Archive for March, 2011

Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight: Moore Insurance Group, LLC

by   |  03.30.11  |  COBA Alumni, Entrepreneurship

ACU Alum Brad Moore graduated in 1999 with degrees in Accounting and Finance. His younger brother, Chad, graduated with degrees in Marketing and Management in 2001. Upon graduation, Brad went to work for Belew Averitt in Dallas, working in their tax division. After working in the accounting world for 5+ years, Brad left to begin a new venture. We are grateful to Brad for taking a moment to share his experiences with us.

Brad Moore ('99), wife Meredith, Garrett and Kathryn

Tell us about your company. What do you do?
The name of my company is called Moore Insurance Group, LLC.  We are an independent insurance agency located in Frisco, TX.  We handle home, auto, life, health, and business insurance all across Texas and represent many different insurance companies.

In a few brief paragraphs, how’d you get started?
My father, who has been in the insurance business since 1980, helped bring me to the insurance agency he worked for in 2004.  I had been working in the accounting/finance world for five years and was looking to do something “on my own.”  I worked there for almost 6 years and then I left to start Moore Insurance Group in February 2010.  My father and brother came and joined my agency six months later so it’s a family affair now.  I have always enjoyed helping people and that is one of the things I like most about the insurance business.  I get to help people on a daily basis with something that is very important and is needed by almost everyone.

What class, project or professor helped prepare you the most for your journey?
I think having an accounting background has helped tremendously with starting my own business because I know how to handle the company finances.  A business plan is essential to starting any type of business, and a huge chunk of that business plan revolves around a financial plan: calculating start-up costs, assembling financial statements, and projecting both short term and long term sales and cash flow.  All of my accounting classes at ACU prepared me for the financial aspects of running my own business, although this is the first year that someone else besides me will do my taxes.

What’s one piece of advice you’d share with future and current business students at ACU?
Enjoy the ACU experience.

For more information about the Moore Insurance Group, or to contact Brad, click here.

Dean Chronicles: Arizona State’s Services Leadership Institute

by   |  03.29.11  |  Dean Chronicles

Dr. Rick Lytle received his PhD in Marketing from Arizona State. He’s been invited back this month to attend their 25th annual Services Leadership Institute, which is focusing on “Do you know what your customers truly want from you?”. Leading academicians and many CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are gathering for three days in the desert where they will address the following questions and challenges:

  • Do you know what your customers truly want from you?
  • How do they need to receive your service offerings in the way that works best for them?
  • What is the price the are willing to pay?
  • What is the service experience they are expecting?

We checked in with Dr. Lytle while in Tempe to hear how things are going. Here’s what he said:

It is my first time back in 20 years.  My professors extended me an opportunity to come and participate in the Institute this Spring where I used to do research as a doctoral student years ago.  Today, ASU’s Center for Services Leadership is the premier center in the world for the study of Services Marketing.  It is an honor to be back.

My focus areas were services marketing and strategy.  I am seeking to stay current in my academic discipline though serving as dean.  My purpose in coming is threefold 1) stay current in the discipline to further my teaching and research, 2)preparing to teach a services marketing class in our curriculum, and 3) I am beginning to work on a second book based on my dissertation research in this field.

I am gathered with about 40 managers from organizations like GE, Siemens, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mayo Clinic, Abbott Labs, and CVS Caremark. Our first session today was led by Dr. Roger Hallowell former Harvard Professor and Services Marketing expert.  One take away, don’t pay people excess money, pay them excess attention if you want to create a culture of service excellence and performance.

Downtown Abilene featured in April’s Texas Monthly

by   |  03.25.11  |  City of Abilene, College Decisions, Current Students

ACU has been proud to call Abilene home for over 100 years. True, Abilene may not have all of the entertainment, shopping or recreational options that bigger cities might have – but we like to think that Abilene has a bit more charm, character and hospitality than some of the bigger sister cities.

April’s issue of Texas Monthly features the restaurants and shops of downtown Abilene, and even has Tom Perini – of Perini Ranch Steakhouse in Buffalo Gap – on the cover. Stan Smith (ACU Class of 1975) is the Events Manager at Perini’s. I called Perini’s to see if I could interview him and ask him a few questions – but he’s currently in New York, preparing for and catering a few top secret events at the moment.

Photo courtesy of www.texasmonthly.com

Check out the piece about downtown Abilene here.

And click on over to see a sneak peek of the April issue here.

What was or is your favorite place to eat in Abilene? And if you’re planning a campus visit sometime soon, to see your current student or to bring your prospective student, be sure to check out some of these delicious dining establishments.

Alumni Entrepreneur Spotlight: GANDR Web

by   |  03.22.11  |  COBA Alumni, Entrepreneurship

Garrett Winder and Ryan Dunagan both graduated from ACU – Ryan in 2008 and Garrett in 2009. Garrett graduated with a degree in Accounting and Ryan graduated with degrees in Marketing and Management. We’re proud of these alumni entrepreneurs and grateful to Ryan for taking the time to share a little bit about GANDR Web with us.

Ryan Dunagan ('08)

1. Tell us about your company. What do you do?
GANDR Web – a web design and online marketing agency. I handle all of the internal marketing efforts and project management as well as research and user experience work for our clients.

2. In a few brief paragraphs, how’d you get started?

While roommates in college, Garrett Winder and I decided we wanted to work in the web industry. He learned how to develop and I learned the marketing and project management strategies involved in the web. The more we spent time learning it the more we enjoyed it. Our work started off small but projects started getting bigger and our small side gig became more real.

I graduated a year before Garrett and went into the commercial real estate industry. I enjoyed it but working on web projects was more of my true passion. A year later, once Garrett graduated we decided to make GANDR a full-time thing. So I quit my job and we started GANDR. We got an office in downtown Abilene, hired a few interns and a designer and began work.

3. What class, project or professor helped prepare you the most for your journey?
I would probably say the entrepreneurship class along with my marketing classes. It helped me to recognize some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur in myself. The marketing classes were beneficial in learning how to strategically put together a plan to grow a business.

4. What’s one piece of advice you’d share with future and current business students at ACU?
Be proactive with your career. It’s hard to achieve anything if you’re sitting on the sidelines.

Note: In 2011 GANDR became a part-time venture. Garrett was offered a great opportunity as a developer for a company in Nottingham England and I was offered a job as a Marketing Manager for a startup in Austin.

For more information about GANDR Web Design, visit http://gandrweb.com/

To take a look at what Garrett is working on these days, visit  http://erskinedesign.com/.

Sophomore Management major headed to Bay Hill

by   |  03.18.11  |  Current Students, Uncategorized

Looks like Alex, sophomore Management major from Little Rock, will have a great excuse when he misses class next week:

“Wildcat sophomore Alex Carpenter will become the first ACU student to play in a PGA Tour event when he tees off March 24 in the 33rd anniversary edition of Palmer’s tournament, presented by MasterCard, at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Fla.  Carpenter, who has won six collegiate tournaments since Fall 2010, is one of the NCAA’s top golfers the past two years.” –Ron Hadfield

Click here to read the full story on the ACU Today blog.

Alex’s twin brother and teammate, Adam, is also in COBA, majoring in Finance. We’re proud of both of these student-athletes and look forward to watching Alex at Bay Hill.

Photo courtesy of acusports.com

Calling all Alumni Entrepreneurs

by   |  03.17.11  |  Current Students, Entrepreneurship

If you’ve started and are running your own business, we’d like to feature you and your company in a regular series for the blog. Maybe you’ve started your own business from the ground up, or you’ve opened your own office for a larger company (insurance, investment services, AVON, etc.), or anything in between – we want to hear from you. We are asking you to share your experience with our current and prospective students. Let us learn from you!

If you’d allow us to feature you, please send an email to amanda.pittman@acu.edu, with answers to the following questions:

1. Tell us about your company. What do you do?
2. In a few brief paragraphs, how’d you get started?
3. What class, project or professor helped prepare you the most for your journey?
4. What’s one piece of advice you’d share with future and current business students at ACU?

We looking forward to hearing from you! Thanks for letting us share your story.

On-campus Interviews

by   |  03.16.11  |  Careers In..., Current Students

ACU’s Career Center and COBA are honored to welcome the following employers for on-campus interviews in the next few weeks:

PFSweb – Tuesday, March 22nd
Weaver Tidwell – Wednesday, March 23rd
Whitley Penn – Thursday, March 24th
Lane Gorman Trubitt – Monday, March 28th
PriceWaterhouseCoopers – Wednesday, March 30th

If you work in HR or are a hiring manager for your company, and would like to schedule on-campus interviews, or find out more about how you can recruit on our campus, please contact Tim Johnston (johnstont@acu.edu) or
Bradon Owens (bradon.owens@acu.edu).

Senior Blessing

by   |  03.16.11  |  COBA Events, Current Students

We’re currently in the middle of Spring Break here at ACU – which means three things:
1) It’s really quiet on campus
2) There’s only about 7 weeks of class left
3) We’re gearing up for the Senior Blessing

The Senior Blessing is a special time for all graduating seniors from the b-school and the i-school to gather for a meal and a time of blessing from their faculty and staff. This year we’ll gather at the Phillips home and after we eat, a professor will speak to our students – offering some of the most important little nuggets of advice they want to make sure the students hear before they leave us and enter the “real world”.

We’ll then have the opportunity to break into small groups, where professors and students can have candid conversations about such topics as work-life balance, salary negotiations, and the importance of staying Christ-centered in an ego-centric world.

Finally, we all gather together for a special prayer of blessing to wrap up our day.

As we hear from graduates months and years after they leave us, many mention the Senior Blessing as one of their favorite memories from ACU. They share how special it was to them that we took time away from campus – work and classes – to gather for a time of intentional prayer and blessing as we send them out for ‘Christian service and leadership throughout the world’.

If you have a senior business school or i-school student, make sure they RSVP to Kathy Garison (klg08e@acu.edu) by April 1st.

And if you have a special memory from your Senior Blessing, please leave a comment.

Jessica Jackley is coming to ACU

by   |  03.11.11  |  Entrepreneurship, Griggs Center, Special Speakers, Springboard

Have you purchased your tickets for the Springboard Awards Banquet? You won’t want to miss it – not only will awards (and we mean cash and prizes) be given out to our Springboard Ideas Competition winners, we’ll also have the pleasure of hearing from Jessica Jackley, co-founder of KIVA.org.

Jessica will be on campus March 31st and April 1st

To learn more about KIVA, watch this. She was recently featured as a “Character Approved” honoree on USA Network.

She’ll be speaking at the dinner on Thursday night, March 31st. The next day, Friday, April 1st, she’ll be addressing the whole University during Big Chapel in Moody.

In their own words…

by   |  03.10.11  |  College Decisions, Current Students

A father of a current business student sent us this email at the end of his daughter’s first semester at ACU (we did change their names) :

Six months ago I was talking with another parent about ACU. I said “I am not sure about ACU for the retention numbers are low based on a magazine I was reading about colleges in Texas. West Texas? Religion and School in the same breath? Cost? Julie will most likely go to A&M, UT or UTSA. Good luck to you and your daughter.”

Then we were invited to Maggiano’s for a dinner in Dallas.  I said to Julie “let’s go and listen to what ACU has to offer.  It will be a great meal and we will be able to start asking questions of ACU to make us feel better about the other schools at the top of your list”.

After the dinner on the ride home Julie said to me “dad I am not sure exactly why but ACU feels right for me”.  Wow!  Ok Julie it was a good feeling tonight but we do not know enough about ACU to start changing your plans.  We should visit the college.

Julie & I visited ACU in November and yes we both were in agreement that it felt cozy.  Julie’s mom & dad met in college.  Rider College had a total enrollment of about 3,000 students.  Small private business school.  We had a great time and enjoyed the intimacy of the relationships with the Faculty and fellow students.  We were part of something special and I was getting the same feeling for Julie.

So over the 2009 holidays the comments from Julie (when speaking with family & friends) quickly shifted from A&M or UT to ACU.  Mom & Dad were glad to hear her words and we were sharing the same thoughts and conversations.

Then in February we arrived on campus for the Presidential Scholarship interviews.  This was Julie’s mom’s first visit.  While Julie was off interviewing, her mom and I went for a walk by ourselves around the campus.  We talked about our college days and how ACU brought back many memories.  We talked about education, social life and maybe Julie would find her spouse on this campus the way mom and dad found one another.  It was a great walk!  Then I made sure we were at Chapel for her to witness that experience.  After Chapel my wife said “this is it!  It feels right and Julie will love it here!”  I agreed.

We shared our feelings with Julie for the three hour ride home.  The three of us were on the same page!

At home, without Julie in the conversation, I said to my wife “how will we pay for this opportunity that we all agree is the perfect fit?”  Gina (the none worrier in our marriage) said “if it was meant to be it will happen some how.”  Gina is the calming influence in my life that I am sooo thankful to God for her.

Then the call from Ben this week.  Ben shared the great news with the three of us together.  Ben said “Julie is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship”  Those words are still ringing in my head.

The three of us all looked at one another and knew we had been blessed.  We were so happy that we cried together.  What a wonderful feeling.  The school that looked right, felt right and seemed so right from all perspectives was now going to becoming reality!!!

I am sorry that I took so much time to simple say THANK YOU!!!  But, I wanted each of you to know first hand that you folks have touched our family in such a blessed way that saying Thank You will never be enough.  From the dinner at Maggiano’s were Dr.Lytle and I had a 10-15 minute conversation alone to the calls and e-mails from Ben & Julie and the warmth they made our family feel for our 2 campus visits to the classroom discussion with Amanda around the details about COBA.  Thank you very much!!!

The ACU experience has begun for our family and we are so proud to be part of this wonderful family.

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If you have a student or know of someone that would be interested in learning more about the College of Business at ACU, please contact jav04a@acu.edu. We’d be honored to share more about ACU with you.