SMU Dedman School of Law honored alumni Jim Baldwin ’86, A. Shonn Brown ’98, Cece Cox ’04, Windle Turley ’65 and honorary alumna Judge Catharina Haynes at its 29th Distinguished Alumni Awards event February 4.
SMU alumni are invited to lend a hand to student volunteers participating in the University’s Alternative Breaks (AB) program, March 6-12. Mustangs can support student teams in a variety of ways, from providing evening meals and snacks to sharing tips on budget-friendly activities in your city.
Jewelry designer Ali Howell '86 is among 13 winners of the Belk Southern Designer Showcase. Jewelry maker Ali Howell ’86 is among 13 winners of the second annual Belk Southern Designer Showcase. Howell, the founder and designer of ali & bird jewelry, was selected from nearly 300 entrants. Her pieces will be sold in Belk department stores throughout the country and online in spring 2014. Howell, an Atlanta resident, started ali & bird in 2009. She describes her original pieces as “affordable statement jewelry that reflect current fashion and color trends, bringing modern flair to classic looks.” The jewelry is handcrafted with semi-precious stones in the United States and is sold by more than 75 retailers. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Howell dived into the design realm as an SMU student when she landed a summer job in the Dallas Market Center showroom of a friend’s mother. “That led to an internship and a job offer after graduation,” she says. After earning degrees in advertising and psychology from SMU, she moved to New York City where she launched a career in visual merchandising. Howell’s talent for mixing bold colors and classic designs served her well as the creative force behind the marketing, showroom displays and advertising campaigns for Herend USA, a fine china company, for 10 years. At first, jewelry making was strictly a hobby. “I’ve always been a creative person, and [...]
EXCERPT The following story about entrepreneur and SMU alumna Ashlee Hunt Kleinert '88 appears in D CEO, September 2013. Kleinert's food truck, Ruthie's Rolling Café, is a regular on campus at Food Truck Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as special events. Ruthie's Rolling Café's Entrepreneurial Appetite By Carol Shih Ruthie's Rolling Café at SMU September 12. When Ashlee Hunt Kleinert told her father four years ago that she wanted to start a food-truck business, Ray L. Hunt couldn’t believe what he was hearing. At first he thought she was talking about those vehicles that visit construction sites and sell frozen and prepackaged foods. Hunt, heir of oil tycoon H. L. Hunt and CEO of Hunt Consolidated, knows the energy business inside and out. But a restaurant on wheels? What was that? And why would anyone stand in line instead of going to a brick-and-mortar restaurant for a nice meal? Kleinert’s father wasn’t the only one who wondered why the mother of three wanted to get into the food-truck business. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Kleinert had never taken a business class. Still, the energetic blonde had founded an events company (In Any Event) and co-founded a nonprofit (Executives in Action). She was inspired to get into the business after hearing at an events convention that food trucks were projected to become a hot new trend. As it turns out, Kleinert had excellent [...]
EXCERPT The following story about SMU alumna Amber Venz '08 and Baxter Box '11, who holds an M.B.A. from SMU's Cox School of Business, is from the September 2, 2013, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Dallas start-up puts together fashion bloggers, shoppers and retailers By Hanah Cho Personal stylist Amy Wells Havins dishes on her latest fashion picks and catalogs her outfits on her blog Dallas Wardrobe. With a few clicks, her readers can purchase those Gap shorts or that Marc Jacobs bag featured on the blog. With every online sale, Havins gets a commission. “Maybe someone doesn’t hire me to take them shopping. [But] they shop with me online,” said Havins, 27. Driving the sales engine behind thousands of fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Havins is Dallas-based rewardStyle. The 2-year-old start-up provides the back-end platform that not only helps bloggers make money from their content but also drives sales to retailers. ... RewardStyle expects to drive nearly $150 million in sales to its retail partners by the end of the year, said Amber Venz, co-founder and president. The projection is two to three times the revenue its style publishers generated for retailers a year ago, Venz said. “As the numbers show, these content creators are driving a lot of commerce,” said Venz, 26. “Retailers understand that. That’s why they’re willing to pay for it.” The startup has attracted 2,500 U.S. and international retailers. They [...]