Mays school recognizes fast-growing companies
Aggie 100 ceremony showcases spirit of A&M startups
Published: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 27, 2013 21:10
Students, business leaders and Texas A&M faculty gathered Friday at The Zone Club to recognize the fastest-growing businesses owned and operated by former Texas A&M students at the Aggie 100 award luncheon.
The event, sponsored by the Mays Business School Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, enabled students to mingle with the honorees over lunch, said Kurt Lobpries, owner of Builders West Inc. and award recipient.
“You work all day with adult clientele and people who have been out of school for 20 years,” Lobpries said. “And then you come back to A&M to an event like this with all the students and young kids who are getting ready to graduate and it’s really refreshing and rewarding speaking with them.”
Aleece Hobson, Aggie 100 public relations representative, said the number of operating years and revenue compounded annually between 2010 and 2012 are considered when choosing winners.
Richard Lester, executive director of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, said the Mays Business School is seeking to foster an entrepreneurial spirit in Texas A&M students and give students opportunities to converse with successful business leaders.
“We try to see ourselves as developing entrepreneurs here on campus with programs like 3 Day Startup, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, Startup Aggieland and of course Aggie 100,” Lester said.
The award for the No. 1 company was presented to Tim Lyness of Lyness Construction LP, which reported a revenue growth of 261.08 percent.
The Summit Award, which is given to the Aggie 100 business that had the highest average revenue between 2010 and 2012, was accepted by Dennis Seith, president and CEO, on behalf of INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA.
“I’m honored by the award and by the people who have given it and it really helps to build the Aggie Network,” Seith said. “Business is the ultimate team sport about getting an organization together and the relationships and connections you build to serve the customers that you have.”
Following the presentation of the Summit Award, accountants for the Aggie 100 gave short speeches on their work and the total revenue of the Aggie 100 companies, which amounted to 19.9 billion, an increase over last year’s 18.8 billion.
In the spirit of equipping students for the real world, University President R. Bowen Loftin spoke at the meeting, promoting social media for entrepreneurs as a tool for connecting with customers. He cited his experience tweeting students.
“If you really want to connect to the customer, then social media is essential,” Loftin said. “It gives me a two-way street between me and about three quarters of our students here at Texas A&M.”
Loftin also spoke about the brand of Texas A&M and his thoughts on the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive at A&M.
“I’ve always thought as an Aggie that Texas A&M graduates have an extraordinary nature about them that make them want to change the world and that kind of feeling is built into us here, one way or the other, and you represent the epitome of that,” Loftin said.
Paralleling achievements in sports and business, keynote speaker R.C. Slocum said there is a necessity to stay vigilant when it comes to being the best and never letting up, even when praise and success comes one’s way.
“Complacency is the last scourge standing between a team and its potential greatness,” Slocum said. “Anytime you stop striving to get better, you are bound to get worse. Every team has to learn that excellence is not a destination, it is a process you must be continually improving. Excellence is a result of always wanting to do better and be the best you can be. The great players and teams that I have known have never been satisfied and always felt there was room for improvement.”