The Baylor Business Network in Houston welcomed Ricky Dickson (President, Blue Bell Creameries) as keynote speaker on September 13th. Dickson (BBA '80) became president of Blue Bell in early 2017 while spending his entire career with the company. His topics centered on leadership principles and challenges he has faced during his career. He also articulated what makes Blue Bell such a special company.
In his 37 years with the company, Ricky never strategized to become the president. His goal has always been to do his best each and every day. He continues to focus on meeting customer and employee expectations saying, “Making a product that meets or exceeds expectations is a product everyone wants to take home.” Dickson consistently receives letters from Blue Bell customers. One such letter left a lasting impression on him. A family wrote about their elderly grandfather who was suffering memory loss from Alzheimer’s but eating Blue Bell ice cream was the one thing that would often restore his memory for a few precious moments.
Blue Bell is a privately held business, and Ricky is the first non-family member to lead the organization. He values the continued support of the family and Blue Bell employees, many who have been with the company for over 25 years. Some challenges Ricky has faced as president include finding new and fresh ways to motivate all employees across the Blue Bell network from the sales force to the production line to the packaging teams. Another major challenge has involved overcoming the listeria issues in 2015 and rebuilding the production processes and reputation of Blue Bell.
When asked what role his faith has played in his career, Ricky said "My faith in Christ gets me through each day. Knowing you are where God wants you to be gives you true peace, and God will be glorified through what you do."
Dickson’s favorite Blue Bell flavor is homemade vanilla but also mentioned his preference for whatever flavor they make that day. Chocolate peanut butter cookie dough has recently captured his taste buds. Dickson has plans to re-establish Blue Bell in all their previous markets as well as expand to new markets as their commitment to quality continues.
On Friday, October 12th, the Baylor Business Network held its annual Top Shot Sporting Clay Competition. The event held at American Shooting Centers near George Bush Park represents a unique networking opportunity for Baylor alumni and friends in Houston. The proceeds also support the Baylor Business Network of Houston that facilitate various networking opportunities for Baylor alumni in the Houston area and provide funding to student scholarships.
Earl Touchstone chaired this event with the support of Rob Ingram from the Baylor Alumni Network. Sponsors included RTIC, David Dominy, Bob Brewton, Jim Huguenard and Todd Ruppert. Participants received awesome swag with the Baylor logo and enjoyed the challenge of 100 chances to shoot clay targets at 10 different stations.
The overall winner of the 2018 Top Shot Sporting Clay Competition was Haley Dunn. The winner of the raffle contest for a Beretta A300 Outlander was Butch Fears.
This is an event you do not want to miss! We invite you to take part next year as we continue to support our Bears and their educational pursuits.
Chris Wallis (CEO/CIO of Vaughan Nelson Investment Management) spoke at the Baylor Business Network Speaker Series breakfast on December 6 at the Junior League. His presentation discussed the recent volatility among the global markets and the outlook going forward in 2019. At a macro level, Chris indicated current market volatility is not directly related to the strength of the economy. The US economy continues to demonstrate overall strength with some concerns in specific sectors. Volatility is more related to how various global markets are reconciling the unprecedented injection of currency and debt during the past decade to improve their economies. This reconciliation process will take time resulting in continued volatility in 2019 and perhaps beyond with potential impacts on future economic growth. Investors will need to continue their focus on long-term vs. short-term results as seeking to outguess the market could prove very risky. Chris presented numerous statistical details to provide further perspectives and to back his conclusions. His presentation proved information and insightful for all the participants.