If someone along the likes of Lowry Mays is handing out advice, it’s probably a good time to take notes. The school’s namesake recently gave first- and second-year MBA students a dose of his own lessons learned as founder, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications.

Mays was quick to point out that being of high ethical standards is what often determines success, as illustrated by the fall of high-profile corporations. “I think the important thing is to understand that 99 percent of Fortune 500 companies stress integrity in their businesses and haven’t gone askew,” he said.

In fact, Mays shared with the students that Clear Channel is in the process of implementing an in-depth code of conduct that addresses numerous topics, such as anti-trust and anti-conflict policies. And he explained that he expects all 60,000 employees to commit to it.

Mays also provided insight into how he grew the company from a single radio station in San Antonio in 1972 to today owning 1,225 radio stations, 39 television stations, more than 776,000 outdoor advertising displays, and a live entertainment company.

When asked when the job market might turn around, Mays said he anticipates it picking up within the next year. But he cautioned students to not overlook the value of where they are in their current pursuits.

“I think you are all doing the right thing by concentrating on your education,” he said. “It will pay huge dividends in the future. Just because employers aren’t knocking on the door at this time doesn’t mean that you should get down. Because, you are building upon the assets you will need in the business world.”

Categories: Executive Speakers, Students

Corporate ethics is a hot topic these days. But, at Houston-based Newfield Exploration the issue isn’t a new one. Newfield CEO and President David Trice recently discussed the company’s approach to ethics with first-year Mays MBA students. Trice also addressed the core values inherent in the company, says first-year MBA student Lisa Buckley. “You can never have too many reminders about the importance of ethics,” she says. In fact, Newfield’s core values are closely tied to the Aggie code of honor, as Joe Foster ’56 founded the company, which employs many A&M graduates. Buckley and several other first-year MBAs had the opportunity to interact with Trice and Steven Campbell, head of investor relations, during a luncheon. Not being a native-Texan, Buckley says she came to Mays to become part of the Aggie Network. She didn’t expect it so soon. “After my conversing with Steven during lunch, he has already helped me set up three interviews for possible summer internships,” she says. “The Aggie Network is real.”

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Programs, Students

Dr. Leonard L. Berry, Distinguished Professor of Marketing and the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership, presented at the 2002 University Distinguished Lecture Series at Texas A&M in December. His lecture, “Improving Health Care Service in America,” was based on his behind-the-scenes research endeavor at Mayo Clinic focusing on healthcare service.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty

Marketing students didn’t dare doze off in class when Steve Moore ’79 came to visit. Not just because of the great Aggie stories he could tell. Rather because Moore is an example of marketing savvy at its best.

His track record includes serving as vice president and director of worldwide sports with Coca-Cola (managing Coke’s World Cup and Olympic programs). Now, Moore is senior vice president of International Management Group, overseeing the brand transformation of Wembley National Stadium in London, England.

While much of his discussion focused on market research and brand, he shared with students some of the lessons he’s learned along the way.

“To be a great marketer, you have to think about things differently,” says Moore, who earned his BBA in marketing in 1979 and MS in finance in 1981. “Every good marketer I know listens better than they talk and they also have very specific goals. If you don’t have goals, it’s a recipe for disaster.”

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Former Students

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

Due to recent corporate events, the accounting profession has come under the scrutinizing eye of the public and the government. In response, the Center for Continuous Auditing (CCA) has teamed up with the Department of Accounting and the Professional Program to host a lecture series addressing the current issues facing the corporate world.

Accounting Professor Marty Loudder believes this series is the school’s chance to address today’s tough issues. “Business schools have been strangely quiet about what’s going on, and it’s our chance to speak out about it,” she says.

The lecture series is bringing in high-caliber executives from across the country, such as Jim Hooton, retired partner from Andersen and Steve Ledbetter, chairman, president and CEO of Reliant Energy.

CCA Director Don Warren says he believes the lecture series will shed light on the challenges and opportunities in the accounting industry. “The time is right. People in the marketplace are driving this program,” he says. “They want to have these issues addressed.”

While this is the inaugural series, Warren hopes the CCA can work with the Professional Program and its director, Dr. Austin Daily, to sponsor a similar series each year — helping industry execs, faculty and students stay abreast of such a rapidly changing marketplace. “Next year, the lectures might be dealing with the different changes the profession has undergone,” he says.

The lectures take place every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Wehner Building’s Ray Auditorium through Nov. 21.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty, Programs

Two of the nation’s top executives will be honored this month at two of the college’s most notable spring events.

Colleen Barrett, president and chief operating officer of Southwest Airlines, has been named this year’s Kupfer Distinguished Executive. The cornerstone of Southwest’s fun-loving culture, Barrett will receive the award and speak to Mays students on Wednesday, April 10.

Retailing guru Marvin Girouard ’61, chairman and chief executive officer of Pier 1 Imports, will also be honored, as he will present the fifth annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture. Sponsored by the college’s Center for Retailing Studies, Girouard will speak Monday, April 15.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers

Sy Sternberg, chairman, president and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company spoke to Mays MBAs about the (some times) counterintuitive philosophy of the 156-year-old, Fortune 100 company he leads. He also discussed the events of September 11 and how New York Life responded that day. Sterberg shared his strategies in opening New York Life in international markets, as well as the importance of adhering to company values in every decision.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers

What started as a routine chore of washing dishes has become a successful 29-year endeavor for Crate and Barrel founders Gordon and Carol Segal. The couple wanted to offer well-designed products at affordable prices and when they secured a storefront in Chicago’s Old Town in 1962, Crate and Barrel was born. Now, almost three decades later, Crate and Barrel offers an array of affordable, usable gourmet cookware and housewares in 96 stores in 21 U.S. markets. It also provides gift registry and catalog and Web shopping.

In recognition of Crate and Barrel’s success, Gordon Segal, who also serves as the company’s CEO, presented the fourth annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture. The lecture, which honors the late jewelry retailer and founder MB Zale, was sponsored by the college’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) and is made possible by an endowment established by the M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation.

“Mr. Segal is an innovative merchant and visionary leader,” said Dr. David Szymanski, director of the CRS. “He and his company are ideal examples of creativity and leadership the lecture series honors.”

Segal’s vision as an entrepreneur and merchant have not gone unnoticed, as he’s received numerous honors and awards, including the National Retail Federation’s 2000 Gold Medal Award Winner and the Gourmet Products Show/Home-World Business Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty

While the California energy crisis has sparked a great deal of discussion regarding deregulation, Texans can rest assured they will have energy for years to come. Thanks to visionaries like TXU Chairman and CEO Erle Nye ’59, a level playing field now exists in the energy industry, stimulating competition and growth.

Because of his key role in the deregulation of Texas public utilities and his ability to reposition TXU during a critical time, Nye was named the 2001 Conn Distinguished New Venture Leader by the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship. Funded by a gift from Carroll (C.W.) and Dorothy Conn, the award recognizes an outstanding business leader who has achieved extraordinary success through a business start up or in the transformation of an existing company. The first recipient was college namesake Lowry Mays, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, who received the award last year.

“Deregulation was not easy and competition is challenging as well,” Nye said during his recent lecture at the college. “During the transition from deregulation to competition, everything that was nailed down came loose — the change impacted every aspect of TXU. But we came through it well, because of the ability of our workforce to adapt to the new set of circumstances and because of our strong corporate culture.”

Nye has worked for TXU and its predecessor companies for his entire adult life. As chief financial officer, he presided over the mergers that formed TXU, including joining three Texas power companies with Enserch/Lone Star Gas in 1997. This merger expanded the company beyond electricity generation, transmission and distribution and into the natural gas business, making it one of the largest corporations in the industry. Today, TXU serves 11 million customers worldwide, with over $22 billion in yearly revenues.

“The Conn New Venture Leader Award recognizes recognizes people in large corporate settings who demonstrate the creativity and innovation needed to change the very face of business in this country,” explained Dean Benton Cocanougher. “The contributions of our first two recipients, Lowry Mays and Erle Nye, have made definite, lasting impressions both on their own companies and on their industries.”

Nye also plays a variety of roles in Texas higher education, including a current six-year appointment to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He also serves on the Texas A&M Foundation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Chancellor’s Century Council of Advisors.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students, Texas A&M