2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Alumni, friends, and school leadership gathered on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019 for the annual Hall of Fame celebration. This year the Texas McCombs School inducted five prominent business leaders into its Hall of Fame: Philip A. Canfield, Amb. Antonio Garza, Amb. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Niloufar Khatiblou Molavi, and J. Marc Myers. Jay Hartzell, dean, also recognized the 2019 Rising Stars, Kovid O. Gupta, Lance T. Loeffler, and Carlos A. Whitaker, for their early accomplishments.

The McCombs School of Business established the Hall of Fame 36 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.

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

McCombs Hall of Fame Celebration 2019

BHP ’89
Managing Director

Phil joined GTCR in 1992 and is a managing director of the firm. Phil previously worked in the Corporate Finance department of Kidder, Peabody & Co. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BBA in finance with high honors from the Business Honors Program at The University of Texas at Austin.

Phil has served in many leadership positions during his years at GTCR, including heading the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Investment Team, chairing the firm’s Investment Committee, and serving as GTCR’s Managing Partner. Phil has played a leadership role in a number of past investments including AppNet, CellNet, DigitalNet, Rural Broadband Investments, Solera, Sorenson Communications, Transaction Network Services, and Zayo.

Phil is a member of the Polsky Center PE Council for the University of Chicago and also serves on the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation’s Trustee Council. At The University of Texas at Austin, the Business Honors Program at McCombs was renamed the Canfield Business Honors Program in recognition of a generous gift from Phil and his wife, Mary Beth. The university has recognized Phil as a Lifetime Leader and he serves on the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council.

BBA ’80
U.S. Ambassador & Counsel
White & Case, Mexico City

Antonio Garza, Counsel to White & Case in Mexico City, served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (2002–09). Garza is a director to Kansas City Southern, member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the company’s Mexican subsidiary, and MoneyGram where he is Chairman of the company’s Committee on Compliance and Ethics. Additionally, Garza is a Trustee at Southern Methodist University and Chairman of the university’s Committee on Legal Affairs.

Mr. Garza is a 1989 OYTEX recipient, a 2005 DAA selection and past President of the TexasExes. Garza is a member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Bush Presidential Center, Director of Americas Society, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and COMEXI, the CFR’s Mexican counterpart. In 2010 the Ambassador was named an “Aguila Azteca,” the Mexican government’s highest honor bestowed upon a foreigner.

Mr. Garza was elected to the Texas Railroad Commission in 1998 and served as its Chairman through 2002, served as Texas Secretary of State, 1994–97, and Cameron County Judge, 1988–94. Garza earned a J.D. from Southern Methodist University School of Law in 1983 and named Distinguished Alum in 2002. Garza is married to Dr. Liz Atkinson Garza, a UT Austin graduate and TexasExes Life Member.

LLB ’67, BA Government ’92
U.S. Ambassador
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison was sworn in as the permanent representative of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on August 15, 2017. From 1993–2013, she served as a U.S. Senator from Texas and was also elected to a Senate leadership position. Ambassador Hutchison gained extensive international experience and developed a deep understanding of NATO as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. She also served as chairman of the Military Construction Subcommittee and as a member of the Defense Subcommittee on the
Senate Appropriations Committee. She served two terms as chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Prior to assuming her duties, Ambassador Hutchison was a prominent attorney at Bracewell, LLP, an established international law firm in Dallas. Ambassador Hutchison also served in the Texas House of Representatives, as the Texas State Treasurer, and as vice chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board.

Ambassador Hutchison earned a BA degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a degree of Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law. She calls Dallas home and has two children.

BBA ’91, MPA ’91
Global Energy Leader

Niloufar Molavi leads PwC’s Global and U.S. Energy practice comprising of over 6,000 professionals serving global energy clients in the oil and gas industry. She is responsible for all client services – assurance, advisory, and tax.

Niloufar served on PwC’s leadership team as the firm’s chief diversity officer. In that role she oversaw the firm’s diversity strategy and all of its related programs and
initiatives. She led the U.S. energy tax and Houston federal tax practices. With 28 years of experience with PwC, Niloufar has served a wide range of energy companies both in the U.S. and abroad, advising clients on international and U.S. tax structuring, mergers, acquisitions, and potential public offerings.

Niloufar began her career with PwC in 1991 and was promoted to partner in 2001. She joined the firm’s U.S. leadership team in 2009. She earned her MPA with a concentration in taxation from The University of Texas at Austin. She serves on the Advisory Board of McCombs, Accounting Advisory Council at UT, and is on the board of Junior Achievement. She serves as the chair of the board of trustees of Awty International School and serves on the board of Central Houston. She is a licensed CPA in Texas and resides in Houston with her husband and two children.

BBA ’69, MBA ’75
Myers & Crow Company

Marc Myers is president of Myers & Crow Company, Ltd., a Dallas-based commercial real estate development company. Prior to that time, Marc was president of the Dallas Industrial Division of Trammell Crow Company and a member of the Management Board. During his 48-year career, Marc was responsible for over 37 million square feet of office, retail, and industrial development with a value exceeding $2 billion.

Marc joined the McCombs School Advisory Council in 1997 and is a member of the Hermes Society and was a member of the Commission of 125. Marc and his wife, Jan, have endowed two Presidential Scholarships in Business at the McCombs School. He has served on the Board of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where he is a member of the Bradford Society and is a current member of the Baylor Foundation Board. Marc is a co-founder and 2012 Board Chairman of Special Camps for Special Kids (Camp John Marc), a facility for chronically ill children named in honor of his late son, John Marc.

After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, Marc served as an infantry officer in the 71st Airborne Brigade of the U.S. Army Reserves. Marc is married to Jan Willoughby Myers (also a UT graduate), and has four grandchildren, including triplets.



Dean Jay Hartzell also recognized the 2019 Rising Stars at the Hall of Fame celebration. The Rising Star Award, established in 2004-05, goes to young alumni who have experienced professional success and have shown exemplary service to the Texas McCombs Alumni Network. Congratulations to Kovid O. Gupta, Lance T. Loeffler, and Carlos A. Whitaker.

McCombs Faculty Speaker Series

Our Faculty Speaker Series has been a great way for our alumni to stay up to date with McCombs curriculum and faculty research by hearing from some of McCombs most popular professors. The series has also helped connect old classmates and expand professional networks! So far the series has hit four cities: Seattle, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and London.

Seattle was joined by Dr. Prabhudev Konana who teaches one of the most popular MBA courses, Strategies for Networked Economies.  Professor Konana gave a talk on the future of jobs as it relates to AI, robotics, and automation.

Next in the series, Dr. John Daly headed to Los Angeles to present “The Interpersonal Skills of Successful Leaders” to both McCombs and Moody College of Communication alumni.  Professor Daly has won every major undergraduate teaching award at UT and teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses on Interpersonal Communication, Organizational Behavior, Crisis Management, and Advocacy and Persuasion.

The Atlanta Chapter welcomed Dr. Kristie Loescher, who presented on “Beliefs and Values Shaping Today’s Healthcare Reform Debate.” Professor Loescher teaches courses in management, leadership, and business communications.  Prior to her career in academia, she worked in the healthcare industry for 15 years in the areas of quality assurance, utilization management, and clinical research.

To finish out the fall series, Dr. Bob Parrino traveled overseas to London to share the latest strategies from the finance department related to current industry topics. Professor Parrino teaches courses in degree and executive education programs, as well as customized courses for executives in finance and non-financial corporations.

The fall Faculty Speaker Series was a success, but we aren’t done yet! Coming soon in Spring 2020, Sandy Leeds, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the department of finance and President of The MBA Investment Fund, L.L.C., will be presenting to both our Chicago and New York chapters. Additionally, Dr. Laura Starks will reschedule her Denver presentation on “Climate Risk and other Environmental Social and Governance Considerations in Investment Decisions.” Keep checking our alumni calendar for date and time updates!

Webinar Recap: “Build and Grow with BizOps” with Solu Nwanze, MBA ’12

Solu Nwanze, director of Business Operations at Zendesk and executive coach at Expanded Impact, hosted a webinar on strategically utilizing BizOps. BizOps, or Business Operations, is a hot and rising field that draws in talented professionals across business and technical backgrounds and expertise.  The webinar covered everything from exploring the BizOps field to creating a team within your company. Solu shared the various models of BizOps teams, skills that are required to succeed in these models, and career paths during and beyond your stint. Watch the webinar here!

Solu is a business operations leader and certified executive coach whose mission is to develop people and teams for maximum effectiveness and engagement. She has over 16 years of experience working in the Tech industry in various capacities including software engineering, business analytics and business operations. In just the past few years, she has built and grown three high impact BizOps teams at Adobe and Zendesk from the ground up. 

As an executive coach, Solu works with established and emerging leaders across various functions and industries including Tech, Finance & Healthcare looking to expand their impact in their professional and personal lives. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Housing & Economic Rights Advocates, a legal services non-profit for low-income Californians.  

Houston Chapter Lunch with Thomas Nguyen, Co-Founder of Peli Peli

The Houston Chapter gathered for their monthly lunch series and was pleased to be joined by Thomas Nguyen, UT alumnus and co-founder of Peli Peli. The group had a lot of fun as they networked, caught up with classmates, and discussed other events happening in the McCombs community over lunch at Cadillac Bar!

Thomas’ Peli Peli is a South African fine-dining concept currently ranked in the top 10 in Houston on both TripAdvisor and Yelp. Additionally, Peli Peli Kitchen, a South African fast casual concept was named Eater Houston’s Fast Casual Concept of 2017. Thomas was even featured on season 3 of CNBC’s Restaurant Startup!

As an alum of UT Law, Thomas practiced for three years as a litigation attorney. While at UT, he helped found Omega Phi Gamma, currently the largest Asian-interest fraternity in Texas.

Thomas is a 2019 Golden Fork Faces of Diversity Recipient (Greater Houston Restaurant Association), 2015 Houston Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient, 2016 Houston Asian Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year and 2016 & 2017 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.

Thank you for joining the Houston Chapter, Thomas!


Class Note: John Lauten, MBA ’90

Zoom Telephonics, a leading producer of cable modems and other communication products, has appointed John Lauten, MBA ’90,  as Senior Vice President of Operations. John is described as a high technology, senior level operations executive with extensive experience working for consumer electronics and communications companies offering products and/or services worldwide. His areas of expertise include supply chain management, operations, and strategy.

Learn more about John here.

Class Note: Charles Holley, BBA ’79

The board of directors of Phillips 66 has appointed Charles Holley, BBA ’79, to serve as an independent director. Charles will serve on the Audit and Finance Committee and the Public Policy Committee of the board.

Charles is the former executive vice president and chief financial officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. He also previously served as an independent senior advisor, U.S. CFO Program, Deloitte LLP, from 2016 to 2019. He currently serves on our Advisory Council at McCombs as well as the University of Texas Presidents’ Development Board!

Learn more about Charles here.

Class Note: Rey Perez, BBA ’95

Rey Perez, BBA alumnus, will assume the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of National Western Life Insurance Company (NWLIC).  Rey joined NWLIC in 2000 and most recently served as Executive Vice President – Chief Legal Officer. He has been a key member of the company’s senior staff and instrumental in a number of milestone events for the company, including the acquisition of Ozark National Life Insurance Company.

Read more about Rey here.

MBA Class of 1994 Reunion

The MBA Class of 1994 got together in Austin to enjoy seeing old friends and catching up with each other.  The reunion kicked off with a Think and Drink on the roof of Maggie Mae’s, just like old times! The next day the alum gathered for lunch and received a tour of the new Rowling Hall. Here, Dean Hartzell gave them an overview of what the current MBA program looks like. To wrap up the day they then enjoyed a private dinner with entertainment at the Cedar Door. Finally, the class met up on game day at the Horn Bus for a lively tailgate and group seating to watch UT defeat the Jayhawks of Kansas, Hook’Em!

We are so happy the group was together again, special thank you to John Cook and Mark Roberts for planning a great weekend!

Class Note: Justin Sunshine, BBA ’04

General Atlantic, a leading global growth equity firm, announced today that Justin Sunshine, BBA alumnus, has joined the firm as a Managing Director in its New York office. Justin, who spent the past ten years at Blackstone, will focus on investments in the Healthcare sector.

“General Atlantic has a long and impressive track record of investing in the healthcare sector, and the fast pace of change in the industry is creating exciting opportunities for proven growth investors,” Justin said.

Read more about Justin here.

Recap: KTG Webinar: “Does Marketing Matter?” with Leigh McAlister

Leigh’s webinar focused on the question “Does marketing matter?” Responses to this question range from a strong conviction that marketing drives firm growth to strong conviction that marketing does little more than create brochures for the sales organization. This all depends on the firm. In some firms marketing is central; in others it is peripheral. Leigh explained this variability by considering the firm’s source of competitive advantage and by the role assigned to the marketing function. Differentiating firms for which marketing is a line in function grow faster and are more valuable than other firms. Further, CEOs of such firms have broader visions for growth, are more satisfied with firm performance and see more promise for future performance. Cost leader firms in which marketing is a staff function are the slowest growing and least valuable. Watch here!

Leigh McAlister is the Ed and Molly Smith Chair in Business Administration at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD from Stanford University and she served on the faculties of University of Washington and MIT before joining The University of Texas at Austin. She has won many teaching awards and research awards including JMR’s O’Dell Award, JR’s Davidson Award.  In 2014, she received the Mahajan Award for Lifetime Achievements in Strategy Research, was named the AMA/Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Marketing Educator and was a member of the Inaugural Class of Fellows of the American Marketing Association. In 2018, she was named a Fellow of INFORMS Marketing Science. Long associated with the Marketing Science Institute, she served there as Executive Director from 2003-2005. Currently her research focuses on determinants of firm value and implications of web communications. She serves as Area Editor at Journal of Marketing and Journal of Consumer Research. 

« Older posts
Skip to toolbar