Craig Boyan, president of H-E-B, at Business Week 2017.

Craig Boyan, a top H-E-B executive, addresses the crowd at the opening of Business Week 2017.

Launched in 1975 by the late Brother Paul Goelz, S.M., Business Week has connected St. Mary’s University students to leaders in the business world for decades.

Business Week 2017, from Oct. 3-5, continued the tradition and drew record attendance and participation from among the cream of the crop in business, including Craig Boyan, president and chief operating officer of H-E-B — one of the largest private companies in the United States.

The theme this year was Leadership in a Globally Connected World. Opening the week was the La Quinta Keynote Lecture from Boyan. Addressing a full house inside the Albert B. Alkek Building, Boyan spoke of H-E-B’s philosophy of investing in continuous improvement in processes, people, products and technologies to compete in a globally connected food retail industry.

“He also spoke of the employees-focused mindset of H-E-B, which has helped them create an enviable culture of employee engagement to benefit the community,” said Tanuja Singh, D.B.A., Dean of the Greehey School of Business.

Day One also featured presentations from Cara Biasucci, project director of Business, Government and Society at the University of Texas in Austin, who spoke on the relevance of ethics in the 21st century, and Iñigo Arzac, managing partner with AXON Consultants, who “made an impassioned case for the power of global networking and volunteerism that results in global opportunities,” Singh said.

Day Two introduced a new event that combined an interactive “dress for success” show with a panel discussion where students heard from expert panelists on a wide range of topics that included understanding corporate culture, power of informal and formal networks within organizations, and tips on how to assess an organizational fit with one’s value system. Also on Day Two was the popular Meet-the-Firms event, which brought about 30 firms to campus and provided a number of students with internship opportunities, job offers and employment leads.

The third and final day of Business Week “focused on discussions that addressed how to remain competitive in a world that is connected yet often driven by differing ideologies,” Singh said.

Several local and world business leaders delivered talks on Day Three, including Lanham Napier, former CEO of Rackspace and co-founder of BuildGroup; Deryck Rensburg, D.B.A., dean of the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University and former president of Coca-Cola Global Ventures; the Right Honourable Henry McLeish, former first minister of Scotland and current Visiting Professor of European Studies at St. Mary’s; and Jenna Saucedo-Herrera (B.B.A. ’09), CEO of San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, who discussed San Antonio’s growth and potential in key sectors such as biotechnology, financial services, data analytics and cybersecurity.

Business Week 2017 concluded with a dinner and awards ceremony on Oct. 5, where 13 St. Mary’s students and four St. Mary’s faculty members were recognized for their achievements. Professor of Management Margaret Langford, Ph.D., and Visiting Assistant Professor of Marketing Guillermo Martinez received outstanding teaching awards; Assistant Professor of Quantitative Management Ajaya Swain, Ph.D., was recognized for his outstanding research; and Visiting Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies Sergio Palacios, Ph.D., was honored for his extensive service accomplishments.

“The dinner and awards event broke all previous attendance records,” Singh said. “It was a fitting celebration of the week, which aims to exemplify excellent education and personal care that the Greehey School of Business delivers to its students.”

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