The Meadows Center for Entrepreneurial Studies promotes and encourages entrepreneurial thought, business and activities locally, regionally and nationally.
The purpose of the Forum on Entrepreneurship Breakfast Series is to offer the larger San Antonio community and students of St. Mary’s University a forum to hear from some of the most talented individuals in industry and government. Funds generated from the series support student scholarships and encourage entrepreneurial activities in San Antonio and the region.
The Forum on Entrepreneurship Breakfast Series attracts two to three hundred attendees to its bi-monthly breakfast meetings.
Great leaders who have served as speakers include:
- Kellie Fischer, executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Texas Rangers Baseball Club
- Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
- Lynda Ellis, owner, president and CEO of Capital Concierge
- James Garvin, Ph.D., CEO, president and director of CytoBioScience, Inc.
- Dennis Noll, CEO of San Antonio Area Foundation
- Bryant Ambelang, president and CEO of NatureSweet Brands LTD
- Mike Howard, chairman and CEO of Howard Midstream Energy Partners, LLC
- Shannon Schuyler, principal, chief purpose officer and corporate responsibility leader of PwC, and president of PwC Charitable Foundation
- Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
- Adam L. Hamilton, P.E., president of Southwest Research Institute
- Stuart Parker (M.B.A. ’95), CEO of USAA
- Daymond John, founder and CEO of FUBU apparel, author, and marketing and branding judge for ABC’s Shark Tank
- Paula Gold-Williams (B.B.A. ’84), CEO of CPS Energy
- Tom Kartsotis, founder of Fossil and Shinola
- Bill Greehey, chairman of NuStar Energy, L.P.
2019-2020 Speaker Lineup
Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019
CEO, McNair Java Partners, LLC
Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019
Co-Founder and CEO, BuildGroup
Next Forum Breakfast
CEO, McNair Java Partners, LLC
Chad McNair grew up in the Midwest and graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Civil Engineering. His first job out of college was in Houston, working for Turner, Collie and Braden, a civil engineering consulting group. In the mid-80’s while working on his MBA at the University of Houston, McNair started to dabble in coffee extraction. After finishing his MBA, he took a position with a large Dutch conglomerate, the Royal Begemann Group, where he held a variety of roles from engineering design to plant management to assisting the CEO with facilities acquisition and sales. He met his wife, Shelly, while she was finishing medical school at Baylor College of Medicine on an Air Force scholarship. They were married and soon moved to San Antonio.
McNair founded the San Antonio-based Aspen Beverage Group in his family kitchen. McNair sought a perfect coffee extract that could be mixed with milk and used in a granita (ice slush) machine or poured over ice. He shared the resulting mix with his favorite café and his customers called it “fabulous.”
McNair later developed the proprietary TRIO™ process and built an industry leader. The company has consistently earned certification for exceptional food quality and safety.
Aspen has grown to become the largest cold-brew coffee manufacturer globally. Aspen products are sold in restaurants, grocery and convenience retailers, institutional kitchens and other foodservice operations throughout the United States and around the world.
In 2017, McNair sold Aspen to London-based Finlays Extracts, the world’s largest tea extractor and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Swire Group. In 2018, McNair formed a family office, McNair Java Partners, as a platform for investments and new business ventures.
McNair has been married to his wife Shelly, who holds a medical degree, for 30 years. They have two sons, one working in private wealth management and the other studying food science, and a married daughter attending medical school at UT Health San Antonio.
Event will be held at the Pearl Stable. Registration begins at 7 a.m., followed by the program from 8-9 a.m.
To renew your sponsorship, become a new Forum on Entrepreneurship Sponsor, or for additional information about attending, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-436-3124.
- American Bank
- BKD, LLP
- CPS Energy
- Frost Bank
- HOLT CAT
- KPMG LLP
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Wells Fargo
- ATKG, LLP
- Aventine Hill Partners — A Vaco Company
- Bud Light/Silver Eagle Distributors, L.P.
- CliftonLarsonAllen LLP
- Comerica Bank
- Ernst & Young, LLP
- Food Safety Net Services
- Hernandez Financial Strategies, LLC/Fred Olivares, CPA/CFF, PLLC
- RSM US LLP
- Simmons Bank
- St. Mary’s University Alumni Association
- The Bank of San Antonio
- Valero Energy Foundation
- Wave Healthcare
April 7, 2016 Forum Breakfast featuring Stuart Parker (M.B.A. ’95), CEO of USAA
Board of Directors
Chris C. Edelen, St. Mary’s University and Sterling Home Technologies
Paul Hensley, Holt CAT
Hector Hernandez, Hernandez Financial Strategies L.L.C.
Beth Hair, Aventine Hill Partners
Julia Hamon, Wells Fargo
Pamela A. Luna, CAP-OM, St. Mary’s University
John Bruce, BKD, LLP – CPAs & Advisors
Rhonda Calvert, Comerica Bank
Jon D. Crumley, PwC
Tres Doran, KPMG LLP
Tom Madison, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University
Gary McDaniel, Norton Rose Fulbright
David G. Pope, Texas Capital Bank
Tanuja Singh, D.B.A., St. Mary’s University