Alumni News

The Latest ‘Goings-Ons’ from Hankamer Alumni

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Bob Lucas, BBA ’41, former World War II pilot, spoke to students at La Poynor Middle School and High School in Larue, Texas, as a part of organization Free to Be’s presentation on war, freedom and patriotism. Lucas shared the story of his plane being shot down in Germany and how he was able to successfully escape to neutral territory.


Ben Hagins, BBA ’70, has written a book, Slice of Heaven, published by Shari Parker Publishing. See Hagins was in the U.S. Air Force 10 years, mostly in the B-52 program in Fort Worth, Texas, and spent nearly 30 years as an advisor with First Command Financial Planning. He was captain of the golf team, and is now active at First Baptist Woodway and Waco Links Fellowship. Hagins has been married to Kathy for 43 years, and his son Trey works for Baylor in University Development.

Joel Johnson, BBA ’75, retired in January as 156th district court judge after 20 years on the bench, although he will continue to hear cases statewide as a visiting judge.

John Eddie Williams, Jr., BBA ’76, was honored as 2015 Distinguished Alumnus by the Pasadena, Texas, Independent School District Board of Trustees. Williams is a 1972 Pasadena High School graduate, successful attorney and managing partner at Williams Kherkher Law Firm in Houston. Williams is a generous supporter of the Pasadena ISD Education Foundation, helping fund classroom grants.

Amy Aldrich Thomas, BBA ’77, was honored as Distinguished Baylor Woman for 2015 by the alumni group Baylor Women of Central Texas at its annual brunch and silent auction in February.


William Sims, BBA ‘80, was appointed chief executive officer of Salmon Sims Thomas and Associates, having previously served as chief operating officer. He brings more than 30 years of accounting experience to his new role and is recognized as an expert in the nonprofit sector with a concentration in religious organizations, agencies, country clubs and associations.

Michael Doyle, BBA ’81, was named vice president and business development officer of the newest branch of First Business Financial Services, Inc., set to open in San Antonio. Doyle has been active in the financial services industry for 28 years, focusing on asset-based lending.

Roland Garcia, BBA ’81, a shareholder in the Houston office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, recently served as a delegate with a weeklong investment and trade mission to Panama and Colombia. The mission, led by Houston Mayor Annise Parker and organized by the Greater Houston Partnership, the city of Houston and several Houston-based chambers of commerce, focused on strengthening the city’s economic and cultural ties with important Latin American trade partners. As a member of the delegation, Garcia met with elected officials, business executives and community leaders across several cities, including Panama City in Panama, and Bogota, Barranquilla and Cartagena in Colombia. Mission briefings, site visits and roundtables covered a wide range of industries, such as manufacturing, advanced technologies, tourism, transportation, energy and infrastructure, and life sciences, among others. With more than 25 years of experience, Garcia handles a wide range of commercial litigation cases, including matters involving claims for breach of contract, non-competition agreements, trade secrets and copyright infringement. Additionally, he represents clients in local, state and national governmental relations and political matters, and in government contracts, grants, procurement, concessions, open records and public information act demands, and due process challenges. Garcia is experienced in counseling multinational clients who seek to do business in the United States, particularly in the greater Houston area and across Texas.

Frank A. “Andy” Wilson, BBA ’81, was appointed independent director of Sparton Corporation, a leading contractor for the design and manufacture of low-to-medium volume, highly complex, electromechanical devices. In this role, he has overall leadership responsibility for the strategy and operations of all company finance and control functions.

David Fuller, BBA ’82, MBA ’83, was named president of the SunTrust Foundation by SunTrust Banks Inc., one of the nation’s largest banking organizations. The SunTrust Foundation contributes to the social, cultural and economic development of communities across the company’s markets. Fuller began his banking career in 1983 and joined SunTrust in 2004.

Tom Horton, BBA ’83, former chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines, was appointed to the Wal-Mart Stores Board of Directors. While with the airline, Horton led American through a successful restructuring and turnaround, which culminated in the merger with US Airways, creating the world’s largest airline.

Elizabeth Davis, BBA ’84, Baylor University’s former executive vice president and provost, has been officially inaugurated as the president of Furman University. Davis is the 12th president at the 189-year-old institution.

Troy Fore, BBA ’84, MBA ’85, president and chief executive officer of 4Trust, has become president of First Financial Mortgage, the mortgage division of First Financial Bank. Fore’s new title is the result of First Financial Bank’s recent asset purchase agreement of 4Trust Mortgage, Inc. Fore, who has 35 years of mortgage banking experience, will be in charge of the bank’s mortgage lending operation.

Laura Harmon, BBA ’84, joined the Cushman & Wakefield/Thalhimer’s Greenville, S.C., office and will specialize in retail sales and leasing.

Stacy M. Hodges, BBA ’84, has been named chief financial officer of Wunderlich Investment Company, a leading full-service investment firm headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Wunderlich is the holding company for Wunderlich Securities. Hodges also has served on the Baylor Accounting Advisory Council.

Shelley Giglio, BBA ’86, and Louie Giglio were named honorary award winners at the Gospel Music Association Honors for their work with Passion, a bible study they founded at Baylor, which has grown into an international ministry called the Passion Movement. The Passion Conferences have reached thousands of college students around the world. Giglio also serves as a member of the Baylor University Board of Regents.

Ken Paxton, MBA ’86, was sworn in as Texas’ 51st attorney general in Austin in January. Paxton is a former state senator who served as Baylor’s student body president.

David Schrader, BBA ’87, executive vice president and managing director at Disney Theatrical Group in New York City, offered his former high school, Friendswood High School in Houston, the chance to perform the classic musical “Mary Poppins.” In his role with the Disney Theatrical Group, Schrader oversees planning and other business functions needed to produce live entertainment properties, such as “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Melissa Stangle, BBA ’87, has been named Teacher of the Year at Boerne Independent School District’s Cibolo Creek Elementary School. She joined the faculty in 2009 and teaches fourth grade. She has been active in a number of areas with Cibolo Creek, including serving as grade level chair. She also has served on two district committees.

Rob Straughan, BBA ’87, was named the next dean of Washington and Lee University’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics. Straughan has served as associate dean, and professor of business administration and marketing at the Williams School.

Todd Behringer, BBA ’88,co-owner of Bicycle World in Waco, Texas, announced he will buy a 27-acre private tract next to Cameron Park and keep it open to the public. Behringer owns Texas Endurance Sports, the parent company to outdoors and bicycle stores in the Houston area, in addition to Bicycle World (formerly Outdoor Waco).

Jeanette Miller, BBA ’88, has been named director of Cass Career Center for the 2015-16 school year by the Harrisonville, Mo., School District’s Board of Education. Miller has worked in the Harrisonville School District since 2003 and served as Cass Career Center assistant director for the past four years.

Cossy Pachares, BBA ’88, was elected the vice president of LifeWay’s retail division. Pachares brought 14 years of LifeWay experience to the position, having served as associate vice president of LifeWay’s publishing company, where he led daily operations, including publishing and strategic planning.


Alan Jones, BBA ’90, was appointed the regional sales manager for extrusion in the Southwest region for Graham Engineering Corporation. Based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Jones will be responsible for sales in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Melvin Hunt, BBA ’91, is currently serving as the interim head coach for the Denver Nuggets. Hunt spent four years on Baylor’s basketball team where he helped lead the team to both NCAA and NIT tournaments.

Paul Wilson, BBA ’91, MBA ’94, MTAX ’94, former ORIX USA chief accounting officer, was promoted to chief financial officer (CFO). As CFO, Wilson will be in charge of overseeing all of the company’s financial disciplines, including financial controls, treasury, tax, financial planning and financial reporting to the parent company, ORIX Corporation. Before joining ORIX USA, Wilson spent 11 years with public accounting firms.

Angela Nash, BBA ’92, was hired as the vice president of development for the Methodist Health System Foundation. Nash leads key capital campaigns and works to further the mission of the Methodist Health System. In the past decade, Nash has served on more than a dozen charitable boards, guiding major growth and strategic initiatives, resulting in more than $7.5 million in total donations.

Jeff Cook, BBA ’93, president and chief executive officer of Insurance Services for Seton Healthcare Family, was named a board member for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM). The nonprofit organization focuses on providing affordable healthcare for low-income musicians.

David Roberts, BBA ’93, was promoted to president and chief operating officer of American Traffic Solutions. He leads the state and local government solutions, and fleet services business units. He is responsible for managing and implementing the company’s strategic plan. Roberts joined American Traffic Solutions in 2014 from Billing Tree, where he was president and chief executive officer.

Laura Roman, BBA ’95, was recently appointed chairman of the Midland, Texas, Chamber of Commerce.

Hope Knight, BBA ’96, was appointed district attorney of Leon County in January. Knight was in a private practice and president of the Walker County Bar Association.

David Saulnier, MBA ’96, was appointed chief risk officer of State Street Global Advisors, a global leader in asset management.

Chip Gaines, BBA ’98, and his wife Joanna have signed up for a third season of popular reality show “Fixer Upper” on HGTV, which is based in Waco, Texas. They also have retail and real estate businesses, and are in the process of renovating the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Co. in downtown Waco.


Benjamin D. Lamb, BBA ’00, was named senior vice president of finance and corporate development by EnLink Midstream companies. Lamb leads mergers, acquisitions and financing transactions for EnLink while partnering with other units to identify and execute projects that support EnLink’s overall growth strategy.

Joel Peel, BBA ’00, and his brother John Peel are renovating a historic downtown building in Waco, Texas, for their two growing businesses. Joel Peel has 22 employees at Hole in the Roof, which designs and makes promotional apparel, and does print and Web promotions.

Elisa C. Fox, BBA ’02, was promoted to senior associate at Decker Jones, P.C., a Texas law firm. Fox previously worked in commercial, residential and construction lending.

Emily Maybin, BBA ’02, has been named a shareholder to the accounting firm Stewart, Martin, Dudley & Webb. Maybin is a certified public accountant and has been employed by the firm for more than 14 years.

Jeremiah Marks, BBA ’06, joined Opera Philadelphia in 2015 as chief financial officer. He oversees and manages all financial systems, business functions, human resources administration and information systems for the company. Prior to joining Opera Philadelphia, Marks held the title of controller at Seattle Opera. Since 2011, he implemented a company-wide financial system, managed banking, auditing, insurance and government relationships, and fiscally guided Seattle Opera through the 2014 Wagner Ring Festival, which resulted in Seattle Opera’s most successful financial year. Marks brings to Opera Philadelphia years of public accounting experience from one of the top international firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers. At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Marks focused on private company services in both audit and tax. Marks also has worked for the publicly-traded company Dean Foods, where he was instrumental in streamlining the compliance process. He frequently speaks at opera industry conferences and colleges. He is married to Leslie Marks and has two sons, Tristan and Merrick.

Josh Lawson, BBA ’07, and his wife Jenny teach classes on financial planning with spiritual guidance at Antioch Community Church, in Waco, Texas, where Lawson serves as the director of community engagement and head of its Financial Restoration Ministry. They have guided more than 500 church members and community groups to financial success through their Realign program, which has recently been published as a book and curriculum guide. The couple hopes to expand their audience beyond Waco through their publication.

William T. McCunniff, BBA ’07, a family physician in Waco, Texas, was awarded the 2014 Award for Excellence in Graduate Medical Education by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) at its annual meeting. McCunniff’s honor from AAFP recognizes outstanding family medicine residents for their leadership, civic involvement, exemplary patient care and aptitude for and interest in family medicine.

Jennifer Fox, MBA ’09, president of FRHI Hotels & Resorts, International Division, and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, has been named to the board of directors at Inspirato, what is considered the largest destination club in the world. Fox has more than 25 years of experience in the luxury, resort and business segments of the hospitality industry, with an extensive background in hotel operations, brand development, marketing, and hotel brand and market repositioning.

Erin Royston, BBA ’09, represented Cerner Corporation at the NASDAQ opening bell on February 3, 2015. The ceremony acknowledged Cerner’s acquisition of the Siemens Health Services business unit assets for $1.3 billion. Royston was a member of the due diligence and integration teams. Her work on the due diligence team centered on client segmentation and retention strategy, as well as industry messaging. During the integration process, Royston focused on preparing the combined organizations to retain clients, enhance associate satisfaction and accelerate innovation to improve healthcare. Prior to her role with the Siemens Health Services acquisition, she was a leader on Cerner’s market strategy team. The team developed and implemented strategies to improve Cerner’s win rate in the large hospital market segment. As a result of the team’s efforts, Cerner doubled its win rate against its primary competitors.


Christian Brown, BBA ’10, has been hired on to the Houston Ballet’s senior management team as director of marketing and public relations. Brown is responsible for coordinating all of Houston Ballet communications strategies and overseeing the company’s marketing, public relations and ticketing services departments.

Clinton Washington, BBA ’11, performed in blind auditions for the television show “The Voice” and was selected to be a member of Christina Aguilera’s team. He currently works for a digital agency in New York City, but he has been singing and performing since he was young.

John David Beard, BBA ’14, with partner Dylan Washington, is opening a new coffee roaster business called Pinewood Roasters in McGregor, Texas. Their goal is to design coffee shop-specific brands, and sell their products online and in local coffee shops.

Hannah Gore, BBA ’14, opened a salon called On the Avenue Salon & Blowout Bar in downtown Waco, Texas, and hopes to create a newer industry concept by creating a menu for customers to choose what style they’d like to receive while sitting behind a bar. As part of her senior project at Baylor, Gore created a business plan for the salon, which was well received by her professors.

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Baylor Business Review, Fall 2015

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