Posted on November 21, 2019 by Wendy Frost

In a year of significant milestones at UTSA, the College of Business Executive MBA (EMBA) program celebrated the 20th anniversary of its first graduating class.
EMBA Reunion Participants

Participants at the EMBA reunion included (from left to right) Robert H. Lengel, Jeffrey Vernor, Cheryl Garcia, Gary Larsen, Kellie Teal-Guess and Richard Benedikt.

Hosted by the college’s Center for Professional Excellence (CPE) and in collaboration with the newly-formed Executive MBA Alumni Council, graduates from the first class spent the morning with peers and program founder Robert Lengel, associate professor emeritus of management.

The class shared photographs and stories from their time in the program, starting with their off-site orientation, their international trip to London and Paris on through to graduation.

“It was so much fun to catch up with Bob Lengel and my fellow classmates! What a joy and an honor to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our graduation. This program touched our lives in meaningful ways and propelled not only our careers but also our ability to give back to our communities,” shared Kellie Teal-Guess, EMBA ’99, executive vice president and chief people officer at CyrusOne.

“In addition, connecting with subsequent alumni, professors and program participants allows us to stay connected to the program and continue to learn, mentor and create professional connections. This program will always be an important part of our lives,” said Teal-Guess.

The first EMBA class also had the chance to meet with current EMBA students graduating this coming May over lunch and share experiences.

Continuing their intellectual journey, the students were challenged with a simulation led by Bruce C. Rudy, faculty director of the CPE and associate professor of management. “I have run this simulation with hundreds of groups,” said Rudy, “but only two have successfully completed the challenge, and this group may have done so in record time.”

During the simulation debrief, the group shared how their EMBA experience gave them a different approach and framework, which changed how they thought about and approached scenarios. Rudy also provided updates about how the program has shifted over the past 20 years and how the EMBA tackles new and trending business topics like artificial intelligence and cyber security.

“This event was a great example of the mission of the Center for Professional Excellence,” said Rudy. “We want to create a collaborative learning community. By having our first EMBA class come back to share ideas and new knowledge, by bringing together our alumni with one of our current cohorts–these are just some of the ways we continue to support the goal of having a place where alumni and current students can innovate and forge meaningful professional relationships.”

Melissa Lackey

The Center for Professional Excellence is the home of executive programs in the UTSA College of Business. Participants in the Executive MBA and Executive Education programs, engage in collaborative and dynamic learning experiences that go beyond the classroom to be relevant in today’s rapidly changing global economy. 

— Wendy Frost