for her area of interest, the Denise Byington ’86 and Bert Garcia ’81 Endowed Scholarship in Finance.

Their preference is that the students who receive the scholarships have a financial need and be pursuing a degree in finance degree or supply chain management – their daughter’s major. Byington graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance, while Garcia’s degree was in engineering.

“It’s important for us to give back after a couple of successful careers,” Byington said. “And as the parent of a college-aged child, we understand how difficult it can be to pay for a college education. If we could help some future Aggies, we would love to do that – especially if it is for a deserving business student.”

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, said he appreciates it when former students provide avenues for future students to attend college. “This is an example of the Aggie spirit at work,” he said. “These two former students could have done so many things with their money, and they are choosing to help boost the future students of Mays. Such dedication is what keeps our programs alive and ensures our legacy as a top-notch business school.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

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, Departments, Donors Corner, Former Students, Mays Business, Texas A&M

David Cordani ’88, president and CEO of Cigna Corporation, will speak at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Sept. 18. The program will be in Wehner 113 from 12:40 p.m.to 1:30 p.m.

No American university has turned out more Fortune 100 company CEOs than Texas A&M, according to a recent U.S. News & World Report ranking. Now Mays is bringing one of those CEOs home. Cordani graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and earned an MBA from the University of Hartford. He is an accomplished athlete, having competed in more than 125 triathlons.

Cordani will share his perspective on improving health care, now and for the future. He believes that today’s health care dialogue is too narrowly focused on lowering health costs. This focus, he says, inevitably results in an emphasis on an old model based on financing “sick” care. Rather, he believes, our dialogue should place greater emphasis on building a more sustainable health care system that better engages individuals in their own care management. This can be accomplished, he says, by focusing on three foundational elements: 1) Aligning the incentives for everyone involved in the health care process; 2) Embracing value-based payments and rewards and 3) Executional excellence, aided by information and insight.

James Benjamin, head of the accounting department at Mays, remembers Cordani as a student. “David Cordani’s relatively quick rise to be one of the leaders in the health care field is particularly remarkable,” Benjamin said. “I am confident he will continue to make important contributions to this very important field.”

In 2009, Cordani became president and CEO of Cigna, a company he has worked with for more than 24 years. He has spearheaded its transformation into a leading global health service company, doubling the size of the company in five years. He is a prominent voice addressing key health challenges, such as empowering individuals to manage their own health, innovating new health delivery models focused on patients’ health improvements and partnering with physicians to focus on wellness and improving clinical quality.

Cordani leads Cigna’s more than 37,000 employees in more than 30 countries in improving the health, well-being and sense of security of the more than 88 million customer relationships.

Prior to joining Cigna, Cordani was with Coopers & Lybrand. He actively works with the March of Dimes, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Achilles International Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans, and is a charter board member of ChildObesity180. Cordani was named to the General Mills Board of Directors in 2014 and to the U.S.-India Business Council Board of Directors in 2015.

For information, contact Diane McDonald at dmcdonald@mays.tamu.edu or 979-845-0193.

*Registration is not required for current students and faculty

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master 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, Departments, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

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.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

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