Alumni News


Jim Hawkins, BBA, and wife Nell were honored with a 2011-2012 Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award: Baylor Legacy Award. The award honors individuals who demonstrate extraordinary service and philanthropy to Baylor or causes that fit the university’s mission. Hawkins is a CPA, chairman of the board of J-Hawk Ltd, chairman of the board of AMC Financial, and retired chairman of the board and CEO of FirstCity Financial. He is a member of the Baylor Foundation and Waco Foundation Boards, and a member of 1845 Society, Presidents Club and Baylor Bear Foundation.


Mark White, BBA, JD ’65, was honored with a 2011-2012 Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award: Pro Texana/Medal of Service. The award honors an individual whose contributions in furthering the mission of Baylor have made an immeasurable impact in the public or nonprofit sector. White serves as president of Geovox Security and played an important role in preserving the Big 12 conference in 2010. He has served as governor of Texas (1983-87), Texas Attorney General (1979-83) and Texas Secretary of State (1973-77). He and his wife Linda Gale White (BBA ’64) have three children: Mark III, Andrew and Elizabeth.


Robert King, BBA, was named the 2011 recipient of the Wall of Fame Award by the Cleburne High School Ex-Students Association. He owns the Coldwell Banker Bob King Realty agency in Cleburne, Texas.


Phil D. Wedemeyer, BBA, was named to the board of directors for Atwood Oceanics, Inc. He serves on the Company’s Audit Committee, the Compensation and Human Resources Committee and the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and serves as the chair of the Company’s Audit Committee. Wedemeyer recently retired from Grant Thornton LLP where he had served as a partner since August 2007. Previously, he served with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), most recently as the director of the Office of Research and Analysis from August 2005 to July 2007, and previously as deputy director of the Division of Registration and Inspection from March 2004 to August 2005. Prior to his service with the PCAOB, Wedemeyer spent more than 30 years at Arthur Andersen, SC.


Bob Brewton, BBA, was honored with a 2011-2012 Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award: Alumnus of the Year. The award honors a graduate who has demonstrated remarkable achievement in the previous year. Brewton serves as president and owner of Brewton Investment Corporation, and he is a founder and chairman of the board of directors for the Baylor Angel Network. He is a board member for the Baylor Business Network of Houston and is also a founding director of Yellowstone Academy, a private, faith-based school that serves severely impoverished children of Houston’s Third Ward. Brewton and his wife Cathron Snider Brewton (BA ’75) have two daughters, Rory (JD ’08) and Casey.


Gary Keller, BBA, was honored with a 2011-2012 Baylor University Meritorious Achievement Award: Medal of Service/Business Leadership. The award honors an individual whose leadership has made a significant impact in our world and on future generations. Keller serves as co-founder and chairman of the board of Keller Williams Realty, the second largest and fastest growing residential real estate company in North America. He has co-authored three nationally best-selling books: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor and Shift. He also established the Keller Center for Research in Residential Real Estate and Marketing at Baylor University. Keller is married to Mary Pfluger (BA ’77), and they have one son John Christian.


Jim Clark, MBA, currently serves as program management officer (PMO) for Heartland IT Consulting in Dallas, Texas. In this leadership position Clark is a hybrid of technology visionary and business leader tasked with developing and managing high performing systems and teams while serving as wise counsel to the enterprise.

Stacie E. McGinn, BBA, serves as partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, one of the world’s leading international law firms. McGinn was asked to speak at The Knowledge Group/The Knowledge Congress Live Webcast Series, the leading producer of regulatory focused webcasts, webcast entitled: “The Impact of Dodd-Frank Act on FDIC-Insured Banks,” October 2011. McGinn is a leading financial services regulatory lawyer and her practice focuses on all aspects of the regulation of banks and other financial institutions.

Richard Willis, BBA, MBA ‘82, was named president and chief executive officer of Navarre Corporation, a leading distributor, provider of complete logistics solutions and publisher of computer software. Willis has been a member of Navarre’s Board of Directors since February 2011 and will continue as the director of the company. Willis has more than 20 years of executive experience in retail, distribution and publishing. He most recently served as the executive chairman of Charlotte Russe. Willis is also a Regent for Baylor University.


Clark Wooten, BA-Business, was appointed vice president and market group leader for Acxiom’s Insurance and Investment Services Group. Acxiom is a recognized leader in marketing services and technology that enable marketers to successfully manage audiences, personalize consumer experiences and create profitable customer relationships. Prior to joining Acxiom in 1999, Wooten worked for Nationwide Insurance.


Mike Singletary, BBA, an All-American linebacker for Baylor University in the 1970s, was named one of the Top 50 Greatest College American Football Players of All Time by Bleacher Report. Singletary is not only a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame but a member of the College Hall as well. He is a two-time winner of the Davey O’Brien Memorial Trophy and still holds numerous school records at Baylor.

Karen Sledge, BBA, vice president and controller at the Broadcast Communications Systems business of Harris Corporation, was featured in Profiles in Diversity Journal‘s 10th annual list of Women Worth Watching. She was one of 131 business representatives whose names were submitted for the recognition by their employers. Each representative shared her personal leadership journey successes in a full-page mentoring essay in the September/October 2011 issue of the publication.


Stacy M. Hodges, BBA, was named chief financial officer and treasurer of SWS Group, Inc. Hodges served as interim CFO and treasurer since October 2010. Previously, she served as chief financial officer of the company’s principal broker-dealer subsidiary, Southwest Securities, Inc. Hodges began her career with SWS as controller in 1994 and was named executive vice president in 1999.

Jon M. Foster, BBA, was promoted to lead an $11-billion group of hospitals for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the nation’s leading provider of healthcare services. As HCA group president, Foster oversees operations encompassing 52,000 employees and 47 hospitals across all of Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado and in Wichita, Kan. Foster previously served as St. David’s HealthCare president and CEO for the past 10 years, and he will continue to serve the health system in his newly appointed role as vice chairman of the board of directors for St. David’s HealthCare. Foster is also a member of the Hankamer School of Business Advisory Board.


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. Starks and his team served as the M&A advisor for and closed the sale of Mike’s Pipe Inspection (MPI), a provider of mobile, on-site, non-destructive testing, inspection, and cleaning services for the oil and gas industry. MPI was acquired by IOS/PCI, a portfolio company of Calvert Street Capital Partners.


Molly Holbrook, BBA, with business partner Melissa Jenkins, opened Blue Print Too, a boutique that offers home furnishings and design in Tyler, Texas. Holbrook,who has a background in accounting and consulting, worked for a firm in Dallas, Kansas City and New York before moving back to Tyler in 2001 to raise her three children.


Kurt Knapton, BBA, was named president and CEO of e-Rewards, a global leader in permission based digital data collection and reporting. Knapton, who helped launch the e-Rewards Opinion Panel program in 2000, led the company’s client development and strategy efforts for eight years. He stepped down as chief revenue officer of the business in February 2008 to pursue charitable service and entrepreneurial activities outside the industry, while still maintaining ties with the company in an advisory role. Previously, Knapton spent a decade as a management consultant, working with Booz Allen Hamilton and Accenture, and most recently served as CEO of Abundant Energy, LLC. He earned an MBA from Dartmouth.

Cody Knowlton, BBA, MBA ‘97, was named president and CEO of the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio. The Foundation distributes grants annually to not-for-profit organizations which provide healthcare services and health education throughout Bexar County and contiguous counties in South Texas. Previously, Knowlton spent 18 years in the Baylor University Development office, most recently serving as senior executive director of development.

Phil Lakin Jr., BBA, MBA ’99, was appointed to the Oklahoma State Board of Education and will serve a four-year term representing the first congressional district. Lakin is the chief executive officer of the Tulsa Community Foundation.

Todd Roberson, BBA, was named president and CEO of Children At Heart Ministries, which includes Texas Baptist Children’s Home in Round Rock, Gracewood in Houston, Miracle Farm in Brenham, and Starry in Round Rock. Roberson headed South Texas Children’s Home Ministries, based in Beeville, since 2007. He previously served the Ministries in several capacities, including chief operating officer, vice president of development and vice president of business administration.


Perry E. Brown, MBA, was named managing director for the Citi Private Bank in the Palm Beach region, which serves domestic and foreign ultra high-net-worth clientele and families, foundations and endowments. Previously, Perry spent nearly 12 years with Northern Trust, where he most recently served as managing director for their Wealth Advisory Services group in South Florida.

Jennifer Hilton Sampson, BBA, was named president and CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Sampson has served as acting CEO and president since July 1, 2011, and is the first female to now hold the position. Sampson joined United Way in 2001 and was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2004.


Jodi Hood-Hight, BBA, is a realtor with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Keller, Texas. Over the past year and a half with the company, she has been honored as a Rising Star and Top Agent. She and her husband Spencer stay busy with real estate, homebuilding and their two children. Any Baylor alums needing a realtor can email Jodi or go to


Chris Mellon, BBA, was promoted to vice president of marketing for all franchise brands of The Dwyer Group, a holding company for seven residential and commercial franchise service brands. Mellon has been with The Dwyer Group for nine years and has held positions as director of marketing and as creative director. Mellon has received the Team Specialist of the Year award two times and has been recognized as Team Member of the Year for the marketing department.


Jennifer Fox, MBA, was named president of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, a luxury brand known for operating some of the world’s most storied hotel properties. Fox most recently served as chief operating officer of managed operations, Continental Europe, for InterContinental Hotels Group, where she was responsible for operations, financial performance, talent management and service delivery. Prior to this, she held a range of senior leadership positions in brand marketing, including global brand manager for both Sheraton and InterContinental, and also served as general manager at some of the world’s finest luxury hotels including assignments in Hong Kong, Europe, Australia and the United States.


Tucker Worster, BBA, was promoted to national account manager of CareCredit, a health care credit card provider for audiology practices and other health care services. Tucker will serve the company’s audiology and ENT markets. After working in the pharmaceutical industry, Worster joined CareCredit in 2006. He received the CareCredit Business Development Manager of the Year award in 2008.


Le’Anne Southerland, BBA, a Merrill Lynch client associate in the Tyler, Texas, office, was one of 12 employees within Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division to receive the 2011 David Brady award. Southerland’s achievement marks the first time in the five-year history of the award that a client associate has been honored. This award honors the legacy of David Brady, a highly respected Merrill Lynch financial advisor for 16 years, who died in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The award is given annually to GWIM associates who embody Brady’s commitment to excellence in client and community service. John Thiel, the head of U.S. Wealth Management for Merrill Lynch, presented Southerland with the award at a ceremony in New York City.


Annie Fuller, BBA, was promoted to sales representative for the Charleston RiverDogs, a minor league baseball team based in Charleston, S.C. She previously served as assistant director of special events and interned with the team in 2007 and worked with the RiverDogs’ food and beverage division during the 2008 season. Prior to re-joining the RiverDogs in January 2011, Fuller worked in sales for Monumental Sports and Entertainment, a group that specifically handles marketing for the NBA’s Washington Wizards.


Carter Hopkins, BBA, and Daniel Goldstein, BBA, have created CityStreak, a company that creates Amazing Race-style experiences—called “Streaks”—that send participants on urban adventures where the city serves as a “game board.”


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Baylor Business Review, Spring 2012

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