2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

Alumni, friends, and school leadership gathered on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 for the annual Hall of Fame celebration. This year the Texas McCombs School inducted three prominent business leaders into its Hall of Fame: Richard D. Folger, The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson, and Theodore T. “Ted” Wang. Jay Hartzell, dean, also recognized the 2018 Rising Stars, Lisa Seacat DeLuca, David R. Druley, and Jeffrey M. Duchin, for their early accomplishments.

The McCombs School of Business established the Hall of Fame 35 years ago in recognition of The University of Texas at Austin’s centennial celebration. The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding professional contributions to the business community and who, by their exemplary civic, philanthropic, and educational activities, have advanced humanity. The Hall of Fame award is the highest honor given by the McCombs School of Business.

Each inductee has an incredible life story and we are proud to have them be a part of the McCombs Hall of Fame. We invite you to learn more about their successes and contributions through the videos below.

2018 Hall of Fame Inductees


Richard D. Folger, BBA 1981, BS 1984
Managing General Partner
Colbridge Partners, Ltd.

Richard Folger is managing general partner of Colbridge Partners, Ltd., a private investment partnership. In April 2015, he retired as chief executive officer and president of Warren Equipment Company. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Compressor Systems, Inc.

Richard’s affiliations include: chairman of the McCombs School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council, active member of the University Development Board and the Engineering Advisory Board for UT, Executive Committee of The UT System Chancellor’s Council, director and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas – El Paso Branch, immediate past-chairman of the Board of Trustees of Midland Memorial Hospital, Advisory Board for The Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust and The Rea Charitable Trust, and director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. Active memberships include the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Natural Gas Society of the Permian Basin.

Richard is a lifetime member of the Texas Exes and is a Cockrell School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni. He has supported the university through endowed scholarships in Petroleum Engineering, the President’s Associates Endowment, the Leadership Chair in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, and the Dean’s Leadership Chair in the McCombs School of Business. Richard and his wife Lois reside in Midland, Texas.



The Honorable Rex W. Tillerson, BS 1975
Former U.S. Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State

Rex W. Tillerson served as the nation’s 69th Secretary of State. Prior to that, he concluded a career of more than 41 years in the petroleum industry, retiring as chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation. Tillerson spent the entirety of his career with the corporation, rising through the ranks and following a number of domestic and foreign assignments.

Tillerson has close involvement with the Boy Scouts of America, earning its highest rank of Eagle Scout and the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. He is a former member of the Boy Scouts of America’s executive committee and served as the national president of the Boy Scouts.

Tillerson is a former member of the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petroleum Council serving as chairman of both. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and holds an honorary Doctorate of Engineering form Worcester Polytechnic Institute and he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of UT. He served as a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as an honorary trustee of the Business Council for International Understanding, and as a member of the Emergency Committee for American Trade. He was a member of the Business Roundtable and he is a former Director of the United Negro College Fund and a former Vice-Chairman of the Ford’s Theatre Society.



Theodore T. Wang, MBA 1996
Founding Managing Partner
Puissance Capital Management

Theodore T. Wang is the founding managing partner of Puissance Capital Management, a global asset management firm which focuses on long term demographic trends in US and China. Prior to Puissance, Wang was a Partner of Goldman Sachs and during his 19-year tenure at the firm he held many leadership positions including Co-Head of US Equities Trading, Global Co-Head of One Delta Trading, and a member of the Goldman Sachs Risk Committee. Additionally, as the most senior Chinese partner at the firm Mr. Wang was deeply involved in the firm’s expansion into China, where he developed extensive relationships with government officials, regulators, corporate and investing clients. Wang has distinguished himself throughout his career at Goldman Sachs for his leadership and dedication to the Goldman Sachs’ culture, people, and clients.

Wang joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 after earning an MBA from the McCombs School of Business. He was named managing director in 2002, and partner in 2006. Prior to attending McCombs, Wang co-founded Xeotron Corp., a company specializing in DNA biochips in Texas. He also holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Minnesota and a BS from Fudan University, China. Wang serves on the four public corporate boards and is a trustee of the Museum of Chinese in America, the Dunhuang Foundation, the Spence School, and a member of Committee of 100.



Dean Jay Hartzell also recognized the 2018 Rising Stars at the Hall of Fame celebration. The Rising Star Award, established in 2004-05, goes to alumni no further than ten years from graduation who have experienced professional success and have shown exemplary service to the Texas McCombs Alumni Network. Congratulations to Lisa Seacat DeLuca, David R. Druley, and Jeffrey M. Duchin.




Class Note: Jeffrey Knupp, MBA ’09

Jeffrey Knupp was elected to join the partnership at Perella Weinberg Partners effective January 1, 2019. Read more.

Knupp focuses on advising upstream clients in the energy sector and has more than 10 years of investment banking experience. He previously served as a petroleum engineer consultant for Netherland, Sewell & Associates. Prior to that, Mr. Knupp was an exploitation engineer at Merit Energy Company. He began his career at ExxonMobil Development Company as a reservoir engineer.

Class Note: Dan Driscoll, MBA ’14

Texas MBA Dan Driscoll mentions in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of an MBA. Read more here. 

Class Note: Erin Patten, BBA ’07

Erin Patten, BBA ’07 and past chair of the BBA Advisory Board, and her partner Willis Marshall started a hair care business venture together, DāO, which stands for Defying All Odds. She and Will began mixing their own natural hair products in their bathroom at home, and the compliments came pouring in. The brand also works to combat a very real social injustice affecting black women and men worldwide. The #DaOMovement “Own Your Identity” campaign came to life after Erin was told in her first job out of college that her natural hair was “inappropriate” for her work environment. The anxiety and insecurity she felt from this resulted in desperate attempts to get her hair to conform, from chemical treatments to heat styling, but now she and Will are dedicated to empowering women to embrace their curls and kinks. Read more.

The McCombs School Announces New MBA Advisory Board Members and Executive Committee Leadership for Fall 2018

The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin announces the appointment of the following members to its MBA Advisory Board.

  • Erin Case, MBA 2003, Senior Vice President, Coty, New York, NY
  • Danielle Crayton, MBA 2010, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft, Seattle, WA
  • Carlos Dinkins, MBA 2012, Director of Sales, Heyday Beverage Company, Austin, TX
  • Nida Kia, MBA 2010, Director Digital Strategic Partnerships, AT&T, Dallas, TX
  • Ryan Nixon, MBA 2008, Managing Partner, Goshawk Global Investments, LLC, Austin, TX
  • Brian Payne, MBA 2003, Vice President, Dell Inc. Austin, TX

Additionally, the board’s executive committee assumed new leadership:

  • Chair: Ken Parekh, MBA 1987, CEO, Parekh Partners LLC
  • Vice Chair: Arthur Mills, MBA 2004, Executive Director Talent Management and Organizational Strategy, Fulton County Schools
  • Past Chair: KD Weitzel, MBA 1983, Practice Director, Strategy, Slalom Consulting

The McCombs School would like to thank our new members and leaders and also thank outgoing leader, Emily Reagan, who has become an emeritus member having served as past chair.

Additionally, Chad Auler, MBA 2003, Jim McMullan, MBA 1996, Arthur Mills, IV, MBA 2004, Susan Saurage-Altenloh, MBA 2003 have been reappointed for a second active term. View the full membership.

The McCombs School of Business MBA Advisory Board formed in 2008. Members assist the dean, associate dean of graduate programs, faculty, and staff of the McCombs School of Business in achieving and maintaining “best of class” status for the MBA programs. Members support the MBA program’s strategy planning, curricula, external affairs, alumni engagement, fundraising efforts, and student placement. Member nominations are accepted on a rolling basis. The executive committee considers nominations for membership each spring and new three-year terms begin Sept. 1.

Class Note: Christopher Griffin, MBA ’05

Business leader Christopher Griffin is one of the new and familiar faces lifting up the North Dallas region as an emerging hub for gold technology and manufacturing. Inspired by golf legend, Ben Hogan, Griffin is producing his luxury P53 Irons in Fort Worth. Read more about Griffin and his bespoke clubs here. 

Class Note: Tracy Norris, MBA ’15

Gov. Greg Abbott Monday named Army Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris of Austin as the adjutant general of Texas, the first woman to command the Texas Military Department, made up of the Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and the Texas State Guard.

Norris, who was serving as deputy adjutant general for Army, will succeed Maj. Gen. John F. Nichols, who became the 51st adjutant general for Texas in 2011, and is retiring at the end of the year. Read the full story here.

Class Note: Michael Stewart, MBA ’04

Saline Health System in Benton has chosen Michael Stewart as its new chief executive officer. Stewart will assume the role Nov.ember 30.

Stewart brings nearly 15 years of health-care leadership experience to this new role. He is coming to Saline Health System from Navarro Regional Hospital in Corsicana, Texas, where he has served as CEO since 2006. Read the full story here.

Class Note: Ryan Stash, BBA ’00, MPA ’00, MBA ’07

Harvest Oil & Gas Corp. (“Harvest” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Ryan Stash as Vice President and CFO.

Mr. Stash most recently served as a Managing Director at Regions Securities focused on the energy sector. Prior to that, he spent 11 years in the Energy Investment Banking Group for Wells Fargo Securities in Houston rising to the level of Director. Prior to that, Mr. Stash spent 5 years as an auditor working at Hewlett-Packard and Ernst & Young, LLP.  Read more about the appointment here. 

Class Note: Judson Kauffman, MBA, Ryan Campbell, MBA ’17, Brent Looby, MBA ’17

McCombs Alumni and Desert Door co-founder, Judson Kauffman, Ryan Campbell, MBA ’17, and Brent Looby, MBA ’17, have made their mark on the city.

Desert Door, made from a spiky, heat-tolerant Dasylirion wheeleri plant known colloquially as “desert spoon,” has received a proclamation from the City of Austin: Nov. 16 is Texas Sotol Day, in honor of the distillery’s one-year anniversary. Read the full story here.



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