Alumni News


Howard E. Butt, Jr., BBA ’47, the brother of H-E-B Chairman and chief executive officer Charles Butt and the oldest son of the grocery chain’s namesake founder Howard E. Butt, Sr., died in September. He was 89. Howard Butt, Jr., is best known to the public as the evangelistic member of the Butt family and as the folksy, comforting voice of one-minute radio spots titled, “The High Calling of Our Daily Work.” He operated the H.E. Butt Foundation, established in 1933 as one of the state’s earliest and largest philanthropic foundations. He also ran Laity Lodge, an ecumenical Christian retreat center in the Hill Country.


Randall C. Hinson, BBA ’74, has been appointed as director of sales and marketing by PowerVerde Inc. In 1981, Hinson founded Bear Pump & Equipment Ltd., which was acquired in 2008 by National Oilwell Varco.

Jim Oliver, BBA ’76, was recently named 2016-2017 chairman-elect of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA). He was selected by TSCPA’s Committee on Nominations and affirmed by an all-member vote. Oliver is chief executive officer and founder of Financial Life Advisors, and president and founder of Jim Oliver and Associates, P.C., both in San Antonio. His areas of expertise include tax planning, compliance, wealth management and strategic business advisory services. Oliver has been a member of TSCPA for 38 years and has served in various leadership roles for the San Antonio Chapter, including president in 1992-1993.

Paul Shultz, BBA ’76, MBA ’77, has been elected as president of the board of directors of the WaterTower Theatre, one of the leading regional theatres in North Dallas and Texas. Shultz is general manager of Slalom Consulting’s South Region businesses. He serves on the Hankamer School of Business Advisory Board as well.


Doug Myers, BBA ’80, was recently promoted to the position of senior vice president & Chicago market leader for the private client group of Associated Bank. This position oversees the private banking, trust, investment management and retail brokerage divisions for the bank.

Dirk Vander Zee, BBA ’80, MBA ’81, was appointed vice president of sales and marketing at Mooney International, an aircraft manufacturing company in Kerrville, Texas.

Gordon Bryant, BBA ’83, was selected to serve as the United States Magistrate Judge at the Lubbock division. Bryant previously served as the senior litigation counsel with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and as an instructor and faculty member at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center.

Mark Perkins, BBA ’83, MBA ’84, has been named chief executive officer of Kimbia, a provider of online fundraising solutions and crowdfunding events.

Mark Adickes, BBA ’84, has joined Baylor College of Medicine as chief of the division of sports medicine and associate professor of orthopedic surgery. A member of Baylor’s Hall of Fame, Adickes was an All-American during his playing career with the Bears, and then went on to a seven-year career in the NFL. After retirement, he completed his medical training at Harvard Medical School.

John Driskill, MBA ’84, was named treasurer of the not-for-profit National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) for 2015-2016, the largest trade organization of attorneys and representatives practicing Social Security disability law.

Shawn Nicholas, BBA ’86, won the 2016 National CFO Photo Contest, which highlighted the hobbies of chief financial officers outside of their work. Nicholas’s winning hobby was spending time with his grandchildren. He is chief financial officer at the Trabon Group, a technology and services company for the restaurant industry.

Scott Salmans, BBA ’87, is among three appointees by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the Judicial Compensation Commission. Salmans is owner and chief executive officer of WRS Group Ltd. He is a member and forum officer of the Young Presidents Organization and a member of the Waco Industrial Foundation Board, Baylor University Hankamer School of Business Advisory Board and the Waco Business League. Additionally, he is former president of the Baylor Waco Foundation, and a member and former board member of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce. He is chair of the Care Net Guesthouse Capital Campaign Committee, board member of the Care Net of Central Texas and a board member of Texas First State Bank.

Christopher Caddell, BBA ’88, was promoted to the chairman of the board of Heritage Bank in Burlington, Kentucky. Caddell has worked for Heritage Bank for 20 years and has served as vice chair for the past two years. He succeeded his father, who founded the bank and held the position for 25 years.

Stephen C. Raffaele, BA Business Administration ’88, was appointed to the position of senior executive vice president and chief operating officer for Sterling Bancshares, Inc. Raffaele will be responsible for all the non-lending operations areas of the bank and will serve as the fourth member of the bank’s executive management team. During his more than 25-year career, Raffaele has amassed a broad range of experience in banking, wealth management, financial management, acquisitions, operations, investments and capital markets while serving as chief financial officer, chief strategy officer and/or chief operations officer for several large financial services organizations in the Houston and Dallas markets. He is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Andrew C. Schaffer, BBA ’88, has been a college professor for more than 20 years. He has just published a book, “Financial Planning for College Graduates.” The book is specifically written to guide prospective and recent graduates in basic financial principles, including debt management, employee benefits, insurance, investments, retirement savings, taxes and other topics.

Don Willett, BBA ’88, a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas since 2005, completed the Master of Judicial Studies program at Duke University School of Law, earning a LLM in Judicial Studies alongside 17 distinguished jurists from around the world. You can keep track of Willett––the official Tweeter Laureate of Texas––@JusticeWillett.


Brett Graham, BBA ’90, has been appointed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the Board of Motor Vehicles, which is responsible for overseeing the development of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Graham is owner and chief executive officer of Graham International. He is a board member of the Texas Association of Business, and a member of the Texas Automobile Dealers Association and the Texas Tire Dealers Association. He is a trustee of the Pottsboro Independent School District School Board, board secretary of Grayson Central Appraisal District, board chair of Texoma Health Foundation and Denison Development Foundation, and a board member of Ameristate Bank.

Brent Boydston, BBA ’91, has been appointed vice president of sales for PGT Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of residential, impact-resistant windows and doors.

Ashley Ferguson, BBA ’91, chief executive officer of Marburger Farm Antique Show, was honored by the Mentoring Alliance of Tyler, Texas, for her support of youth and the agency’s programs.

Elizabeth Ingram Carlyle, BBA ’92, has been named vice president and associate general counsel for Vision Source, North America’s largest network of independent optometrists. Carlyle has spent the last 13 years at Houston’s Second Baptist Church as general counsel and director of planned giving.

Greg Davis, BBA ’92, a photographer, displayed his “India’s Kumbh Mela” exhibit at the Art Center of Waco in August. The display features photos Davis captured three years ago during a National Geographic Creative assignment at the 55-day Hindu festival Kumbh Mela, which only occurs once every 12 years.

Holly Hafley-Morgan, BBA ’94, was named assistant vice president, Human Resources, for BNSF Railway—a Berkshire Hathaway company. In this role, Hafley-Morgan leads the team that is responsible for employment and staffing, employee relations support, succession planning, internal assessment and selection, and performance management program administration for approximately 43,000 employees in BNSF’s operations department.

Robert Lang, BBA ’95, was hired as managing director of global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal. Lang is also a frequent guest lecturer in the graduate Accounting program at Baylor and serves on the advisory board for the Accounting & Business Law Department.

Doug Bacon, BBA ’97, has joined Kirkland & Ellis as a corporate partner. Bacon advises private equity firms, companies and corporations on complex multinational mergers and acquisitions, many of which involve carve-out acquisitions and sales. Previously, Bacon worked at the New York office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, where he was a partner.

Edgar McKee, BBA ’97, owns a real estate development business with a focus on senior housing based in Mississippi. He has developed nine facilities with more than 1,000 units and manages seven additional facilities though the management company he started.

Scott Conine, BBA ’98, is currently chief operating officer of Rise Interactive, one of the nation’s fastest growing digital marketing agencies. The 230-person agency was founded in 2004, and Conine came on board in 2006 as its third employee, initially working from Rise’s chief executive officer and founder Jon Morris’ apartment. Over the past 10 years with Rise, he has helped the agency grow into a multimillion-dollar business, holding positions as the agency’s first director of client services, the head of corporate marketing and the head of technology, among others. In his current role, he heads all aspects of operations within the agency including accounting and finance, human resources and talent acquisition, legal and office administration.


Ben Gatzke, MBA ’00, has recently been appointed to the governing board of the Department of Information Resources (DIR) by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Gatzke is president and chief executive officer of Total Management, Inc. He is a member of the Jewel Charity and board member of the Baylor University School of Music Board.

Clint Harp, BBA ’00, and wife Kelly are starring in a new show on DIY Network titled “Against the Grain.” Harp, a woodworker, has been previously featured on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” and this show will follow him as he builds custom pieces from reclaimed wood.

Renita Miller, BBA ’00, has been announced as the next dean of Berkeley College at Yale University. Miller previously served as director of studies for Forbes College at Princeton University and as director of the Princeton Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.

Natalie Wilkins, BBA ’01, was named chief of staff at Cook Children’s Health Care System, where she will be responsible for internal and external communications on behalf of the executive office. She previously was administrative director of clinical programs for North Texas Specialty Physicians.

Isaac Kohlbacher, BBA ’02, has joined First Oklahoma Bank’s Jenks banking center as a vice president and lender. Kohlbacher, who has two years of banking experience, previously was a vice president with JPMorgan Chase.

Jahnavi Parekh, BBA ’02, MAcc ’02, was inducted into Baylor University’s 57th annual hall of fame class. Parekh played tennis for Baylor University and was a three-time, all-Big 12 performer. She is the first women’s tennis player to be inducted into the hall of fame.

William (Bill) Cornelius, BBA ’03, has been named director of investment banking firm Crutchfield Capital Corporation, headquartered in Houston. Cornelius has 12 years of investment banking, principal investing, commercial banking and business operations experience. He has successfully executed private company mergers and acquisitions, sourced and provided debt and equity capital, and managed troubled company restructurings and bankruptcies.

Cody Turner, BBA ’03, and his brother Shane, plan to renovate part of downtown Waco into Franklin Square. The renovations will convert the Franklin Avenue buildings between 7th and 8th Streets into loft apartments, on-site parking, retail and restaurant space. The brothers have been presented with the Texas Business Star award from the Texas Economic Development Corp., which recognizes companies that make a significant impact on their communities. Their Turner Real Estate company has invested heavily in downtown Waco, converting old and historic properties into lofts, offices and retail and entertainment space.

Ben Lamm, BBA ’04, is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Conversable, his newest venture, which is an enterprise conversation platform for creating intelligent, on-demand, automated response flows through one-to-one conversations in any messaging channel. As the founder and former chief executive officer behind Chaotic Moon Studios, a global creative technology powerhouse (acquired by Accenture), Lamm spearheaded the creation of some of the Fortune 500’s most groundbreaking digital products and experiences in the emerging tech world of IoT, VR, Connected Car, Mobile, Tablet, OTT and Wearables. Chaotic Moon Studios clients include: Disney, Marvel, Pizza Hut, Dell, Starbucks, CBS, Intel, Whole Foods, WWE, BET, Microsoft, Newscorp, Caesars Palace, GM, Univision, Fox and many more.

Dane Gates, BBA ’05, a realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties, has been named one of the “Top 20 under 40” by the Houston Association of Realtors.

Brad Cunningham, BBA ’07, and his band, The Brad Cunningham Band, recently recorded their debut album, “Every Inch of Texas.” Cunningham wrote or co-wrote every song on the album.

Ester Gonzalez, MSIS ’08, Information Systems PhD ’12, is working with a financial institution to conduct a study investigating how wearable fitness trackers can improve employee health and engagement. Using data from the fitness trackers and interviews with participants, Gonzalez hopes to see how the technology improves health and community in the institution.

Sarah L. Duwe, BBA ’09, moved back to her hometown of Eden, Texas, the day after graduation to join the family business, Schumann’s Inc., an upscale ladies boutique. Her grandmother, Helen Schumann, started the home store in Eden in 1967. Her mother, Paula Duwe, opened the second location in Marble Falls, Texas, in 1999, and together, the women opened their third location in San Angelo, Texas, in 2016.

Earle Hager, MBA ’09, works in the area of global technology commercialization. He has completed projects for universities, SBIR grantees, startups and venture groups from his office in West Los Angeles. Hager has been consulting in this space since 2007, with stints at the University of Texas and the University of California at Irvine.

Joe Pawelek, BBA ’09, has been appointed vice president of corporate finance and investor relations by Lilis Energy Inc. Pawelek was a Baylor football letterwinner from 2005-2009 and played professionally for the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.


Meredith Lockhart, BBA ’11, owns the jewelry company Meltgoods, where she employs refugee women.

Gib Reynolds, BBA ’12, has established Urban Produce, a new hydroponic greenhouse operation in South Waco, Texas, that provides about 6,000 heads of lettuce a week for H-E-B supermarkets locally and around the state, as well as selling to restaurants and food wholesalers, including Sysco. Reynolds is a part-time lecturer in the Entrepreneurship Department.

Bayleigh Dayton, BBA ’14, became the first African-American woman to win the Miss Missouri USA title. Dayton will advance to the nationally-televised Miss USA Pageant this year.

Jake Cockerill, BBA ’15, and Kevin Renois, BBA ’16, have organized the weekly meetings of the Waco, Texas, 1 Million Cups, a national program that promotes entrepreneurship “based on the notion that entrepreneurs network and discover solutions over a million cups of coffee.” Cockerill is manager of entrepreneurship and innovation for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, while Renois is director of City Venture Waco.

Hunter Gorman, BBA ’16, started his own business, E2 Creative, making handcrafted products like swings, tables, cutting boards and beds. He seeks to make items out of recycled materials.

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Baylor Business Review, Spring 2017

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