Area CEOs, Board Members Share Career Lessons with EMBA Students
Some of El Paso’s most influential businesspeople shared their stories with UTEP Executive MBA (EMBA) students as part of the program’s Corporate Governance course at the Graduate Business Center in Downtown El Paso.
An integral portion of the EMBA program, the course dives into the relationship between corporate ownership and control, the accountability of a CEO and the relationship between a CEO and a board. Moderated by UTEP professor Gary Hedrick – a former CEO of El Paso Electric – the panel covered topics of leadership, accountability, resilience and leadership.
Split across two panels, the discussions are a major opportunity for EMBA students to directly hear from El Paso’s most powerful businesspeople.
The first panel focused on the role of the CEO and its participants included Tasha Hopper, CEO of Hospitals of Providence – Transmountain; Cindy Stout, President and CEO of El Paso Children’s Hospital; Kirk Robison, Founder, CEO and of Owner Pizza Properties, Inc; and Luis Alvarez, CEO of ReadyOne Industries.
“When I ask somebody to do something, I always try to remember I was there one time,” Robison said. “It’s important to remember where you came from and how you got to where you are now – because somebody else is on that same path and they might even do it better.”
The second panel explored the dynamics between executive leadership and board governance, broadening the cohort’s understanding of the symbiotic relationship between a CEO and its overarching leadership.
Panelists included Mary Kipp, CEO and President of El Paso Electric; Rick Francis, Executive Chairman Weststar Bank; Edward Escudero, board member and Audit Committee Chair for El Paso Electric; Tripper Goodman, board member of Capital Savings Bank; and Woody Hunt, former board member of El Paso Electric and Public Service Company of New Mexico.
Kipp and others dispensed stories and advice for EMBA students, often stressing the ethical and legal responsibilities that are tied to positions known for power and influence, but also reminding students of the impact of such leadership roles in a community.
“Most people don’t become financially successful in big ways by doing things they don’t enjoy. Only a few people become CEOs and only a few people become board members.” Kipp said. “Go [into these roles] with the mindset of enjoying each day instead of waiting for an opportunity that you may or may never get.”
The Corporate Governance course is part of the EMBA curriculum. Hedrick has hosted CEO and board panels each year since the inception of the EMBA in 2010.