Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories in the Frost Distinguished Lecture Series
The Frost Distinguished Lecture Series brings prominent business and community leaders to UTSA to share their knowledge and experiences with students and others in the university and business community. The lecture series, which has been continuously supported by Frost Bank since 1988, broadens students’ understanding of the business world and the individuals who lead it.
President and Chief
Conceptual Mindworks, Inc.
Nov. 30, 2009
“In business you have a framework of what you want to do, then you have a framework of how to get there,” said Mendoza, who is a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. “Every day has a different challenge. Every
day has a different opportunity.
“I wanted a company that used technology to make a difference,” she said. “Technology that people could embrace to make their lives better.”
Conceptual MindWorks delivers highly technical solutions and services in biotechnology and medical informatics. In the private sector, it offers Sevocity, a robust electronic health record system focused on serving physicians in the ambulatory setting.
“Stop looking at what everyone else is doing and focus on your own path. Dream big. What a wild ride it has been.”
Alfonso Tomita, MBA ’01
Sushi Zushi, Inc.
April 22, 2010
“What do you need to start a business? Have a dream,” said Tomita, president of the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos. “Everything I learned about business was from the UTSA College of Business.”
The son of a Japanese entrepreneur that immigrated to Mexico, Tomita encouraged students to persevere, hire the best people and have patience and discipline.
“You are the company—whatever you do or don’t do affects the performance of the company. Four principles that I adapted directly from [UTSA faculty member] Mark Phillips’ class to my company are truth telling, promise keeping, fairness and respect for the individual.”
Sushi Zushi, a chain of Japanese restaurants, opened in 2001 and has grown from one to seven restaurants including stores in Austin and Dallas.
Panel Addresses Health Care Reform
“The Future of Health Care” was discussed during the College of Business Knowledge Forum breakfast this spring. The panel addressed how the health care reform legislation will impact providers, health plans, employers, patients and other constituents.
Panelists were Thora Jackson, Rashid, Rice & Flynn Eye Associates; Bruce Mitchell, Oppenheimer Blend Harrison & Tate Inc.; Armando Polanco, Texas Benefit; and William Rasco, retired health care executive. The panel was moderated by Dr. Dana Forgione, the Janey S. Briscoe Endowed Chair in the Business of Health.
“A positive trend in health care is that the focus has been shifted to a wellness approach, which I applaud,” said Polanco.
“Change is good, but it can also be scary,” said Jackson. “The biggest change is that solo practitioners will start to disappear. Hopefully the patients and the doctors don’t suffer because of it.”
The College of Business offers an MBA concentration in the Business of Health that focuses on the financial and managerial aspects of health care management. Taught by academic professionals as well as practitioners from the health care community, the program provides a strong academic foundation for a successful career in health care management.
Ethics Symposium Addresses Financial Meltdown
“Ethical Behavior and the Financial Meltdown” was the theme for the Business Ethics Symposium held last fall. Speakers included members from academia, the business community and recipients of the Ethics in Business Award from the San Antonio Ecumenical Center. The symposium allows students, faculty, business and community leaders to engage in an ongoing dialogue about the practice of business ethics and the role of moral wisdom
for corporate social responsibility.
“Preventing the Next Financial Crisis: Ethical Leadership, Institutions, and Organizational Design”
Boeing Frank Schrontz
Chair of Business Ethics
“As a manager we need to think about how we create systems that encourage people to ask questions,” said Dienhart, who is a fellow of the Ethics Resource Center in Washington, D.C. “It wasn’t that Enron hired a bunch of crooks. But they had goals and incentive systems that led people down that path.”
Dienhart noted four common traits within ethical companies: modeling ethical behavior, communicating ethics as a priority, keeping promises and commitments and providing information about what is going on within the organization.
“When an organization acts unethically, it is only a matter of time before they do it to you. Companies with strong ethical systems focus first on building a great business.”
“Cowgirls Didn’t Start the Fire—How Wall Street Could Have Avoided the Financial Crisis”
Retired Senior Vice President
and Assistant General Counsel
“I wanted to share with you some life lessons that are the common denominator of great leaders,” said Diaz-Dennis, the former assistant
secretary of state for human rights. “Lead your life with purpose. At the end of the day we all are just the result of the choices we’ve made along the way. Both the good and the bad.
“Genuine leadership requires character. The line between right and wrong should never be crossed. Once you start compromising your values, you never get a chance to regain your reputation.”
Diaz-Dennis concluded her presentation by encouraging students to blaze their own trail, be tough but fair and pay it forward.
“The Practice of Corporate Ethics”
CPA, Padgett Stratemann & Co., LLP
Dr. Ruth Berggren
Center for Medical Humanities and Ethics
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio
Martin Naegelin Jr.,’86
Rush Enterprises, Inc.
Robert L. Worth Jr.
R.L. Worth & Associates, Ltd.
“As Ronald Reagan said, ‘trust but verify,’” said Berend. “The meltdown affected the accounting industry from a totally different perspective. We tend to be a beneficiary in many of these cases. Because of Sarbanes Oxley, our business increased 20 percent in dealing with new compliance issues.”
“Health care is an important part of the equation when we consider the financial meltdown,” said Berggren, a member of the college’s Advisory Council. “In a recent study, 62 percent of people filed bankruptcy because of medical debt.”
“Everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, but we don’t always choose the right path,” said Naegelin. “We promote an ethical culture within our organization. Ethics transcends into everyday life. It is the way you conduct yourself every day.”
“I’ve been through two financial meltdowns,” said Worth, who serves on the college’s Real Estate Founders Council. “Our first concern is building long-term relationships with our customers. Those relationships are built on solid ethics.”