The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) welcomes Cheryl Holland as its new associate director. Holland, who has 25 years of retailing experience, most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for, an Internet retailer that sells luxury accessories, fine jewelry, watches, diamonds and decorative home furnishings.

According to Alison Pond, marketing and communications coordinator for CRS, Holland has a reputation as an exceptional leader and is respected for her high ethical standards.

Holland, who recently visited Mays as a guest lecturer, graduated with honors from Texas Women’s University and received the university’s Distinguished Alumna Award.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty

Mays business students got a good dose of lessons, learned as well as other practical career tips at this year’s Women in Information Technology conference.

Hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems, the annual workshop connects undergraduate and graduate students with women executives in the IT arena. This year’s conference, “A Vision for Your Future,” provided numerous opportunities for students to interact with the executives to discuss issues such as workplace ethics, job satisfaction and the economy.

Build a personal network, advised Andrea Jacaman ’88 during the interactive panel. For Jacaman, retail customer systems program director at TXU, networking was really a mystery in her early career. But today, she admits that without her personal network, she would have never had the opportunity to join TXU.

“You are building relationships right now, so make the most of them,” Jacaman told the students. “Eventually, you will come to truly understand, like I did, how you can really build and be part of a network of people. A network is something that you can gain a great deal from, but you should also give something back.”

This year’s conference was sponsored by BMC Software, ConocoPhillips, JCPenney, FedEx, Dell and TXU.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Former Students, Students

David Szymanski, marketing professor and director of the Center for Retailing Studies, has been appointed to the J.C. Penney Chair in Retailing Studies.

The criteria for this chair include scholarly research and teaching excellence in retailing and marketing areas, demonstrated leadership in service to the retailing discipline and strong evidence for continued excellence in research, teaching and service.

“David’s distinguished work in the retailing area and leadership of our Center for Retailing Studies are well known throughout the world,” says Dean Jerry Strawser. “I am very pleased that his efforts are being recognized in this very tangible and significant manner.”

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty

While its long been known for being a great research university, Texas A&M is taking another step forward. This time it’s in the area of commercial development. A plan was recently unveiled, called the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Initiative, which is being spearheaded by Vice President for Research Richard Ewing.

Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) will likely play a significant role in the initiative. CNVE is already working to boost student and faculty interest in technology commercialization, says Lenae Huebner, assistant director.

“The opportunities for our students and graduates will be greatly impacted by this initiative,” she says. “We would like to have a collaborative effort that would answer the needs of the TTCI, while offering our students and constituents the opportunity to participate in the commercialization of leading-edge technologies.”

Huebner says the involvement with the commercialization center would help CNVE make its vision of helping A&M excel in technology commercialization a reality.

“This aggressive new initiative falls squarely on our mission to build an entrepreneurial mindset among our students, faculty and researchers,” she says.

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Categories: Centers, Faculty

Pizza — that great American favorite. But, it hasn’t always been a weekly meal of choice, largely because good pizza (or any pizza) was hard to find. That is until Frank Carney came along.

In 1958, Frank and his brother, Dan, borrowed $600 from their mother and opened the very first Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kansas. Their vision of what pizza could be drove Pizza Hut’s success. Stores popped up around the country and by the mid 1970s, Pizza Hut had 3,000 locations.

Frank stepped away from the pizza business for a while, after selling Pizza Hut to PepsiCo in 1977. He tried his hand as a venture capitalist for 13 years and readily admits it wasn’t the best career move. In 1994, he went back to what he knew best — pizza. Frank joined up with Papa John’s and has 133 stores open.

Frank’s entrepreneurial vision made him an obvious choice for this year’s Conn Distinguished New Venture Leader Award, given by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

During his recent visit to campus, Frank was quick to share his list of things learned with Mays students (as well as some Papa John’s pizza). And at the top of that list — if you’re going to do something, do it with passion.

“You can’t be everything to everyone,” he said, “so pick what you want to do and be great at it.”

Categories: Centers, Departments, Executive Speakers

Mays students were among the selected winners in the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship’s (CNVE) second annual Business Idea Competition. More than 160 ideas were submitted this year, with the top 20 ideas each receiving a $1,000 prize.

Undergraduates Philip Blakeman, Derek Franks, Jennie Warthan and Eric Wilson submitted winning entries, as well as MBA students Benjamin Cosby, Steven Dickson, William Nixon, Jay Rege, Lance Smith, Romney Stewart and Bryan Wright.

According to CNVE Director Bert Cannella, the contest allows students from all majors to enter their ideas for new businesses. Entries can be based on anything from hobbies to university research, and students can enter individually or as a group. This year, the contest awarded a $200 bonus for winning ideas that incorporated technologies that could be licensed by the Texas A&M University System. Six entries qualified for the additional prize this year.

“We are really excited by the commitment and dedication put into all of these ideas,” says Cannella, a management professor and Mays Faculty Fellow.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Programs, Students