Mays Business School, November 15th, 2019
Mays Business School, October 15th, 2019
On October 4, 2019, Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School students and faculty learned about non-clinical career opportunities in healthcare from industry leaders during the 2019 Healthcare Forum.
The day-long event featured presentations by top executives from different healthcare enterprises, including a hospital system, an insurance company, a health information technology company, and an occupational health company.
The forum underscored the business school’s commitment to preparing students to work on the business side of healthcare. “Mays realizes how important healthcare is to our nation’s and the world’s future prosperity,” said Dean Eli Jones ’82. “To that point, we have designated healthcare as one of three Grand Challenges in our Strategic Plan. This challenge was selected because of our faculty’s expertise, our focus on developing transformational leaders in this area, and the significant support provided by Mays partners.”
The Healthcare Forum gives students a chance to interact with and learn from top industry executives. “This annual event exposes business school students to the many non-clinical career paths available in healthcare and offers career advice as well,” said Dr. Leonard L. Berry, who is a University Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Mays and a senior fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. “Most students don’t come to business school thinking about a healthcare career even though healthcare organizations have personnel needs in all of the functional areas studied in business school such as finance, marketing, human resources, and, of course, general management.”
The forum helped to expose Mays students to the possibilities of working in the healthcare industry. “Healthcare is such a broad field in general, and there’s so much you can do with it,” said Christopher Jabbour, ’21, a public health major. Jabbour attended the forum as part of a Mays course focused on healthcare.
A major industry
The forum’s speakers stressed that healthcare is an integral part of the U.S. landscape, both in terms of personal well-being and economic viability. “Healthcare is a crucial service that every person needs at various times in life,” Berry said. “It represents nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy and is our fastest-growing labor market. Business school students can play a much bigger role in helping improve the quality and lower the cost of healthcare.”
The healthcare sector is a larger part of the nation’s economy than the oil and gas, banking and finance, and real estate industries. In her presentation, Shara McClure ’90, the divisional senior vice president of Texas Healthcare Delivery at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, noted that in 2018, the healthcare sector was a $3.65 trillion industry; by 2025, this sector is projected to break $5 trillion.
Healthcare’s cost to society and to many households is unsustainably high with five percent of insured individuals driving 50 percent of the costs. The average cost of health insurance for a family of four is $22,000 annually.
The speakers stressed that they see tremendous opportunities for innovation ahead. “I don’t know where the future of healthcare leads, but I think there’s going to be tremendous opportunities,” said Heath Rushing ‘99, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann hospitals in Katy and Cypress. “The opportunities will just look different tomorrow than they do today as health systems work to deliver value to the consumer. I feel fortunate to work for a system that’s willing to challenge the status quo and create a structure that drives value to our patients. Having that consumer focus will help improve the health of the communities we serve.”
The healthcare executives who participated in the Mays forum were pleased with participants’ interest in this growing industry. “The students’ enthusiasm around opportunities in healthcare was incredible,” said Ben Melson ’82, senior vice president and chief financial officer at The University of Texas MD Anderson Center. “When I was attending Texas A&M in the 70s and 80s, there was no healthcare discussion. In today’s healthcare, we need young talent in all business fields – accounting, finance, marketing, industrial distribution, supply chain. Healthcare is ripe for this young talent, so it’s great to be here to show students what is available out there.”
The Mays students also expressed their interest in applying their knowledge of innovation and transformational leadership to help the healthcare sector evolve. “I think that the healthcare industry is currently faced with some major challenges that affect the overall success of this country. Our generation has the opportunity to do something about it,” said Eva Paalma ’18, who is earning a master’s degree in marketing and will graduate in December. “The vision of Mays has always been about building a better future, and it just seems like a very logical step for our business school to be part of the transformation in healthcare.”
Center for Retailing Studies Partners with CLC to Deliver Unique Educational Experience at New York Fashion Week: The Shows
Andrew Vernon, September 12th, 2019
As the fashion world converged in New York for the Fall 2019 Fashion Week, marketing majors Addison Holcomb ’20 and Shannon Perkins ’20 from Mays Business School were treated to a one-of-a-kind educational experience thanks to a collaboration between Texas A&M University, Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), the university’s exclusive trademark licensing agency, and IMG’s fashion events division. Holcomb and Perkins were two of 21 students from 12 universities that participated in the program designed to support innovation and the development of future leaders in the fashion industry.
This program provided a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion industry, including entry into select runway shows, panel discussions and networking opportunities with industry leaders, as well as on-the-job shadowing with collegiate licensees.
The students experienced two New York Fashion Week (NYFW) runway shows, as well as backstage tours to observe the production and execution of a fashion show. The group also participated in the screening of the film “THE REMIX: Hip Hop x Fashion” and participated in a panel discussion with director/producer Lisa Cortés and director Farah X.
“This unique collaboration with IMG’s fashion division allows us to offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience and insight into the fashion industry to some of the best and brightest students from our partner institutions,” said Cory Moss, SVP and Managing Director of IMG College Licensing. “In providing resources and opportunities beyond what a traditional licensing partner can provide, we deliver greater value to their campuses and communities while promoting innovation and learning.”
In addition to the experiences at New York Fashion Week: The Shows, the students also spent time with key staff at sports fashion brand Champion and College Vault licensee Original Retro Brand. The students also had an opportunity to visit collegiate jewelry licensee KYLE CAVAN where they interacted with designers and marketers from the company, as well as online fashion outlet Storr and licensee Hillflint.
The program delivered unique academic enrichment opportunities for the students with costs covered by the universities. Institutions that participated in this collegiate enrichment program at NYFW: The Shows included University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of Arkansas, University of Delaware, Northern Arizona University, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, Syracuse University, TCU, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and West Virginia University.
“We are committed to delivering opportunities for future leaders in the industry to engage and learn from others that know what it takes to be successful,” said Leslie Russo, Executive Vice President, IMG Fashion Events. “This unique experience aligns perfectly with our mission, and we are happy to partner with our colleagues at CLC to welcome these great students to NYFW: The Shows.”
Participating students were asked to chronicle their experiences through social media using #UofNYFW and share their learnings with other students upon their return to campus.
“It was so fun interacting with other aspiring professionals who value similar things and are pursuing a career in the same industry,” Holcomb explained. “Their stories and backgrounds were inspiring, and I cannot wait to witness the amazing things they accomplish. Who knows, their designs may be featured on a NYFW runway someday!”
“To say this was the experience of a lifetime is an understatement,” said Perkins. “I have never felt more affirmed in my passion for retail and fashion, and I left this weekend motivated to go after my dreams.”
“At Texas A&M, we are committed to providing our students with transformational learning experiences that prepare them for successful careers in a number of areas within retailing,” added Scott Benedict, Director of the Center for Retailing Studies. “We’re so excited that Addison and Shannon had the opportunity to participate in this event, and gain an understanding of the fashion world first hand.”
About the Center for Retailing Studies
Since opening in 1983, the Center for Retailing Studies has been respected throughout the world as a leading source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing future retail leaders. In collaboration with the outstanding performance of the faculty at Mays Business School and excellence in student education programs, each year, more than 150 students complete coursework, internships, and leadership programs that prepare them for a professional career within the industry in store management, buying, merchandising, planning, business analytics, and supply chain.
CLC is part of Learfield IMG College, which unlocks the value of college sports for brands and fans through an omnichannel platform. The company’s extensive commerce, experiential and media solutions create ultimate opportunities for fan engagement. The Learfield IMG College suite of services includes licensing and multimedia sponsorship management; publishing, broadcasting, digital and social media; ticket sales and professional concessions expertise; branding; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue technology systems. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, the company has long had the privilege of being an advocate for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience. Since 2008, it has served as title sponsor for the acclaimed Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup, supporting athletic departments across all divisions.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events, and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually, and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports, and content company.
For more information, please contact:
Andrew Vernon, Center for Retailing Studies
Tammy Purves, CLC
(404) 932-3266 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mays Business School, August 22nd, 2019
COLLEGE STATION, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mays Business School at Texas A&M University and health and well-being company Humana Inc.(NYSE: HUM) are launching the 2019 Humana-Mays Healthcare Analytics Case Competition to showcase students’ analytical abilities to solve a real-world business problem. The prize package for the winning teams has increased to $52,500, with $30,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place, and $7,500 for third place.
The third annual competition is open to all accredited educational institutions based in the United States. Full-time and part-time master’s students from accredited Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Information Systems, Master of Public Health, Master of Business Administration programs, or other similar master’s programs in business, healthcare, or analytics, are eligible to enter. Students are invited to create teams of two to three to tackle a real-world case. Each team can only include students from the same school.
“We’re proud to again host one of the top national competitions known for attracting the brightest graduate students in the country,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “The teams use data analytics to address challenging real-world issues in healthcare.”
“Once again, it’s great to partner with Texas A&M, my alma mater, as it played a pivotal role in my career development,” said Bruce Broussard, President & CEO, Humana Inc. “The use of analytics in healthcare is becoming increasingly more important in driving better patient outcomes and reducing the cost of care. Giving students the opportunity to engage in real-life scenarios through this competition is a meaningful way to challenge and shape them as professionals.”
The teams will be judged based on the following criteria:
- Quantitative analysis identifying key business insights
- Professionalism, data visualization, and presentation skills
- Ability to provide unique insights for business improvements
- Ability to establish key performance indicators aligned to business needs
Key dates for 2019 participants include:
- Sep. 11: Virtual kickoff for prospective participants
- Sep. 13: Team registration due
- Sep. 19: Q&A session with competition leadership
- Oct. 15: Completed team analysis due
- Oct. 28: Finalists selected and notified
- Nov. 14: Final presentations to executive panel at Mays Business School’s CityCentre Houston campus; winners announced
The student team of Edward Cho, Lianne Ho and David Sung from the University of Southern California won the $20,000 First Place prize in 2018. Nearly 700 masters level students representing 246 teams from 42 major universities in the U.S. registered to compete for $35,000 in prizes.
More than 300 master’s degree candidates representing 109 teams from 19 major universities in the U.S. registered for the 2017 competition. Students Hongxia Shi, Shenyang Yang, and Xiangyi Che from Purdue University earned the top prize.
For more information and complete rules, visit HumanaTAMUAnalytics.com.
About Mays Business School
At Mays Business School, we step up to advance the world’s prosperity. Our mission is to be a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,400 undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing, and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and for faculty research.
Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) is committed to helping our millions of medical and specialty members achieve their best health. Our successful history in care delivery and health plan administration is helping us create a new kind of integrated care with the power to improve health and well-being and lower costs. Our efforts are leading to a better quality of life for people with Medicare, families, individuals, military service personnel, and communities at large.
To accomplish that, we support physicians and other health care professionals as they work to deliver the right care in the right place for their patients, our members. Our range of clinical capabilities, resources and tools – such as in-home care, behavioral health, pharmacy services, data analytics and wellness solutions – combine to produce a simplified experience that makes health care easier to navigate and more effective.
More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the company’s web site at www.humana.com, including copies of:
- Annual reports to stockholders
- Securities and Exchange Commission filings
- Most recent investor conference presentations
- Quarterly earnings news releases and conference calls
- Calendar of events
- Corporate Governance information
Strategic Philanthropy course at Mays Business School opens applications for community grant program
Mays Business School, August 16th, 2019
(COLLEGE STATION, Texas / August 16, 2019) Mays Business School’s Strategic Philanthropy course, in partnership with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation, is currently accepting applications from local area nonprofit organizations for the Community Grant Program. To be eligible, an organization must be a nonprofit entity based in the Brazos Valley and have at least one full year of operation. Applicants must submit a completed application detailing their proposal for funds to be used the following year. Applications can be submitted through the Strategic Philanthropy website at mays.tamu.edu/strategic-philanthropy. The deadline to submit applications is 5:00 PM on Friday, September 13, 2019. The 2019-2020 Community Grant recipients will be announced in December.
Kyle Gammenthaler, Lecturer and Coordinator of Social Impact Programs at Mays Business School stated, “We are excited to continue our partnership with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation as they help provide resources for a dynamic educational experience while impacting the local community. We encourage all eligible organizations based in the Brazos Valley to apply.”
ABOUT THE STRATEGIC PHILANTHROPY COURSE AT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
The Strategic Philanthropy course began in the 2015-2016 school year as a unique educational experience for undergraduate business students. Since then, we have distributed almost $500,000 in funding to local community and international nonprofit organizations thanks to partnerships with various foundations and individuals. We will continue this tradition by partnering with the George and Barbara Bush Foundation in the upcoming fall semester to manage the Community Grant Program.
Some of the past recipients of the Strategic Philanthropy course have been Aggieland Pregnancy Outreach, BEE Community, Northway Farms, Health for All, Elder Aid, Boys and Girls Club, Down Syndrome Association of the Brazos Valley, Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, Mercy Project, SOS Ministries, Family Promise, K9S4COPS, Mobility Worldwide, Rebuilding BCS, Children’s Miracle Network, BCS Marathon, and Voices for Children.
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Grant and Media Contact:
Mays Business School
Andrew Vernon, July 17th, 2019
The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) at Mays Business School is pleased to welcome Scott Benedict as its new director. An accomplished retail executive, he comes to Texas A&M University with more than 35 years of experience spanning traditional brick-and-mortar, eCommerce and international retailing.
Benedict most recently served as the Divisional Merchandise Manager for Health, Beauty & Grocery at eCommerce leader Groupon in Chicago. He has also held positions at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Service Merchandise and Montgomery Ward.
Leveraging extensive experience in retail business strategy, process refinement, and multichannel eCommerce, Benedict brings a track record of helping companies seize opportunities to increase operational efficiencies, control operating costs, and optimize profits while serving customers across multiple business channels.
“We are pleased to have Scott joining us as the Director of the Center for Retailing Studies, and he comes to us with significant executive experience and an impressive record of accomplishment across retail formats,” said David Griffith, Marketing Department Head. “We are happy to welcome Scott into the Mays Business School family and look forward to his leadership of the Center for Retailing Studies.”
With a desire to help influence the next generation of retail leaders, Benedict spent time keeping an eye on various retailing programs across the country on social media, including CRS. When the opportunity came along to join one of the top retailing programs in the nation at a Tier 1 institution, he didn’t hesitate.
“I have a strong passion for retailing, developing future leaders, and working with retailing professionals to share challenges and best practices,” Benedict explained. “CRS gives me the opportunity to do all of those things. We have a wonderful foundation in place.”
At Walmart, Benedict particularly appreciated the company’s core basic beliefs of respect for the individual, service to the customer, striving for excellence, and operating with integrity. His affinity for organizations with strong cultural beliefs is something that makes the transition from the corporate world to the academic world in Aggieland a seamless one.
“I have really enjoyed being a part of organizations with strong values and cultural beliefs,” said Benedict. “Texas A&M’s Aggie Core Values align strongly with what I feel strongly about, and have been taught to believe in my entire professional career.”
Some of Benedict’s areas of expertise include the development of category strategies, supplier performance management, retail merchandising, product marketing, inventory management, omnichannel strategy, and competitive price strategy. In an ever-changing era of retail, he seeks to bring that industry experience and perspective to Mays, and to the Center for Retailing Studies.
“I was taught as a buyer the concept of ‘divine discontent’,” he explained. “In other words, never be satisfied with the status quo and always seek to improve the business and your people.”
Benedict sees the opportunity to deepen the relationships already formed between CRS and its industry partners while examining how the program can grow and change to better equip the retail leaders of the future. “We need to continuously evolve and change in order to serve the dynamic needs of the retailing community now, and in the future” he added.
For more information, please visit crs.mays.tamu.edu
Follow us on social media: @crstamu
Kiri (Isaac) Stanford, June 27th, 2019
The first step is the hardest
If you have ever asked a 6-year-old what they want to be when they grow up, you know that there are few things that dissuade them from their dreams. In their mind, the possibilities are endless. However, at some point in their journey of becoming, they’re told there’s a step that has to be made, a benchmark to be accomplished, a kink in the plan. Often, higher education can feel like that. When I finish all my research, then I can genuinely make a difference… If I could get one more certification, then I can prove I’m a world-changer… Once I have my degree, I can really do something… Jim Kolari’s Finance 462 “Live Bank Case” students are already changing the world for a bank in Hondo, Texas.
Community National Bank (CNB) has found itself between a rock and a hard place. A mostly rural town, Hondo has been watching the Texas giant, San Antonio, slowly encroach on their city limits. CNB board member, Bill Freed said, “Our community is changing, and if there is anything I’m interested in seeing in the overall growth product, it’s what can help us define our community and what happens when a community changes so rapidly.” Freed likened the Hondo/San Antonio growth to that of Sugarland to Houston and McKinney to Dallas. “They were their own well-defined communities for years, then the sprawl of the metropolis comes in and not only encroaches but actually acts like a tsunami and washes over the area,” Freed explained.
For a once small-town bank like CNB, the imminent danger of large-city encroachment with big bank players like Frost and Wells Fargo could be detrimental to the local bank. CNB was started with a group of businessmen who formed a small-town community financial institution and obtained their charter in 1980. CNB Chairman of the Board, Tom Rothe, said, “The bank opened in 1981 with $1.6 million. That sounds like nothing now: you can’t get a bank off the ground without $10 or $15 million capitalization, but then that was a lot of money.”
Banking in the real world
And Kolari’s students know that. The 41 commercial banking students who took the field trip to the bank are either graduating seniors or graduate students and have taken multiple banking classes, completed internships, and are all about to enter into the real world of banking. Kolari said, “This (live bank case) is ideal for us. This portion of the program is focused on community banking. They get to get in here and find out real problems that community banks are having in the U.S. and Texas, and they’re happening all over, with small, community banks being challenged by the growth that they have in their communities, and also the survival, against bigger banks.”
This Live Bank Case is the first that Kolari has executed in his 40 years at Texas A&M, and Kolari could not have predicted the outcome. For the study, the students were broken into small groups to come up with solutions to maintaining business, while creating new customers and establishing a sustainable strategy. “I was flabbergasted,” Kolari said. “I had a front-row seat to the Aggie Spirit at work. [The students] took this project to heart – it wasn’t just a grade to them. They sought counsel from industry professionals, drew on experience from past internships and jobs, and even looked into the fine details (like finding the coordinates of the busiest intersection and calculating the cost of a billboard installation) to create actionable plans.”
Kolari mentioned, “I can tell you that 99% of schools don’t have a banking class in their college of business. We’re a very rare program; we have a little over 100 students, graduate and undergraduate.”
CNB executives saw the effort and knew that the Commercial Banking Program students would deliver, so they traveled from Hondo to College Station to hear the students’ presentations.
“We had not been able to share the presentations with all of our board members before the May board meeting, but now we have all seen the presentations and it is on our agenda to discuss at the June meeting,” Rothe explained when talking about the solutions they were presented. “[Other board members] and I have been discussing many of the ideas presented and have been scouting locations and opportunities for growing our brand using the input received.”
High impact learning yields high impact results
At Mays, it is common to hear that we are committed to providing high-impact learning experiences. That means we commit to educational experiences that deepen learning and foster student engagement. Rather than simply listening to a lecture, learning by rote, and taking an exam, Mays students are given the opportunity to actively pose and solve problems, work collaboratively in a community of peers, experience real-world applications of knowledge, and reflect on their learning processes. Through these high-impact learning experiences, Mays students change the world, a degree in hand or not.
Mays Business School, May 6th, 2019
Helping Mays Business School students understand the nuts and bolts of philanthropy by giving away up to $75,000 themselves is always thrilling.
Kyle, who teaches the Strategic Philanthropy class as coordinator of the Certificate in Nonprofit and Social Innovation at Mays, told a crowd of about eighty who gathered for the semester’s check presentations on April 29 that it all started in 2015, when he had “a brilliant idea—that it would be great if students gave away money in a class.”
And this spring, the course’s students, funding recipients, and donors celebrated a huge milestone—passing the $500,000 mark in total giving to organizations in Bryan-College Station.
From $0 to $500,000 in Three Years
With support from Mays administration and generous donors—notably The Philanthropy Lab, a Fort-Worth-area organization that supports about twenty such classes around the country—students provided the first round of funding in spring 2016.
Now, thanks to additional donors, notably the VanLoh family and Cheryl Mellenthin, the class is one of the most successful of its kind in the country.
The VanLohs began donating after seeing the transformational experience their daughter, business honors graduate Grace VanLoh ’19, had as a student in the very first class.
For Cheryl Mellenthin, visiting with Mays students on a Philanthropy Friday was all it took.
“She texted me that night and asked, ‘Where do I send the check?’” Kyle says.
John Sharp ’72, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, attended the April 29 celebration and later said, “The Mays Business School’s philanthropy program is a great example of putting the Aggie values to work.”
Former Student Body President Amy Sharp ’19, a business honors graduate who took the class previously, announced at the event that the two representatives present from The Philanthropy Lab—both Aggies—had decided to give an additional $10,000 in honor of Chancellor Sharp’s visit.
“This has to be the easiest $10,000 Chancellor Sharp ever gave!” she said.
Student-Driven Impact in the Brazos Valley
Marketing major and class member Shelby Edwards ’19 says a Charles Dickens quote inspired her to sign up: “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”
But for Shelby, the class proved to be life-changing.
“I know that what I learned about working with others to make decisions and about how I can make a real impact, even as a younger person, will influence me not only in my profession, but in my personal life, as well,” she says.
The class started the semester by learning about philanthropy and how nonprofits work in general, with a focus on strategic giving and the “why” behind charitable giving.
They crafted their own mission statement as the “why” to guide their decisions: “to thoughtfully invest in nonprofits in the Brazos Valley to move toward their visions and build better communities.”
Next, they chose ten nonprofits for closer review and broke into smaller groups to visit two organizations each. They then shared what they learned with the others and used their strategic approach to make the final decisions on which organizations to fund.
“Giving the money away was an absolute joy,” Shelby says. “The nonprofits showed us gaps in our community that we had not seen before. We were amazed at what they do to make life better for people here.
“My takeaway is that we all have the ability to give money, or time, or effort, not ‘one day,’ but right now, even if we are young and just starting out. We are a generation that can make a difference!”
A Simple but Life-Changing Idea
“Entrepreneurship is about finding the main pressure point and exploiting it,” he says. “The Jennings family has done just this in the Bryan-College Station area by giving reliable, pre-owned cars to people in need.”
The class gave $11,000 to cover the cost of two cars. OnRamp has provided 23 cars since the organization was founded about eighteen months ago. Other local charities refer clients to the Jennings family for consideration.
“As a pastor at a local church, I meet a lot of single moms who are near poverty and who cannot afford reliable transportation,” Blake Jennings says. “As a result, they find it hard to hold down a job, hard to get their kids to school, and hard to get to doctors’ appointments. My wife and I wanted to do something about it—to serve others just as we encourage our congregation to serve others.”
The Transformational Effect of Mays Philanthropy
Students are transformed by the class in many ways.
For example, Mays graduate Zach Marbach ’17, who took the inaugural class in spring 2016, is now an Associate Program Director with The Philanthropy Lab, as is fellow Aggie Megan Mader ’12. In addition, other students have joined the boards of the nonprofits represented or otherwise made charitable giving a priority in their lives.
“We are incredibly grateful to all who entrust our students to make life-changing decisions with their money,” Kyle Gammenthaler says. “Our next goal: to pass the one-million-dollar mark.”
In addition to OnRamp, the following local charities received funding this semester:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Brazos Interfaith Immigration Network
- Health For All
- Scotty’s House
- Sexual Assault Resource Center
- United Way of the Brazos Valley
- VOOM Foundation
Camden Wolf, May 3rd, 2019
On April 24, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and former students packed Wehner lobby for James Benjamin Day. Energy and excitement pulsed through the room, as attendees wearing t-shirts and stickers that showed “I heart James Benjamin” filed into the lobby.
The event was standing room only as participants waited eagerly from the balcony, lined the stairs, and filled the elevator banks for the celebration to begin.
Dean Jones began the celebration by welcoming students, faculty and staff, and the accounting advisory board to the special event. Among his numerous high praises for Benjamin, Dean Jones declared that Benjamin epitomized the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service. Dean Jones also shared that at the beginning of the naming campaign, naysayers told them, “Crowdsourcing won’t work.” However, the campaign ultimately proved otherwise and raised over $10 million for the department. Dean Jones added that Benjamin has served Texas A&M and Mays Business School for 45 years as faculty, and 37 years as the accounting department head. Benjamin positively impacted countless students’ lives and set an example of excellence during his time at the university.
Brian Bishop, the Assistant Vice President of Development at Mays Business School, delivered some words of affirmation and praise for Benjamin. Bishop stated that to have a department named after an individual, “40 years of service and $10 million raised” would be a fantastic place to start. Bishop continued in his praise for Benjamin, describing him as an “excellent human being and an educator.” Bishop encouraged the current students attending the celebration to look around the room and appreciate the accomplishments of those before them. He then instructed each student to ask themselves, “How can I give back, and how can I make my degree more valuable?”
Christy Bauman ’95 took the stage to share her thoughts, insights, and appreciation for Benjamin. Bauman was a member of the third group of PPA students and explained that raising money for the department was, “One of the easiest things to ask for because of Jim and who he is as an individual.”
Professor Mary Lea McAnally then joined the excitement by kicking off a round-robin share out about the magnitude during Benjamin’s tenure in a segment titled, “James Benjamin by the Numbers.”
- $35,700,000 raised
- 4,617,600 minutes worked, $8 per minute of funds raised
- 17,102 students graduated
- 5,008 PPA graduates
- 15 former students now serving as professors at Mays
- 2,113 Business Honors graduates during his tenure
- 1998 – Outstanding Professor of the Year from Texas A&M
- 1992 – Benjamin began the PPA program
- 1968 – Benjamin earned his CPA, in Maryland, with the second highest score in the state
- 1600 companies employ his graduates
- 960 business honors students in his Accounting 229 course
- 314 publications by Ph.D. graduates
- 258 graduates who are partners at CPA firms
- Accounting 229 – countless students have taken Benjamin’s course
- 199 – the average number of words in a paragraph in an email from Benjamin
- 158 Ph.D. graduates since Benjamin
- 61 computers in KPMG lab on cutting edge of technology
- 42 years in the Department of Accounting
- 37 years as department head
- Year-end reviews
- 8 accounting faculty have become administrators at Mays
- 5 deans Benjamin has served under
- 40 years ago – James Benjamin was Strawser’s professor
- 3 PPA Directors reported to Benjamin during his tenure
Finally, Benjamin took the opportunity to share his thoughts and appreciation for the celebration. He said that one of the most rewarding aspects of his career has been watching students he once taught reach retirement. In humility, he added that though he may be the face of the accounting department, there are four necessary ingredients to his success:
- Exceptional students
- Deeply caring faculty built to mirror students
- Leaders – he has been at the business school under five deans, and never had a bad boss in his life
- Incredibly supportive former students
In a nod to his engaging demeanor, Benjamin expressed that he thinks it is fitting that the accounting department will now share the nickname for 100 dollar bills.
Andrew Vernon, April 22nd, 2019
The event kicked off on Wednesday, March 27, with a research poster session, followed by a reception at the nearby Hotel Sorrells with an address from Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones.
Thursday morning began with an industry keynote address from Damian Fernandez-Lamela, VP Analytics at Fossil. Fernandez-Lamela spoke on the watch market experiencing continuous negative growth from since 2015, with major disruptions in two areas, product technology and distribution/supply chain. The goal of the Fossil marketing department now is to improve the ROI and make smarter decisions using analytics. The company is also working on expanding its focus from just the U.S. to the global market. He also highlighted two marketing challenges: analyzing every touch point along the purchase journey, and determining consumer willingness to pay using surveys.
The academic keynote address came from K. Sudhir, James L. Frank Professor of Marketing at Yale University. Sudhir discussed changes associated with the big data revolution in the customer journey (marketing, engineering/CS, social science) and transparency across firm silos (cross-functional coordination). Sudhir is director of the Yale China India Insights (CIIP) Program. He leads the data-driven consulting and research collaborations with a range of Fortune 500 companies at the Yale Center for Customer Insights.
Thursday concluded with a dinner and a keynote address from Puneet Manchanda, Professor of Marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Manchanda focused on the topic of how society achieves content creation and consumption through a historic analysis of online behavior with the news publishing industry as the focus. Going forward, “if you’re not willing to reward people for creating content, you won’t have it,” he explained.
Mays Marketing Ph.D. student Unnati Narang was presented with the 2018 Shankar-Spiegel Award for the best dissertation research in interactive marketing. Her proposal was chosen from a large competitive pool of research proposals. Her research is on mobile marketing, in particular, retailer mobile apps
The research presentations by academics covered a gamut of topics, including social media, mobile marketing, robots, digital consumer behavior, and artificial intelligence. A wide array of methodologies were on display, ranging from econometrics to field experiments to machine learning.
Friday’s events included a panel discussion on interactive marketing with Pat Coyle, Chief Revenue Office for Texas A&M Athletics, Sarah Darilmaz, Head of Audience Excellence for Annalect , and Vineeth Ram, Chief Revenue Officer for OLI Systems.
Coyle focused on identifying the anonymous customer/fan and using data to track their behavior. He explained how fans wants camaraderie, consistency, recognition, and access to sports and their team. He talked about how to engage fans who approach athletics with a lot of passion through digital marketing.
Darilmaz spoke about digital billboard marketing and using geolocation data to support marketing content for the audience. She also discussed the difficulties with digital advertising against the privacy vs. personalization trade-off.
Ram discussed his experience in Business-to-Business (B2B) eCommerce, working with artificial intelligence technologies, and collaborating with digital publication companies, to grow OLI’s social media presence. He added that comparative metrics on digital media is what governs strategy.
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