Alumni News Spring 2014

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Hans Brattskar, MBA ’80, was appointed State Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Foreign Minister) in the new Norwegian government. He is Norway’s former ambassador to Kenya and Somalia, and permanent representative to the United Nations offices in Nairobi.


Kenneth Githens, BBA ’81, telecommunications program coordinator for ExxonMobil, worked on a large Angola Subsea Fiber Optic Program the past three years and has been working the program out of the Houston information technology (IT) office. In February 2013, he was offered a new assignment as the telecommunications engineering lead in a managerial capacity for three to four years. Now, he is in an expatriate position as of May 1, 2013, working for ExxonMobil Business Support Centre Canada ULC, an ExxonMobil subsidiary in Canada. Githens will work in the Canadian oil sands industry at Syncrude Oil Limited in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, of which ExxonMobil is a partner and is IT operator. He will manage the telecommunications engineering technology selection process through the evaluation and selection of technology solutions for the voice radio replacement and data radio replacement projects.

David P. McGee, BBA ‘81, is leading the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce as the 2014 Chairman of the Board. He met with councils and committees to share his priorities for each area early this year. McGee is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Amegy Bank, N.A. San Antonio Region.


Paul Lee, BBA ’88, was named chief financial officer (CFO) of Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) in October 2013. Before joining MCS, Lee most recently served as vice president and treasurer of Texas-based Safety-Kleen Systems Inc., North America’s leading provider of used oil re-refining, parts cleaning and industrial waste management. As CFO, Mr. Lee will provide oversight for finance, accounting, compliance and internal audits at MCS. He also is responsible for financial and strategic planning, risk management and cost controls.


Keith Parrott, BBA ’91, was selected as the new CEO of Baptist Health System in December 2013. Parrott most recently served as Baptist’s executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO), positions that allowed him to oversee the system’s four hospitals and engage in “patient experience, marketing, strategic planning and business development.” He joined Baptist in February 2008 as president of Birmingham-based Princeton Baptist Medical Center.


D. Stuart White, BBA, MBA ’92, was named vice president, professional services at Riskonnect, the leading provider of risk management information system technology, in September 2013. White brings to Riskonnect an extensive leadership background, with a foundation in programming and data analysis. Previously, White was instrumental in the leadership and rapid growth of the professional services team at Aprimo (a Teradata company).


Gabrielle Welch, MBA ’96, created the “All Girls Can Cook” program, which teaches girls to plan meals, shop for groceries and cook safely. In addition, Welch teaches girls about nutrition and meets with moms to help them put their family on a path to healthier eating. She is a nutritional consultant and is the author of The Pizza Trap. Her book discusses how to get kids off of junk food and also has valuable information about genetically modified food, which organic foods to buy and the dangers of the “kid’s menu.”


Shelton McDonald, BBA ’02, co-founded Kopis Capital Management, LLC, a non-traditional investment firm based in Irving, Texas, and assumed the role of COO in December 2013. Upon the launch of Kopis Capital, McDonald transitioned to an of-counsel position with the law firm of Doyen Sebesta, Ltd., L.L.P., where he will continue to manage the firm’s corporate and transactional practice.


David Mercer, BBA ’04, formed a general contracting firm after graduating from the Entrepreneurship Program. The firm later merged with a student housing development company to serve as its internal general contractor. The last six years, that general contracting firm was responsible for the construction and development of just under $500 million and 10,000 beds of student housing developments across the country. Last year, he sold his previous interests and formed a new general contracting entity, Merck General Contracting, with a renewed focus on the multi-family and residential markets in the South and Southeast U.S. The company is looking forward to a bright future in the Central Texas market with its current revitalization.


Andrew B. Smith, BBA ’05, joined Sentinel Trust Company as a client relationship officer. Sentinel Trust, located in Houston, provides custom integrated planning, investment, fiduciary and administrative solutions to affluent families and their closely held businesses and entities.


Paul Christopher, BBA ’06, started and sold Uptown Popcorn. Christopher founded PopcornPaul with Baylor as his first client. The company is known for Paul’s Caramel, a flavor loved by Baylor fans since 2009.


Lindsey (Oden) Skinner, BBA ’07, was recently promoted to manager within the accounting & business consulting department of Pattillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P., located in Waco, Texas. Skinner has six years experience in preparing financial statements, payroll, sales and income tax returns.

Amber Strang, MBA ’07, joined Transwestern’s Tenant Advisory Services (TAS) team as the executive managing director in August 2013. Based in the firm’s Houston headquarters, Strang will be responsible for expanding Transwestern’s national tenant representation platform, supporting regional efforts in recruiting, skills development, integrated services and securing multi-market business. She will also join the company’s board of directors and executive committee. Strang previously worked at Cushman & Wakefield as managing director of corporate occupier and investment services for that firm’s 22-state central region. Before that, she served as senior vice president of global corporate solutions at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Leticia Womack, BBA ’07, opened Lety’s Gluten Free Bakery, based in Waco, Texas, in November 2013. She takes orders online or over the phone. Every ingredient is 100 percent gluten free, using a wide variety of specialty flours for different recipes.

Brinn Serbanic, BBA, MTAX ’08, was recently promoted to a manager within the tax department of Pattillo, Brown & Hill, L.L.P., located in Waco, Texas. She has five years of experience in financial planning and tax consulting services for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts.


Cesar Ramirez, BBA ’10, after graduating with a Management Information Systems degree, used his experience and family background in the restaurant and food service industry to start, a new web-based tool for family-owned restaurants, small independent restaurant owners and operators, and food service professionals seeking to lower food cost, arrange inventory, compare prices and place orders online. Each restaurant owner can create a unique profile in just three easy steps, and sales representatives can upload prices online.

Michael Schlegel, BBA ’99, MBA ’10, was elected Prorektor of a school called KBS in 2010, which is the equivalent of vice president in the U.S. The school is located in in Glarus, Switzerland. In 2012, he was elected to the administrative court of Glarus as judge. It is the highest state court in the state (canton) of Glarus. The next judicial step is the supreme court.

McKee Smith, MBA ’10, started a new video production company in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Modern Media Answers, LLC, helps businesses communicate more effectively with their customers, employees and investors by using video on the web, in presentations and in broadcast. Modern Media can stream company events live over the internet anywhere in the world with a data connection, with control of who can and cannot view it. Smith was a speaker at the Dallas Digital Summit in December on the subject of online video success. The conference had more than 1,000 attendees learning about digital marketing.


Jacob Murray, BBA ’11, was recently named CEO of Cimarron Memorial Hospital in Boise City, Okla. Building on his experience in long-term care, Jacob works to improve rural Americans’ access to quality, affordable healthcare in the Oklahoma panhandle region.

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Baylor Business Review, Spring 2014

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