Guidance, enrichment, leadership
The Bill Munday School of Business recognizes the support of its Advisory Board. Through member efforts and continued contributions, our school has been able to actualize visions of academic excellence and integrity.
Kyle Ballarta, MBA '11
Founder & CEO, Falkon Ventures
Kyle is the founder and CEO of Falkon Ventures, an innovative venture capital fund designed to catalyze innovation in the new entrepreneurial landscape for companies that have the mission to positively change industry and the world. Prior to Falkon Ventures, Kyle was a member of the initial team at LifeProof, a San Diego-based consumer electronics company that grew its force from three people to over 250 employees on three continents in three years. LifeProof’s meteoric growth led to its successful acquisition by Otterbox in 2013.
He is also the co-founder of Syndicap, a venture capital network that is changing the attitude of the industry by incentivizing venture funds to collaborate across different stages and verticals to match the convergence of industry. Kyle’s creative curiosity and passion for collaboration that innovates drives him to work with initiatives in the impact space, including The Hispanic Alliance, A Reason to Survive, The Andy Roddick Foundation and The Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University. His work with non-profits, foundations and social enterprises focuses on creating sustainable and scalable impact by implementing social enterprise models and pioneering new venture funding models.
Salmeron Barnes, BBA '03
Principal, Global Energy Strategy Lead, Mercer
Salmeron (Sal) Barnes is a strategy consultant working with the leadership of one of the world’s most dynamic companies to solve uncommon business problems. During his career, he has worked at marquee firms such as Accenture, Oliver Wyman and Mercer. Currently, he is responsible for global strategy creation and execution of Mercer’s energy practice, which contributes more than $200MM in revenue for the firm.
Sal has experience in corporate strategy, organizational design, due diligence, technology strategy, competitive market assessments, customer segmentation, M&A strategy, product design and human capital strategy. He has authored several published point of views on various energy industry-related topics and often serves as a speaker to undergraduate and graduate students and at corporate events.
In addition to his professional career, Sal is an officer in the Texas National Guard where he serves in various leadership roles in the artillery. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Marketing from St. Edward’s University in 2003 and his MBA in Finance from Tulane University in 2010. While at Tulane, he was granted an Aldrich Fellowship for full tuition and was also a teaching assistant for the graduate energy finance course.
Sal lives in Austin and is active in the community with several causes such as animal rights, veteran services and education.
Travis Brown, BBA '07
Market President, Guaranty Bank & Trust
Travis Brown serves as the market president at Guaranty Bank & Trust in Austin, Texas. Guaranty is one of the oldest regional community banks in Texas, with 26 locations across 18 Texas communities. In 2017, the bank opened its first location in Austin, and Travis leads the efforts to bring Guaranty’s brand to the city. He is responsible for sourcing and managing the Austin loan and deposit portfolio and manages current and future personnel in this market.
Before his role at Guaranty, Travis worked at Sovereign Bank as a senior vice president for four years and at Frost National Bank as an assistant vice president for seven years. Travis is also a military veteran of the United States Marine Corps. As a third-generation Austinite, Travis has a great passion for the city, and he has seen it grow tremendously over the last decade. Travis received a BBA in Business Administration and Management from St. Edward’s University, and in 2018, he earned an Executive MBA from UT Austin.
He is also very active in the community. Travis currently serves in various capacities with the Real Estate Council of Austin, Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Dell Children's Trust & Council, as well as being an alumnus of Leadership Austin, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce and Young Texan Society.
Br. Richard Daly
St. Edward’s University
Venture Capitalist & Kauffman Fellow
Claire England is a veteran investor and startup advisor, who has cultivated more than 20 years of leadership, strategy, and operations acumen in venture investing, entrepreneur ecosystems, and social impact organizations. She serves as Partner in two Portfolia funds: the new Food & AgTech Fund and the FemTech Fund, the nation’s first VC fund dedicated to investing in women’s health and wellness innovation. She is also a Kauffman Fellow, a prestigious post-graduate executive leadership program for top venture capitalists and innovation leaders worldwide.
From 2014 to 2019, she directed Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), a large investing community of family offices and high-net-worth individuals, of whom she recruited at least 40 percent. She led CTAN into a global model of early-stage investing, with its first IPO exits and an ROI exceeding the U.S. average for VC returns. CTAN became the #1 most active angel group in the U.S. for the first time in its history, deploying a record $14 million annually. Her efforts to build an exceptional investor community and achieve best-in-class founder sourcing, due diligence, and deal leadership drove more than $74.4 million in funding for 115 companies, from pre-seed to pre-IPO stages.
Previously, she was Executive Director of RISE, which was pivotal in developing Austin’s entrepreneur ecosystem into what it is today and which Forbes recognized as a “Must-Attend Conference for Entrepreneurs.” She also created international startup and investor projects, delivering exclusive programming for clients such as SXSW Interactive. She established her passion for fostering innovation as a startup’s first full-time employee.
Claire serves on St. Edward’s University’s Business School Board of Advisors and as a mentor for Kauffman Fellows and startup accelerators, such as Techstars. She has served on numerous advisory committees for entrepreneurial and investing organizations, such as the Angel Capital Association, Startup America, and World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. She speaks at innovation conferences and leads workshops in the U.S. and internationally.
In 2018, she received the Kauffman Fellows Leadership Award, and she was a 2013 Finalist for Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award. Claire graduated Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication–Public Relations and a minor in Music–Cello and Vocal Performance from Texas State University and was inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society.
Tax and Business Advisory Partner, RSM US LLP
As a tax and business advisory partner for RSM, Kevin leads the Austin office technology and life sciences industry practice. He has over 20 years of experience in public accounting, dealing with a wide range of tax and industry topics.
His expertise covers corporate taxation issues, equity compensation, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, research and development tax credits, partnership/LLC matters, international tax structuring and compliance, and state and local income or franchise reporting and planning.
Kevin is one of the founding board members of the Austin Regional Manufacturers Association (ARMA) and currently serves as the Treasurer. He has also been honored as a Volunteer of the Year by ARMA. He also serves as President of the University of Arizona AustinCats Alumni Chapter.
Kevin holds dual BSBAs in Accounting and Finance from the University of Arizona and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the states of Arizona and Texas. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Vijay George, MBA '96
Senior Advisor, NMG Consulting LLC
Vijay George has over 25 years of experience applying technology strategically across a range of sectors including utilities, government, manufacturing, IT services and management consulting.
Vijay was recently vice president for Texas Public Sector for Sogeti USA, part of Capgemini S.A., before starting NMG Consulting. Vijay is the former CIO/CTO and director of innovation for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (CPA). As a strategic member of the executive management team, he led the statewide ERP modernization initiative, government transparency programs and security and privacy modernization efforts. He had strategy and operational responsibility for the innovation and technology division for the state agency that supports the financial systems for the state of Texas, including tax, accounting, payroll, treasury, and procurement for the $100B+ state government.
Prior to the CPA, Vijay was the CIO for LCRA (Lower Colorado River Authority), where he was the executive responsible for multiple divisions including IT and telecommunications. At LCRA, he leveraged his experience in IT and OT to bring organizational alignment and bridge IT, telecommunications and OT organizations together. Prior to LCRA, he ran two start-up software development and technology consulting firms that focused on the manufacturing and utility sectors. He started his career as an electrical and controls engineer with Alcoa, leveraging information and operational technology in manufacturing and utility.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in Software Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s University. He is also a registered professional engineer in Texas (inactive).
Paul Gerling, MBA '98
Senior Vice President, Comerica Bank
As senior vice president of Comerica Bank’s Technology and Life Sciences Division, Paul is responsible for the technology lending practices and portfolio management for the central and south Texas regions. Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from The University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from St. Edward’s University.
Michele Grieshaber, PhD
Chief Marketing Officer, Silicon Labs
Michele Grieshaber currently serves as the CMO for Silicon Labs (NASDAQ – $600+M revenue), a leading provider of energy-friendly silicon, software and development tools for the Internet of Things (IoT). Since joining the company in early 2014, she has restructured the corporate marketing function, improved the website and aligned with sales on a pipeline management model. She also drove retooling of the corporate brand and established ethics training and a refresh of the company’s code of business conduct.
Prior to Silicon Labs, Michele led 200 marketing professionals as IBM’s Vice President of North America Demand Programs, annually delivering $20+ billion in marketing-generated sales pipeline across all IBM products and services. A 20-year IBM veteran, Michele served as the CMO of IBM’s Global Financing unit. During her IBM tenure, she held strategic technical and marketing positions in software, services and hardware businesses, including assignments in Europe and Asia. Her expertise encompasses business development, strategy, product management, channel management and software ecosystem partnerships.
Michele holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and was a Fulbright Scholar. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech.
Diana Maldonado, BBA '00
Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
Diana Maldonado was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2008 as the first female and Latina to represent House District 52 (Southeast Williamson County). In the 81st Legislature, Representative Maldonado authored and co-authored over 80 bills. In her first term, she secured almost $17 million for higher education; a $10 million road project through her appointment on Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization; was appointed by the Speaker to the committee on Defense and Veterans Affairs and the coveted State Affairs, in which she was one of two women and the only freshman on this committee.
Maldonado is the former President of the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees and was elected in 2003 and re-elected in 2006. She also spent over 20 years at the Texas Comptroller’s Office as an efficiency expert before seeking election in House District 52. She returned to college to earn her bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Administration in 2000, where she graduated magna cum laude from St. Edward’s University New College.
In 2013, Diana won the Woman of Distinction Award from the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce. She sits on the board for Seedling Foundation and Mexic Arte Museum Advisory Council and is a member of Impact Austin.
Vice President, Corporate Services, Sunnova Energy Corporation
Debra Moeller is co-founder of Sunnova Energy Corporation (2012) and has nearly 30 years of experience in federal taxation and financial statements. She was at Arthur Andersen until 1988 when she left the oil and gas tax division to serve as senior tax analyst for Mitchell Energy Corporation.
In 1994, she started her own CPA firm, specializing in tax and accounting services for small businesses and individuals. After much growth, she sold the firm in 2007 and served as a CPA / administrator of a publicly traded oil and gas exploration company, where she provided accounting and tax services, including tax filings and preparation of SEC filings.
She later came on board with SunCap Financial as a consultant, where she set up the accounting department, created policies and procedures, and was responsible for tax issues, both federal and state. Other past responsibilities included CFO of two different international businesses. She currently oversees employee stock options, immigration and investor relations and teaches Orientation, Code of Conduct and Financial Reporting classes at Sunnova.
Debra Moeller graduated cum laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Texas.
Chris Ragland, BBA '05, MBA '10
COO, Noble Capital Group LLC
Chris has served as the chief operating officer of Noble Capital Group LLC, an alternative investment firm, since 2010. In addition, he serves as a consultant with SYNNECTA GmbH, a German-based organizational development and management consultancy. Over the past fifteen years, Chris has been a principal in over a dozen companies, providing various levels of leadership and support. His specializations include strategic engagement, change management and process excellence. He continues to sharpen and demonstrate his uncanny ability to successfully grow businesses through the creation of loyal teams, fanatic culture and personal growth of those around him.
Chris has a broad base of industry experience including high-tech, real estate, finance, telecom, the arts, insurance, film, bar/restaurant, manufacturing and retail. In addition to domestic ventures, he has worked on several international projects in Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Chris works with businesses at all levels ranging from enterprise clients, such as Adobe, BMW and American Express, to locally owned and operated small businesses. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship and an MBA in Global Entrepreneurship from St. Edward’s University. He is presently working towards the completion of his PhD through Universitat Jaume I, a Spanish university located in Castelló de la Plana.
COO at TheAmericanGenius.com, Co-Founder at #BASHH, and Founder of Austin Digital Jobs
Lani serves as the Chief Operating Officer and News Director at TheAmericanGenius.com, a national news organization dedicated to business news, insights, tools, and inspiration for small business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
Rosales is the sharp-tongued founder of the Austin Digital Jobs (ADJ) Facebook group (with nearly 45,000 members), and co-founded the Big Ass Social Happy Hour (BASHH), a monthly networking event, both of which have massively improved the quality of connections in Austin. She is a national speaker best known for her insight on career development, social media, technology, and if you're nice, economics or cussing. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or connect with her on LinkedIn.
Chris Schwarz, BBA '00
Owner, Chris Schwarz, CPA
Chris Schwarz, CPA, began his career with a local Dallas CPA firm with 25 professionals after graduating from St. Edward’s University in 2000 and earning his CPA in 2003. In 2009, Chris became an officer of that firm, focusing on assurance services and planning for mergers and acquisitions. This included the tax planning and due diligence services needed for his clients. In 2011, the firm was acquired by a national CPA firm, and he became a partner.
Feeling like he was losing touch with his clients, he decided to open his own practice in 2012. Chris has become a great asset to his clients in consulting on tax savings strategies, financial awareness and financial planning for their business.
He is very active in the community and is committed to helping the families of those that serve and protect our freedoms. In 2011, he joined the board of the Snowball Express Foundation, which serves the children of our fallen military by providing events for them to connect and heal. These events culminate in a large, five-day gathering of over 1,500 children and surviving spouses in Dallas. Since 2014, Chris has served as vice chairman and CFO of this organization.
Chris is also vice president of the Guns and Hoses Foundation of North Texas, which provides support for the families of fallen police officers and firefighters. He started with the Guns and Hoses Foundation in 2010 by chairing a golf tournament that supported equipment purchases for underfunded police departments in the area. When it comes to serving, Chris says, “Making time for volunteering is a juggling act, but when you find that cause that grabs your heart, you commit to it and you won’t regret it.”
Former Managing Partner, KPMG Austin Office; CPA
Fred Tedesco serves as an adjunct instructor for The Bill Munday School of Business at St. Edward’s University, where he teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in accounting principles, auditing and business ethics. He has worked in this role since 2015, and during the course of his tenure, he has served as an advisor for the Accounting Club and as a guest speaker during the annual Accounting Student Retreat.
Before his transition to adjunct instructor, Fred spent over 30 years at KPMG. In 1996, he was elected to partnership and led the Austin office in all resource and client service matters. Fred was responsible for managing all personnel activities, including recruiting, hiring, promotion and compensation. He built consensus toward KPMG’s strategic direction, led the management team in marketing initiatives, and designed an effective community-giving campaign that resulted in annual donation increases.
Within KPMG, Fred served on a number of teams and committees, including the Southwest Area Leadership Team, the Department of Professional Practice and the Venture Capital Champion Committee. In 1996, he started the KPMG Austin technology practice and grew that practice to include software and services, semiconductor, venture-backed startups and e-commerce companies. Fred received a BBA in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Texas Arlington, and he is a member of the American Institute of CPAs.