Alumni | Connect

12th Annual Alumni Business Conference

Save the date for the 12th Annual Alumni Business Conference on March 3, 2017  in Austin. Texas CPAs will be eligible to receive CPE credits for the conference. 


Red McCombs
  Keynote Speaker
Red McCombs
McCombs Enterprises

Red McCombs began his career as a salesman in the automobile business in Corpus Christi in 1950. In 1958, he relocated to San Antonio where he is owner of McCombs Enterprises. He is also co-founder of Clear Channel Communications and McCombs Energy Corporation and is active in a variety of other enterprises. Currently he is involved as lead investor of Circuit of the America’s Formula 1 Grand Prix race and is excited about the annual race and related events at the Circuit of the America’s track near Austin. McCombs has had numerous leadership roles in national, state and local civic organizations, including the United Way, the Chamber of Commerce and San Antonio's World's Fair. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southwestern University and chairman of the Board of Visitors of Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and remains active in the local and statewide charitable communities.
  Ethan Burris
Associate Professor
Department of Managment
McCombs School of Business

Dr. Ethan Burris is an associate professor of management and the Chevron Centennial Fellow at the McCombs School of Business. He is also the graduate advisor (director of the Ph.D. program for the Management Department) and co-director of the Center of Leadership Excellence for the McCombs School. He earned his Ph.D. in management from Cornell University. He teaches and consults on topics relating to leadership, managing power and politics, leading groups and teams, and negotiations.
  Britt Freund
Director, Project Management Consortium
Sr. Lecturer, Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Mgmt.
McCombs School of Business

Dr. R. Britt Freund is director of the Project Management Consortium at the McCombs School of Business. He is also the former graduate business dean and director of the Full-Time, Evening, and Professional MBA programs at the school. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on a wide range of topics such as project management, operations strategy, distribution, supply chain management, inventory control, optimization, process analysis, practical statistics and risk management. He has also taught extensively in executive and professional MBA programs in Europe, Asia and the USA. Freund received his BS from The University of Texas at Austin and his MS and Ph.D. at Cornell University.
  Julie Irwin
Professor, Departments of Marketing and Business, Government and Society
McCombs School of Business

Dr. Julie Irwin joined the faculty in 1999. Her previous faculty appointments were at the Stern School of Business at New York University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (visiting appointment). She received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Colorado and post-doctoral training in the Quantitative Psychology division of the Psychology Department at the University of Illinois. Prof. Irwin serves on the editorial boards of many prominent journals and has published over thirty refereed journal articles and book chapters and has served as a principle investigator on two National Science Foundation grants. Her primary research interest is in consumer decision making, especially about issues invoking emotion, ethics, and/or risk. She also has an ongoing research interest in methodology and scaling.
  Mike Hasler and Student Panel
Director, Master of Science in Business Analytics Program
McCombs School of Business

Dr. Mike Hasler will lead a panel of students from the Master of Science in Business Analytics program in a discussion about the field. Michael Hasler is a fellow in the Supply Chain Management Center of Excellence, lecturer in the Information, Risk and Operations Management Department and the director for the Master of Science program in Business Analytics. He received his B.S.M.E. from the General Motors Institute (Kettering University), M.S. and MBA from the University of Virginia and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. The bulk of his professional experience was in the auto industry in supply chain and operations and then moved to high technology in the semiconductor equipment industry with Applied Materials. While at Applied Materials, he helped launch their supply chain management activity, led operations for a $1 billion division and was the head of global materials operations before leaving in 2003.

  Mike Perrin
Men's Athletics Director
The University of Texas at Austin

Mike Perrin, Men’s Athletics Director at The University of Texas, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (1969) and a law degree (1971) from UT Austin, where he was a Texas Football letterman under legendary Coach Darrell K Royal. He lettered three years as a defensive end and linebacker, and earned numerous accolades for his overall success in campus life. Perrin gained prominence as a partner in multiple Houston law firms and currently owns Michael W. Perrin PLLC. He served on UT Austin's Council for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women and led fundraising campaigns at the law school. He received the university’s Presidential Citation, and in 2010 was inducted into the Men’s Hall of Honor—Texas Athletics’ highest recognition. Throughout his career, he has remained active in an advisory role to both Texas Athletics and campus academic endeavors.


Friday, March 4

 8-8:45 a.m.

Registration, Breakfast, and Networking

 8:45 a.m.

Welcome from Dean Jay Hartzell

 9-9:45 a.m.

Julie Irwin, Professor, Departments of Marketing and Business, Government and Society, McCombs School of Business

Topic: Consumers Are Ethical (Despite What Their Purchasing Suggests)

 9:50-10:35 a.m.

Britt Freund, Director, Project Management Consortium; Sr. Lecturer, Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Mgmt.; McCombs School of Business

Topic: Making Decisions in the Face of Risk and Uncertainty – A Case Study in the Oil Industry

 10:40-11:15 a.m.

Break and Networking

 11:15-11:55 a.m.

Mike Perrin, Men's Athletics Director, The University of Texas at Austin

Topic: Continuity and Change

 12-12:45 p.m.


 12:45-2 p.m. Keynote Speaker with introductions by Elizabeth Horne and President Greg Fenves

Red McCombs
, Owner, McCombs Enterprises
 2-2:30 p.m.

Break and Networking

 2:30-2:45 p.m. Conference Give-Aways
 2:45-3:30 p.m.

Ethan Burris, Associate Professor, Chevron Centennial Fellow, Department of Management; Co-Director, Center of Leadership Excellence, McCombs School of Business

Topic: What It Really Takes to Engage Employees
Leaders often try to make it easy for employees to speak up and share ideas, but my research has shown that they usually end up shutting people down. We’ll discuss some attempts to get employees to voice their ideas that ultimately do the opposite and also discuss some that actually work.

 3:30-3:45 p.m.

Conference Give-Aways

 3:45-4:15 p.m. MS in Business Analytics Student Panel w/ Mike Hasler, Director, Master of Science in Business Analytics Program, McCombs School of Business

Topic: How Analytics in Business Might Change the Face of Business Decision Making
 4:25-4:30 p.m. Final Give-Away
 4:30-6 p.m. Networking Reception

Hotel Room Block

We have a block of hotel rooms through Feb. 18 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center at a special rate of $185 per night on Thursday, March 3 and Friday, March 4. Call 1-877-744-8822 and mention the 2016 Alumni Business Conference or the booking code ALUMBC0216. You may also register online (no code necessary).

Virtual Packet

Conference Schedule (pdf file)

Attendee List (web page)

Speaker Bios (pdf file)

Welcome Slides (pdf file)

Speaker Slides 

Julie Irwin - Consumers Are Ethical (pdf file)

Britt Freund - Making Decisions in the Face of Risk and Uncertainty (pdf file)

Ethan Burris - What It Really Takes to Engage Employees (pdf file)

Online Survey

Please take our online survey if you did not have the opportunity to complete a hard copy at the conference.

Page last updated: 8/26/2016