2020 June 2020

Career advice to help alumni get noticed and keep growing

Ally Van Deuren ’15 of Korn Ferry recently moderated a panel discussion with career volunteers Brandy Mickens ’02 of Equitable Advisors, Ivan Roussev ’12 of EY, Travis Roberts ’19 of Goldman Sachs and Alexis Gambino ’16 of State Farm.
Check out the recording for tips and insights.

2019 February 2019 News

Register for the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute, July 18–21

Take a deep dive into presidential history, innovation in the digital age and other fascinating topics while enjoying the beauty and serenity of SMU’s distinctive mountain campus in New Mexico.
The 15th anniversary of the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute will be celebrated this year with courses that offer something for everyone. Whether you choose an engaging class for the joy of learning or one that expands your knowledge of the world, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in a unique setting that inspires intellectual discovery and lasting friendships. The SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute provides in-depth, hands-on explorations that are designed to broaden your outlook, teach new skills or simply celebrate the cultural richness of Northern New Mexico and beyond. Field trips enable you to experience topics even more vividly, and there’s always time to discover the uniqueness of Taos on your own.
Read more and register today.

2017 Alumni December 2017

Meet the ‘$1-billion queen bee of dating apps’

That’s SMU alumna Whitney Wolfe Herd ’11 on the cover of the Forbes 30 Under 30 issue. Herd founded Bumble, “America’s fastest-growing dating-app company,” just three years after receiving a bachelor’s degree in international studies from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. This is her second consecutive appearance on the business magazine’s list of top “youthful visionaries” in 20 industries. In the profile that accompanies her December 12, 2017, cover, the 28-year-old entrepreneur talks about her mission to empower women via social networks devoted to dating, friendship, and business and networking. “We let our users guide our innovation. We let our users guide our brand.”

By Clare O’Connor

When Whitney Wolfe Herd started planning an October launch party for a new product at Bumble, America’s fastest-growing dating-app company, she was deliberate in her choice of venue: the Manhattan space that for 57 years hosted the Four Seasons restaurant, where regulars like Henry Kissinger, Vernon Jordan, Edgar Bronfman and Stephen Schwarzman created the ultimate power lunch.

The space now has a new name, new management and a new menu. And, as Herd insists, a new perspective on business. “The power lunch is no longer just for men,” Herd announces to the mostly young, mostly female crowd, before ceding the stage to the pop star Fergie. “We all deserve a seat at the table.”

That table surely now includes the 28-year-old Herd, who has changed the tenor of dating dynamics. By letting women make the first move, Bumble has amassed over 22 million registered users, to closest competitor Tinder’s 46 million, and at more than 70% year-over-year growth, to Tinder’s roughly 10%, it’s closing the gap quickly.

Read more at Forbes.

2017 Alumni December 2017

SMU alumnus’ research key to a Nobel for circadian rhythm discoveries

As a young researcher, Paul E. Hardin ’82 clocked innumerable hours in a pitch-dark lab to shed light on one of the keys to good health. Hardin was the first author on one of the fundamental papers from a body of circadian rhythm research to win the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
The Nobel Prize went to Hardin’s former colleagues Michael Rosbash and Jeffrey Hall of Brandeis as well as Michael Young of Rockefeller University “for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”
“It’s a really beautiful example of basic research that has led to incredible discoveries,” Hardin commented in Quanta Magazine. “Almost every aspect of physiology and metabolism will be controlled by the circadian clock.”
Hardin earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from SMU in 1982 and a doctorate in genetics from Indiana University in 1987.
As a postdoctoral researcher in Rosbash’s lab from 1987 to 1991, Hardin demonstrated that the protein encoded by the gene that controls circadian rhythm in the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) fluctuates over a 24-hour period, rising at night and falling during the day. His research over the past two decades has helped establish the fruit fly as a model organism for studying the circadian clock in humans and allowed scientists to unravel myriad ways in which that natural timekeeper affects our health. These discoveries may lead to new treatments for a wide range of afflictions – from jet lag and sleep disorders to obesity and heart disease.
Hardin, Distinguished Professor and John W. Lyons Jr. ’59 Endowed Chair in Biology at Texas A&M University, told Texas A&M Today: “A Nobel prize for ciradian clocks is great for the field. It is, indeed, exciting to have worked with two of the three winners and to see them and my field honored with such a momentous award. It is a proud moment for circadian clocks.”
His research has earned international recognition, including the 2003 Aschoff-Honma Prize from the Honma Life Science Foundation in Japan. He has served as president of the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Genetics Society of America and the Society of Neuroscience. He is the author of more than 100 publications.
A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Dr. Hardin was the son of SMU President Paul Hardin III, and we apologize for the error.
Read more:

2017 Alumni October 2017 Spring 2018

Adding early assessment to the math education equation

A $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to researchers in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development targets the ongoing struggle of U.S. elementary and high school students with math. SMU K-12 math education experts Leanne Ketterlin Geller and Lindsey Perry ’16 will conduct research and develop an assessment system comprised of two universal screening tools to measure mathematical reasoning skills for grades K–2.
“This is an opportunity to develop an assessment system that can help teachers support students at the earliest and, arguably, one of the most critical phases of a child’s mathematical development,” said Ketterlin Geller, principal investigator for the grant.
The four-year project, Measuring Early Mathematical Reasoning Skills: Developing Tests of Numeric Relational Reasoning and Spatial Reasoning, started on September 15, 2017. The system will contain tests for both numeric relational reasoning and spatial reasoning.
“I’m passionate about this research because students who can reason spatially and relationally with numbers are better equipped for future mathematics courses, STEM degrees and STEM careers,” said Perry, whose doctoral dissertation for her Ph.D. from SMU specifically focused on those two mathematical constructs.
“While these are very foundational and predictive constructs, these reasoning skills have typically not been emphasized at these grade levels, and universal screening tools focused on these topics do not yet exist,” said Perry, who is co-principal investigator.
“Since intervention in the early elementary grades can significantly improve mathematics achievement, it is critical that K-2 teachers have access to high-quality screening tools to help them with their intervention efforts,” she said. “We feel that the Measures of Mathematical Reasoning Skills system can really make a difference for K-2 teachers as they prepare the next generation of STEM leaders.”
Read more at SMU Research.

2017 Alumni

SMU’s Luisa del Rosal ’08 wins Latino business award

Luisa del Rosal ’08, executive director of the Tower Center and founding executive director of Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at SMU, received the Latino Up-And-Comer Award as part of D CEO’s 2017 Latino Business Awards. The awards are designed to honor the top Latino “visionary thinkers and industry pioneers” in North Texas.
“I get to do what I love every day and it’s an honor to be selected among such a worthy group,” del Rosal said. “Each nominee and award winner is an outstanding Hispanic leader, proving that we are better together.”

September 2017

In 2004, Luisa del Rosal left Chihuahua, Mexico, to attend school at Southern Methodist University.

She was a shy, doe-eyed girl who had trouble finding her way around campus. Arriving several minutes late to her first class, she entered through the wrong door and ended up at the front of the classroom. “I’m apologizing in Spanish, but I don’t notice because I’m so frazzled,” she says, only realizing the mistake when her professor responded with confusion. “I remember being just mortified.” But to del Rosal’s relief, the professor and the rest of the class laughed it off and welcomed her inside.

That first day of school has been much like the rest of her story: a series of peers, communities, and superiors who have welcomed her and her ideas.

Read more.


SMU Dedman School Of Law Recognizes Accomplishments And Service At Distinguished Alumni Gala

Shown at the 2016 SMU Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Awards gala are (from left) Dedman Law Dean Jennifer Collins, Jim Baldwin ’86, Cece Cox ’04, Judge Catharina Haynes, A. Shonn Brown ’98, Windle Turley ’65 and SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
Shown at the 2016 SMU Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Awards gala are (from left) Dedman Law Dean Jennifer Collins, Jim Baldwin ’86, Cece Cox ’04, Judge Catharina Haynes, A. Shonn Brown ’98, Windle Turley ’65 and SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

By Denise Gee
SMU Dedman School of Law honored five highly accomplished legal, business and public service professionals at its 29th Distinguished Alumni Awards event February 4.
Dedman School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious award bestowed by the school. Recipients are selected for being highly respected in the legal field.
In addition to the alumni recognition, an honorary award is presented in acknowledgement of outstanding service to the law school.
This year’s award recipients are:
Jim Baldwin ’86: Award for Corporate Service
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

James “Jim” Baldwin is executive vice president and general counsel for Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) Group, Inc., where he oversees all legal issues for the global, Plano-based company.
Baldwin has played a key strategic role in the company’s major acquisitions and restructurings. He was involved in the DPS Group’s spin-off from London-based Cadbury Schweppes PLC as a publicly traded company in 2008. Previously, he played a central role in consolidating the operations of Snapple Beverage Corp., Mott’s Inc. and Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., into Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, as well as the subsequent acquisition of Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Bottling Group and several other bottling and distribution businesses. He also helped lead the acquisition of several of DPS Group’s leading brands.
Baldwin joined the company in 1997 as assistant general counsel, where he supported company initiatives to strengthen the company’s bottling network and route to market. The following year, he was promoted to general counsel for Mott’s, Inc. in Stamford, Conn., where he oversaw all legal aspects of Mott’s business. In June 2002, he relocated to Dallas to head the legal department at Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., as senior vice president and general counsel. A year later he was promoted to his current role.
Prior to his work with the DPS Group and Cadbury Schweppes, Baldwin was a partner in the Dallas office of the Houston-based law firm Hutcheson & Grundy. He began his law career in the firm of Berman, Mitchell, Yeager and Gerber.
Baldwin graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English from Washington & Lee University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from SMU Dedman School of Law.
A. Shonn Evans Brown ’98: Emerging Leader Award
Partner, Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP
Shonn Brown is a respected trial lawyer and leader in both the legal and greater Dallas community. She has a sterling reputation among her professional colleagues, clients, members of the judiciary and community leaders.
Before earning a bachelor of science degree in sociology from SMU in 1995, she was an active student leader and accordingly honored with the coveted SMU “M” Award. She then attended SMU Dedman School of Law, continuing to lead by serving as secretary to the Student Bar Association and Board of Advocates. Upon graduation, Brown was one of 10 of the Class of 1998’s top advocates to be inducted into the Order of the Barristers.
Brown began her practice in Dallas at Locke Purnell Rain Harrell (now Locke Lord), where after seven years she was elected to serve as partner. She credits her 14 years at Locke Lord for having helped shape her foundation as a trial lawyer and foster her passion for community service.
In May 2012, Brown became a partner with Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP, where she has won a number of significant jury-trial verdicts representing both plaintiffs and defendants.
In support of SMU and the legal and greater Dallas communities, Brown has served on the SMU Alumni Board and is now a SMU Dedman Law Alumni Community Fellow for the Inns of Court Program and a mentor in the Mustang Exchange Flash Mentorship Program. Currently she also serves as a trustee of the Dallas Museum of Art and The Lamplighter School and as a director of the Dallas Women’s Foundation, the Dallas Bar Association, Big Thought and Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Cece Cox ’04: Award for Public Service
Chief Executive Officer, Resource Center
Recognized for her longtime leadership and advocacy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement, Cece Cox serves as CEO of Resource Center, one of the nation’s largest LGBT community centers. Resource Center, which provides health services and programs to individuals with HIV/AIDS, serves more than 60,000 people annually with a staff of more than 50 employees and 1,100 volunteers.
Having advocated on behalf of the LGBT and HIV communities for nearly 30 years, Cox was instrumental in the passage of the City of Dallas’ sexual orientation nondiscrimination policy, and the Dallas Independent School District’s first anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies. Since June 2010, more than 50,000 public sector employees and a quarter-million students in the Dallas area have new or expanded LGBT nondiscrimination protections thanks to the Center’s advocacy.
Cox joined the Center in 2007 as associate executive director and three years later became CEO. Previously, she practiced commercial law and provided pro bono legal services to individuals with HIV. She is a member of the executive committee for SMU’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Board of Visitors for UNT-Dallas College of Law. She also serves on the board of the Dallas Women’s Foundation and is co-chair of the national organization CenterLink.
Cox is a former president of the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance (DGLA), former co-chair of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation/Dallas and a former officer of the LGBT Section of the State Bar of Texas. She is an alumna of Leadership Dallas and Leadership Lambda & was recognized with the Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Black Tie Dinner in 1999.
As a former professional photographer, Cox co-authored a book chronicling the 1993 March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctor degree from SMU’s Dedman School of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas.
Windle Turley ’65: Award for Private Practice
Founder, Turley Law Firm
Preeminent Dallas lawyer Windle Turley’s record-breaking jury verdicts, innovative legal techniques and compassionate efforts have influenced some of North Texas’ best trial lawyers—many of whom he trained.
After earning his undergraduate degree from Oklahoma City University in 1962, he attended SMU Dedman School of Law and graduated in 1965. Five years later, the young attorney challenged a Texas law enabling unmarried fathers to avoid child support obligations. He ultimately argued the case before the Supreme Court of the United States, which held the Texas law unconstitutional.
In 1973, Turley opened his own firm, where he developed innovative litigation techniques and established new legal theories. Soon he would be overseeing one of the country’s largest plaintiff-focused firms. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Turley frequently takes cases few others would, and as a result, a hallmark of his career is his success in a wide array of personal injury cases.
A foremost expert in tort litigation, Turley continually challenges companies to make safer products. He was the first to apply the crashworthiness doctrine in aviation litigation in Smith v. Cessna Aircraft, which helped spark industry changes. In 1979, he obtained an injunction that grounded DC-10 aircraft worldwide due to a safety defect that resulted in a Chicago crash. Additionally, his “Firearms Project” attracted national attention as he filed lawsuits pursuing strict product liability on firearm manufacturers and sellers. He also tried the first tractor-trailer post-crash fire case and first airbag case.
Turley has represented hundreds of child abuse victims and continues to do so. After receiving a historic $120 million judgment for 11 boys sexually abused by Father Rudy Kos of the Dallas Catholic Diocese, the highly publicized verdict brought to light crimes previously concealed in confidential settlements. The landmark case empowered other victims to come forward, forcing the National Council of Catholic Bishops to create new diocese standards to protect children from abusive priests.
Turley helped pioneer video and demonstrative evidence in the courtroom, and he was the first to use video settlement documentaries. And while he has written numerous legal books and papers on litigation involving aviation and firearms, in 2010 he published The Amazing Monarch, featuring Monarch butterfly photographs and scientific information.
Turley has been honored as a “Texas Trial Legend” by both the Dallas Bar Association and the Higginbotham Inn of Court. He also received the 2006 Distinguished Alumni in Arts and Science Award from Oklahoma City University.
Catharina Haynes: Honorary Alumna Award
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Judge Catharina Haynes was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in April 2008 by then-President George W. Bush. Before taking the federal bench, she served eight years as a Texas state district judge in Dallas. She also spent 13 years in private practice, first as an associate at Thompson & Knight LLP and then as an associate and partner at Baker Botts LLP. She is certified in consumer and commercial law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Currently chair-elect of the Appellate Judges Conference of the American Bar Association’s Judicial Division, Haynes also chaired the 2014 Appellate Judges Education Institute Summit co-hosted by SMU Dedman School of Law. Additionally, she served 11 years as a member of the Council of the State Bar of Texas Insurance Section and as an at-large director of the Dallas Bar Association for one year.
Haynes recently received the 2014 Award of Distinction from Florida Tech—where she also received its alumni association’s Outstanding Achievement Award—and is a two-time recipient of the Dallas Bar Association’s Jo Anna Moreland Outstanding Committee Chair Award. She also has been honored with the Outstanding Board Member Award and Louise B. Raggio Award from the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, the Award of Excellence from the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Foundation, and while at Baker Botts, the Thomas Gibbs Gee Award for pro bono efforts.
From 2003 to 2011, Haynes was a volunteer teacher of pre-GED English-as-a-second-language classes for adults at Vickery Meadow Learning Center (now known as VMLC), for which she has been a board member for six years.
Haynes earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law.


SMU Alumni Connect With Alternative Breaks, March 6-12

SMU alumni gave a helping hadn to student volunteers participating in the University’s Alternative Breaks (AB) program, March 6-12. Over spring break, eight teams of nine students and a faculty/staff advisor fanned out across the globe to supply hands-on service to established nonprofits that are aiding those in need and improving their communities.

Students volunteers serve with nonprofits in the United States and abroad over spring break through SMU's Alternative Breaks program. Last year, this group of students helped a New York City organization prepare meals for delivery to seriously ill people. SMU alumni are invited to
Student volunteers serve with nonprofits in the United States and abroad over spring break through SMU’s Alternative Breaks program. Last year, this group of students helped a New York City organization prepare meals for delivery to seriously ill people. Mustang alumni are invited to connect with SMU teams visiting their cities over spring break, March 6-12.

Teams worked in several cities with active SMU Alumni chapters, including Atlanta, New Orleans, New York City, St. Louis and Taos, as well as the greater Philadelphia area.
Through the SMU Connection program, the Office of Alumni Engagement collaborates with Alternative Breaks and other partners across campus to provide opportunities for alumni to connect with current students.
Here are some ways Mustangs assisted the AB teams:

  • Supply meals or snacks/desserts. Students are on a tight budget, so evening meals and treats are greatly appreciated.
  • Serve as a “city consultant” by offering insider tips on fun freebies, things to do and places to go on the cheap, and other information about your area.
  • Share your expertise as a guest speaker, if you have professional or volunteer experience related to the AB service project in your city.

Alternative Breaks projects in the chapter cities included:
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Community Food Bank operates a product rescue center, grocery, mobile pantry and community garden.
Kimberton, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area)
Camphill Village is a dynamic farming, gardening and handcrafting intentional community that includes adults with developmental disabilities.
New Orleans, Louisiana
St. Bernard Project engages youth in rebuilding distressed and foreclosed homes to stabilize neighborhoods still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.
New York City, New York
God’s Love We Deliver delivers nourishing meals to those with cancer, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses.
St. Louis, Missouri
Saint Louis Crisis Nursery provides help and a safe haven for abused and neglected children.
Taos, New Mexico
Roots and Wings Community School fosters academic excellence by connecting its diverse student population with the unique agricultural, linguistic and cultural heritage of Northern New Mexico.
If you know how you would like to get involved, or you need more information, email the Office of Alumni Engagement at



SMU Alumna’s Dazzling Designs Win Spot In Belk Showcase

Jewelry designer Ali Howell '86 was among 13 winners of the Belk Southern Designers Showcase.
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 when a friend started making jewelry, I watched her and asked her to show me a few things. I got hooked,” says Howell. “I made a several pieces, and every time I would wear one, people would ask where I got it.”
Shark Tank panelist Barbara Corcoran wears an ali & bird necklace.
Shark Tank panelist Barbara Corcoran wearing ali & bird jewelry.

Bucking conventional wisdom, Howell took a chance on her own business just as a recession gripped the global economy. As it turns out, her timing was perfect. She found that while women weren’t investing in new clothes, they were buying distinctive, well-priced jewelry to freshen last year’s looks.
Celebrity fans of her line include Barbara Corcoran, real estate expert and Shark Tank panelist, and Maria Cardona, political strategist and CNN contributor.
Howell’s company is truly a family business. She designs and creates the pieces in her home studio with the help of several assistants and off-site “stringers.” Her 12-year-old daughter, Lindsey, also known as “Bird,” not only lends her nickname to the enterprise but also a hand in making the jewelry. In addition to his job in the corporate world, husband Ward handles marketing for ali & bird. The Howells also have a nine-year-old son.
As a winner of the Belk designer competition, Howell looks forward to introducing her jewelry to new Dallas customers when the retailer debuts its 170,000-square-foot flagship store in the Galleria mall. When she’s here for the opening next spring, a trip to the Hilltop will be on her to-do list.
“Whenever I’m in Dallas, I try to make it back to campus,” Howell says. “SMU was a great place for me. I feel I got a good education and started on a path that has led me to where I am today.”
– Patricia Ward


SMU Alumna Drives The Local Food-Truck Scene


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 for Food Truck Thursday, September 12.
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 timing. Ruthie’s Rolling Café hit the road in August 2011, right when the food-truck scene was just about to explode. The blue and pink truck bears the name of her grandmother, Ruth. …
Read the full story and see photos 
See the campus food truck schedule here


SMU Alumni’s Stylish Start-up Connects Content To Commerce


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 include well-known brands such as Neiman Marcus, Fossil and Shopbop. …
> Read the full story and see a related photo.
> Read an interview with Amber Venz from Meadows School of the Arts.