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Alumni & Friends Calendar

Alumni & Friends Calendar

March 2015
Wednesday, 4th
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6:30pm-9:30pm, Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St., Martins Lane, St. Martins Courtyard, London WC2H 9FB
With Texas Independence Day right around the corner, it’s a great excuse to get together for dinner, drinks, and networking. Join the London Chapter at Cantina Laredo for fajitas and ritas!

If you know of anyone from McCombs passing through London either as a student, intern, or visitor, please feel free to extend the invitation. Spouses and partners are welcome as well.

To RSVP, email Chapter president Ashley Walker at
Friday, 6th
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7:00am-9:00am, Dry Creek Café, 544 Yale St., Houston, TX 77007

Please join the Houston Chapter for their monthly First Friday Breakfast Series. All McCombs alumni and friends are welcome to attend. This is a great opportunity to connect with other alumni and hear the latest news and updates from McCombs.

Please mark your calendar for future First Friday Breakfasts. They take place at the same time and location each month. More details to come.

RSVP today!

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8:00am-5:00pm, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Ave., Austin, TX 78705

Save the date for the McCombs Alumni Network's 10th Annual Alumni Business Conference Friday, March 6, 2015 in Austin, TX.

Featured Keynote Speakers

  • Antonio "Tony" Garza, U.S. ambassador (Ret.) 
  • Christi Craddick, chair, Texas Railroad Commission
  • Moderator: Evan Smith, editor-in-chief, CEO, The Texas Tribune

We are currently putting together a list of additional faculty and industry speakers. Registration information will be available in late fall. Please make sure your contact information is up to date in the alumni directory so you do not miss your invitation.

Wednesday, 11th
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In this webinar Professor Irwin will tell us how a better understanding of the psychology of market behavior can improve marketing decisions.

About Julie Irwin:
Julie Irwin is a Professor of the Department of Marketing and Department of Business, Government and Society (courtesy appointment). 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 Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and Journal of Economic Psychology. She served as a Guest Editor at Journal of Consumer Psychology in 1999 and recently served as an Associate (action) Editor at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Prof. Irwin 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.

RSVP today!

Thursday, 12th
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Innovation is not a nice to have but a must have, yet few firms understand who their best innovators are. Existing compensation and promotion structures reward people who are good at managing the status quo, but these individuals may not be the best at creating new products and services. Research demonstrates that good innovators share common traits like empathy, curiosity, the willingness to explore and experiment. How can you identify the people with those traits, and what difference can they make on an innovation project? Jeffrey Phillips from OVO will discuss the research, the importance of identifying the best innovators and introduce the InnoTraits™ Assessment in this webinar.

The presentation will take approximately 45 minutes, and I’ll be glad to take questions at the end.

About Jeffrey Phillips:
Jeffrey Phillips is VP Marketing and a lead consultant for OVO Innovation. Jeffrey has led innovation projects for Fortune 500 firms, including T. Rowe Price, John Deere, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett-Packard, U.S. Bank, AIG, Raytheon and others, government entities within the Department of Defense, academic institutions and non-profits based on OVO Innovation’s Innovate on Purpose™ methodology. The Innovate on Purpose methodology encourages organizations to consider innovation as a sustainable, repeatable business discipline, rather than a discrete project. Jeffrey has led projects using a range of innovation methods and techniques, including scenario planning, ethnography, voice of the customer, lead user analysis, jobs to be done and the customer experience journey. He has facilitated the development of thousands of ideas, many of which have become new products and services.

Jeffrey is the author of two books about innovation: Relentless Innovation, which examines the reasons 3M, P&G, Apple and Google can sustain innovation over time while others can’t and Make us more Innovative, a book that encompasses much of the OVO Innovation methodology. He has contributed to several other books about innovation, most notably the book Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing. Jeffrey’s blog about innovation, Innovate On Purpose, is ranked as one of the top blogs about innovation on the web. He also contributes to other innovation-oriented websites such as Innovation Management and Innovation Excellence, and writes for Texas Enterprise and other management oriented sites. He is a sought after speaker and has presented to corporations, innovation oriented conferences, and at a number of universities. In 2010, 2011 and 2012 he chaired the Innovate North Carolina conference and has been a keynote speaker at Queen’s University, University of the Pacific, UNC and several other colleges and conferences.

Innovation consulting, training, workshops and speaking engagements have taken Jeffrey to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Western Europe, South Africa and Central America as well as across the US.

Jeffrey has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in engineering from the University of Virginia.

RSVP today!

Friday, 13th
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7:30am-8:30am, Stinson's Bistro, 4416 Burnet Rd., Austin, TX 78756

RSVP today for the Austin Chapter invites you to come mix and mingle with your fellow McCombs alumni and friends at our monthly breakfast meeting at Stinson’s Bistro. We look forward to seeing you!


Saturday, 14th
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5:00pm-7:00pm, 219 West, 612 W. 6th Street, Austin, TX 78701
Come meet successful McCombs entrepreneurs from the Texas MBA and MSTC programs and network with Texas MBA and MSTC students and alumni, local entrepreneurs, and other SXSWi attendees.
Tuesday, 17th
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5:30pm-8:00pm, Lime at the Denver Pavillion, 500 16th Street (3rd level), Denver, CO 80202

The Denver Chapter invites you to mix and mingle with your fellow McCombs alumni at an informal open networking event.

About Lime:
Lime, an American Cantina & Tequila Bar, opened at the Denver Pavilions in downtown Denver in 2014. Lime's footprint is large – 8,000 square feet, with a décor with rich and modern finishes, highlighted with high ceilings and an open air feel. Fresh Mexican food & mighty margaritas!

Free parking is available along the side streets. Register now!

Tuesday, 31st
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11:30am-1:00pm, AT&T Executive Information and Conference Center, Room 203, 1900 University Ave., Austin, TX 78705
It isn’t shocking that studies show that organizations benefit when their employees speak up with ideas for improvement to those with the power to make changes. And it isn’t a controversial finding that managers make better decisions when their employees voice ideas than those whose employees feel like their ideas are stifled. After all, those on the front lines are typically best positioned to generate ideas to make the organization more effective. What is surprising, however, is that many managers actually work hard to avoid voice — they fail to solicit ideas for improvement, punish those who speak up, or both. We decided to find out not only which managers are reticent to hear about ideas but also why.

What you will learn:
  • Why employees withhold innovative ideas
  • How managers play a vital role in the extent to which employees voice high quality ideas
  • Why some managers hesitate to listen to employees (or actively avoid their suggestions)
  • What you should do if your boss is stifling your voice
  • How executives can encourage their managers to foster a culture of voice and innovation
About Dr. Ethan Burris:
Dr. Ethan Burris is an Associate Professor of Management and the Thomas E. & Terry Smith Faculty Fellow in Business at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

His current research focuses on understanding 1) the antecedents and consequences of employees speaking up or staying silent in organizations, 2) leadership behaviors, processes and outcomes, and 3) the effective management of conflict generated by multiple interests and perspectives. In particular, he has investigated how leaders shape employees decisions whether to speak up or stay silent, and how these voice behaviors influence the performance of employees who offer their input and leaders and organizations who receive it.

His research has appeared in several top management and psychology journals, such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and has been covered in major media outlets such as the Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Houston Chronicle.

Co-sponsors: (McCombs online business magazine)
AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center

Register now!
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7:00pm-9:00pm, Angus’ Bistro, 258 West 44th St., New York, NY 10036

Please join the New York City chapter at our CEO speaker event with William Sanford, former Fairway CEO, who will be discuss how he helped turn a local family owned grocery store into a growing publicly traded company. He will also discuss what happens when your company is impacted by the storm of the century (Sandy), as well as how to maintain the traditions of a beloved brand while expanding into new markets.

About William Sanford:
Mr. Sanford worked at Fairway for over five years in various capacities including Chief Financial Officer, President and CEO. He has over 25 years experience in the wholesale distribution field, and is considered a specialist in industry consolidation strategies. Mr. Sanford has been involved in more than 50 acquisitions of independent distribution businesses, and completed two go-private transactions as well as two public offerings during his career.

About Fairway Market:
Fairway has established itself as a leading food retailing destination in New York City, with stores that emphasize an extensive selection of fresh, natural and organic products, prepared foods and gourmet offerings, along with a full assortment of conventional groceries. A New York Institution, Fairway started as a privately owned single store on the upper west side and has grown into a publicly traded mini-empire with 16 stores through out the tri-state area.

Fairway has a deep commitment to the communities it serves and has a culture of giving back. In fact, Fairway donates hundreds of thousands of pounds of food annually to food banks and food rescue organizations. In addition, it regularly responds to area crises. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in which Fairway's own Red Hook store experienced millions of dollars of damage and had to close for months to rebuild, the company donated truckloads of food, water and other staples to local food banks, emergency relief shelters, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the hardest hit areas in and around New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut.

This will be a great opportunity to network with other McCombs alumni in the New York and New Jersey area.

As past events have sold-out, you must register to attend this event.

Register now!