2018 Program Presenters

This challenging program will be taught by highly respected construction industry practitioners and by McCombs School of Business faculty. McCombs faculty are renowned scholars, outstanding educators, and groundbreaking researchers who remain involved with practice through relationships with business and industry leaders, and by participating as board members and consultants for top companies around the world. Teaching is accomplished through lectures, discussions, and extensive small group interaction and problem solving.

Eric Bickel, The University of Texas at Austin

Eric Bickel

Eric Bickel is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Operations Research & Industrial Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In addition, Dr. Bickel holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Dr. Bickel’s research interests include the theory and practice of decision making under uncertainty and its application to business strategy and public policy. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, and in dozens of local and regional media sources.

Dr. Bickel has been a strategy consultant for 20 years, five of which were full-time before returning to academia. He has applied the concepts and methods taught in his courses to major strategic decisions in the following industries: oil & gas (upstream, midstream and downstream), electric power, metals and mining, high tech, life sciences, financial services, packaging and chemicals (commodity and specialty). Dr. Bickel is continuously engaged in major projects, advising top executives. This real-world experience is infused throughout the courses that he teaches.

Dr. Bickel is a Director at Strategic Decisions Group, a leading strategy consulting firm. He is also President of the Decision Analysis Society.

John A. Daly, The University of Texas at Austin

John Daly

John Daly is the Liddell Professor of Communication, TCB Professor of Management, and an adjunct Professor in the College of Pharmacy. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on advocacy and influence, interpersonal communication and organizational behavior. While at UT, he has won every major award given on campus for undergraduate teaching.

Dr. Daly has been the President of the National Communication Association, Chair of the Council of Communication Associations, and served on the Board of Directors of both the International Customer Service Association and the International Communication Association. He has been the editor of two academic journals and served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, and is one of less than 50 scholars in the world who is a Fellow of the International Communication Association. Fellows are recognized for their major scholarly contributions. His work appeared in any number of popular outlets including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

On management and communication-related topics (e.g., advocacy and influence, leadership, teamwork, sales, customer loyalty), Dr. Daly has worked with numerous firms such as JP MorganChase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Roche, Amgen, Merck, Pfizer, Bayer, Astra-Zeneca, State Farm, Prudential, Essilor, Union Pacific, LG, Kraft, Apple, HP, IBM, BP-AMOCO, PetroChina, CNOOC, Shell, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, AGIP, AT&T, Home Depot, Texas Instruments, UPS, McCarthy, Zachry, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, 3M, Novell, Frito-Lay, Dell, and Samsung, among many others.

In the governmental arena, Dr. Daly has worked with the White House (Executive Office of the President) designing and implementing a major customer service initiative as well as with numerous Federal, State, and local government units throughout the United States.

Professor Daly has published more than 100 research articles and chapters in scholarly periodicals and produced eight books including the Handbook of Interpersonal Communication and Advocacy: Championing Innovation and Influencing Others.

Doug Dierking, The University of Texas at Austin

Doug Dierking

Doug Dierking is a Senior Lecturer and the Assistant Department Chair in the Management Department at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. He teaches graduate courses in sustainable leadership, leading people and organizations, creating and managing human capital and the art and science of negotiation. At the undergraduate level, he teaches courses in the art and science of negotiation, consulting, and change management and organizational behavior. He has been teaching at the university for over twelve years. Dr. Dierking’s research interests include organizational culture, effective employee on-boarding and retention practices, leadership development and succession planning.

Professor Dierking’s excellence in teaching has been recognized numerous times, most recently on the McCombs School of Business Graduate Business Council Faculty Honor Roll – 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007; Texas Evening MBA Outstanding Professor Award – 2010 and Texas Evening MBA Faculty Honor Roll – 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007 & 2005; Texas Exes Teaching Award – 2005; Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award – 2005; and Hank and Mary Harkins Foundation Award for Effective Teaching – 2005.

In addition to teaching at The University of Texas, Dr. Dierking is very active in the corporate and public sectors. He has worked extensively with Royal Dutch Shell internationally to develop and deliver training in leading project teams, particularly geographically dispersed or virtual teams for project engineers. He has provided training and consulting in the areas of leadership, recruiting, on-boarding and retaining high performance talent, executive coaching and change management to a wide variety of companies such as Ecopetrol, Sinopec, Petrobras, Polycom, BBVA, Gulf States Toyota, Texas Instruments, Dell, Motorola and Emerson Electric (Fisher-Rosemount), as well as numerous smaller organizations.

Dr. Dierking currently serves on the Advisory Board of Directors of a large non-profit organization (Past-President) and has served on several community boards.

Jerry Eyink, Anheuser-Busch (retired)

Jerry Eyink

Jerry Eyink is a leadership consultant in the EPC industry focused on providing leadership awareness, understanding, and competence for the emerging leader. Previously he was an engineering executive at Anheuser-Busch, Inc. of St. Louis, Missouri, where he retired after over 32 years as Group Director Project Management and Planning, Engineering Group for Brewing Operations and Technology Division.

Eyink was accountable for the development and implementation of project management procedures and best practices. He directed the contracting process and negotiations of engineering and construction services to support capital plan and minimize capital execution risk. He was accountable for project controls including estimating and scheduling to budget, planning, funding and progress of capital projects, and managed construction labor relations with national Building and Construction Trades Department. Beyond Anheuser-Busch, Eyink was a liaison with peer food & beverage engineering organizations for benchmarking, best practice sharing, and technology innovation.

Eyink’s professional affiliations include selection for the National Academy of Construction in October 2011, based on his demonstrated leadership in advancing the cost effectiveness of the industry through education and implementation of best practices.

Eyink has been active in CII for over 30 years with key leadership roles, including member of Executive Committee 2005-2007, and Executive Advisory Council in 2009. He continues his participation with CII as an advisory member, a mentor, and the program leader for a special knowledge management initiative.

In 2016, CII gave Eyink its prestigious Richard L. Tucker Leadership & Service Award in recognition of his outstanding involvement, volunteer efforts, and significant contributions to the advancement of CII’s mission and success as an organization. CII also presented Eyink with a Distinguished Service Award in 2008 in recognition of his leadership and his demonstrated commitment and support of CII mission to improve the cost effectiveness of the capital project life cycle.

Eyink has been an active member in the St. Louis Council of Construction Consumers (Local Users’ Council) for 20 years, including serving as a Member of Executive Committee from 1994 – 2009, and President, July 1997 – July 2000.

Eyink earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in 1976 and an MBA from Saint Louis University in 1982. Since 2011, he has been a guest lecturer on leadership and planning for the engineering and construction industry as part of the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University.

R. Britt Freund, The University of Texas at Austin

R. Britt Freund

Dr. R. Britt Freund is Director of the Project Management Consortium at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the former Graduate Business Dean and Director of the Full-Time, Evening, and Professional MBA programs at the school. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on a wide range of topics. He has also taught extensively in executive and professional MBA programs in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

Dr. Freund is an active speaker and consultant who has worked with a wide variety of public and private corporations. Dr. Freund is involved with several small startup companies in the Austin metropolitan area and is currently a member of the curriculum committee for the Texas Entrepreneurship Foundation. His primary research, teaching, and consulting interests for the past decade have been in the realm of Project Management, particularly the management of risk within large capital projects. His most recent work has been in the interface between commercial agreements and the requisite project management activities. Since 2005, he has been the Faculty Director for the Shell Project Academy, which is a consortium of four partner universities working with Royal Dutch Shell to develop and deliver project management tools for use in large capital projects. This has subsequently led to the formation of the Project Management Consortium within the university, of which Dr. Freund is the Director and founding faculty member. He has played a similar key role in setting up programs with ExxonMobil, Petrobras, and Sinopec.

Dr. Freund has traveled extensively around the world, presenting workshops on project and risk management to a wide variety of project managers and senior executives. He has also consulted with the Project Director for a massive, multi-billion dollar capital project for Shell in Northern Alberta. He has received a number of teaching awards from his students while at The University of Texas at Austin, and is also routinely involved in student case competitions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Richard D. Grant, Jr., The University of Texas at Austin

Richard Grant

Richard D. Grant, Jr., received his Ph.D. in 1973 from The University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at Auburn and Texas A&M universities and, since 1977, has been a counseling/consulting psychologist in Austin, Texas. He has authored four books, most recently Recovering Connections, with Andrea Miller.

Dr. Grant has provided training for corporations and government agencies for over 15 years, and has been a frequent presenter for the executive business programs at The University of Texas, Texas Christian University, Southwest Texas State University, and the Texas Governor’s Executive Development Program. His private clients have included The Gartner Group, Perot Systems, IBM, 3M, SEMATECH, Applied Materials and several other technical firms.Recovering Connections with Andrea Miller.

In 1993, Dr. Grant was the was the first recipient of the prestigious national award for Innovations in Training and Education from the Association for Psychological Type, recognizing his contributions in applying psychological type concepts to business.

Richard Harris, INVISTA

Sharon Jarvis

Richard Harris is Vice President, Global Operations Excellence for INVISTA, a global chemical and fiber manufacturer and technology licensing company that has operations in 20 countries and owns a variety of brands including ANTRON®, COOLMAX®, CORDURA®, LYCRA® fiber and STAINMASTER® carpet.

Mr. Harris has nearly 30 years’ operations experience in the refining and chemical manufacturing industries holding multiple technical and leadership positions to advance plant operations, safety, and environmental excellence.

In his current position, Mr. Harris is responsible for supporting operations excellence and driving innovation at INVISTA’s facilities around the world as well as global capital project execution.  Prior to this he spent 5 years leading the project execution and startup of new Nylon 6,6 facilities in China.  Previously, he led the operations sites in INVISTA’s Specialty Materials business. Prior to joining INVISTA in 2010, Mr. Harris worked in a variety of engineering, operations, and leadership roles at Flint Hills Resources which is a subsidiary of Koch Industries (parent company of INVISTA) as well as a role in Business Development for Koch Chemical.

Mr. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University. 

John R. Hewitt, Matrix Service Company

John Hewitt

John R. Hewitt is President and Chief Executive Officer at Matrix Service Company. Before joining Matrix in 2011, John spent 25 years working for various Engineering and Construction operating businesses of Aker Solutions ASA (Aker) and its predecessor companies.

With a genuine passion for the industry, Matrix and its employees, John has spent his entire career in the engineering, procurement, and construction industry. His career spans more than 40 years, working in roles that include craftsperson, field and project management and a variety of managerial and executive positions. He is unrelenting when it comes to driving his company’s culture and core values which include safety, integrity, stewardship, positive relationships, community involvement and delivering the best .

John earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Stetson University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. He has been a member of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) since the mid-1990s and has served on various research and standing committees. He is currently a member of CII’s Executive Committee.

On a personal level, John believes community service is both a privilege and an obligation. He has been a member of the board for Tulsa Area United Way since 2011 and most recently served as chairman for the 2017 campaign, raising nearly $26 million. In addition, he serves on the Salvation Army Advisory board, where he and his wife, Dede, co-chaired the 2015 William Booth Society dinner. He also serves on the boards for the State of Oklahoma’s Junior Achievement, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 100. John is immediate past chairman of Visit Tulsa for the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce.

John and Dede, moved to Tulsa in 2011 and recently celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary. Dede is very involved with the Little Lighthouse and the Elves. They have two adult children – J.P. and Danielle; two Labradors – Lilly and Betty; and Toby, the Labradoodle.

Sharon E. Jarvis, The University of Texas at Austin

Sharon Jarvis

Sharon E. Jarvis is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Government and Associate Director of the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin where she teaches and conducts research on political communication and persuasion. She has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards and honors, including the Texas Exes Outstanding Professor for the College of Communication, the Eyes of Texas Teaching Award, the Outstanding Professor in the College of Communication, and the Academy of Distinguished Teachers Award. In 2005, she was the second Assistant Professor in the history of the University to receive the Friar Centennial Teaching.

Marianne M. Jennings, Arizona State University

Marianne Jennings

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies in business from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, having retired in 2011 after 35 years of teaching there. She continues to teach graduate courses in business ethics at colleges around the country.

During her tenure at ASU, she served in many different capacities: director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics (1995-1999); faculty director for the MBA Executive Program (2006-2007); associate dean (1986-1987); chair of the University Hearing Board (1995-2011); and faculty athletic representative to the NCAA and Pac-10 (1986-1987).

Professor Jennings earned her undergraduate degree in finance and her J.D. from Brigham Young University. Her internships were with the Federal Public Defender and U.S. Attorney in Nevada, and she has done consulting work for law firms, businesses, and professional groups including AES, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Arizona Auditor General, the Cities of Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson, the Institute of Internal Auditors, Coca-Cola, DuPont, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Mattel, Pepsi, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD.

Professor Jennings has authored hundreds of articles in academic, professional, and trade journals. Currently she has six textbooks and monographs in circulation. The seventh edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, and the ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment, were published in January 2011. Her first textbook, Real Estate Law, had its ninth edition published in January 2010. Jennings’ book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse, was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006. Her books have been translated into five languages.

Her columns have been syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Reader’s Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994, is still being published.

She is a contributing editor for the Real Estate Law Journal, New Perspectives, The Smart Manager, and the Corporate Finance Review. She was appointed to the Board of Editors for the Financial Analysts Journal in 2007. She served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Legal Studies Education during 2003–2004. During 1984–85, she served as then-Governor Bruce Babbitt’s appointee to the Arizona Corporation Commission. In 1999 she was appointed by Governor Jane Dee Hull to the Arizona Commission on Character. During 1986–1988, she served as Associate Dean in the College of Business. From 1986–87, she served as ASU’s faculty athletic representative to the NCAA and PAC-10. From 1999-2009 she served as president of the Arizona Association of Scholars.

She is a member of 12 professional organizations, including the State Bar of Arizona, and has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (now Pinnacle West Capital) (1987–2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News.

Luis L. Martins, The University of Texas at Austin

Luis Martins

Luis L. Martins is an associate professor of management at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining UT in January, 2010, he was on the faculty of the College of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and before that at the School of Business at the University of Connecticut. He earned his Ph.D. in Management and Organizational Behavior from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Dr. Martins conducts research and consults on the role of managerial and group cognitive factors in performance, innovation, and change. His research has appeared in several top management journals, such as Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Organization Science, and has been covered in major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. In 2009, he won the Journal of Management’s Best Paper Award for his research on the dynamics of virtual teams.

Dr. Martins has taught innovation management, change management, managing teams, leadership, and organizational behavior, in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and executive programs. He has won several teaching awards, most recently the 2008 Professor of the Program Award from the EMBA program and the 2009 Professor of the Year Award from the Evening MBA program at the Georgia Tech College of Management. His consulting and executive development clients include Accenture, Coca Cola, FBI Crime Labs, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, McKesson, NASA, Powerwave Technologies, and Waffle House.

Christopher H. Meakin, The University of Texas at Austin

Christopher Meakin

Christopher Meakin is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information, Risk and Operations Management. Professor Meakin’s areas of interest are business law, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, and ethics. Before joining The University of Texas in 2001, he taught for the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University in Houston, and for the University of Houston Law Center. In addition to his teaching career, Professor Meakin has served as Vice President and General Counsel for a 160-employee start-up company, and was an attorney with Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston. He began his law career as a clerk for Judge Lynn N. Hughes in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Christopher Meakin has been on the McCombs School of Business Faculty Honor Roll every year since 2003. He holds a Master of Arts degree from Rice University, a Doctorate in Jurisprudence from the University of Houston, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University

Stephen P. Mulva, CII

Stephen Mulva

Dr. Stephen Mulva directs CII, a research and development component of the University of Texas at Austin. His current research projects are focused on the performance assessment and productivity of capital projects in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, healthcare, transportation, power generation/transmission, metals/mining and oil and gas industries. In addition to his research responsibilities at CII, Stephen teaches graduate courses in Construction Engineering and Project Management at the University of Texas. Before coming to CII in 2007, Stephen was an Assistant Professor of Construction Management at Texas State University. He has also worked in industry at Fluor, Bechtel, and Phillips Petroleum and as a project management consultant for Austin, Texas-based ePM. Stephen holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering and Management) from the Georgia Institute of Technology (2004) and two degrees from the University of Texas at Austin: a M.S. in Civil Engineering (1996) and a B.S. in Architectural Engineering (1995).

James A. Nolen, The University of Texas at Austin

Jim Nolen

Jim Nolen holds the title of Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Department of Finance of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. He joined the department in 1980 where he currently teaches graduate classes in corporate finance and entrepreneurship. Professor Nolen’s research interests are in the area of business valuation, mergers and acquisition, private equity and venture capital. Mr. Nolen is the faculty advisor for the Venture Fellows and Entrepreneurs Society. In addition to his teaching in UT’s MBA and Executive MBA programs, Professor Nolen has also taught at IMEDEC University in Vienna, Monterrey Tech in Mexico City and Finland’s TURKU School of Economics and ESADE.

Jim Nolen is the two-time recipient of the Fawn and Vijay Mahajan Award in Executive Education. He has also been awarded the Mary and Hank Harkin Award for Effective Teaching. Professor Nolen has made the Faculty Honor Roll every semester since its inception in 1999. Mr. Nolen has also been selected for a teaching award from the Graduate Business Council at graduation every year since 1999, including the Best Ability to Link Theory and Practice.

Professor Nolen has designed and taught in both public and custom programs in Executive Education including: Texas Instruments, Dell, Essilor, St. Jude Medical, Polycom, BMC Software, M.D. Anderson, Motorola, Shell Oil, PetSmart, Vought Aircraft, State Farm Insurance, H.B Zachary, CII, USAA, and FedEx-Kinkos among others. Mr. Nolen is also President of CFO Services, Inc., a middle-market business consulting firm specializing in business valuations as well as merger and acquisition advisory services. He also serves on the boards of directors of an independent bank, a medical distribution company, a recycling firm and the McCombs MBA Alumni Association.

Gaylen D. Paulson, The University of Texas at Austin

Gaylen Paulson

Dr. Gaylen Paulson is Associate Dean and Director for Texas Executive Education at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Senior Lecturer for the Management Department. His research and teaching are focused on the strategic aspects of interacting with people, including negotiation, conflict management, persuasion, and interpersonal communication.

The recipient of numerous teaching awards, Dr. Paulson was most recently named to the “Faculty Honor Roll” by the UT MBA students and “Outstanding Faculty” by the Engineering Management Executive Master’s program. He also received the 2007 Fawn and Vijay Mahajan Teaching Excellence Award in Executive Education.

Dr. Paulson’s consulting and executive training programs have been sponsored by a wide variety of organizations such as 3M, Aegon, Bayer, British Petroleum, The Conference Board, Dell, Ernst & Young, Genesis10, Guidant, Harcourt Publishing, HEB, Johnson & Johnson, KLA-Tencor, LG Electronics, The Merchants Consortium, Microsoft, PMI, the National Council of State Housing Agencies, NAVSEA, NPR, Ortho-McNeil, Pfizer, Shell, Standard Aero, the Southwest Women’s Business Council, Texas Instruments, the Texas Nurses Association, the U.S. Army and VHA Inc. Dr. Paulson presents frequently in programs focusing on negotiation skills, managerial leadership and strategic influence.

Avi Wiezel, Arizona State University

Avi Wiezel

A faculty member at the Del E. Webb School of Construction (DEWSC) professor Wiezel served as the Chairman of DEWSC and as the Director of Graduate Studies. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Wiezel held several managerial positions with construction and engineering firms in Europe and the Middle East, culminating with the position of Senior VP for planning, scheduling and control in a 5,000 employee EPC company. His activities resulted in continuous productivity improvements averaging 15% per year for the units in which he was in charge.

Dr. Wiezel taught in four languages on three continents (Asia, Europe, and America) to students of all levels, ranging from bricklayer apprentices to doctoral students and senior executives of large construction companies. He constantly ranks among the top 5% of best teachers in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU and is the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award.

Dr. Wiezel’s research focuses on the human activities in construction and includes models for improving the skills of craftsmen, crews, project managers and company executives. He is the co-author of several innovative learning tools such as the Hassle Exercise, “Project from Hell,” and the Senior Executive Magic Action Cards (SEMAC) game.