News | Mays Impacts - Part 48

Mays Business School Marketing Professor Leonard Berry co-wrote an article for Harvard Business Review on improving customer service in high-emotion customer experiences like cancer care. In “When the Customer is Stressed,” Berry and his colleagues identify reasons why certain services provoke high emotions. They also provide guidelines for ways organizations can design these services to better anticipate and respond to customers’ emotional needs.

The article is available online at and in the October 2015 print issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Berry conducted the research for the article with Scott W. Davis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Jones

Graduate School of Business at Rice University who studied at Mays; and Jody Wilmet, the vice president for oncology, diagnostics and hospital physicians at Bellin Health Systems in Green Bay, Wisc.

The team chose to focus on cancer care in part because Berry is conducting an ongoing study of how to improve the service journey that adult cancer patients and their families take from diagnosis through treatment, recovery and in some cases end-of-life care. So far, the research has involved interviews with more than 350 cancer patients, family members, oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, nonclinical staffers, and leaders of health care organizations, primarily at 10 highly reputed cancer centers in nine U.S. states.

Berry is a Senior Fellow with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. He is Distinguished Professor of Marketing and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He is the founder of Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies and served as its director from 1982 through June 2000. He is a former national president of the American Marketing Association. He has written the books Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic, Discovering the Soul of Service, On Great Service, Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality and Delivering Quality Service.



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

Wesley Rondinelli, MBA Class of 2017, (second from left) and his team received the second-place prize in the inaugural PepsiCo MBA Invitational Case Competition, held at TCU on Sept. 20. His teammates, randomly assigned, hailed from Duke, TCU and UT-Dallas.

Participating MBA programs were Wharton, Duke, Maryland, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Rice, UT, UT-Dallas, TCU, University of Houston and SMU. It was only open to first-year full-time MBA students.

Also representing Mays were Alex Bardeguez and Rongchao Lu.

2nd Place Team

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

Faculty members who are helping develop leaders of tomorrow with new skills in entrepreneurial thinking and creativity were recognized at the Sept. 19 Aggie football game. Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones and special guest David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna (right) were joined by professors Carol Lafayette and Charles Samuelson.Jones and Cordani on Kyle Field

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

Henry and Judith order rings_alt1Henry Musoma often quotes one of his favorite sayings: “Your network is your net worth.” Recent events indicate the Mays Business School lecturer is a very rich man.

On Nov. 20, a group from Musoma’s network will give him an Aggie Ring, a coveted symbol of the Aggie Network that dates back more than 100 years. Students must earn 90 hours and a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to order a ring. Aggie Ring Day is one of the most anticipated milestones in an Aggie student’s career – and as Musoma will attest, in a former student’s career, too.

Musoma lost his ring several years ago and hasn’t replaced it. But anyone who knows him knows he is an Aggie through and through, personifying the core values of the institution: Excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.

Musoma spoke in mid-August to Grad Camp, an orientation for graduate and professional students, about one of his favorite topics: networking. Last week, event director and AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Kevin Andrews said Musoma made such an impact on him and on those present, he felt compelled to rally the students in his agriculture class, ALED 441, to raise funds to buy Musoma a replacement ring.

“He is well-liked and respected across campus, and I knew a lot of people would come together with small gifts to make a big difference,” Andrews said. Besides, the project was a lesson for his students to learn “you don’t need one person doing all the work, but rather a lot of people each doing their small part,” he said.

The ring is a small token of appreciation for all Musoma  has done since he arrived on campus from Africa years ago, Andrews said. “If you were to take all of the hours Dr. Musoma has spent on evenings and weekends speaking to student groups, inviting students into his home or mentoring young Aggies, and multiplied that by even minimum wages, he has invested enough into Texas A&M to have paid for a replacement Aggie Ring,” Andrews explained. “Even though he could afford his own replacement ring, Aggies take care of Aggies. He has given all of us something far more valuable than money – he has given us his time.”

The day Andrews came to Musoma’s office to tell him about the ring, Musoma was hosting a team from Phillips 66 who were visiting Mays. They were filming a video about a trip Musoma and Mays recruiter Corey Stone took with 14 students to Africa last summer. This was the second year that Phillips 66 sponsored the trip, and a team from Africa visited Mays last summer in return.

Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, was nearby when Andrews delivered the news to Musoma. “The look on Dr. Musoma’s face – the sheer shock and pride and appreciation – just really touched me. It was very special, and it made me want to go get my ring.” Vincent graduated 30 years ago and never ordered her ring.

The pair immediately drove to the Association of Former Students to order her ring on the final day for a Nov. 20 delivery. Vincent said, “Every time I look at my ring, I will have so much pride because it will remind me of Dr. Musoma and the impact he has had.”  Nov. 20 will be a big day for Musoma and Vincent. That’s when they plan to pick up their rings, then go dunk them – an Aggie tradition. Most people drop their ring into a full pitcher of beer, then drink it to retrieve the ring. Musoma and Vincent are still working on details of their big day.

“I am taking a vacation day and coming to College Station,” Vincent said. “I wouldn’t miss it, and I wouldn’t miss being there when Dr. Musoma gets his ring. It’s going to be a very special day.”

Andrews said he is hopeful the group’s project reaches beyond Musoma. “Already, we have the funds to purchase an additional female Aggie Ring in his name, and we will continue to give as many scholarships in his name as possible,” he said. “I see no more fitting tribute for such a selfless servant than to keep this gift going for those who deserve it.”


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: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

Mays Business School’s Full-Time MBA program ranked in the top 10 among U.S. public programs at 9th among U.S. public and 24th overall in the 2015 Forbes “Best Business Schools” ranking. This reflects an increase of six positions in the overall rankings and five positions in the U.S. public universities from the last ranking in 2013.

The Forbes ranking reflects return on investment – the salary alumni earn over five years as compared to the cost of the MBA program. The results are based on a comparison of alumni earnings in their first five years out of business school to their opportunity cost. To learn more about the ranking and methodology, visit

The Mays program is considered a leader in academics and in return on investment. In addition, Forbes ranks Texas A&M’s Mays Business School as 1st in all U.S. schools in years to payback – at 3.3 years. The accelerated pace of the 16-month Full-Time MBA program and Mays’ commitment to providing competitive scholarships result in a high-caliber MBA education at an affordable cost.

“This is a confirmation of the commitment to excellence by our MBA faculty, staff and students,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “The lessons learned at Mays are priceless, and the specific skills are organic to each class. Through a portfolio of personalized and high-impact educational experiences, our students learn to become more than business people, they learn to become leaders.”

Jones added: “I know the impact the program makes on lives. The Mays MBA Program certainly transformed my life.”

The 2015 employment rate of program graduates is strong at 94 percent placement within 90 days of graduation. Financial Times also ranked Texas A&M’s Full-Time MBA program as “Best Value for the Money” in the U.S. in its 2015 ranking.


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, Programs, Texas A&M


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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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






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

Fifteen business freshmen from around Texas traveled abroad on their summer break, and each one says he came home changed.

Accompanying the Regents’ Scholars (first-generation college students) were Mays Lecturer Henry Musoma and Recruiter Corey Stone, as well as Courtney Meadows, senior advisor for university relations at Phillips 66 – the corporation that sponsored the trip.

The tour began with an overnight stay in Dubai, then took the group through Capetown, Cape of Good Hope and Stellenbosch, South Africa; Lusaka, Kitwe, Luanshya and Livingstone, Zambia; and Chobe National Park, Botswana. They toured companies such as Investec, Copperbelt Energy Corporation and PWC.

The trip broadened the horizons – literally – for many of the students. About one-third had not flown before. For 10 students it was their first time outside North America, and for 11 students, it was their first trip outside the Western Hemisphere. Four had gone on the Paris Trip with the Century Scholars, a handful have traveled to Mexico to see family. One student was born in Vietnam, another in Colombia.

Susan Blanco called the trip “a journey to more possibilities.” She considers their visit to Zambia the highlight of the trip, especially a day in Luanshya, when the group hosted a field day for the children in the nearby community. With money donated by Texas A&M faculty, staff and former students, two moonwalks and a water slide were rented, and Blanco said it was clear the gift was a luxury for the children, who ran to the Aggies with open arms and smiles.

She wrote in a reflection, “As we traveled from city to city I saw the great desire for prosperity that Africans possessed. There were women with babies on their backs desperate to sell us goods for little to no cost. I witnessed an endless amount of children, with such determination and hunger for an education, walking barefoot just to get to school. This experience was truly a blessing in my life, it served as a reminder of how lucky I am to be where I am.”

She said the experience motivated her to better herself and give to others. “Seeing the Zambian students so eager to come and receive an education motivated me to be someone who can facilitate that for them and return the hospitality.”

She wrote of the intense heat in Dubai and the beauty of Cape Town, South Africa. “Unfortunately, Americans have this misconception of Africa. They expect to find rural lands full of tribes living in poverty, and that is definitely not the case with Cape Town,” she explained. “Cape Town is growing and fully industrialized.”20523277515_eeb3a39401_k

The group visited Robben Island and saw the very cell in which Nelson Mandela was held prisoner. Many of the students were shocked to discover that former prisoners were now employed as tour guides within the very walls that one day held them prisoner.

“Our tour guide spoke about his past experience with such serenity that I was truly moved,” Blanco recalled. “It amazed me how I saw no resentment for the injustice he went through. It was amazing to see how someone could be treated so poorly and not have any hate in their heart. It seemed as if forgiveness truly set him free.”

The group also visited the hospital in South Africa in which the first successful heart transplant was performed. “The story the led up to the transplant was a bit bittersweet, a man after losing his wife and daughter simultaneously had the grace to give the consent so his daughter’s heart could be used to save a dying man’s life,” Blanco said.

Another student on the trip, sophomore accounting major Sayra Torres, said the trip changed her perception of Africa. “Most people think of poverty, diseases, and dirtiness when we think of Africa. However, I was proven very wrong, and I would like to get the correct picture across,” she said. “What I saw when visiting was development, desire to be better, strong willing people, and an amazing culture. They’re just like us, ambitious and wanting more for themselves.”

Torres called the trip “very enriching,” and said it opened her mind to many more things in life. “It made me believe that I can do anything in life. It gave me the motivation to do more than just the limit,” she wrote. “The experience of living and studying in another country was so eye-opening, it tested preconceptions and habits I wasn’t even aware were so ingrained in me. I also learned that we have to be able to adapt and be very flexible. Not every country is like America, which is why we shouldn’t expect them to be that way. This trip definitely changed my life for the better, I returned a different person with bigger goals, more knowledge, and tools to be a better global leader.

Torres advises students to pursue at least one study-abroad trip while in school. “If you believe you can’t, you CAN! Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because you can. Your only limitation is how far and wide you dream,” she said. “Don’t let your dream die before you even wake up.”

20523307035_cf01523c1c_kABOUT 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: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

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.


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


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.



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 or call 979.845.0325


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.


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.


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