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NMSU alumni share professional experiences with College of Business class

What does it take to be successful in business?

Man with red bow tie talking with students
New Mexico State University alumni Bobby Lutz, left, and Scott Williams, center right, visit with business majors Cassius Corely and Valerie Latin, right, when the Dallas businessmen spoke to the Finance 490 class recently. They are among six successful businessmen who have spoken to the class this semester about their business experiences. (NMSU photo by Jane Moorman)

To answer this question, six business owners are sharing their experiences with New Mexico State University College of Business students in the Business Creation and Valuation course.

This semester’s speakers are NMSU alumni Victor Arnold of Tempe, Arizona, and formerly of Las Cruces; Bobby Lutz of Dallas; Scott Williams of Dallas; Ross McCallister of Tucson, Arizona; and Bobby Martinez of Alamogordo; and NMSU supporter Gary Mallory of Albuquerque.

“I think it’s neat that New Mexico State is reaching out to the business community,” said Mallory, owner of Heads Up Landscape in Albuquerque. “There are a lot of business people who are happy to be involved with the university.”

College of Business Dean James Hoffman appreciates the guest speakers for participating in the course that he teaches.

“We are very appreciative of these speakers for giving back with their time and generosity to help cultivate the next group of great entrepreneurs from New Mexico State,” Hoffman said. “Each of our speakers has been very successful. They inspire our students, who are able to see what’s possible in life through hard work and determination – and it all started at NMSU.”

While each business person has a different reason why they are so successful, Hoffman said there is also a common thread among all of them, and part of that common thread was the type of student they were in college and the quality of education they received.

“My wife, Patty, and I feel very strongly that our experiences at NMSU were integral to our success with the business and company,” said Ross McCallister, owner of MC Companies of Tucson. “Now we want to give back in a small way to help others strive for their dream.”

Lutz, a business person in Texas and current member of NMSU’s Foundation Board of Directors, enjoys visiting the Las Cruces campus and giving back because the school provided him the tools he uses to compete in business.

“I was here because others gave,” Lutz said. “Because others took an interest in me, I was able to get an education and acquire the foundation to become who I am today. I was provided an incredible opportunity and I believe I will never be able give back anything close to the value of what I was given, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try.”

Each business person complimented the NMSU students and the business degree programs.

“I like seeing the energy that they have,” Lutz said of the students. “I like talking to them about what is getting ready to happen in their lives – the adventure they are about to experience.”

“It’s rewarding to come back and see the students so engaged,” said Scott Williams, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for Caiman Energy, and former member of NMSU’s Foundation Board.

“I still do some consulting, as a result I stay pretty current with business concepts,” said Arnold, who owned seven NAPA Auto Parts stores with his wife, Nancy, before instructing at the NAPA Store Management School. “Nancy, also a NMSU business graduate, has been my business partner for over 50 years since our marriage in 1967 and graduation in 1968.”

“Having visited with current students, I feel very good about what NMSU is doing to prepare them for today’s business world,” Arnold said.

“I’m impressed with the caliber of students at New Mexico State, and the work ethics of the students,” Mallory said. “I go to a lot of college campuses and recruit employees. The NMSU students seem very polite and very respectful. They are achievers.”

Each of the businessmen shared advice and insights they had gained during their careers.

“The visit is an opportunity to impart a bit of experience that may help these students in the future,” Williams said. “It may get the students to understand some of the things I wish I had done differently, such as getting to know all of the many benefits and opportunities that NMSU has to offer, and to become more involved with the university itself as opposed to simply being a student.”

Mallory said he want the students to be thoughtful and purposeful about their career.

“They learn the concepts and skills of their major, but there are a lot of other things I think are important as they embark on their career. That’s what I shared with them,” he said.