TexAgs – Football Recruiting and Baseball Update

Ryan Brauninger

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Ryan Brauninger
TexAgs Recruiting & Baseball Analyst

Ryan Brauninger

Ryan joined TexAgs in August of 2015. A college baseball player at McNeese State (Class of ’09), he moved to College Station in 2010 to pursue a Master’s in sport management at Texas A&M. Since receiving his degree, Ryan has been active in the youth sports scene in the Brazos Valley, the state, and region; including a summer stint with USA Baseball. He is a member of the TexAgs Recruiting team and a baseball analyst.

2021 Texas Legislature Session Priorities

Chris Britton

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Chris Britton
Managing Director,
Caddo Associates

Chris Britton ‘92
Chris Britton is the managing director for Caddo Associates, a specialized boutique lobby firm located in Austin, Texas. Skilled in legislative and regulatory policy, Chris has provided counsel on budget and policy matters across all issue areas. He has served as deputy chief of staff for Governor Perry, policy advisor for the Offices of Governor and Lt. Governor, and committee clerk and chief of staff for legislative offices in the Texas House of Representatives. In the private sector, Chris worked for Accenture, a Global Fortune 500 Company, with the company’s public service practice. His service included policy expertise, managing an initiative working with client legal staff to identify and resolve data sharing issues, and overseeing improvements in the processing of public assistance applications. Prior to his time with Accenture, Chris provided policy counsel to other private and public‐sector clients. As part of his volunteer activities, Chris serves on the board of directors for the YMCA of Austin and the board of management for the Texas YMCA Youth and Government. He is a past chair and board member for the Austin Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Central Texas.

Chris received his Bachelor of Science Agriculture Development from Texas A&M University in 1992.

The State of the Texas Economy

Dr. Luis Torres

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Dr. Luis Torres
Research Economist
Real Estate Council of Austin

An overview with emphasis on commercial and residential real estate in Austin

Dr. Luis Torres

Dr. Luis Torres received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico. He received a master’s in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso, where his dissertation received honors. He later earned a scholarship to participate in the American Economic Association Ph.D. Summer Minority Program. His Ph.D. is from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he specialized in international economics and econometrics. During his doctoral studies, he worked at the El Paso Branch of the Dallas Federal Reserve. From 1995 to 2012, he was with Banco de Mexico in the research department and the institutional liaison department. He has more than 15 years of central banking experience.

Dr. Torres studies the Texas economy and real estate market as well as researching the U.S. and world economies. He developed regional indicators that measure economic activity in the real estate industry and forecast housing and commercial markets. Luis also oversees the following Center publications: Texas Housing Insight, Outlook for the Texas Economy, Texas Border Economy, and Texas Quarterly Commercial Report.

Dr. Torres has taught classes and seminars at U.S. and Mexican universities, as well as in national and international forums. He has published various articles in academic and nonacademic publications about banking, international economics, trade and applied econometrics.

Update from The Association of Former Students

Porter S. Garner III

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Porter S. Garner III
President & CEO
The Association of Former Students

Porter S. Garner III ’79

Porter graduated from Texas A&M University in 1979 with a BBA in marketing and began his career with Hughes Tool Company before joining The Association’s staff as Field Director in 1981. After nearly 18 years of service to The Association, Porter was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors to lead the organization, making him only the seventh chief executive in The Association’s 141‐year history. Over the last 21 years as President and CEO, Porter has inspired innovation and led initiatives to achieve The Association’s vision to become the premier alumni organization, enhance Association programs and services, and broaden the organization’s reach and relevance to the worldwide Aggie Network. He serves as a non‐voting member of The Association’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, working closely with the Board to ensure that donated funds are used in the most efficient and effective ways to benefit Texas A&M and the Aggie Network. Under his leadership as President and CEO, The Association of Former Students’ total assets have grown from $55 million to $117 million and the organization has raised over $321 million impacting Texas A&M and Texas Aggies.

Porter is a member of the Self‐Governing Alumni Forum (SGAF), Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and serves on the board of Baylor Scott & White Health – College Station Region. He served on numerous boards to include: CASE District IV, CASE Commission on Alumni Relations, Brazos Valley Rehab Center and March of Dimes. He is only one of two individuals to have been honored with a lifetime membership in the Brazos County A&M Club. Porter and his wife, Lisa ’91, have three children: Claire ’21, Callie ’23 and Porter IV.

Leadership Lessons from the System Office

Phillip Ray, Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Texas A&M University System

Tuesday, July 12, 2020

Phillip Ray
Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Texas A&M System

Phillip Ray ’87

As Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, Phillip Ray is responsible for all real estate development projects involving a public-private partnership, negotiation of operational efficiencies opportunities, financial accounting and reporting oversight, direction of tax and fiscal activities, financial functions related to the legislative appropriations process, annual operating budget process, Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) initiatives, Facilities Planning and Construction, and aircraft operations for the A&M System.

Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs, The Texas A&M University System

Associate Vice President for Finance & University Contracts Officer, Texas A&M University

Assistant Athletic Director, Texas A&M University

Assistant Vice President for Business Affairs and Contracts, Texas Tech University

Director, Procurement & Contracts, Katy Independent School District

Director, Procurement & Contracts, Texas A&M University-Commerce

Financial Analyst/Program Management, E-Systems-Raytheon

Governor’s Executive Development Program, LBJ School of Public Affairs

Executive Leadership and Management Institute, Stanford University / WACUBO

Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, Harvard University

M.B.A., Southern Methodist University

B.S., Texas A&M University-Commerce

Certified Auxiliary Services Professional, National Association of College Auxiliary Services

Certified Public Procurement Officer, Universal Public Procurement Certification Council

Board member

  • St. Joseph Catholic School System
  • Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce’s Educational Development Foundation – 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
  • Executive Advisory Council – National Contract Management Association

Leadership Lessons from the AD’s Office

Ross Bjork, TAMU Athletics Director

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Ross Bjork
Texas A&M Director of Athletics

Ross Bjork

Ross Bjork began his position as Texas A&M’s Director of Athletics on July 8, 2019.

He came to Aggieland from the University of Mississippi, where he served as the Director of Athletics for seven years. There, he oversaw a department with a staff of over 250 employees. During his tenure at Ole Miss, revenue generated within Athletics more than doubled, from $57 million to $117 million.

His many achievements include back-to-back Top 40 Directors’ Cup finishes, ranked 39th in 2016-17 among Division 1 institutions, and 38th in 2017-18, as well as the university’s first appearance in the College World Series in 42 years in 2014. New facilities and renovation improvements flourished under his leadership including the Manning Center, the Pavilion at Ole Miss and a large renovation at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

Bjork arrived in Oxford after a stint as Director of Athletics at Western Kentucky University where he quickly established an atmosphere of success. After Bjork made a midseason coaching change, the Hilltopper men’s basketball team went on to capture the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Tournament title and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Women’s Volleyball won the conference regular season and tournament in 2011 and reached the NCAA tournament each of his last two years, while men’s and women’s cross country each won conference team titles in 2011. WKU’s football program posted the greatest one-season improvement in conference wins in the history of the Sun Belt, posting a 7-1 league mark and second-place conference finish. WKU football also signed the conference’s top recruiting class each of his last two seasons.

During his tenure, each of WKU’s men’s and women’s athletic teams exceeded the NCAA required 925 Academic Progress Report Rate (APR), and WKU had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other institution in 2011-12. For the first time in program history, the overall cumulative average GPA was over 3.0 for all 391 student-athletes and 228 maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Ten of the university’s 15 athletic programs posted a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better.

The youngest athletics director of the 120 NCAA FBS programs when hired at WKU, Bjork has an extensive career in intercollegiate athletics with more than two decades of experience as an administrator and student-athlete, having worked on the senior staffs at UCLA, the University of Miami and the University of Missouri. He began his administrative career at WKU as an Assistant Development Coordinator in 1996-97. Bjork is a native of Dodge City, Kansas, and received his bachelor’s degree in recreation administration from Emporia State University in 1995 where he was a two-year starter at fullback. Bjork was honored by Emporia State with the 2017 distinguished alumni award. He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from Western Illinois University in December 1996. Bjork has quickly established a leadership role in the SEC by serving as Chair of the awards committee and representing the SEC on NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee and the NCAA transfer working group.

The Bjork File
Hometown: Dodge City, Kan.
High School: Dodge City Senior High School
College: Emporia State University (B.S., Recreation Administration, 1995); Western Illinois University (M.S., Athletic Administration, 1996)
Wife: Sonya
Children: Sons, Payton (13) and Paxton (9)

Bjork’s Career Timeline
2019-: Texas A&M, Director of Athletics
2012-19: Ole Miss, Director of Athletics/Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics
2010-12: Western Kentucky University, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
2005-10: UCLA, Senior Associate Athletic Director for External Relations
2003-05: University of Miami, Associate Athletic Director for External Operations
2001-03: University of Missouri, Assistant Athletic Director for Development
1997-2001: University of Missouri, Athletic Development Officer
1996-97: Western Kentucky University, Assistant Development Coordinator
1995-96: Western Illinois University, Campus Recreation Grad. Asst./Ath. Dept. Volunteer
1995: University of Tulsa, Marketing Intern
1994: Albuquerque Dukes, Front Office Intern