News | Mays Impacts - Part 48

Blue Bell did three things right as a business of integrity.

To bedrhoustonheadshotgin with, I quote what one of my best friends recently posted to Facebook: “When it is back on the shelves, I’m going to eat my body weight in Blue Bell!” I start with that reaction because it is indicative of the deep passion for Blue Bell that is playing a big part in their ability to recover from a disaster on a scale that would have destroyed many businesses. Even with such strong brand devotion (“Blue Bell is part of my family”), a company facing a recall that involves consumer harm has a very short period of time to make some key decisions – and they have to get them right.

First, with the speed with which information spreads today – and consumers who increasingly value authenticity – a firm cannot appear as if they are trying to hide anything. Research on many product recalls suggests that you have to acknowledge the scale of the problem, accept responsibility and declare the specific actions you will take to make it right for those harmed and to make sure that the problem does not reoccur. Blue Bell was, for the most part, very transparent – they communicated through traditional advertising channels, but also worked with retail partners to post signs on the ice cream shelves that explained, apologized sincerely, and announced steps to continue to investigate the sources and to fix the problem.

Second, as the full scale of the problem becomes clear, it becomes critical to make sure that the response adapts and is big enough to matter. In my recollection, there were a few waves in which it became clearer that the problem was not isolated to just a small niche of product lines or one machine in one plant. Although there was some negative reaction among consumers and business writers as the problem seemed to continue to grow for a period, I thought Blue Bell reacted with a level of candor that is pretty rare. But it was interesting to me that the majority customer opinion seemed to be one of “hoping an old friend would quickly get well” instead of wondering what else the firm might be hiding. This only happens if customers are devoted to the brand (beyond simple positive feelings) and if they have a high level of trust in the integrity of the firm and its management. Researchers refer to these factors as a firm having high “social capital.” Blue Bell will still have to get the “re-launch” right, as I’m guessing there will be some supply shortages—they will have the chance to hit the right tone of expressing appreciation to customers while re-emphasizing their commitment to product safety and quality.

Finally, I think financial partners and channel partners recognized that Blue Bell’s social capital would, more likely than not, result in customers welcoming Blue Bell back rather than being afraid to resume using the product. So these partners, who faced tough decisions of their own, appear to have recognized the value in remaining committed to Blue Bell and helping the beloved brand regain their footing in the marketplace.

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Mark B. Houston is department head and professor of marketing at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, as well as the inaugural Blue Bell Creameries Chair in Business.

He can be reached at mhouston@mays.tamu.edu

 

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

The Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School will host its 30th Retailing Summit conference Oct. 8-9, featuring Bluemercury co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Barry Beck.

Barry-Beck-for-Retailing-Summit

 

The two-day conference at the Westin Galleria in Dallas aims to join more than 300 executives as they deep dive into macro-industry trends, disrupting retail models and discussions on future predictions about “big-picture” retailing concepts.

Bluemercury, recently acquired by Macy’s for $210 million dollars, is a high-growth luxury beauty and cosmetics chain. The partnership provides the company access to omnichannel technology, supply chain and retail operations to continue its expansion efforts next to Macy’s national operation network of over 850 department stores.

“This year’s Retailing Summit theme of ‘Redefining: Retail’ is particularly exciting to me given the recent acquisition of Bluemercury and the innovative vision we have for the future,” Beck said. “I’m looking forward to sharing key insights from this rapid growth period and learning from some of the Industry’s leading executives.”

Beck has appeared as a speaker for the Showcase on Great Consumer Brands at NASDAQ, the Future of Bricks-and-Mortar Retail at the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Mobile Payment and Omnichannel Retailing at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and has spoken on the subject of entrepreneurship and innovation at Cornell University and Columbia University’s Lang Center for Entrepreneurship’s Distinguished Speaker Series.

Making their way to Texas, the company has “plans to expand our footprint throughout [the state], including Southlake Village in September and in the near future at one of the first Macy’s stop-in-shops at Memorial City in Houston, with additional free-standing heritage stores following in 2016 and beyond.”

As well, the Retailing Summit will welcome JCPenney’s Marvin Ellison, one of the most-watched retail CEO’s across the country.

Texas A&M University former student Chris Valletta ’01, a contestant on The Apprentice, also joins the group as the co-founder of Mission Athletecare. Its distribution expanded nationwide within the first year to more than 5,000 locations, including Dick’s Sporting Goods, The Sports Authority, Hibett Sports, Brookstone, HSN, Lowe’s Home Improvement and Kroger.

“As a university-hosted event, the Retailing Summit is about genuine sharing knowledge, not sales pitches. The conference gathers retail leaders who are willing to discuss best practices (or lessons learned from failures) that improve business,” said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies. “Attendees will hear stories from the trenches of retail about improving the customer experience, elevating the role of the store, rewarding loyalty and leveraging technology to drive sales.”

Joining Beck, Ellison and Valletta are Gautam Gupta, CEO of NatureBox; Erik Medina, Vice President, Head of U.S. TRU Youth Monitor at The Futures Company; Sarah Quinlan, SVP and Head of Market Insights at MasterCard; Bryan McCormick, Vice President of Human Resources at PetSmart; Jeff Donaldson, SVP of GameStop Technology Institute at GameStop; Steve Brill, SVP of Corporate Communications at UPS; Scott Emmons, Enterprise Architect and Innovation Lab Manager at Neiman Marcus; Karyn Maynard, Recruiting Director at The Container Store; Michelle Bogan, Partner at Kurt Salmon; Craig Ceccanti, CEO and Co-Founder of Pinots Palette; and, Karla Waddleton, Division Vice President at ALDI.

BDO, Reflect Systems, Salesforce, Brierley + Partners, Kurt Salmon and PetSmart will serve as corporate sponsors of this year’s event.

Funds raised by the annual conference support retail curriculum and scholarships for students pursuing retail studies at Mays Business School by educating the next generation of retail leaders and providing executive education to the industry.

For more information or to register, visit retailingsummit.org or call 979.845.0325

ABOUT THE CENTER FOR RETAILING STUDIES

The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) was created in 1983 to meet the demand for highly-educated innovators in the fast-paced world of retail. Since its founding, the Center has become a renowned source of industry knowledge and a pipeline for developing leaders in the retail sector. We work in collaboration with the Mays Business School to provide an excellent repertoire of coursework, internship and leadership opportunities for professionals interested in all facets of the retail experience.

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: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Mays Communications Specialist Courtney Bosquez has been selected to join Cinemark’s new Chairman’s Advisory Committee. The newly created committee will help provide innovative input and feedback to Cinemark’s management team.

Bosquez has beeCourtney Bosquezn with the Center for Retailing Studies since May 2014. There, she promotes the center across Texas A&M University and to a national audience of retailers through visual, print, e-mail and social communications. She is also responsible for all of the design and marketing efforts for the annual Retailing Summit in Dallas along with providing communications support for the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association.

She was selected for the Chairman’s Advisory Committee through a competitive application and interview process. The committee members, who are not employed by Cinemark, will represent the 10 best and brightest young leaders in the DFW area and beyond.

Cinemark founder and chairman Lee Roy Mitchell created the committee with a vision that, “the program will be mutually beneficial to both Cinemark and our committee members.”

Committee members will serve two-year terms and meet five times a year, to work alongside Mitchell and other members of Cinemark’s management. “The committee members will have the opportunity to work with me and learn how to conduct business in today’s corporate environment in an honest and ethical manner,” Mitchell stated in a news release.

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 honors, 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: Departments, Mays Business, News, Staff, 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 Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) welcomes Charles “Chuck” Hinton Jr. as the new director for I-Corps Programming. He will be responsible for promotion of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program, a set of entrepreneurial activities that prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory, and broaden the impact of select NSF-funded basic research projects.

Chuck Hinton 2015I-Corps is a public-private partnership program that solicits three-member teams – composed of an academic researcher, a student entrepreneur and an industry mentor – to participate in an intensive seven-week program to determine commercialization opportunities for their innovations. Selected I-Corps Teams are eligible for up to $50,000 in NSF grant funding to support their efforts in the combined on-site and online curriculum, which is based on the Lean Launch Methodology for business model validation.

Hinton will lead the CNVE’s efforts as part of the Southwest I-Corps Node (http://swicorps.org), one of seven national partnerships of universities funded by NSF to support I-Corps expansion. Texas A&M University, along with UT-Austin, Rice University and Texas Tech University, share responsibilities for promotion of this high-impact program and recruitment of I-Corps Team applicants. To date, I-Corps has trained more than 500 teams nationwide, many of which have efficiently determined a pathway through which to commercialize their NSF-funded innovations.

“Chuck’s efforts for the CNVE will focus first on recruitment and preparation of Texas A&M teams for enrollment in this elite program,” said Blake Petty, CNVE director and a National I-Corps faculty member. “He’ll then be responsible for expanding I-Corps participation throughout the Texas A&M System, around the state, and ultimately, across the southwestern U.S.”

Hinton received two degrees from Texas A&M: a bachelor’s degree in business in 1976 and an MBA in 1978. After a successful career in natural gas exploration/drilling/production, Hinton more recently became familiar to CNVE as a volunteer mentor working with entrepreneurial students at Startup Aggieland, the Texas A&M campus’ student business accelerator. While leading efforts to recruit and train mentors for their student programs, Hinton developed a deep understanding and appreciation for Startup Aggieland’s Lean Launch Methodology – which shares the same principals applied in I-Corps training.

“We’re very fortunate to add someone of Chuck’s caliber to the CNVE team,” Petty said. “His expertise and enthusiasm for I-Corps will be infectious to everyone he engages.”

Academic researchers and students interested in learning more about I-Corps and non-academic leaders wanting to serve as industry mentors to an I-Corps Team are encouraged to contact Hinton at chinton@mays.tamu.edu.

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,000 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: Centers, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

 Knocki - Ohad

 

A Mays Business School MBA graduate, mentored six years ago as a student, is working this summer on an invention called Knocki. The portable device had not yet been “born” when Ohad Nezer ’08 was featured in a prophetic blog post, titled “Opportunity Knocks,” published in 2009 on the Mays website. (http://maysbusiness.tamu.edu/index.php/opportunity-knocks-during-economic-crisis/)

Knocki can be attached or embedded into any hard surface, making the surface interactive. The battery-operated device can also be hard-wired to an electrical system and embedded behind a wall, eliminating unattractive light switches. The interactive area is large, so when the device is placed on the underside of a table, the entire table becomes interactive regardless of size. Possible uses for Knocki include turning off all the lights in a home by knocking on a night stand and sending a text message to a user at work if someone knocks on his home’s front door.

Nezer and cofounder Jake Boshernitzan are building a prototype of their startup’s product at Seed Sumo in Texas A&M’s BioCorridor. Seed Sumo is a for-profit business accelerator that helps launch investable early-stage ventures in 90 days. It opened last summer, and this summer is hosting seven companies.

Nezer, a former public relations officer in the Israeli Army and co-owner of Swan Solutions, founded his first startup as a student in an entrepreneurship course taught by Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays. Lester is also a clinical professor in the Department of Management at Mays and one of several cofounders of Startup Aggieland at Research Park.

“I do not always remember past students, particularly from years back, but I specifically remember Ohad and his teammate from SeatKarma as they worked on that project during my class six years ago,” Lester said. “It was evident that Ohad had a great career as an entrepreneur, and I am extremely pleased to see his venture is going well.”

Knocki was one of 1,200-plus ventures that applied for seven spots at Seed Sumo, guaranteeing a $50,000 minimum investment.

Knocki – Make Any Surface Smart from Model2Web, LLC on Vimeo.

The company’s other invention is Sleepra, a patent-pending device that enables users to control smart homes from their mobile device while in bed. The project was temporarily shelved after Seed Sumo accepted the innovative duo, which opted to launch the more portable version Knocki.

Boshernitzan, co-owner of Swan Solutions and co-inventor of Knocki, is a serial entrepreneur who founded Ridester, the first online ridesharing marketplace, in 2006. Ridester foreshadowed the more popular Uber, but still received accolades in Time Magazine, Austin Business Journal and other media outlets. It was one of the first five startups flown to San Francisco for Facebook’s first app pitches.

“Working with Ohad is exciting,” Boshernitzan said. “He definitely sees things on a unique wavelength that brings creativity, innovation and fun to our venture.”

Nezer’s history with Lester dates back to when Nezer was an MBA student. He helped found SeatKarma with fellow MBA student Chris Nicolaysen for $30,000 in seed capital. The two developed SeatKarma during study breaks at Ag Cafe on West Campus and in Lester’s class.

“Dr. Lester was very influential in helping us sort through the early struggles with SeatKarma,” Nezer recalled. “We welcome his experience and advice working on Knocki.”

SeatKarma was an event search engine that scoured ticket resellers to find the best second-hand market prices for athletic, theater and music events at more than 1,600 venues nationwide. Though it was founded during a shaky economy, SeatKarma received a boost from positive reviews by TechCrunch and LifeHacker and a 2009 feature in TechCrunch.

Nezer said he and Ohad enjoyed returning to College Station to work on their current venture. “It feels like going full circle,” he said. “Getting reconnected with Mays professors has been very useful. We are fortunate to be so close to such a great pool of business minds.”

 This summer, the cofounders meet at least once weekly with their mentor, Startup Aggieland Marketing Coordinator Shelly Brenckman, during the team’s “Deep Dive” roundtables at Seed Sumo. Those meetings are also attended by Seed Sumo Managing Director Bryan Bulte, Seed Sumo associate Steve Tinkle and other Seed Sumo personnel.

“We didn’t accept Ohad and Jake into Seed Sumo because of their idea,” explained Bulte. “We accepted them because they are extremely talented entrepreneurs. They understand ‘lean’ and can maneuver a business model.”

Mays professor Don Lewis, a Startup Aggieland cofounder and its manager, works with Brenckman to recruit mentors and help about 120 student startups annually. They have facilitated nearly $3 million in equity funding for students.

Brenckman said the Seed Sumo alliance contributes to the area’s reputation as a fertile climate for investors. She said the startup culture embraces entrepreneurs as “family.”

“Ohad and Jake are great to work with and exemplify all that is fun and rewarding about mentoring startups,” Brenckman said.

ABOUT STARTUP AGGIELAND

Startup Aggieland is an award-winning business accelerator for student startups launching from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Opened January 2013 with one full-time employee and one part-time manager, Startup Aggieland was named among the top three U.S. programs for student entrepreneurs by C-E-O in 2014.

Startup Aggieland is sponsored by the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School; Dwight Look College of Engineering; College of Architecture, Office of the Vice President of Research; and the RVP.

 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: Centers, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Skeet teamFinance major Vidal A. Cantu Jr. describes himself as a “competition junkie.” After aiding the Texas A&M University Trap and Skeet team in winning the National Championship title for the first time since 1982 as a sophomore, he shows no signs of slowing. “My decision to come to Texas A&M was driven by the camaraderie that I see with the Aggie family, the Aggie spirit, its rich traditions and the opportunities and quality education that is provided here at Mays,” said the 19-year-old.

Cantu has an internship at LPL Financial office in his hometown of Laredo, Texas. He is a member of the Texas A&M branch of the Texas Dove Hunters Association, plays intramural softball and plans to apply this fall for the Traditions and Business Student Councils. He also plans to study abroad in Stuttgart, Germany in the summer of 2016.

He credits Mays Business School, the Trap and Skeet team and both of his grandfathers who started their own businesses from the ground up with keeping his competitive spirit alive – not just as a marksman but also in other aspects of his life.

“I thoroughly enjoy rivalry and competition, and I have always wanted to do something on my own and have this same sense of pride that comes with owning a business,” he said. “I know that Mays is going to help me achieve this success.”

After his graduation in 2018, he plans to further pursue his education and earn an MBA at Texas A&M.

“I truly fell in love with the school,” Cantu said. “I hope to learn more about the field of finance and become a skilled investor and entrepreneur.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOLCantu family

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: Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

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