Pumping Up Your Power and Influence: Strategies for Being Heard and Making a Difference

Power and influence, not performance, are often keys to succeeding in the workplace and both come in many forms such as legitimate, expert, reward, referent, and coercive. Dr. Kristie J. Loescher, Sr. Lecturer, Department of Management, discusses ways to master and balance these multiple sources of power in her webinar for the Texas McCombs Alumni Network, Pumping Up Your Power and Influence: Strategies for Being Heard and Making a Difference. Watch the webinar.

Dr. Kristie J. Loescher teaches management, leadership, and business communications at the McCombs School of Business. Prior to her career in academia, Kristie worked in the health care industry for 15 years in the areas of quality assurance, utilization management, and clinical research. Her academic publications focus on ethical education, organizational ethics, communication, change management, diversity management, process improvement in health care delivery systems, and health care reform. Dr. Loescher is the associate director for the Business Foundations Program and the director of curriculum and community engagement for the Healthcare Innovation Initiative.

Class Note: Jeff Gustavson, MBA ’99

Jeff Gustavson, MBA ’99, vice president of Chevron’s Mid-Continent Business Unit leads Chevron’s efforts in West Texas’ booming Permian Basin.

The Houston Chronicle interviewed Mr. Gustavson about his history in the oil industry and Chevron’s future. View the Q&A here.

Class Note: Susan V. Sample, MPA ’87

Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, P.C. is pleased to announce the addition of three new Shareholders to its Houston office: Well-known Energy Litigation Shareholders Richard “Dick” Schwartz and Todd S. Frank, as well as Tax attorney and City of West University Place Mayor, Susan V. Sample.

“Last year we expanded our footprint in Houston by 40 percent to accommodate for new attorneys,” said Phil C. Appenzeller, Jr., CEO of Munsch Hardt. ”Dick, Todd and Susan are hard-working, well-respected attorneys who bring a wealth of experience and leadership to the Firm. They are exactly the type of attorneys we were hoping to attract, and we are delighted they have found a new home at Munsch Hardt. We hope this is just the beginning of an active and successful lateral recruiting year for us in Houston.” Read More

Class Note: Jason K. Willard, MPA ’96

Jason K Willard, MPA ’96, announced the launch of his company GetLoci. GetLoci is a new online platform for digital payments, remittance and investing with digital assets backed by a fiat currency or Bitcoin.

Mr. Willard is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. Read more about Mr. Willard and GetLoci here.

Class Note: Ben Moreland, BBA ’84

Ben Moreland, BBA ’84 and Advisory Council Member, has been named chair of Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings’ post-emergence Board of Directors.

Moreland will serve as the lead independent director on the Board of Directors. He is a private investor and retired CEO of Crown Castle. Read more here.

Class Note: Stu Bell, MBA ’99

CrowdOut Capital LLC, a pioneering non-bank, private lender for middle market companies, today announced the opening of its Dallas office and the hiring of Stu Bell to lead the market. Bell has more than 20 years of experience in commercial banking and private equity.

“From an investor and a borrower perspective, Dallas makes the most sense for our second office, and there is no one more qualified than Stu Bell to lead it,” said Alexander Schoenbaum, CEO of CrowdOut Capital. “His background in private equity and commercial lending provides an invaluable perspective to our team. Stu’s integrity and work ethic are perfectly aligned with our already growing company.” Read More

Alumni Q&A: Mandy Price, BBA ’03, Co-Founder and CEO, Kanarys, Inc.

Forbes featured women-led tech startup, Kanarys, Inc., the first social enterprise technology platform that aims to foster collaboration between companies and employees on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. The startup was able to secure $575K in its first round of funding, which ended in January of 2019. Kanarys, Inc. was co-founded by BBA ’03 alumna and BBA Advisory Board Member, Mandy Price and COO of Kanarys, Star Carter.

Dominique Fluker, senior contributor at Forbes, sat down with Price to talk about her journey to tech entrepreneurship. Read the full Q&A feature on Forbes.com.

Fluker: Share your career journey. Why did you transition from being an attorney to Co-Founder and CEO of Kanarys?

Price: My career as a corporate attorney is what sparked the idea for Kanarys. Lack of diversity and inclusion is something I experienced first-hand as an African-American female attorney. I had achieved what I set out to do in my professional life: attend a top-tier, Ivy League law school, rise the ranks of a top law firm, and enjoy accolades, and yet, at times, I still often felt like an outsider. I remember on one occasion sitting in a meeting with a client, when one of my fellow partners referred to me as the firm’s “diverse” partner. It was clear to me at that moment, that I was neither valued or seen as a full member of the team. Instead, I had been relegated to a “token.”

After 12 years as an attorney, I realized I wanted to change the workplace once and for all. I co-founded Kanarys to help companies create workplace cultures where everyone belongs.

Fluker: Kanarys, Inc., is a technology company that is using data and analytics to address diversity and inclusion issues in the workplace. What inspired you to start Kanarys?

Price: From my own corporate experience and in talking with hundreds of other underrepresented professionals, I observed that despite many well-meaning diversity initiatives in corporate America, those initiatives tend to be superficial and don’t translate into collaborative, inclusive dialogues that also support the business. In fact, a recent study shows that less than 30% of people of color reported a sense of belonging in their workplace. This is a problem for both employees and companies because those same employees end up leaving, resulting in attrition costs of approximately $144,000 per employee, annually.

As we started Kanarys, we realized that inclusive cultures don’t just happen – they’re intentional. And by re-aligning our collective focus to value inclusion and equity, along with diversity, employees become more engaged, more productive, and ultimately, more valuable to a company’s bottom line – which is also backed up by research.

Fluker: Recently, Kanarys Inc. secured $575K in its first round of funding. How does the company plan to leverage this round of funding?

Price: We are thrilled to have been able to raise $575,000, considering that less than 0.2% of $100 billion in venture funding goes to African American women founders. We are using the funds to build out the technology platform that we believe will be a cornerstone of diversity initiatives at large and small U.S. companies and hire additional data analysts and other team members as we expand the platform. Our platform launches for select company Beta users in early February.

Read the full Q&A feature on Forbes.com.

Class Note: Aaron Tao, MSTC ’17

Aaron Tao, MSTC ’17, reviews the book “Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins” by Garry Kasparov. Access his review and find out why we shouldn’t fear the rise of the machines here.

Alumni and Current Students Network in the Bay Area

The San Francisco Chapter and the Bay Area for McCombs Board hosted an alumni reception at SOMA Eats. The event brought together McCombs alumni, board members, and current Texas MBA students in town for a career trek. The reception was a great opportunity for students to visit with alumni about living and working in the Bay Area.

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Alumni Reconnect at the Monthly Austin Chapter Breakfast

Local McCombs alumni kicked off the New Year at their monthly breakfast meeting at Stinson’s Bistro. The breakfast had record attendance and alumni had a wonderful time reconnecting. Graduates enjoyed coffee and breakfast while mingling and learning of upcoming speakers and chapter programming.

Check the McCombs alumni calendar for the next Austin Chapter Breakfast!

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