For more than ten years, Mays Business School has been coaching and guiding Aggies through the unique world of mergers and acquisitions through the innovative high-caliber class, “Dealmakers in Mergers and Acquisitions.” The class, the students, the faculty, and the Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) sponsors work together to showcase Mays Business School to the business world, and how Mays graduates are helping to lead the future of developing transaction professionals.

Dealmakers in M&A is the next step in innovative learning, both at Mays and in the country. Active real-word M&A professionals from leading private equity firms, credit firms and corporations around the nation lead students in team competitions, class lectures and discussions, and case studies on real-world deals. Dealmakers encourage students to be creative and authentic in their thinking and performance, learning to deal with ambiguity and take risks so that they hit the ground running when they land in the post-graduate world. Not only do students get to work on real transactions, but they are also able to work in a diverse, cross-functional team of undergraduate, Professional Program in Accounting (PPA) and graduate students to meet their learning goals.

Dealmakers is not just another class or curriculum requirement. Selected students must weather an extensive application process to demonstrate their ambition, ability, and interest in M&A. Each Fall, Dealmakers invites 30-35 high-performing Mays undergraduate and graduate students with a particular interest in investment banking, private equity, corporate M&A, transaction consulting or other M&A and transaction-related professional services to step outside their comfort zone and stretch themselves intellectually and interpersonally. The purposeful inclusion of diverse student backgrounds, work experiences and academic majors drawn from across Mays ensures the uniqueness and real-world perspective of the class while forming the next generation of M&A professionals.

This class and these students are unlike any other business-related class in the country. So, what makes the class special? Drew Koecher ‘88, the class’ founder and Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey, stated that “We teach the students to work with ambiguity, uncertainty and real-world M&A conditions; we translate academics to application through the lens of the nation’s leading M&A practitioners– that’s what we do.” Encouraging the students to think outside of the classroom by placing them in a competitive, high-intensity transaction world where there is market inefficiency and things move at deal speed allows them to reach further and prepares them for what to expect in their future careers.

Dealmakers specialize in authenticity; each group of students brings something new to the table each Fall semester, and each guest M&A professional has a different story to tell and case to share, with a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience. William Davenport ‘93, the CFO of Topgolf, is a returning speaker to this classroom, bringing the company’s closed cases for students to practice on and think beyond the boundaries of a classroom. After all, the students are what make the class different. As Davenport described, “They all just seem to have high integrity. They all work hard, and this class requires them to work very quickly. And as a group, they all support and learn from each other.” With an unparalleled student-caliber class drawn from across Mays, Dealmakers like William continue to set Mays students up for success in the professional world of M&A.

Students walk out of this classroom prepared, excited, and eager to start a career in M&A – the vast majority landing in marquee investment banks and M&A advisory firms. Along with Houlihan Lokey as a participating firm and the leading employer of Dealmakers graduates, global investment firms and companies such as Stone Point Capital, The Sterling Group, Fortress, Audax, HollyFrontier, EQT, Partners Group, Dynegy, and many more, are involved in helping students prepare for and navigate the professional M&A world. Mays 2018 graduate, Courtney Nutting, jumped into M&A directly after graduation and is grateful for what Dealmakers taught her. She expressed that, “The Dealmakers class can give you as much as you put into it, and from my experience, it has given me the most out of any other “High-Impact Program” in Mays. Following Dealmakers, I was able to leverage my experiences from the course in interviews, which ultimately landed me a full-time job at a Private Equity shop in Denver.” Dealmakers put in the work for their students, and they return the favor to make Mays and Texas A&M more proud than ever. Courtney has continued the circle of learning as she is repeat Dealmaker case presenter and champion of Mays students in the private equity community.

Dealmakers is leading the next generation of M&A professionals, setting itself apart from other business-led classes around the country and with it, is driving Mays to the forefront of market-based progressive learning. Sean Murphy ’96, the class’ co-founder and a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey tells each class at the outset, “This will be the most challenging course you take at Texas A&M, but the personal growth you earn and the real-world experience you gain repays your efforts exponentially.”

To apply to become a Dealmakers student or to find more information about the program, please visit

Categories: Accounting

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School is advancing International Business research around the world through co-hosting the Research Spotlight Series (RSS). These events, which are coordinated through Mays’ Center for International Business Studies (CIBS) and Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business’ Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), bring together current and aspiring International Business scholars in an online forum to create a discussion on cutting-edge topics regarding research and publishing.

Mays CIBS’ role in organizing the series increases Texas A&M University’s global visibility and helps solidify Mays as a global leader in the field of International Business scholarship. Hosting this series also is part of the school’s efforts to become the preeminent public business school in the United States.

The RSS builds upon Texas A&M’s long history as a leader in the study of International Business. “Texas A&M University’s Lorraine Eden served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business, which is the premier journal in International Business and a publication of the Academy of International Business (AIB). She is currently the Dean of the Fellows of the AIB, a select group of distinguished International Business scholars,” said Mays CIBS Associate Director of Research Dr. David A. Griffith. “Texas A&M’s faculty–both past and present and within Mays and outside of Mays–have made significant contributors to the International Business discipline.”

The RSS, which began in 2021, was a result of a confluence of factors. “The COVID pandemic opened the whole domain of webinars, allowing scholars to begin to connect pertaining to common interests without the need for travel,” said Griffith, who holds Mays’ Hallie Vanderhider Chair in Business. “In 2020, Ahmet Kirca became the director of the Michigan State University’s CIBER, which really opened the door for us to establish this joint effort. We saw the need as well as the opportunity before us—and we both concluded that leveraging webinar technology to advance International Business research would complement the activities of our CIBERs.”

The RSS addresses leading-edge International Business topics in areas such as exporting, global sales management and global supply chain management, as well as research methods, such as survey research and the measurement of cultural distance in international business research. These sessions are attended by both well-established scholars as well as next-generation researchers.

The virtual seminars already have a strong international following. For example, a September 2022 webinar on global supply chain management had registrants from Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Turkey.

The most recent webinar, held in November 2022, focused specifically on research publication, and built on a previous RSS webinar, which featured journal editors from Management International Review, the Journal of World Business, and the Journal of International Marketing.

The November webinar hosted four editors who are part of the incoming editorial team for the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), the premier journal in the field of International Business. Each panelist offered insights about the decision-making process in selecting manuscripts to publish in their respective JIB area. The session also gave over 250 participants the opportunity to ask questions about JIBS’ processes.

Griffith believes the RSS webinars can assist International Business scholars in developing more impactful IB research. The Mays professor of marketing noted, “Through participation in the webinars, participants are able to hear from leading scholars about emerging research topics and state-of-the-art methods – which can be invaluable for developing their own scholarship.”

The next webinar in the series is planned for February 2023 and will focus on best practices for the use of meta-analysis in international business research. Meta-analysis is a research method for statistically combining the results of multiple scientific studies. Meta-analytic findings are considered the most trustworthy source of evidence in the scientific discipline.

Interested in learning from these leading global researchers about International Business topics?  You can access previous webinars from this series here.

Categories: Center for Business International Studies


Texas A&M’s Master’s in Analytics program has been named the #6 online program in U.S. and the #1 online program in Texas, according to the 2023 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. The methodology is based on a variety of objective factors, such as student engagement, faculty credentials, and services and technologies. In 2022, the program was named as Fortune’s Best Online Master’s in Business Analytics.

“Our whole team is extremely proud of this ranking. It is a testament to the consistency and drive for excellence of our faculty, staff, and students in the Master’s in Analytics Program,” said Jerry Strawser, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for Mays Business School. “The rankings are another data point that shows we offer a preeminent business analytics education in the state as well as the nation.”

The Master’s in Analytics Program excels at providing each student with individualized analytics experiences that supplement the business acumen they acquire. The program offers courses in statistical modeling and programming in multiple languages such as R, Python, SAS, and SQL. Setting the program apart from others are courses in business acumen, such as teamwork, leadership, ethics, and communication. Students tailor their analytics training through a work-based capstone project which has demonstrated tremendous value to their organizations through millions of dollars either saved or in new revenue, as well as social impact.

As a flexible hybrid-delivery program, students benefit from a convenient, comprehensive virtual learning platform, providing access to world-class faculty and an immersive learning experience. The staff has developed an extensive student support network to provide students with resources and guidance throughout their time in the program.

“We at Mays Business School take pride in the ability of our students, faculty, and staff to contribute positively to companies and the broader society through their dedicated efforts. This #1 and #6 ranking in the state and nation, respectively, from U.S. News & World Report, provides evidence of the quality of our program and certainly the talent of our students,” shared Myra Gonzalez, Director of the M.S. Analytics Program. “The breadth of faculty credentials helps provide greater parity with classroom learning in a digital setting – a program priority its leaders pursue relentlessly. To that end, the program uses a state-of-the-art, intuitive learning management system that prioritizes user experience and accessibility.”

For an overview of Texas A&M’s M.S. Analytics Program, visit the M.S. Analytics site. The program is currently accepting applications for the fall 2023 cohort. For more information, contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager, at 979-845-2149 or

Categories: Uncategorized

Executives L.T. Therivel ’96 and Larry O’Donnell Offer Insights from ‘Undercover Boss’ and Their Careers

Mays Business School students had the opportunity to learn from two corporate leaders who were featured on Undercover Boss, the popular CBS television series. The session included Larry O’Donnell, the former president and chief operating officer of Waste Management Inc., and Laurent C. (L.T.) Therivel ’96, who is president and CEO of U.S. Cellular.

Their advice, which covered both the professional and personal side of being a corporate leader, was well received by students who will soon be embarking on their careers. One area that particularly resonated was maintaining work-life balance. “I enjoyed hearing L.T. talk about finding your job, figuring out what it requires, and then determining whether you’re willing to put that in,” said Erin Autrey ’25, an accounting major from Pittsburg, TX. “Then figure out your life goal and make sure that those two things—the job and your life goal—align.”

Waste Naught

O’Donnell was the first corporate leader featured on Undercover Boss. That show debuted after the 2010 Super Bowl and was watched by a record 38.6 million viewers.

The Houston resident, who took over the company when it was struggling, opened his presentation talking about leadership. O’Donnell advocated for flipping the traditional top-down leadership model where employees serve the leader. Instead, he has had success embracing the servant leadership model where the leader is at the bottom of the pyramid and serves everyone on the team. “The leader is pouring into everyone, helping them become the best they can be,” he explained. “Whatever they are trying to achieve in their career, the leader is trying to help them get there. Then what happens is a bond of trust is created and the whole team wins together.”

O’Donnell also offered some important early career advice. Foremost, he said, was focusing on the job at-hand and doing the best job possible. “Build a team and serve everybody on the team, including your boss and your colleagues,” he said. “If you’re that type of team player, you will be noticed, and you’ll advance in your career.”

He also encouraged the Aggies to be willing to address their knowledge and skill gaps so they can progress in a career. Noting that this is often uncomfortable, O’Donnell noted, “People often don’t want to face their deficiencies—but everybody’s got deficiencies.”

On a similar note, O’Donnell recommended finding a mentor—and then be coachable. “There are so many people who come to me who want help,” he said. “You start to coach them, and you can tell that they really don’t want to hear it; they think they’ve got it all figured out. They think they can do it all by themselves.”

O’Donnell also talked about his own career path, which took some unexpected turns, as well as how his daughter’s life was tragically impacted by a medical mistake right after she was born, which brought about a tremendous change in O’Donnell as well.


O’Donnell said that event really tested his faith. “When my daughter’s tragedy first happened, I was pretty angry with God,” he said. “I told God it didn’t seem fair, but I later came to realize that it wasn’t about me and my plan, and that God had a different plan for my daughter than I had.”

His daughter’s medical shipwreck ultimately served as a mirror for O’Donnell. “I had no empathy at all before that happened. I then realized that I was a total mess; I was that top-down self-absorbed leadership guy,” he said, adding that he later decided to attend seminary, create a non-profit organization called Servant Ministries Foundation, and write a book, “Waste Management: Five Steps to Clean Up the Mess” to help others learn from my mistakes from my 40-plus-year business career. “My daughter’s tragedy taught me empathy, and when faced with difficulties to ask ‘what’ can I learn from this situation, rather than ‘why’ is this happening to me.”

O’Donnell added, “My special needs daughter is my inspiration. She is the happiest person you’d ever want to meet, and never complains about her pain.”

Making Connections

Therivel joined U.S. Cellular in 2020 as chief executive officer for the fourth largest cellular company in the United States. U.S. Cellular focuses on providing cell service in underserved areas, many of which are rural. He was on the most recent season of Undercover Boss.

While noting that Undercover Boss provides opportunities to identify tactical and operational opportunities, Therivel said the show was  just as important in validating the company’s culture and organizational buy-in. He pointed to his own experience working as COO with a small start-up that lacked clarity on objectives and goals. “I had been there two weeks and after doing my assessment, blew the place up,” he said. “New strategy, clear goals, clear KPIs, fired the three salespeople who had sold nothing, changed the org chart, hired some people, made a bunch of changes—and then off we went.”

After 30 months, the company hit its targets—but the CEO and chairman fired Therivel.  “Everybody hated me,” he said. “It was my plan, my strategy, my KPIs, my org chart. Me, me, me…there was no ‘we’. When I go back and think about the decisions I made, they were the right decisions—but I spent zero time on culture and buy-in to get people to believe in what we were doing.”

That turn of the events helped inform his leadership style. “It was a huge wake-up call for me. I was really lucky because I learned that lesson in my early 30s, so I had the chance to recover,” Therivel explained. “A lot of people don’t learn that lesson at all or maybe they learn it in their 50s.”

He now believes in the importance of the “how.” “Just having the right answer isn’t enough. If you’re in this room and going to this university, you are whip smart. You will get the right answer,” Therivel advised the students. “Spend as much time thinking about the ‘how’ because it’s going to be just as important as knowing the right answer. How to get people on board? Are they motivated by this?  How do I get buy-in? How do I get consensus? How do I drive collaboration?”

Therivel also stressed understanding what the work requires and be willing to do it. At the same time, he recommended aligning professional and personal goals. He pointed to his time at AT&T where advancement required moving geographically to accept new assignments. At that time, he and his wife had two young daughters and they decided they would be willing to relocate until the children entered high school. “We decided we were willing to make moves for the professional good—and boy, did we. My daughters are 15 and this is house nine, school sevennu,” he said. “I was able to make those moves and put in the work because I had confidence that I wasn’t sacrificing my family.”

He noted that many executives focus solely on their career without considering their personal lives. He cautioned, “If you’re not careful and you don’t spend the time investing on the personal side and making sure it’s aligned, at some point you reach a level where it’s really hard to recapture.”

Unintended Consequences

Both business leaders addressed unintended consequences that arose from their decisions. For example, O’Donnell described how he had started a program designed to coach workers on garbage trucks and to fix issues that were causing employees frustrations. However, the employee who O’Donnell worked with on Undercover Boss described them as “spies” sent by the corporate office. “Obviously at that location, it hadn’t been communicated very well,” he told the students. “So, we totally revamped the communication aspect of it so that the drivers would realize that the organization was trying to help them achieve and get home sooner.”

In Therivel’s episode of Undercover Boss, he had to cold call customers—which was an effort he had championed—but the sales associates were unhappy about doing this because most calls went to voice mail. Their discontent was reflected in the show.  “The concept behind it is there is a fair amount of dead time in stores where you don’t have anybody in the store.  You still have to staff the store and you can’t staff it with one person,” he explained. “A lot of times we have people who don’t have a lot to do. That was one idea of how we could better use people’s time.”

He also noted that in this case, the show didn’t tell the whole tale because a customer came into the store in response to the voicemail’s promotion of a specific plan.

Ultimately, both leaders felt it is important to listen to their employees and then respond. “I’m in the field all the time—and I’m not preaching and I’m not telling people, ‘Here’s our strategy.’ All I do is that I walk into stores and say one thing: ‘If you were king or queen of the world, what is one thing that you’d change?’” Therivel said. “Ideally, every action that you take as a leader is tied back to feedback that you received. That way, you’re creating this environment where people will try to give you feedback—but you also have to be cognizant that you’re never going to get it all.”

Categories: Mays Transformational Leader speakers

Mays Business School’s Master of Science in Analytics program was recognized as a Bronze winner for the category of the best online program for being innovative and fostering engagement and connectedness in a virtual setting at the QS Reimagine Education Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of Education. Over 1,200 nominations from institutions and organizations around the world competed at this conference, held online in Cairo, Egypt, and at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. 

We are humbled and excited about the recognition,” said Myra Gonzalez, Program Director. “Learning about the many innovative programs around the world, and earning a Bronze award is an affirmation of the model we use for our program and our initiatives for student engagement.” 

The following highlights of the program leading to this award include: 

• A unique educational technology model designed for hybrid learning environments and enhanced learning engagement and student discussion/interaction. 

• A highly diverse student body, with enrollment of 14% Hispanic students, 12% African American students, and 16% Asian students. 

• High levels of program retention/graduation (85% for the most recent graduating class) 

• Positive program outcomes, with 91% of our graduates reporting a promotion and 59% reporting a salary increase of more than $35,000 per year since graduation. 

Texas A&M’s Master of Science in Analytics Program would like to recognize and celebrate our students, faculty, and Mays Business School leadership for their significant contributions that made this recognition possible. 

To request information about the Master of Science in Analytics Program, please contact Javier Aldape, Program Manager at 

Categories: Uncategorized

COLLEGE STATION, TX, Nov. 17 — On Friday, November 11, four second-year students in Texas A&M’s Master of Science in Human Resource Management program took first place in the 2022 Purdue HR Case Competition hosted on Purdue’s campus in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Students Abbey Dethloff, Joanna Moran, Abby Patterson, and Bailey Wilkins worked in advance of the competition to present a potential solution for PepsiCo’s desire to attract and retain more females in front-line roles at several sites in their NorthCentral region.

The team had one week to collaborate and submit their recommendations, which included: external and internal marketing efforts as well as creating talent pipeline partnerships with local community colleges and high schools.

“When brainstorming possible solutions for the assigned case, it immediately became clear to our team what a robust collection of HR tools we have garnered over the past three semesters. The way we think, and approach problems analytically has fundamentally changed because of the program’s comprehensive and well-rounded curriculum,” explained Dethloff. “We were able to draw on knowledge from a variety of courses and approached the case from the multiple lenses of employment law, organizational behavior, marketing, and financial analysis, to name a few. The MSHRM program molds business professionals who are well-equipped for the increasingly strategic role of today’s HR Business Partner.”

The formal case presentation was given by the team on Friday to a panel of judges. In a competition of eight teams from elite HR programs from across the country, including Purdue University, Cornell University, Indiana University, BYU, University of Illinois, and the University of Minnesota.

“The MSHRM program equipped us with the analytical skills and industry knowledge necessary to propose innovative yet practical solutions. Thanks to our internships with MSHRM partner companies this summer, we gave PepsiCo recommendations informed by our professional experiences at Fortune 500 firms. We entered this competition feeling confident in our understanding of HR trends and legal issues thanks to the courses we have taken during our time in the program,” said Moran.

The MSHRM program is strategically designed to equip Mays students with the skills and tools to build a strong foundation in a range of HR competencies with a heavy influence of increased business-acumen knowledge.

“The most memorable moment from winning the competition was celebrating with our program, who flooded our phones with messages of how proud they were of us,” said Patterson. It truly feels like a family to come home and have a whole room of classmates and professors waiting for you with cake (4 different cakes to be exact!) ready to celebrate with us. This program shaped a team of students who care for each other like a family and I could not be more honored to represent my program at this competition and every day.”

Dethloff, Moran, Patterson, and Wilkins were chosen to represent Texas A&M at this contest based on their winning performance in the Spring 2022 Texas A&M Center for HRM Case Competition hosted by Chevron. They will each graduate with their MS Human Resource Management degrees in December and shortly after beginning full-time HR positions.

Categories: Management

Dr. Matthew Call joined a growing list of faculty members from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School who are featured in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the world’s preeminent business publication with a circulation of almost 3 million subscribers. Call authored a column entitled “How Companies Can Turn Former Employees into Faithful Alumni,” which was published Sept. 23, 2022.

The publication of Call’s column in the prestigious industry publication adds to Mays’ already sterling reputation. The school has 11 faculty members who rank in the top 2% of scholars worldwide. Additionally, Mays is among the Top 20 public business schools in the United States

A Network of Connections

Call was recommended to the WSJ by Dr. Anthony Klotz, a former Mays faculty member who contributes similar columns for the publication. After discussing his research with a WSJ editor, Call was invited to author the column on alumni networks.

The development of alumni networks helps companies engage with a mobile workforce that no longer remains with a company for most of their career. Call believes that part of the reason for this mobility may be because employee loyalty has not been reciprocated by companies over the years. “There’s this reshaping of the employer-employee relationship over the past 20-30 years that has led companies to realize that people are not seeing their jobs as a lifelong relationship now,” Call explained. “They’re leaving–and in the past, companies just thought the employees were gone for good.”

Some companies purposefully have a model that doesn’t encourage employee retention and tenure. For example, some firms like Goldman Sachs hire young elite professionals, knowing they will work for the company for a short period of time. “There’s actually research that shows that people are willing to take a pay cut to start at a high-status firm because of what it does for their resume going forward,” Call said. “All of this is wrapped in the idea that once you have this experience, you take that with you.”

However, Call sees companies increasingly trying to capitalize on employee mobility by creating relationships with employees after they leave the firm. “Having goodwill from employees leads to a host of benefits,” he said. “As a company, we can draw upon that identity that you take with you, so you can continue to refer to us, come back and work for us, or be a resource in general.”

Many employees go on to work for the company’s client firms, so maintaining an alumni relationship can be very beneficial. “A lot of these initial companies start to develop these alumni networks to formalize the relationship and to stay in touch with former employees as a competitive advantage,” he said. “When companies have alums working in their client firms, they will get first dibs (on projects) and can (further) develop that relationship.”

Additionally, companies can benefit by staying in touch because some former employees may return in the future. “In many industries, boomerang employees are up to 10-20% of new hires,” Call said.

Alumni networks also can help influence prospective employees through Glassdoor and social media. “If ex-employees are saying it was a great experience, prospective employees are more likely to go to that place,” Call said. “Leaders are seeing that this branding is important, and alumni have a big place in that.”

Challenges of Networks

However, the Mays assistant professor also noted that valid concerns exist related to companies celebrating employees leaving. “There is some hesitation around it because there are these perceived and actual costs associated with high-fiving people on the way out,” he said, pointing out that this approach may set the stage culturally for very higher turnover and the associated costs of finding and onboarding new talent.

Additionally, some employees who leave may be opportunistic and use the company’s alumni network to gain knowledge of best practices without reciprocating in the knowledge sharing. “When they are not a formal employee, you don’t have monitoring systems in place to say, ‘You’re not allowed to act opportunistically,’” Call explained.

Despite these potential downsides, the management professor believes that companies will continue to turn to corporate alumni networks. “I think with the current job market, these alumni networks will be increasingly happening,” he said. “It’s important to help managers understand that these employees still have value as a human and still can add value as alumni, so we need to attenuate managers’ sense of betrayal. It’s about being part of an extended family.”

Growing Mays Network

Similarly, Call’s burgeoning relationship with the WSJ continues to build an important network that supports Mays’ momentum to become the nation’s public preeminent business school. The publication previously tapped Mays’ expertise from Dr. Leonard Barry and Dr. Mike Shaub—and WSJ editors have commissioned Call to write another column about high-performing star employees’ impact on their peers, which is expected to be published in November.

These types of opportunities support Mays’ efforts to become the nation’s preeminent public business school. “It helps by both getting our name in front of larger audiences and by demonstrating the expertise that resides in our faculty,” Mays Interim Dean Ricky Griffin said. “We’re fortunate to have outstanding faculty members like Dr. Call who are doing translational research that provides relevant insights to help business leaders strategically position their companies for success.”


Categories: Management

One hundred Aggie-owned or -led companies selected for the 2022 Aggie 100 following the second highest number of applications in program history.


COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS, November 4, 2022 – The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship hosted its 18th annual Aggie 100 awards in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field, with nearly 650 in attendance for the celebration.

Although companies are notified in advance that they were selected for the Aggie 100, the official rankings aren’t revealed until the in-person event, with the surprise announcements made by current Texas A&M students selected by the McFerrin Center.

This year’s #1 company, LeasePoint Funding Group, based in Austin and founded by Jeff Markim ’12, was honored with an impressive growth rate of 379.291% from 2019-2021.

“I was shocked, certainly happy, thrilled, to be in the Aggie 100, and then to get the call that we were #1 this year… I would never have thought that. I really am honored, as a lifelong Aggie, to get this award, from this school,” Jeff remarked. “My wife is an Aggie. My business partner is an Aggie. Our top investors are Aggies. A lot of the people who have influenced my life are from this university, and it means a lot to receive this kind of recognition.”

The top 10 from the 2022 Aggie 100 company list, including their location, Aggie leadership and growth rate, are:

  1. LeasePoint Funding Group | Austin, TX | Jeff Markim ’12 & Daniel Totah ’06 | 379.291%
  2. Blackbuck Resources | Houston, TX | Samuel Oliver ’10 | 130.668%
  3. Education Advanced, Inc. | Tyler, TX | J. Eli Crow, Ph.D. ’01 | 122.652%
  4. Centerline Engineering & Consulting, LLC | Lubbock, TX | Daniel Wetzel ’06 | 122.059%
  5. Albers Aerospace | McKinney, TX | John Albers ’90 | 114.589%
  6. C-LARs, LLC | Bryan, TX | Edwin Adam Janac ’06 | 107.711%
  7. RMJK Enterprises Inc. | Kansas City, KS | Rob Patterson ’09 | 107.576%
  8. Specialty Fleet Sales & Rentals | Lindale, TX | Justin Bateman ’08 | 102.402%
  9. Oak Prairie Oil & Gas LLC | Shenandoah, TX | Chuck Meloy ’82 & Grady Meloy ’13 | 102.330%
  10. Underground Support Services, LLC | Dallas, TX | Stephanie Teetes ’94 | 101.990%

“Now in its 18th year, the Aggie 100 continues to re-set the standard for recognizing and celebrating the best of our Aggie entrepreneurs across the globe. These 100 companies and their Aggie founders and leaders have proven their determination for success, and we’re excited to welcome them to the Aggie 100 family. This year saw our second-highest number of applications ever, indicating just how competitive these rankings have become. This 18th class of the Aggie 100 represents the cream that has truly risen to the top, and we’re honored to be a part of their company’s story and success,” said Blake Petty ‘98, executive director of the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship.

Launched in 2005 by the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, the Aggie 100 honors the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or -led businesses in the world. While there are many ways to define business success, Aggie 100 uses growth rate as an indicator as it reflects a venture’s capacity for job creation, product acceptance and entrepreneurial vision. Nominated companies are ranked by percentage of compound annual growth in sales or revenues (net of returns), over a three-year period (2019-2021 for this year’s class). Nominees are required to provide detailed company information to PKF Texas who then evaluate and rank the nominees based on these requirements.

In addition to growth and leadership criteria, companies named to the Aggie 100 must operate in a manner consistent with the Aggie Code of Honor and the values of Texas A&M University.

Aggie 100 has grown significantly since its inception in 2005 and is now being emulated by a number of other top universities, including several SEC schools. More than 850 different companies and nearly 1,200 Aggie leaders have been honored over the past 18 years.

A complete list of the 2022 Aggie 100 companies, including past years, can be found at

About McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship serves as the hub for entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University. The McFerrin Center’s goal is to enhance entrepreneurial education by providing training, networking and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and former students.

The McFerrin Center enables the startup and growth of countless businesses and provides competitive opportunities, professional development and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community through the support of a robust volunteer mentor network, corporate supporters, faculty and staff.

The McFerrin Center defines entrepreneurship as an attitude that acts on opportunity. In this spirit, the McFerrin Center strives to deliver programs and events that are inspiring, engaging, motivating and life-changing. This philosophy has resulted in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship offering more than 30 unique programs each year that positively impact the lives of thousands of students, veterans and other professionals seeking to blaze their own trail as an entrepreneur.


Media Contact: Lara Robertson, communications manager, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship,

Categories: McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized

ATLANTA, GA – CLC, the nation’s leading collegiate licensing company, and IMG, the operator of New York Fashion Week: The Shows, partnered to deliver the ninth installment of their successful UofNYFW, a one-of-a-kind education experience for 23 students from 15 universities, including two students from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School, at this September’s New York Fashion Week. This unique academic enrichment program, which is an extension of CLC’s continued efforts to support innovative education initiatives for its partner institutions, provides future fashion leaders a behind-the-scenes look at the industry, including entry into select runway shows, panel discussions, and networking opportunities with industry leaders.

The students were treated to a runway show with top Korean designer Son Jung Wan, as well as a show presented by NewLeaper, the unique incubator for new designers and fashion business start-ups. The students also attended a NYFW: The Talks session on “Mindfulness in Fashion” with Model Hilary Rhoda; Singer, Songwriter Bianca Quiñones; Wellness Professional Christa Janine; and others to discuss mental health in the fashion industry. Additionally, students participated in a Q&A with representatives from IMG, as well as a backstage tour of the production and execution of a fashion show at Spring Studios, the central hub of New York Fashion Week: The Shows.

“There are so many resources and people to support your passions and interests in the fashion industry,” shared Rachel Anderson. “I realized that I had a very different background from many of the students and professionals, but that is what makes me unique as I prepare to enter the workforce.”

“It is always exciting to provide a group of bright college students the chance to interact and learn from some of the best designers and experts in the world of fashion at NYFW: The Shows,” said Leslie Russo, President of IMG’s Fashion Events and Properties. “This collaboration with CLC and the participating universities aligns with our mission to deliver opportunities for future leaders in the industry and support the development of new perspectives in the ever-evolving fashion business.”

In addition to the unique New York Fashion Week experiences, the students spent the day at top athletic fashion brand and collegiate licensee Champion where they had the opportunity to learn firsthand how a clothing line is developed and merchandised.

“In every part of this trip, the students are prioritized,” shared Maggie Cooley. “From behind the scenes tours of the Spring Studios, to getting to personalize our own merchandise at the Champion Flagship store, UofNYFW was created for students to learn from the industry’s biggest fashion names, as well as World renowned brands.”

“Our goal for the UofNYFW college program is to deliver innovative experiences and once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunities to students at our partner institutions, which adds tremendous value to the participating universities beyond our traditional role of brand licensing,” said Cory Moss, CEO of CLC. “Since the inception of this unique program, we have been honored to help inspire and influence many talented students on their path to a career in the fashion industry.”

The collegiate Fashion Week program delivered unique academic enrichment opportunities for the students with expenses covered by their universities. Institutions that participated in the collegiate enrichment program at NYFW: The Shows included Arizona State University, Baylor University, NC State, Syracuse University, TCU, Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Arizona, University of Colorado, University of Delaware, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, Washington State University, West Virginia University, and Western Michigan University

Participating students chronicled their experiences through social media using #UofNYFW and were asked to share their learnings with other students upon their return to campus.




About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media. The company manages some of the world’s greatest athletes and fashion icons; owns and operates hundreds of live events annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in licensing, sports training and league development. IMG is a subsidiary of Endeavor, a global entertainment, sports and content company.


About CLC

CLC is the nation’s leading collegiate trademark licensing company with a mission to elevate college brands through insight and innovation. The company is uniquely positioned to deliver consumer connections and brand visibility for institutions through data-based, customized solutions that include impactful licensed merchandise strategies and innovative marketing platforms to navigate the ever-evolving consumer and retail marketplace. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, CLC is guided by values to serve others, build trust, lead well, innovate often, and be passionate. Founded in 1981, CLC is a part of LEARFIELD, the leading media and technology services company in intercollegiate athletics.



For more information, please contact:

Tammy Purves, CLC, or 770-799-3275

Categories: Center for Retailing Studies


From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate people and traditions of Hispanic Heritage – those who have come before us, and the leaders of tomorrow. We recognize their achievement, honor their cultures, and commemorate the heritage and history of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape the face of America. Mays Business school recognizes the remarkable contributions of its Hispanic American students, faculty, staff, and former students who continue to advance the world’s prosperity.

Steve Arizpe ’79, President and COO of premier professional employer organization (PEO), Insperity, credits much of the work ethic and relationship savvy that have shaped his success to his Hispanic heritage. Arizpe connects with Mays about Hispanic Heritage Month, coming of age in San Antonio, Texas, and what it takes to translate “good bull” into good business.

Early life

Steve Arizpe was born the third of five kids to parents of Hispanic descent in San Antonio, Texas. His father’s ancestors came from Spain and his mother’s from Mexico, but both grew up working alongside their siblings on family farms just outside of San Antonio. “My mom was one of 10 and my dad was one of 12; in that era as my great-grandparents built a family, they were really growing a workforce.” To this day he marvels that his parents paid for all five of him and his siblings to attend college, and at his father’s astuteness to invest in a home in Bryan as his oldest brother set off for Texas A&M.

Arizpe’s father worked full time for the US Department of Defense by day, and moonlighted as an entrepreneur, steadily building a technology repair business. His mother was a self-taught math whiz with a fourth grade education, who worked to ensure the fledgling business was on budget and account balanced. Arizpe spent summers apprenticing in the family business and saw firsthand the hard work and dedication required to provide more for a family than preceding generations could offer. His dad helped him carry forward a tireless, generational work ethic and prudent financial management skills, while his mother cultivated a penchant for relationship and engaging others. This combination served Arizpe well as he embarked on his time in business school at Texas A&M – and, of course, beyond – as he began to shape his career.

Striving for more

Growing up in schools in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio, Arizpe never felt deprived but was acutely aware of his distinct upbringing compared to peers. “We always had plenty to eat and plenty to do,” but he was exposed to another world that opened his eyes to new possibilities. Unsurprisingly, he never saw lack of privilege as a deterrent, but a motivator. He felt proud of where he came from, blessed by family and provision but still eager for more –  saw the lifestyle of peers and instead of feeling more was unattainable, was struck with an immovable sense of self determination. He looked at the world around him and – with remarkable self-assuredness for a teenager – thought, “I can take one of two divergent paths here, either ‘that will never be me’ or ‘why can’t that be me?’ And I chose the latter.”

He never felt like a racial minority, but as a socioeconomic minority in his district, he also never felt like an outsider. He observed, and subsequently emulated, the idea that we treat all people with respect and dignity, socially and professionally. “Whether you are interacting with the CEO or the lowest level employee.” He understood that success isn’t yielded without sacrifices and set out ready to do the work that would be required to achieve big things.

Relationships and cultural influence

Coming from a generation where assimilation was paramount, parents didn’t pass the Spanish language onto their children. Despite growing up in San Antonio with a roughly 70% Hispanic population, the goal of most Hispanic families was still absolute acculturation into established U.S. cultural norms. “We didn’t grow up speaking Spanish at home, but with 60-80 aunts, uncles and cousins attending your average Sunday back-yard BBQ, we absorbed a lot – not just the language but core tenants of the Hispanic culture.” Among those are an instinct to prioritize family, and a natural inclusivity in the definition of who ‘family’ covers. “For us family first looks like, when someone is in need, we’re all in need,” notes Arizpe. “You step up to fill the gap.”

His family first, and inclusive outlook translates into the way he runs his business. Insperity is a missionally minded company, always grounded in their rallying cry of “helping businesses succeed so communities can prosper.” During the economic downturn of 2008, Arizpe and his colleagues saw the significant impacts of layoffs on a city and community, “that’s why we need businesses to succeed, because the economic and cultural impact on the community is tangible.” He and the 4,000 Insperity employees set about creating opportunities for that success. That community-centric perspective comes naturally to Arizpe in one of many ways he reflects his Hispanic heritage in everything he does.

Breaking down barriers

“The Hispanic culture is embracing, in both the broadest figurative sense – and, of course – literally.” The emphasis on community, hospitality and common ground Arizpe credits to his Hispanic culture, are mirrored in the culture of Texas A&M and find a natural commonality in Arizpe as he brings these values to bear in the workplace. As a Latino and an Aggie, Arizpe is heavy on the importance of culture in forging teams, breaking down barriers and bridging gaps.

“The ability to interact with others in a productive and healthy way is something we can’t take for granted,” shares Arizpe, who is known for bridge-building between areas of an organization with competing interests. “We all have differences and they are real, but communicating comfortably with common respect and a goal of mutual understanding breaks down barriers.”

One place he’s applied these skills at Insperity is in navigating the tensions between divisions of Sales and Operations. When Arizpe moved from Vice President of Sales to Executive Vice President of Client Services (or Operations) at Insperity he insightfully notes, “I went from making the promises to the customer in sales, to having to fulfill those promises in operations.” With his sales background, Arizpe had unique insights (for an operations lead) into the organically occurring frictions that often arise between Sales and Ops. He leveraged these insights to build more collaborative teams and relationships, requiring that operations personnel spent some time in the shoes of the sales team, and vice versa. To this day these teams boast an uncommon mutual respect and appreciation, linking these areas of the company in a unique and unprecedented way.

Know your audience – don’t settle

Insperity is a premier PEO that provides premium services to premium clients. For the company, the ‘premier’ label is more than a branding tactic. It’s a concept they take seriously from the quality of services they provide to the prerequisite expectations for potential and active clients. “We take pride in working with business owners who have a ‘getting better agenda.’” Arizpe expands, “the psychographic profile of our ideal client is specific; we work with folks who want to pay people more and provide the best benefits, not those looking to do the bare minimum in compensating their employees.” 

Practically speaking, Arizpe and the team at Insperity help empower these like-minded organizations to achieve an employee-centric outlook. Working with business from 5-5,000 employees, they provide administrative relief and comprehensive HR Resources. And by pooling the 300,000 employees represented under their umbrella, Insperity can pursue better benefits and reduced operational costs they pass on to their clients. The results are significant, “by working as a part of our network, a 30-person company is empowered to compete with big businesses for talent; and companies are encouraged to offer better benefit and compensation packages to their teams.” With 90 offices across the country, Arizpe’s shared excitement with his employees is still so high – “there is still tremendous opportunity for growth, to better the companies and communities we serve.”

Full circle

Arizpe was a Mays Business School student before Mays was Mays, but got to see the tradition carried forward in his own family as his daughter went on to be a Mays student. His ability to cultivate meaningful relationships and prioritize family are evidenced in his 40+ year marriage; closeness with his four children (three of whom work at Insperity); and the joy he takes in his nine grandchildren. 

Asked about retirement he was quick to note he doesn’t have a set date, and that steady work ethic holds strong. While he knows the moment will come to step aside to give others the opportunity to lead, he’s not rushing it. “I’ll retire when it’s not fun anymore,” he pauses. “As long as it’s fun and I still feel like I’m making a difference, I want to be here.”


Categories: Diversity and Inclusion, Executive Speakers, Featured Stories, Former Students, Marketing, Mays Business, News, Perspectives, Spotlights, Texas A&M