Alumni News


Brenda Morris, BBA, retired as senior executive director of the Baylor Alumni Network and as director of the Baylor Business Network (BBN). Morris worked for the Network for 11 years, and for the university for 22 years. The BBN of Houston named its endowed scholarship the Brenda Moore Morris Business Network of Houston Endowed Scholarship in honor of Morris’ service.  To donate to the scholarship, visit and search for “Baylor Business Network Houston,” or mail a check to Baylor University Development, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, TX 76798-7050. You may also call 1-800-BAYLOR-U 
(1-800-229-5678), option 4, to speak with someone regarding your gift.


Mervin H. Yeagle, Jr., BBA, along with his wife Beverly, of Hagerstown, Md., in 2006 established the Mervin H. Yeagle, Sr. and Mildred L. Yeagle Endowed Scholarship Fund in Marketing in honor and memory of Mervin H. Yeagle, Sr. and Mildred L. Yeagle, parents of Merv H. Yeagle, Jr. On October 7, 2011, a luncheon celebrating the lives of Mervin H. Yeagle, Sr. and Mildred L. Yeagle, and the establishment of this scholarship was held in the Bill Daniel Student Center where a bronze plaque of Merv’s parents is displayed. Yeagle Jr. earned his MBA in Marketing and Management from Southern Methodist University in 1974 and pursued doctoral studies in Marketing at Mississippi State University. Yeagle Jr. is a retired senior marketing lecturer in the Marketing Department of the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park, Md., where he earned the Krowe Teaching Award in 2006. He is a member of the 1845 Society, Endowed Scholarship Society, Old Main Society, and a life member of the Baylor Alumni Association. He and his wife visit Baylor University at least twice a year to see the growth of Baylor while witnessing the tradition Baylor holds dear.


Mary Ann Cloyd, BBA, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Center for Board Governance, was named leader of the practice. PwC’s Center for Board Governance is a leading resource to enable directors to more effectively meet the challenges of their critical role.


J.W. Gann, BBA, MBA ’81, was named vice president and controller for HollyFrontier Corporation, an independent petroleum refiner and marketer that produces high value light products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other specialty products. He will serve as the company’s principal accounting officer. Gann was previously chief financial officer of Energy Water Solutions.

Robert Ingram, BBA, was named director of the Baylor Business Network. Ingram joined the Network staff in August 2010. He previously served as the director of sales and business development for WRS Group. Prior to WRS, Ingram spent the majority of his professional career working in a sales capacity for numerous energy- and technology-based companies in Houston. During his tenure at Baylor, Ingram was an offensive lineman for the Baylor Bears under Coach Grant Teaff from 1974-79 and a member of the 1974 SWC Championship and the 1975 Cotton Bowl teams.


Jerry Elliott, BBA, was named executive vice president and chief financial officer for Leap Wireless International, Inc., a leading provider of wireless communications services. Elliott is currently the owner of Jerry Elliott Interests, LLC, a provider of strategic capital and operating leadership to select businesses.  He most recently served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer at The Weather Channel. Previously, he served as chief financial officer of Virgin Media, Inc.


David M. Hall, BBA, MTax ’85, JD ’88, joined Riveron’s Dallas office as an associate, where he will be responsible for supporting buy-side and sell-side due diligence, post-acquisition integration and support, and financial operation services. He was previously a forensic associate with KPMG Forensic Advisory Services. Riveron Consulting is a financial consulting firm serving private equity funds, firms that are growing through strategic acquisitions and companies seeking to maximize the value of business transactions.


Glenn Gaines, BBA, was named CEO of HR Focal Point (HRFP), an innovative SAP consulting and services organization that specializes in assisting clients in the implementation and support of the entire suite of SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) software and applications. Gaines will concentrate on establishing a visionary standard of excellence, which when coupled with the company’s technical and strategic strengths, will result in HRFP improving upon its already rich tradition of delivering unsurpassed quality solutions to its clients in the HCM space.

Kathy “Kat” Schwaig, BBA, MBA ‘86, was appointed dean of Kennesaw State University’s Michael J. Coles College of Business. She is the first female dean of the business school and had served as interim dean since July 2010. Schwaig, a professor of Information Systems, has chaired several departments within the school and was associate dean for academic affairs. She was previously on the faculty at the University of South Carolina, where she earned a PhD in Management Information Systems; Baylor University; and at Georgia State University.

Steve Young, BBA, MBA ’85, was appointed director of the Transaction Advisory Services practice at Sirius Solutions, LLLP, an independent business consulting firm headquartered in Houston, Texas, with offices in London, New York, Dallas and Denver. Young has over 20 years of energy and banking experience in acquisition due diligence, commercial asset management, structured finance and commercial lending.


Larry Starks, BBA, CFA, serves as senior managing director at Waterview Advisors, Inc., a Dallas-based investment bank that provides mergers and acquisition advisory, capital raising, and valuation services to middle-market companies across a broad range of industries and geographic markets. Waterview Advisors, Inc. was named one of the Largest Investment Banks in North Texas by the Dallas Business Journal for 2012.


 Ken Murphy, BBA, was appointed to the board of directors for Baja Mining Corporation, a Canadian mine development company. Murphy is head of asset management at Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, and has over 23 years of experience in principal investing across various forms of opportunistic investments.


Deb (McGee) Carson, BBA, is a national anchor and on-air personality for Fox Sports Radio. She currently anchors the network’s National Sports Reports weekdays during the prime afternoon drive block on 300 affiliates across the country and on XM channel 169. Carson is also a frequent contributor to Premiere Networks’ “America Now with Andy Dean,” for which she recently won the 2012 Gracie Award for Outstanding Reporter/Correspondent. Prior to her move to afternoon drive, Carson was co-host of “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” where she and Smith tackled sports and news headlines, current events and controversial topics of the day.

Donovan “Don” Russell, BBA, achieved the “Sales Leader of the Year” award for Berry Plastics Corporation in the spring of 2012. In addition, he was promoted to the vice president of sales role, where he oversees the consumer products group.

A. Haag Sherman, BBA, was named a director of Blue Dolphin Energy Company, an independent oil and gas company. Sherman has been a managing partner of Salient Partners, L.P. since 2002.  He authored the book Shattering Orthodoxies:  An Economic and Foreign Policy Blueprint for America. Sherman earned a JD from the University of Texas School of Law.  He is also a certified public accountant and a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Jeffrey D. Symes, BBA, was promoted to senior vice president, chief accounting officer and controller of FelCor Lodging Trust Incorporated, a real estate investment trust that owns 76 primarily upper-upscale, full-service hotels that are located in major and resort markets throughout 22 states. Prior to joining FelCor, Symes was a senior manager in the Dallas operating office and KPMG’s national Department of Professional Practice.


Shelley Goodman, BBA, was elected to the board of ToolBank USA. Goodman serves as vice president, sales operations for AT&T’s North Central Region, with a focus on the region’s wireless sales service and financial goals. ToolBank USA enhances the efficiency and success of charitable organizations by creating a network of ToolBanks, which maintain inventories of real tools for borrowing to increase the impact of community service projects.



Rick Hines, BBA, and Kim Parrish Galvan, BA ’94, partnered to open Bentwood Realty in Waco, Texas. The company, which opened in June 2011 with 14 agents, now has 25 agents and is the second largest independent real estate company in Waco.


Corey Blahuta, BBA, MBA ’03, was named vice president, controller and principal accounting officer for UnboundID, an Austin-based platform provider for identity service solutions. Blahuta was previously managing director for vcfo in Austin.

Tim P. Adams, BBA, was named senior vice president of operations for Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s Central States region. Previously, Adams served as CEO of Cedar Park Regional Medical Center in Cedar Park, Texas. Tenet Healthcare Corporation, a leading health care services company, through its subsidiaries operates 50 hospitals, over 100 free-standing outpatient centers and Conifer Health Solutions, a leader in business process solutions for health care providers that serves more than 300 hospital and health care entities nationwide.


Ken Montgomery, BBA, was named director of education for the Investment Program Association, which provides effective national leadership for the Direct Investment industry, including Non-Listed REITs (NLREITs), Oil and Gas, and Equipment Leasing Programs. He was previously director of the Wealth Management® Academy for 1st Global and was responsible for providing a comprehensive educational program empowering advisors to fully assist their clients. Montgomery also served as the resource partner liaison for all direct participation programs, mutual fund complexes and insurance carriers that provide support for 1st Global firms.


John Rainey, BBA, MBA ’95, was named executive vice president and chief financial officer for United Airlines. Rainey most recently served as senior vice president of financial planning and analysis for United. Previously Rainey previously was vice president of financial planning and analysis for Continental Airlines from 2005 to 2010 and joined the company in 1997. Prior to Continental, Rainey worked for Ernst & Young LLP.


Tiffany Holmes, BBA, was selected for Leadership Texas 2012, the longest-running women’s leadership development program in the U.S. The program explores five Texas cities and cutting-edge information from renowned experts and government officials.

Scott James, BBA, founded Team CORA, which is creating an application for smart phones and the web to connect loops in our material culture. The app will be the hub that allows individuals to transform trash to treasure through gifting, upcycling and recycling. James most recently served as founder and owner of Fair Trade Sports (sold 2011). He also teaches the Marketing course at the green MBA program, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and the Sustainability Interterm course at University of Notre Dame, where he earned an MBA. James previously worked in the high tech sector, including Visio and Microsoft.


Traynor Reitmeier, BBA, MBA ‘98, was named to the 2012 class of “40 Under 40” by Triangle Business Journal. Individuals were recognized for their outstanding contributions to their organizations and to the community. Reitmeier serves as vice president and financial advisor at CapTrust Financial Advisors in Raleigh, N.C.


Ryan Pratt, BBA, was named a principal of Ernst & Young LLP and returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas. Pratt relocated from the firm’s Chicago office to lead the Houston Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services practice. He joined Ernst & Young in 2002 after five years at Arthur Andersen in Dallas, Texas. He is a CFA charterholder and member of the CFA Institute. He is married to Heather Pratt, a 2000 Texas A&M graduate, and has two children, Michael (5) and Carson (3).


Ray Sperring, BBA, was named chief investment officer of Triumph Bancorp, Inc. He will also serve as executive vice president of investments for the company’s subsidiary, Triumph Savings Bank, SSB and will help lead Triumph Capital Advisors, the company’s planned investment management subsidiary.  Sperring previously served as partner and chief investment officer of TriVest, Residential LLC, a real estate firm.


C. Sterling Cryder, BBA, serves as founder and president of The Cryder Group, an advertising agency based in Oklahoma City, Okla. In July 2012, the agency expanded by opening a Tyler, Texas, office to serve clients in East Texas. Former Baylor student Colt Barber was named account executive at the Tyler office. The Cryder Group is a full-service advertising agency that offers clients a full array of creative services, traditional marketing strategy, new media solutions, as well as a unique expertise in sports marketing and sports sponsorships.

Michelle Downs, BBA, MAcc, CPA – Partner, was recognized by the Texas Society of CPA’s (TSCPA) as a “Rising Star” within the accounting profession and her community. She was one of 12 recipients out of a group of 72 nominations to be chosen. Downs was nominated by her peers as well as by members of the TSCPA. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the TSCPAs, president of the Central Texas Chapter of the TSCPAs 2011-2012, treasurer of the Williamson County Old Settlers Association and a member of the Baylor Accounting Advisory Council. She joined Pattillo, Brown & Hill, LLP in 2000.

Julie (Harris) Wade, MBA, JD, joined the Dallas office of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr as a shareholder. She assists corporations, investors and start-up companies with all aspects of business immigration, including obtaining the proper work permits and visas for hiring, transferring and training employees in the U.S. temporarily and permanently. She also coordinates with foreign immigration specialists to obtain the proper work permits and visas for transferring U.S. employees abroad, and counsels corporate clients on I-9 issues, hiring and termination decisions with regard to foreign nationals, and employer sanctions and anti-discrimination issues. In addition, she assists clients with family-based immigration, green card and naturalization applications, and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).


Ryan Fitzhugh, BBA, MBA ’05, has launched a new business that offers Baylor football fans the chance at truly hassle-free tailgating. Legacy Tailgating is an all-inclusive tailgating rental company, providing turnkey tailgating options to Baylor alumni and fans. Packages come with complete game day set-up and break down of premium tailgating equipment, including HDTVs, iPod docking stations, tents, tables, chairs, satellites and generators.

Holden Thomas, BBA, founder and president of Oak Mortgage Group located in Waco and Dallas, Texas, was named to National Mortgage Professional Magazine’s “40 under 40” List. The list recognized top mortgage professionals under the age of 40, as voted on by their peers, who exemplify professionalism and top production in today’s housing market.


Blake Bollinger, BBA, was added to Nashville’s Parallel Music Publishing’s list of talent. Bollinger is a songwriter and producer with cuts in multiple genres. Recently, he won first place in the International Songwriting Competition with his song “Where the Heart is Found.”

Michael Wolf, MBA, was named vice president of land acquisition for WCI Communities, which creates master-planned lifestyle communities, catering to move-up, active adult and second-home buyers. He brings more than 17 years of professional experience to WCI, including a similar role with Toll Brothers.


Bryan Tilson, BBA, was named business director at Wieden+Kennedy, an independent advertising agency known for its creative work on some of the world’s most well-known brands. Tilson will lead the Nike account in the Shanghai, China office. Most recently, he served as Account Supervisor on the Target account at Wieden+Kennedy’s Portland office. Prior to joining Wieden+Kennedy in 2008, Tilson held a range of positions in advertising, including account management for Cliff Freeman and BBDO in New York City where he worked on accounts such as Snapple, Pepsi and Gillette.

Jonathan Zendeh Del, BBA, was named president-elect of the Galveston County Young Lawyer’s Association. Additionally, he was elected a director of the Galveston Bar Association. He is a partner with the law firm of Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC, a business that he and his wife Carolyn, also an attorney, started in 2010. Zendeh Del earned a JD from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 2008, where he graduated at the top of his class.


Christi Staib, MBA, LPL Financial Adviser and president of Staib Wealth Management, was named a Cambridge Who’s Who Professional of the Year in Wealth Management. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, years of service, and the credentials they have provided in association with their Cambridge Who’s Who membership.


Adam Sander, BBA, accepted a position with Global Endowment Management in Charlotte, N.C., as an investment analyst on the Public Equity Team.

Jason Proctor, MBA, was appointed chief operating officer for Midwest Regional Medical Center in Midwest City, Okla. Proctor has 12 years of health care leadership experience most recently as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Franklin Regional Medical Center, a 70+ bed medical center with Novant Health System in Louisburg, North Carolina.

Joseph Terry, BBA, graduated with high honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business with an MBA in June 2012. He joined Credit Suisse as an associate in their energy banking group in Houston, Texas.


Megan Gilmore, BBA, was named account executive at Siren Interactive, a relationship marketing agency focused on understanding the behaviors of patients, caregivers and physicians dealing with chronic rare diseases and disorders. Before joining the agency, she was senior brand strategist with Innovation: The Marketing Team in Waco, Texas, where her responsibilities focused on account management, digital/interactive strategy, and program implementation of social media, online advertising, and paid and organic search engine optimization.


Kate Gronewald, BBA, was named director of marketing and communications, at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. Previously, Gronewald served as the university’s manager of web communications since 2009.

Stephen Hearne, MBA, was named chief financial officer for Aero Capital Solutions in Austin, Texas.


Steven Cutbirth, BBA, is currently a producer/product manager for the brands, and at Patient Conversation Media, Inc. in Austin, Texas. In the producer role, Cutbirth manages the publishing and distribution of relevant actionable health news content at an 8th grade reading level. In the product manager role, he manages product teams in the production and improvement of Patient Conversation Media’s network of online health brands.


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Baylor Business Review, Fall 2012

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