Lead Story

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans boosts ideas

Stephanie Burns, July 18th, 2018

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship welcomed 22 veterans to Aggieland for the 11th annual Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) on the evening of Saturday, July 14.

EBV at Texas A&M University is an exceptional initiative that leverages the resources and infrastructure of higher education to provide entrepreneurial skills and small business management training to post-9/11 veterans with service-connected disabilities. Part of a nationwide consortia of nine universities offering EBV to disabled veteran entrepreneurs, the overall goal of Texas A&M’s program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans and their families by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining a commercial venture.

The opening ceremonies were held at the Association of Former Students with a welcome address made by Kathryn Greenwade ’88 of the Association of Former Students and opening remarks made by David Shimek ’86 of the program’s underwriter, The Reynolds and Reynolds Company.

Honoring the past, encouraging the future

Ron Poynter, retired Army helicopter pilot and EBV Class of 2012 graduate, was recognized with the Robin ’76 & Robert Starnes ’72 EBV Outstanding Alumni Award and delivered an encouraging and thoughtful speech to this year’s participants. Poynter encouraged the 2018 class to stay focused and engaged in their industry’s trends and to be prepared for a lot of hard work.

The program consists of a 21-day online course followed by a nine-day residency at Texas A&M. During the in-residence portion of EBV, participants will spend the week attending lectures and workshops at Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development, where they will learn about enterprise basics, lean startup methodologies and small business growth strategies. The bootcamp extends well into the evening hours with individual breakout meetings between participants and volunteer mentors from the local community. Thanks to the generosity of the program’s individual and private-sector sponsors, EBV is offered at no cost to the participants.

This year’s class includes business ventures ranging from an eco-friendly flower alternative to healthcare to drone-imaging services, with nearly every venture focused on employing and giving back to fellow veterans.

Accounting professor L. Murphy Smith recently received the Outstanding Educator Award given by the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies Section of the American Accounting Association.

The award recognizes his many contributions to the accounting field. Smith has authored more than 40 technology-related journal articles and eight technology-oriented books. In addition, he has written two educational novels that introduce students to current issues such as e-commerce, global trade, expert systems and computer crime.

“I want my students to be informed of the latest developments in technology,” he says, “and to be able to use technology to make superior contributions in the firms where they go to work after graduation.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Former doctoral student, Kathy Seiders, was recently interviewed on “60 Minutes” about retailer Malden Mills. Seiders is an associate professor of marketing at Babson College, where she focuses on retailing strategy, consumer shopping behavior, food marketing and service quality.

While at the Mays College, Seiders was affiliated with the Center for Retailing Studies. Her research has appeared in numerous academic journals and has been featured in such publications as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Inc. Magazine and USA Today.

Categories: Departments, Former Students

A team of researchers from the Department of Marketing was recently honored at the 2002 American Marketing Association Summer Educator’s Conference. The team members included marketing professor David Szymanski, doctoral student Michael Kroff and former doctoral student Lisa Troy.

Their paper, “Does Product Innovativeness Really Enhance Performance?” was selected as the Best Overall Paper at the annual event. The paper was chosen by a panel comprised of the executive director of the Marketing Science Institute, a former editor of the Journal of Consumer Research and the current editor of the Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management from among 12 winning papers presented at the conference.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students

In the wake of corporate scandals and a struggling market, European businesses’ love-hate relationship with America continues. At least that’s the analysis of finance professor Julian Gaspar, who serves as the director of the college’s Center for International Business Studies.

While teaching in France this summer, Gaspar observed that even though Europeans continue to hold fast to international accounting standards, they would like to implement corporate governance structures more like those found in America.

“Although current events may exert some negative influence on Europe’s opinions of U.S. business, Europeans’ basic business approach has been the same for some time,” Gaspar says. “European businessmen and politicians are edging closer to the American approach, trying to adapt the good things we do, but not accepting our system lock, stock and barrel.”

In the aftermath of U.S. business failures, Gaspar says the focus is now directed to the differences in accounting systems, disclosure and transparency.

“As globalization increases, the United States will most likely move toward international accounting principles, a step that would facilitate international comparisons,” he says.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Executive Associate Dean Ricky Griffin has recently been named a Distinguished Professor of Management by Texas A&M University. Griffin becomes only the third faculty member in the college to garner the honor.

Since joining the Mays College in 1981, Griffin has written several highly successful management textbooks and served as the editor for the Journal of Management.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

Former Dean Benton Cocanougher has recently been named special assistant to Texas A&M’s new president, Robert M. Gates.

Cocanougher, dean emeritus of the college and Wiley Professor, will help build and maintain communications with external constituencies of the university. He will also provide advice on priority issues and undertake special projects and studies as requested by President Gates.

Categories: Texas A&M

Two finance faculty members and a former doctoral student were recently honored at the PACAP/Financial Management Association conference in Tyoko, Japan.

Finance professors Donald Fraser and James W. Kolari, along with former student G. Hwan Shin, who is now on the faculty at University of Texas-Tyler, received a Best Paper Award at the international event.

Their paper, “How Does Banking Industry Consolidation Affect Ban-Firm Relationships? Evidence from a Large Japanese Bank Merger,” was supported by grant funds from the college’s Center for International Business Studies.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students

Starting Aug. 1, Dr. Robert Gates assumes the top position at Texas A&M University. The former CIA director takes over as university president upon the departure of Dr. Ray Bowen, who is stepping down after eight years of service.

This will be a return for Gates, as he served as interim dean of the Bush School of Government and Public service from 1999-2001. Prior to that post, the Kansas native spent 27 years with the CIA, serving six presidents, as well as nine years with the National Security Council.

Categories: Texas A&M

Curious as to how construction on the college’s new Cox Graduate Business Center is progressing? Well, now you can keep tabs on the new building right from your desktop.

A Web camera is tracking construction on the 66,000- square-feet (gross) expansion. The facility, named after Kay and Jerry ’72 Cox, is slated to open in fall 2003.

To check out the Web cam, visit http://wehner.tamu.edu/Cox-GBC/ or visit the Cox Business Center site for more photos and information.

Categories: Featured Stories, Uncategorized

Launching successful new technologies requires more than just having a bright idea and garnering financial support. Today, the secret to developing commercial applications lies in knowledge management and building networks, says management professor Albert Cannella.

Director of the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE), Cannella recently addressed academics and industry practitioners at a technology innovation issues seminar, sponsored by Texas A&M’s Technology Licensing Office and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“People with different kinds of knowledge have to get together and share it,” Cannella observed. “Knowledge creation and development occurs within people and virtually never in isolation. It is an inherently social process. The days of the lone inventor in his garage producing a world-changing product are largely in the past.”

Cannella sees Texas A&M as the perfect environment within which to initiate such network building, beginning with bringing together researchers from different colleges. Then, he says those relations must be expanded into the community to draw in those who want to turn basic research knowledge into particular applications.

“The more that people with different knowledge get together in interactions, the more likely it is that problems and solutions will come together,” Cannella said. “I see this networking as a bottom-up process. Get people involved, build success stories, and others will be drawn to the technology commercialization process.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty