Alumni News


DRAYTON MCLANE JR., BBA, Baylor Regent Emeritus, received the Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal for his contributions to higher education. The medal honors individuals, companies and foundations that have displayed an extraordinary commitment to higher education in Texas. The medal is awarded by members of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas and the Texas Association of Community Colleges.

MCLANE also was presented with the Founders Medallion, one of the most distinguished awards given by Baylor University. The award recognizes men and women significant to the life and future of Baylor University.


THOMAS O. FOSTER, BBA, J.D. ‘64, will serve another term as Northstar Healthcare’s chief tax counsel. He will also remain on the board of directors for the company. Northstar partners with physicians in the ownership and management of ambulatory facilities and healthcare services. Northstar owns and manages interests in three ambulatory surgery centers, two in Houston and the third in Dallas.


PAUL L. FOSTER, BBA, namesake of Baylor’s Success Center, has been reappointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Board of Regents for the University of Texas at Austin. Foster is executive chairman of Western Refining Company. He currently serves as the regent’s vice chairman and has served as a regent since October 2007.


CHARLES RAY THOMAS JR., BBA, MTAX ’83, was named director of the full-time Executive MBA in Hospitality Administration (EMBA) program at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausann in Switzerland. In his new role, he will oversee all aspects of the EMBA programme, which is tailored to both career climbers and switchers in the hospitality sector.


SEN. LARRY TAYLOR, BBA, was appointed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to represent Texas on The Energy Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sound energy policy. Taylor represents District 11 in the Texas Senate, which is comprised of parts of Brazoria, Galveston and Harris counties.


TOM HORTON, BBA, American Airlines CEO, worked alongside the CEO for US Airways Group Inc. to reach an agreement to merge in an $11 billion deal to create the world’s biggest airline.


DEEIA D. BECK, MBA ’85, JD ’94, was reappointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Office of Public Insurance Counsel for the state of Texas. The office represents the interests of insurance consumers in regulatory matters relating to insurance rates, rules and forms. Beck has served as public counsel for the Office of Public Insurance Counsel since her appointment in September 2008.

E.J. BIRD, BBA, was named interim chief financial officer for Sears Canada, Inc. He will continue to serve as a director of Sears Canada, a role he has held since 2006, and will step down as lead director and member of the audit committee. Sears Canada is a multi-channel retailer with a network that includes 181 corporate stores, 261 hometown dealer stores, nine home services showrooms, over 1,500 catalogue and online merchandise pick-up locations, 101 Sears Travel offices and a nationwide home maintenance, repair and installation network.


KEN PAXTON, MBA, was elected to the Texas Senate in November 2012 after serving five terms in the Texas House of Representatives. He was recently appointed vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation. Paxton also serves on the Senate Education Committee, the Senate Committee on Government Organization, the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations and the Senate Jurisprudence Committee. He and his wife, Angela, reside in McKinney, Texas, with their three teenage daughters. His son is a sophomore at Baylor University.


JANE CROFT, BBA, was honored as a National Employee of the Year-2013 from Careers & the disABLED Magazine. She was one of 10 winners out of thousands of submissions from all business industries. She currently works remotely from Washington state as an IT quality control analyst for Wellpoint, Inc. Jane wrote: “It was an exciting and inspirational night where all 10 of us come from different disability and walks of life. It is so encouraging to know we have winners out there being great contributors to their respective employers; to the labor force; and to society as a whole.”


ROBERT SARTIN, BBA, was appointed to Frost Brown Todd, LLC’s nine-person executive committee for a three-year term after having previously served on the firm’s strategic planning, finance and advancement committees. Sartin moved to Frost Brown Todd, LLC’s Nashville office in 2011 to help expand the firm’s presence in this market from Lexington, Ken., where he was the member-in-charge of the Lexington office. Frost Brown Todd, LLC has approximately 450 attorneys with 9 offices in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia.


KELLI C. STYRON, BBA, JD ’94, was named dean of College of Liberal and Fine Arts at Tarleton State University. She served as interim dean of the college for 18 months, and after a nationwide search and review process, was selected to lead the college as its new dean.


JENNIFER SAMPSON, BBA, president and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, was honored by The National Diversity Council as one of this year’s “Most Powerful and Influential Women of Texas.” Sampson is among a group of 19 women to receive this honor in 2013. Honorees were selected based on leadership excellence; professional accomplishments; their impact on revenue, profitability and strategic direction; community involvement and leadership; and demonstration of the highest ethical standards.


BRANDON JOHNSON, BBA, was named director of marketing for the new Frisco Gun Club in the north Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. The Frisco Gun Club is an upscale, country-club style gun range that will be the largest indoor gun range in the country. It also offers fine dining, drinks and cigars to VIP Club members.


JOYCE LEE, BBA, was named to the executive leadership team at Zoetis Inc., the recently spun-out animal health division of Pfizer Inc., with the largest IPO offering in the first quarter of 2013. She serves as executive vice president and area president of the Canada/Latin America region, which is the fastest growing regional business for Zoetis. The company is the world’s leading developer of animal health medicines. Lee leads teams that are responsible for operations ranging from established to emerging markets. Prior to this role, she was on the animal health leadership team at Pfizer Inc. until the separation of Zoetis. Joyce and her husband, Brian Kim (BS ’93) live in Madison, NJ.

TODD J. LILES, BBA, JD ’96,was named partner in the Dallas office of Cantey Hanger LLP. Liles’ practice focuses on title insurance litigation, real estate litigation and general commercial litigation in state and federal courts in the state of Texas.

SCOTT A. HAYES, BA-BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, was appointed as president and CEO of Dallas-based Institutional Securities Corporation. His plans for the future include ramping up qualified retirement plan assets under management through the firm’s fiduciary services, building assets on the firm’s managed platforms, expanding product and service offerings to clients, and selectively growing the firm’s advisor base. He has been with the company since 1997.


TEMPLE WEISS, BBA, was named chief financial officer of Pegasus Solutions, the largest processor of electronic hotel transactions. He brings a solid blend of hospitality, finance and development experience to the role, including a decade with La Quinta, a Pegasus client.

CHERIE MARCUM, BBA, was named external vice president for Dallas Market Center. In her position, Marcum is responsible for overseeing the company’s financial processes, audits and budgeting system. Dallas Market Center is the world’s most complete wholesale marketplace. Within its marketplace of more than five million square feet, retailers from around the globe source products ranging from home furnishings, gifts, decorative accessories and lighting to textiles, fashion accessories and men’s, western, women’s and children’s apparel.


J.K. BAXTER, BBA, was named senior vice president and general manager for the machine division of HOLT CAT, the Caterpillar Equipment and Engine dealer for South, Central, North and Northeast Texas. In his new role, Baxter will be responsible for leading all sales and support operations for HOLT’s construction equipment division. Additional enterprises he will be responsible for include HOLT AgriBusiness, HOLT Crane & Equipment and SiTech Tejas.


KATIE (HARVEY) LACKEY, BBA, was named partner in the Fort Worth office of Cantey Hanger LLP. The practice focus for Lackey includes appellate, commercial litigation, family law and litigation. Lackey graduated from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2005.


MATTHEW DAVIS, BBA, joined Panini America, Inc., as a product development assistant. Panini America is based in Irving, Texas, and it is the world’s largest producer of officially licensed sports and entertainment collectibles.


JEFFREY D. CUMMINS, BBA, MBA, CPA, CFP(R), was named Spectrum Financial Group’s “Advisor of the Year” for 2012. He joined the personal financial planning firm in 2002 and helps families get more out of life by getting organized, saving more and creating a financial roadmap for the future. In 2008, Cummins became a Certified Financial Planner ™ and created a niche in working with physicians. He works from the company’s North Dallas offices.


THASUNDA BROWN DUCKETT, MBA, was named CEO of Auto Finance, part of JP Morgan Chase & Co’s Consumer & Community Banking division. Her new role also includes oversight of Chase’s Student Lending business. Chase Auto Finance is one of the leading bank providers of auto financing in the country. With a portfolio of more than $50 billion in assets and relationships with more than 75 percent of all U.S. franchised automotive dealers, Chase Auto Finance provides a broad spectrum of products to meet the full range of credit needs of their customers. Chase Auto Finance purchases auto loans and leases from a national network of automotive dealers as well as making auto loans directly to consumers through various Chase channels. In addition, Chase Auto Finance provides commercial loans to auto dealers throughout the U.S.


DAVID PAAVOLA, BBA, joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP as an associate in its Columbia office. He practices in the areas of business litigation, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, and products liability. Before joining the firm, Paavola served internships with the Honorable Henry F. Floyd, former U.S. District Judge, District of South Carolina, and the Honorable Margaret B. Seymour, U.S. District Judge, District of South Carolina. He earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in 2012 from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

SARAH ROBERTS, BBA, was recognized in a list of the top “40 under 40” young professionals in economic development by Development Counselors International, a New York economic development marketing firm. Roberts recruited industry for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce and joined the Chamber team in 2003.


NICK KABANI, BBA, was promoted to a manager within the tax department of the Southwest region’s top accounting firm, Gainer Donnelly LLP, located in Houston, Texas. Kabani has over seven years of experience in tax preparation, review and planning with a focus on both personal and corporate tax.


SARABETH SWAGERTY, BBA, combined a passion for music and her Baylor degree to form her own record label in Nashville, Tenn. Circle S Records was formed after the Dallas native decided to pursue her dreams in the world of country music. The Dallas native teamed with Dean Sams, of the award-winning country group Lonestar, to help produce projects and run the label. Swagerty’s music has been featured on AOL’s The Boot and Her debut EP, Kickin’ and Screamin’, is now available on iTunes and Amazon.

ROSE VERA, MBA, names administrator of Austin’s new Silverado Senior Living community. She will manage the property that opened in April. She comes to the position with 15 years of experience in assisted living and memory-care.


LUIS CASTELLANOS, MBA, started Tutor Doctor, a tutoring services business that provides one-on-one, at home tutoring at flexible times and affordable rates for students of all ages in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area. Tutor Doctor creates a tailor-made work plan for each student based on their goals and situation. Luis writes: “One of the reasons I started the EMBA at Baylor was to learn new skills that would help me complement my experience to start my own business. As part of the assignments and main final project, was the creation of a business plan, eventually pitched to a panel of potential investors. This experience proved to be very educational and helpful for me. I used the learning I acquired at Baylor to start Tutor Doctor.”


JAKE DAHMS, BBA, has teamed up with another Baylor alum, Tyler Bull, to create a new business in Waco called Sic’em Delivery. The company serves the Baylor campus and downtown Waco businesses with deliveries from local restaurants or grocery stores for a fee.

Attention b-school alumni:

We want to include your news in the Baylor Business Review. Submit your news online at

Update your mailing address and contact information in the Baylor Alumni Network Directory at

pdf icon

Baylor Business Review, Fall 2013

Leave a Comment