Amanda Medford Galati
Lila & Hayes
Why did you choose TCU?
It had everything I was
looking for in a university: a perfect student body size, a great reputation
for academics, an active Greek life, and an awesome town to enjoy while
How did TCU Neeley prepare you for success?
TCU Neeley gave me a solid background in business and
helped me learn to work in group and individual settings, and also in
self-driven and instructor-led environments, all of which are critical to
Why did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I have always been an
entrepreneur at heart, starting my first business at age 10 making and selling
hair bows. I love the freedom and flexibility, and building something that is
my own and watching it succeed. Being a small business owner, I feel truly
connected with my customers, and I have the autonomy to change the direction of
things at any time to meet their needs.
SVP and Treasurer
accounting and finance double major, Keith Bunch gives credit to three
accounting professors for impacting his success and two classmates for support
passing the CPA exam.
Geraldine Dominiak taught me the importance of integrity and social responsibility.
Dr. Sanoa Hensley was probably the biggest influence on how I manage and mentor
my staff today. Dr. Bob Vigeland helped provide me with a scholarship to a CPA
exam review class. I wouldn’t have passed the exam without it.”
passed the CPA exam over two days in one sitting while working fulltime at
Deloitte on his first tax deadline. His roommates and classmates, Ryan Gosney
BBA ’95 and Jeremy Sweek BBA ’95, were taking the exam, too. “They were a
tremendous support system.”
common thread is that all took a personal interest in me. That is still a
hallmark of Neeley professors and classmates.”
City of Houston
A fourth-generation Houstonian whose father and
grandfather were city councilmen, Chris Brown is making an impact on the city
“The concept of the selfless servant has been ingrained
in my mind from an early age.”
A finance major, he started his career in equity-trading before he followed his lifelong dream
of public service. At 40 years old, he became Houston’s second-highest elected
“My role as the taxpayer watchdog is to highlight areas
where we are spending too much and other areas where we need to be investing
more, and rebalancing those so we are using the money most efficiently.”
He credits his success to maintaining the highest ethical
integrity and moral standards.
“TCU instills strong values that Horned Frogs do
the right thing, and that has benefitted me throughout my career.”
Rick Settle and Jodi Settle Dyer
Rick Settle BBA '13
Associate, LKCM Headwater Investments
Jodi Settle Dyer BBA '10
Senior Manager Strategic Planning, Pizza Hut
This brother-sister duo are carrying on the legacy of
people who helped them during their time at TCU and after.
“Professors, staff members, the Dean and even the
Chancellor helped guide our path at TCU. Now we stay connected and help people
grow throughout their careers,” Settle said.
Settle is president of the Neeley Fellows Alumni Board
and chaired the 10-year celebration committee. Dyer co-founded the Transaction
and Professional Investment (TIP) Board, which grooms TCU finance majors for
careers on Wall Street. Both have served on the TIP Board.
“There is no way my career would be where it is today
without TCU,” Dyer said, and she’s paying it forward. At Pizza Hut, Dyer is
recruiting TCU graduates including Kelli Denton BBA ’16.
Settle has worked for and with TCU alumni since
graduating in 2013, first for Michael Jamieson BBA ‘91 at Citigroup in Houston
and now for Luther King Jr. BBA ’62 MBA ’66 in Fort Worth.
“I’ve seen firsthand the power of TCU alumni looking out
for other TCU folks,” he said.
“We want to help build programs that become lasting
legacies that live and evolve far beyond where Jodi and I could have taken them
individually,” Settle said.
“It’s exciting and rewarding to see the network you can
build by volunteering. It makes you want to be more engaged as you see the
impact,” Dyer said.
Walter E. Johnson
Founder and Senior Chairman
Walter Johnson, a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame, began his career working for M.J. Neeley, the namesake of the business school. He made his mark in west Texas and Houston, and then moved into banking. He spent 18 years leading one bank to success, and then he founded another. At 82 in 2018, he remains an integral part of Amegy Bank’s accomplishments.
“I came from nothing and wound up CEO of a little bank in Houston. My team and I built it to the third-largest bank in the city and sold it. I started another bank and sold it for $1.7 billion. I’m still in the bank every day helping run it. I give education a whole lot of credit for the knowledge to put things together, work with people, raise money, manage money. You don’t learn these things sitting at home watching TV. I tell every student I visit with that education never stops.”
He was mentored by one of the best entrepreneurs in business, M. J. Neeley, who hired him upon his graduation from TCU
“The things I learned from Mr. Neeley: Don’t make mistakes. Be risk adverse. Be diversified. Work hard. Exhibit the highest in integrity. And treat everyone fairly. I’m also very entrepreneurial. If I wasn’t entrepreneurial, I never would’ve started this bank.”
Anna McElwain Brewer
Partner and Director of Professional Development
J. Taylor & Associates LLC
graduating with her TCU accounting degree, Anna McElwain Brewer landed her dream job as a
consultant with Arthur Andersen, which subsequently collapsed in the Enron
a case study in how to start a career and change course dramatically.”
moved to Ernst & Young, then a colleague at J. Taylor & Associates
offered her a position. Now she
is a partner and director of professional development, where in addition to
serving clients she recruits and trains employees.
the best things about a small company is that if you are willing to take on
responsibility, they let you have it. So at a fairly young age, I was able to
buy into the partnership.”
Thanks to her TCU Neeley foundation, she was well
“My TCU accounting professors were adamant that you
didn’t just need to know ‘how’ to do accounting but ‘why.” I’m rarely asked to
just do accounting. I’m asked to understand the implications and the whys and
how it affects finance. The groundwork TCU laid has set me up to be very
Chief Executive Officer
The Bill Shaddock Companies
Bill Shaddock is a people person. He believes one person
can make a big difference. He certainly has. He started as the sole owner and
employee of a title company and grew it into Capital Title, the largest
independent title company in Texas. He is also president and partner of
Shaddock Development, CEO and owner of Willow Bend Mortgage, and owner and
chairman of First National Title, the 12th largest underwriter in the nation.
He founded the student-run Shaddock Venture Capital Fund at TCU Neeley to help
make students’ entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Shaddock’s success is due to a
combination of how he was raised, his TCU education, his skills and his
“If I got up in the morning and my only thought was about
making money, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Building personal relationships
transports me to opportunities. TCU offered me the opportunity to win in life.
My skill set is helping organizations and people see and obtain their ultimate
success. My leadership is about enabling and encouraging others. This very day
there is someone who needs your encouragement. Make sure the person who gives
them that encouragement is you.”
TCU ’06 EMBA ’14
Stoneburgh Management LLC
Jeremy Spann doesn’t let obstacles hold him back. He
worked the night shift as a police offer so he could get his undergraduate
degree at TCU during the day. He got his Executive MBA while a supervisor with
the FWPD. He opened a successful restaurant with no experience. He launched an
event to help wounded warriors and turned it into Cowtown Warriors, a sell-out
annual gala that raises hundreds of thousands. In 2014 he retired from the FWPD
and went into real estate with Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s and opened a brokerage
business, Stoneburgh Management. He made his first multi-million-dollar deal in
“I’ve done some significant things in my life, but if I
haven’t created an environment where other people benefit, what’s it all worth?
TCU focuses on relationships, and the EMBA program highlighted the importance
of that. I was surrounded by management leaders, entrepreneurs, hedge fund
managers and other executives who have the ability to see the world in
different ways. More importantly, they support you and you support them. When
you are surrounded by the right people, you can do anything.”
Renewable Energy Product Manager
S&P Global Market Intelligence
As a TCU student, Bethany Gorham didn’t know that her internship with Esperanza, delivering clean water solutions in the Dominican Republic, would make such a splash on her future. The experience propelled her to earn an MLA in sustainability and environmental management at Harvard.
While earning her MLA, Bethany worked with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and then landed a fellowship with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Then she received a job offer from S&P Global’s market intelligence division for a career that combines her business and renewable energy degrees and experience.
At S&P, Bethany is developing financial tools that help investors, utilities and regulators increase renewable energy in the power sector and provide sustained profit by mitigating the downside risks.
“My role as part of the solution is equipping people with the intelligence needed to face complex natural resource challenges. I will have a meaningful career for the rest of my life.”
TCU Men's Basketball
As a TCU student, Jamie Dixon led the Horned Frogs to Southwest Conference titles, earned All-SWC honors, led the SWC in assists as a senior and was voted TCU's Senior Male Scholar-Athlete. And he did it all while majoring in finance at the Neeley School.
“I knew wanted a career in sports, maybe coaching, and I knew there was a business side to sports. I looked at business as a way to stay in basketball.”
His love of numbers and statistics paid off on the court. “I believe my business knowledge came into play in how I looked at the game.”
Jamie has more than 20 years of NCAA Division I coaching experience. His teams have won a combined 10 conference titles and advanced to the postseason during 19 different seasons. His student-athletes have earned five league player of the year awards. He also led the USA Basketball U19 team to the 2009 FIBA World Championship Gold Medal and a 9-0 record, after only one month on the job as head coach.
Jamie’s advice to students: “Follow your passion. I benefitted from my business degree by being able to do the thing I like to do. Coaching a program is like running a business. You have budgets, marketing, statistical analysis, personnel and management. You can use your education and mold your degree into what you love doing.”
Carolyn Crouch Phillips
Carolyn Crouch Phillips has a yummy business. Not only does she produce some of the most delicious and inventive popsicles in the DFW Metroplex, she used her TCU Neeley education to create a business that impacts her community.
“I founded Alchemy Pops as a for-profit and for-purpose venture to create new market opportunities for local farmers by sourcing produce from Texas.”
While supporting the livelihoods of local farmers, Carolyn provides high-quality ingredients for her customers and creates unique flavor combinations such as Roasted Peach & Honey and Cantaloupe & Mint.
An avid Horned Frog, Carolyn stays involved with her alma mater through TCU Neeley events, TCU alumni happy hours, TCU sporting events and campus activities. She was a featured speaker at the TCU Neeley School “Women to the Power of 10” luncheon to share her successful entrepreneurship story.
“The best part about being a TCU Neeley alum is seeing Horned Frogs all over the world. It’s always great to see another purple shirt or hear a ‘Go Frogs!’ while exploring another country.”