Uncategorized | Mays Impacts - Part 9

Welcome Dean Eli Jones back to Mays, get to know new management Department Head Wendy Boswell and catch up on the latest at Mays Business School in the new @Mays Magazine. It is available online, and soon will be in magazine racks throughout the Wehner Building.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Texas A&M University students presented their original solutions for judges to some of the world’s most pressing social and economic challenges in early November, when Mays Business School hosted its first Sustainable Solutions to Social Problems Case Competition.

Team_PicShannon Deer, senior lecturer in the Department of Accounting, who was coordinator for the competition, called the first year a success.

“Our teams demonstrated an aptitude for critical thinking skills and problem-solving applied to some of the world’s biggest challenges, such as waste, hunger, malnutrition, inhibited food distribution, childhood poverty, inaccessibility to electricity, the refugee crisis, unfair labor practices and unproductive agriculture practices,” she said.


The competition was the culmination of the newest Applied Business competencies course Business Solutions to Social Problems (BUSN 302). In this discussion-oriented course, students explored social problems of their choice and developed appropriate sustainable solutions.

Each team comprised students from different disciplines from around Texas A&M, including at least one student from Mays. The students spent the semester preparing presentations for a panel of judges that included Kyle Gammenthaler of Mays, and Chris Field and Gretchen Nickson of Mercy Project, a non-profit organization.  

First place was awarded to Team Entomon, which included Mays marketing major Garrett Hayslip ’17, Landry Tucker ’16 of Allied Health and Sloane Ansell ’16, a bioenvironmental sciences major. The team won $5,000 to fund their solution, “Entomon,” a stackable insect farm made from a 55-gallon food barrel.

The purpose of Entomon is to feed people and their livestock,” said Hayslip, who managed the team’s digital media. He and his team members hope to help people around the world efficiently and inexpensively raise insects, especially where insects are an integral part of the local diets – which encompasses 116 countries.

He explained the reason the team chose the 55-gallon food-grade barrel: You can find them ubiquitously throughout the world; they’re cheap (some companies even donate their surplus); they are tough and practically weather-proof; and last but definitely not least, they make for a great stackable insect farm.”

Since the case competition concluded, Team Entomon has been working to improve their product and eventually put it in the hands of people that need it most. “Right now, we are using our friends as beta users to uncover potential problems that others may face.”  He added, “Yes, that’s right, other Texas A&M students are farming bugs, too.”

The runner-up team was Tengo, which included finance major Philip Wang ’16, economics major Rosalyn Kamp ’16, computer science major Kaveet Laxmidas ’18 and Allen McDonald ’15, who is studying public administration at the The Bush School of Government and Public Service. Tengo is a texting service for Costa Rican farmers that directly connects buyers and sellers at market prices, avoiding the exploitation common among distributors there.

Other presentations included a solar light for areas lacking electricity; a mobile phone app to allow consumers to search products for an ethical supply chain before purchase; improved recycling on West Campus; wider distribution of fresh produce across A&M campus; an app to improve childhood literacy in America; and methods to increase agricultural productivity in Costa Rica through the distribution of coffee and use of innovative greenhouse technology to control rainfall.

“The case competition was incredibly inspiring, and I am so proud of what our students are doing,” Deer said.

Several teams plan to pilot their solutions internationally this winter or summer in several countries, including Costa Rica and Uganda.

 

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

In July 2015, Dean Eli Jones named Wendy R. Boswell as the head of the Department of Management, succeeding Ricky Griffin who served from 2011 to 2014, and Duane Ireland, who was interim department head for a year after Griffin became interim dean. Boswell is a powerhouse among researchers, particularly in the field of human resource management. Her scholarship that is concerned with employee attraction and retention, job search behavior and the work/non-work interface has appeared in various scholarly and practitioner journals.

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Boswell was recruited to Texas A&M University in 2000 as an assistant professor at Mays Business School after she earned her Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She was an assistant professor until being promoted in 2005 to associate professor and appointed as director of the Center for Human Resource Management. She has held the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in Business at Mays since 2013.

She serves on the editorial boards for several academic publications and is an associate editor for Personnel Psychology. She also served as the 2012-13 Chair of the HR Division of the Academy of Management and is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the American Psychological Association.

Boswell said that her willingness to accept different roles in the management department over time (such as her service as Director of the CHRM Center and as the department’s Doctoral Program Coordinator) yielded valuable opportunities for her to learn about the challenges associated with leading what is an eclectic management department. These experiences, coupled with her strong commitment to observe others in various leadership roles, have served as an excellent foundation for her work as head of the management department.

Her former department head, Murray Barrick, shared accolades about Boswell. “Every day is a fun day with Wendy Boswell. She is smart, persistent, loyal, and as just noted, enjoys having fun,” he said. “She has impressed me with her thoughtful approach to capitalizing on someone’s strengths to re-organize work and by doing so has ensured that her faculty and staff experience even more success and embrace the opportunity to showcase their talents. I expect Wendy will have a long and successful career as a leader of the department.”

Boswell’s goals for the management department include those of preparing for faculty retirements that are imminent and working with others to further enhance key high impact programs within the department involving entrepreneurship and human resource management as well as help shape innovative programs within Mays such as the new Master of Science in Business degree and customized executive programs for the Center for Executive Development.

Based on her field of study, Boswell is committed to leading employees in ways that capitalize on their strengths. She aims to foster inclusion within the department between the varying groups non-tenure track faculty, the tenured and nontenured professors, staff and the center directors. “Just a few months ago, I may not have understood why some things were done the way they were,” she said. “Now, I may have a new perspective but I also bring insight from being a faculty member here in Mays for a while and from serving in different roles within the department. With this perspective, there are a few things I can do. For instance, our intradepartmental communication can be improved and we can better capitalize on the unique strengths individuals bring to the department and school.”

John Boudreau, who was Boswell’s dissertation chair when she was a Ph.D. student at Cornell University, said she was patient and gifted when working as a research assistant through several rounds of writing and editing research articles.

He described her as “remarkably modest. “On one paper, I gave her a conceptual outline of something I thought might be interesting. In her customary way she did a very thorough job producing quite a nice first draft,” he recalled. “When I noted how much work she had done, she simply said, ‘It was all in your outline, I just filled it in.’” 

At Mays, the department head must also be a full professor. Boswell teaches courses on human resource management at the undergraduate, graduate (master’s and doctoral) and executive levels, and was the recipient of the Center for Teaching Excellence Montague Scholar Award (2004) and the Dr. Ricky W. Griffin Research Award (2012).

Being a department head is like a double or triple dose of responsibility, because you’ve got commitments to your class and research program but also a whole lot of administrative tasks including plenty of meetings,” she said. “You have formal responsibilities, but you also have ‘fires’ – all these peripheral things to deal with when things pop up. You cannot schedule for those things and I have learned that each day cannot be planned. If I get one thing done on my ‘to-do’ list, I feel like that’s pretty good.

Another of Boswell’s challenges will be continuing to balance her job with her role as wife and mom of two children. Even though she has done extensive research on work-nonwork conflict and had a study on the pros and cons of constant connection to work published recently in Academy of Management Journal, Boswell says the delineation doesn’t come easily to her. “I think you can have it all, it just depends on how you define ‘all.’ I’ll just have to keep shifting to meet the demands before me.”

“Even though it wasn’t strategized, I could see this new role coming,” she said, referring to preparation by her predecessors Ricky Griffin, Duane Ireland, and Murray Barrick and a key mentor Don Hellriegel. “I knew my colleagues believed in me and had faith in my ability to lead.”

Boswell added: I’m truly happy to be here, that’s why I’ve been here my entire academic career, and I’m excited about the future and our leadership.

BOSWELL’S ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2015 – Head of the Department of Management, Mays Business School

2013 Holder of the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in Business

2012-2013 Rebecca U. ’74 & William S. Nichols III ’74 Professor of Management, Mays Business School

2005-2011 Director, Center for Human Resource Management (CHRM), Mays Business School

20052012 Associate Professor of Management, Mays Business School

20002005 Assistant Professor of Management, Mays Business School

EDUCATION

Cornell University, Ph.D., May 2000, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Major: Human Resource Studies, Minors: Management, Statistics

Cornell University, M.S., May 1997, School of Industrial and Labor Relations

California State University, Fresno, B.S., December 1994, Craig School of Business, Major: Human Resource Management, Graduated Magna Cum Laude

 

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

IMG_5305Sixth-graders from Bryan ISD’s Odyssey Academy visited Mays Business School for the second day of the Freshman Business Initiative’s project presentations.
Henry Musoma’s FBI students presented posters in the Wehner atrium that depicted their semester-long research on how certain global issues relate to business. Richard Johnson’s students presented posters the previous day.
The students worked in teams to research a specific global issue and find ways that a specific major of business – finance, marketing, supply chain, etc. – might address the issue. The presentations ranged from Health and Healthcare in South Africa to Coronary Heart Disease in Panama to Transportation in Brazil.
“I didn’t realize that many countries had so much problems,” said sixth-grader Reagan Barker, who was one of dozens of students from the STEM magnet program at Stephen F. Austin Middle School.
Musoma arranged the visit as an outreach to the community, to enhance the younger students’ understanding of global issues and business and empower them to reach their fullest potential and set college as a viable goal.
Musoma“You can see everything click in their heads,” said Mays freshman Reagan Brown, who partnered with freshman Carmen Guzman to present “The Poverty Problem” about poverty in Canada. “It’s really interesting to see how much they understand about the topic,” Brown said.
Guzman added: “It’s amazing to come here and work with these kids. They even taught me some things.”

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

Startup Aggieland, the business incubator launched as an initiative of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship for Texas A&M University student entrepreneurs, has added a new partner to its roster: The College of Liberal Arts.

Startup Aggieland partnersStartup Aggieland is a cross-college collaboration with Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE); Texas A&M University’s Office of the Vice President in the Division of Research; the Dwight Look College of Engineering and Computer Science; and the College of Architecture. It started in January 2013 to provide qualified students of all majors with a peer-led startup community that helps students leverage public and private resources while launching early-stage ventures.

Startup Aggieland is administered by an advisory board that includes representatives from the Colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Mays. Now a Liberal Arts representative will be added. The partner entities also fund the program financially.

Pamela R. Matthews, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said she is looking forward to her college having closer ties to Mays. “We are excited about the potential for new collaborations that will benefit our students and faculty,” she said. “We’re also excited about helping liberal arts students benefit from the CNVE/entrepreneurship initiatives that Startup Aggieland offers.”

The liberal arts contribution to the program extends into the classroom, as well, Matthews explained. A new faculty member – Patricia Thornton – will teach sociology and have an adjunct appointment in management. “She is a leader in entrepreneurship, and she will collaborate with others to develop curricular and co-curricular opportunities,” Matthews said. “This is an exciting time for our young entrepreneurs.”

Thornton previously was an adjunct professor and an affiliate of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, where she taught entrepreneurship and new venture management. She is also visiting associate professor and affiliated faculty to the Program on Organizations, Business, and the Economy in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University, where she taught the social science of entrepreneurship.

Richard Lester, executive director of the CNVE, said he is pleased to increase the reach of the program. “Our goal from the beginning has been to engage as many current students as we can, regardless of their majors,” he said. “A good business is a good business, no matter what discipline the student originates from. We’re just here to help them get it to the next level.”

Startup Aggieland is a student-designed business incubator and accelerator. Mentors and coaches help qualified student-owned startups leverage Texas A&M University resources and private support without relinquishing equity ownership in their companies.

CNVE also offers a student-managed seed fund that can be used to cover certain business startup costs with no obligation for students to repay the money.

Startup Aggieland is open to students pursuing any major at any level of study at Texas A&M University. Six entrepreneurship courses for university credit meet each week at the Startup Aggieland facility.

Students retain ownership of any intellectual property they develop at Startup Aggieland, and are provided access to legal assistance to help protect student IPs or register their trademarks.

Startup Aggieland provides students with free or at-cost services such as accounting assistance, graphic design services, marketing support, $24,000 in free Rackspace webhosting, furnished student office space and free parking, and access to snacks and refreshments on site. Students also have opportunities to attend free out-of-town trips to companies, entrepreneurship events and pitch competitions.

Startup Aggieland has headquarters in Research Park on the western edge of campus. It is supported by several corporate and institutional sponsors. Some students qualify for residence in a Startup Living Learning Community, which is co-sponsored by Mays and Texas A&M Department of Residence Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

The 2015 Retailing Summit celebrated its 30th year by focusing on innovation, the empowered customer and omnichannel retailing. The Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School hosted the Oct. 8-9 event at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Over two days, nearly 275 attendees explored how to make retail better through improved customer interactions, one-to-one marketing and store enhancements. Executives from JCPenney, Bluemercury, Mission Athletecare, The Futures Company, UPS, Pinot’s Palette, MasterCard Advisors and NatureBox headlined the conference, which also included two panels on technology innovation and retaining top talent.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT: PERFORMANCE IN ACTION

Former U.S. Navy Blue Angel pilot John Foley kicked off the Retailing Summit conference with the empowering “Glad To Be Here®” mantra. His enthusiasm radiated as he recalled stories from his precision flying days, where he was nicknamed “Gucci” by fellow pilots.

In order to achieve their peak performance, Foley advised attendees to:

  1. Examine their present situation
  2. Define where they would like to be
  3. Focus on the positives that can help guide them there

Former U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilot John Foley with Katie Burroughs, Haley Gooch and Lindsay La Rosa from the Master’s in Marketing program.

According to Foley, research confirms that when a person feels satisfaction with where they are, they become more grateful, positive and productive. Companies can also foster teamwork by channeling positive visualization techniques.

MEET THE CENTENNIALS: WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY WILL IMPACT RETAIL

Youth marketing to the millennial customer is officially over.

Erik Medina, vice president of The Futures Company, defined millennials as the age group of 19- to 34-year-olds. His research through the TRU Youth Monitor dubbed the up-and-coming generation of those between 12 and 18 years of age as “centennials.”

Compared to their predecessors, centennials are more focused on mobile versus the internet, have faced financial upheaval and want to take a stand for something by supporting companies associated with a cause.

Centennials are also more inclined to want to buy niche products. They are interested in the “maker movement,” alongside the rise of Etsy and customized product choices. They view the future with wariness and grasp that personal success is not a guarantee in life. They are less concerned with fitting in and they value individual uniqueness.

Medina praised GameStop as a retailer effectively serving the centennial customer with fun, tech-savvy and personalized shopping experiences.

 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AND THE IN-STORE TRANSFORMATION

Fittingly, the 2015 Retailing Summit featured the man behind GameStop’s store innovations: Jeff Donaldson, SVP of the GameStop Technology Institute. Donaldson led a panel discussion, which profiled companies that are revolutionizing their businesses through technology.

Moderated by Debbie Hauss, editor in chief of Retail TouchPoints, the panel also included Scott Emmons, enterprise architect for Neiman Marcus, and Michelle Bogan, partner at Kurt Salmon.

When defining what innovation meant to them, Emmons said building stronger customer relationships and Donaldson said innovation can either be a new idea or a reinvention of something old, by creating a novel approach. For example, a low-tech solution that customers embraced at Neiman Marcus included in-store charging stations, which encouraged customers to stay and shop longer.

Each also agreed that innovation directly correlates with growth.  “The pace of change internally must exceed the pace of change externally,” Donaldson said.

The panel also briefly touched on incubator communities like REVTECH in Dallas — places where mentors guide entrepreneurs who are looking to refine their startup business ideas.

Forecasting hot trends, Bogan highlighted the increase of “buy” buttons on social media. She also mentioned the rise of subscription box offerings, including Birchbox. Donaldson said GameStop will look to crowdsourcing as it develops new products.

PAINT. DRINK. HAVE FUN. FIGHTING “A FAD” WITH INNOVATION AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Combining the wine and DIY art industries, Craig Ceccanti, co-founder and CEO of Pinot’s Palette launched his entrepreneurial and franchise concept in 2009. With more than 150 locations in 33 states, Ceccanti credits integrating innovation into his business plan and company culture as key to his success.

Franchise owners are expected to introduce new sales promotions, painting designs, and process improvements by reviewing customer surveys, asking for direct feedback, and effectively using customer data to stay relevant. Because, as Ceccanti concluded, complacency and “becoming a fad [will] make you vigorously prepared to not become one.”

BEYOND OMNI-CHANNEL: HOW TO REACH THE SPENDING CONSUMER

Sarah Quinlan, VP of Market Insights at MasterCard Advisors, debunked several retail myths by analyzing economic data from 2015 credit card transactions.

According to Quinlan, increased competitiveness from small businesses who provide superior customer service and specialized product offerings has driven down retail sales at department stores and other mass merchants. With reduced gas prices, consumers have additional disposable income that they have opted to spend on travel, at restaurants and on durable goods instead of apparel or more “stuff.”

Although ecommerce companies like Amazon are forcing traditional, physical stores to expand their offerings online, online-only companies like Warby Parker and Rent the Runway are opening brick-and-mortar stores to more personally engage with shoppers.

The store is and will always be the emotional heart and financial core of retail.

REDEFINING FOOD RETAIL: CREATING A WORLD OF ON-DEMAND INNOVATION, PERSONALIZATION, AND ACCESS

The Retailing Summit also featured healthy snacking subscription provider NatureBox, led by one of Inc.’s “30 under 30,” co-founder and CEO Gautam Gupta. Providing customers an algorithm-curated assortment based on previous purchases, NatureBox has become a leader using the business model of monthly replenishment.

Eighty percent of the nearly 5,000 new products introduced every quarter fail.

By mining its extraordinary data warehouse of customer flavor preferences, ingredients, etc. NatureBox reduced the product development cycle from 12 months to 12 weeks and increased its percentage of successful product launches.

SIMPLICITY THROUGH SUCCESS

RetailingSummit2015-48Newly named JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison inspired the audience by detailing his career path at Target and Home Depot, and vision for JCPenney’s turnaround. JCPenney’s decline did not result from increased or new competition, a revolutionary technology or fewer customers, he said, but from a disaster in leadership.

To reverse the damage, Ellison pledged to attack differently. He started by plugging as many holes as possible and simplified the company’s strategic focus. Moving forward, each business decision will be evaluated on how it benefits JCPenney’s omnichannel strategy, growth of private brands and increase in revenue per customer.

JCPenney has turned the corner, and its future success hinges on a pledge for clarity of purpose and balance between the art and science of retail, he said

INNOVATION FOR THE SPECIALTY RETAIL CHANNEL

Newly acquired by Macy’s, Bluemercury—a friendly neighborhood store where customers can seek advice from “self-proclaimed beauty junkies who love people”—has high hopes of becoming the next “Starbucks of the makeup industry.”

Celebrating the mom-and-pop shopping experience, co-founder and chief operating officer Barry Beck described the company’s foundation as built on the three P’s: people, product and place.

Beck claims that Bluemercury’s people strategy is the chain’s secret weapon. By offering real career paths and higher wages, Bluemercury hires style consultants who have genuine client focus. Like “human Googlers,” they provide beauty solutions for customers, not just product recommendations.

The company, headquartered in Georgetown/Washington, D.C. has intentionally placed 14 stores within a 28-mile radius to increase brand awareness in the area.

According to Beck, innovation is important because “it’s a winner-takes-all game.”

THRIVING IN THE AGE OF THE EMPOWERED CONSUMER

With the expansion of ecommerce, home delivery is now integral to the customer experience. Steve Brill, Vice President for Global B2C Strategy for UPS, described the importance of strengthening relationships between retailers and delivery providers like UPS who interact directly with the purchaser.

Choice, control, and convenience top what customers want in efficient distance delivery. UPS recently created the “My Choice” program to allow people to select the most convenient delivery option when receiving a package, including flexibility on shipment date, delivery, location, etc. Brill identified this as an innovative response to the “situational need” that always accompanies shipping.

No single size delivery option fits all in an omnichannel world where options now include ship to store, ship from store and ecommerce returns.

RETAINING HIGH-PERFORMING PEOPLE

The second panel at the Retailing Summit, moderated by the Center for Retailing Studies’ Director Kelli Hollinger, sought to identify characteristics of high performing individuals and tactics for how companies can retain them.

Karyn Maynard, recruiting director at The Container Store, quoted the company’s philosophy that “one great person equals three good people.” She said it is essential when hiring to select the right candidate who can:

  • Speak up and contribute
  • Show perseverance
  • Nurture others

Karla Waddleton, division vice president at ALDI, Inc., said the German grocery chain tests the resiliency of new hires by challenging them with real responsibility. “We want to see their potential for leadership.”

According to Jennifer Lustig, senior director of human resources at PetSmart, employees want to feel valued. They also become more motivated when the career path for growth within the company is clearly outlined.

THE CLUTCH EN/INTREPRENEUR

Aggie graduate and football star Chris Valletta propelled himself from the NFL to the Apprentice to head entrepreneur and co-founder of Mission Athletecare. Inspired by basketball legend Michael Jordan, Valletta used his failures to work harder and perform under pressure—what he describes as being “clutch.”

Talent and motivation are not enough to set you apart, he explained. Having emotional intelligence or the ability to hold tight to your emotions while making decisions is key.

Being “clutch” requires being obsessed with details because the little things matter greatly.

Similar to a game of football, the retail landscape is constantly changing. You have to be able to adapt, think quickly and execute during the hard moments, he explained.

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Attendees also heard from breakout session leaders Matt Schmitt, President and Chief Innovation Strategy Officer at Reflect, with Lee Summers, Manager of Marketing and Technology at Nebraska Furniture Mart; Mathew Sweezy, Vice President of Marketing and Insights at Salesforce, with Aaron Stevens, Senior Sales Manager, Carrier Indirect & Regional Carrier at OtterBox; and, Jim Sturm, President and Chief Executive Officer at Brierley+Partners with representatives from Half-Price Books.

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The 2016 Retailing Summit will take place on Oct. 13-14 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Visit retailingsummit.org for more information.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, News, Staff, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

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 https://hbr.org/2015/10/when-the-customer-is-stressed? 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.

Berry

Berry

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

SECU

(Editor’s note: Management Executive Professor Don Lewis coached two students to a first-place win in the pitch competition. Lewis is assistant director of Startup Aggieland, a business incubator that provides comprehensive training and mentoring for any Texas A&M student who wants to pursue a business.)
Texas A&M University students Brandon Sweeney and Blake Teipel were selected as winners of the first-ever Student Entrepreneurial Pitch Competition during the 2015 Southeastern Conference Symposium in Atlanta.Two other Aggies – Joey Gabriano and Tiffany Sanchez – also were recognized during the three-day symposium. Gabriano, an accounting major and bugler in the Texas Aggie Band, was selected to join the SEC Jazz Ensemble, and Sanchez was asked to exhibit her applied interactive art piece, “Prey.”Sweeney and Teipel are both Ph.D. candidates in materials science and engineering. Based on breakthrough technologies within the field, they have created an innovative and accessible solution to the problem of high-cost and unreliable, high-mobility prosthetic devices by using smart nanotechnology and next-generation materials for additive manufacturing (3D printing).  They operate their business with assistance from Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M’s student-run business accelerator.“This competition was a first for the SEC Symposium, and given the incredibly positive feedback we received from the students, judges and attendees, it proved to be a special aspect of this year’s event,” said Torie Johnson, executive director of SECU, the SEC’s academic initiative. “All 14 teams should be commended for their achievements, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for each of them.”
SECU LogoThe student entrepreneurial pitch competition included teams from each of the SEC’s 14 universities presenting their pioneering ideas to a panel of SEC alumni judges in two preliminary rounds. The top three teams moved on to the final round, where they presented their plans to a different set of judges and all SEC Symposium attendees.In addition, Anna Marie Wisniowiecki, a senior biomedical engineering major, and Gerry Cote, engineering professor and director of the Center for Remote Health Technologies and Systems, were acknowledged at the symposium for their roles as student and faculty ambassadors.Also, Paulo Lima Fihlo, professor of mathematics, was applauded for his presentation on enhancing math education through intervention technologies and gaming; Adam Rothstein, a third year student in the Master of Fine Arts in Visualization program, and Priscilla Villareal, a senior theater arts student, were the hit of the undergraduate mixer with their storyboard, film concept and character portrayal for Visual Arts in Film; and faculty members Tim McLaughlin, Department of Visualization, Cote and Duncan J. Maitland, biomedical engineering, all presented on panels related to STEAM to STEM, Creativity in Interdisciplinary Design and Best Practices in Research Partnerships.Organizers say the primary goal of the SEC Symposium is to address a significant scholarly issue by utilizing the range of disciplinary strengths of all SEC universities in a manner that expands opportunities for collaboration among SEC faculty and administrators. With that in mind, organizers chose “Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Driving a 21st Century Economy” as the theme for this year’s symposium.This event is also intended to display the research and innovation of SEC institutions for an audience of academicians, government officials and other stakeholders.

— This story originally appeared in Texas A&M Today.

Categories: 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