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Business Summit Speakers


We were proud to bring a distinguished lineup of speakers to the 2020 Brazos Valley Business Summit on Friday, September 25.

Ray Perryman
President/CEO, The Perryman Group

Dr. Ray Perryman is President and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic research and analysis firm based in Waco, Texas. His firm has served the needs of more than 2,500 clients, including two-thirds of the Global 25, over half of the Fortune 100, the 12 largest technology firms in the world, 10 US Cabinet Departments, the 9 largest firms in the US, the 6 largest energy companies operating in the US, and the 5 largest US banking institutions.
Dr. Perryman holds a BS in Mathematics from Baylor University and a PhD in Economics from Rice University, as well as an honorary doctorate from the International Institute for Advanced Studies. He has held numerous academic positions throughout his career (Herman Brown Professor of Economics and University Professor at Baylor University and Economist-in-Residence Southern Methodist University) and is currently a Senior Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute at the University of Texas and Institute Distinguished Professor of Economic Theory and Method at the International Institute for Advanced Studies. He has authored several books, over 400 academic papers, and more than 2,500 trade articles. He publishes an annual subscription forecasting service and monthly newsletter, writes a weekly syndicated column, and hosts a daily radio commentary with frequent appearances on National Public Radio.
Dr. Perryman was named Outstanding Young Person of the World for Business and Economic Innovation in 1987, was designated Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference in 2012, received the Baylor University Distinguished Service Medal in 2013, was inducted into the Texas Leadership Hall of Fame in 2014, and received the Cesar E. Chavez Conscience Builders Award in 2016 for his humanitarian efforts. He recently received the 2019 Chairman's Award for Lifetime Achievement in Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council and the 2019 "Go Global" Award from the International Trade Council as the outstanding global economic analyst for his work on trade, energy, the environment and other international issues. He dedicates a significant portion of his time to pro bono work aimed at helping to solve pressing social problems such as hunger, indigent healthcare, poverty, and child maltreatment.

Flip Flippen
Founder/Chairman, Flippen Group

Flip Flippen is a New York Times best-selling author, social entrepreneur, psychotherapist, and the founder and chairman of Flippen Group, one of the largest educator training, corporate talent, and team development companies in North America. Mr. Flippen is one of the world’s top thought leaders in building culture and overcoming constraints, but he is known most for his heart to serve others.
Flip and his wife Susan, who is CEO, were named Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year, the first couple to ever receive this prestigious award. Their company was chosen by Texas Monthly magazine as #2 in the listing of Best Companies to Work For in Texas.
Flip’s first book, The Flip Side, is available in nine languages and became an instant New York Times bestseller; and his second book, Your Third Story, hit #3 in its category on Amazon. He has contributed to hundreds of publications, including Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and SUCCESS magazine; and he is regularly interviewed on national television including segments on the Today Show and the Super Bowl Pre-Game special.
Flip and Susan reside in College Station, Texas, where their greatest joy is spending time with their adult children and beloved grandchildren.

Ruth Hughs
Texas Secretary of State

Ruth Ruggero Hughs was sworn in as the 113th Texas Secretary of State on August 19, 2019. Secretary Hughs is one of six state officials named by the Texas Constitution to form the Executive Department of the State. In addition to serving as Texas’ Chief Elections Officer, Secretary Hughs is also senior advisor and liaison to the Governor for Border and Mexican Affairs, and is the state’s Chief International Protocol Officer. In that role, she serves as the Border Commerce Coordinator, facilitating communication and coordination of border initiatives among local officials, state agencies, and the federal governments of the United States, Mexico, and Canada, as well as chairing the Border Trade Advisory Committee, which works to identify and address key border trade transportation challenges facing Texas.
Secretary Hughs has a proven record of public service, most recently having served as Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers at the Texas Workforce Commission, where she worked to foster opportunities for economic growth by partnering with the business community to provide employers with a variety of resources to expand their businesses, as well as implementing initiatives for youth, veterans, women entrepreneurs, and people with disabilities.
Prior to her appointment, Secretary Hughs worked as a licensed attorney and was a small business owner. She also previously served at the Office of the Texas Attorney General as the Director of Defense Litigation, where she was responsible for the successful management and oversight of the civil litigation divisions representing agencies across the state.
Secretary Hughs received a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Rutgers Camden School of Law, and she earned a certificate in Leader Development at the U.S. Army War College’s National Security Seminar.

Tony Okoromadu
Texas A&M University Mays Business School

Tony Okoromadu is an Executive Assistant Professor of Finance at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School, College Station, Texas, where he also serves in various other capacities.
He has many years of international management experience in diverse industry sectors, having worked in finance, technology, business and management consulting, economic development, executive business education, media, and nonprofits. Responsibilities have included business development, market and industry analysis, business analysis, data deployment, strategy, marketing, corporate relations, research, stakeholder engagement, customer service and organizational change.
In the course of his career, Tony has developed business, economic and market intelligence solutions to support various business ventures. He emphasizes presenting complex material in ways that are easy to understand. International business, markets, economics and finance are fond specialties; his book on emerging African economies and their markets was published in London, United Kingdom, and is currently a resource for companies in over 22 countries around the world, helping them make business decisions involving that continent. That work is also used in several universities in the United States including Texas A&M (College Station, TX), Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).
His analytical and intellectual competencies and business insights have received praise from prestigious institutions around the world, among them the Financial Times (United Kingdom), INSEAD (France), London Business School (United Kingdom), and The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (USA). They have also been recognized through a variety of merit-based awards such as the Chevening Scholarship from the United Kingdom Government.
Tony has lived and worked in three continents - Europe, Africa and North America - and is at home in different cultures and work environments. He also is an avid cyclist and lives with his wife, Lisa, in College Station, Texas, as do his parents-in-law and extended family.

Dennis Jansen
Texas A&M University Private Enterprise Research Center

Dr. Dennis W. Jansen is a Professor of Economics and Director of the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University.  He holds the Jeff Montgomery Professorship in Economics.  He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his undergraduate degree in economics and mathematics from St. Louis University.  His research has focused on macroeconomics, financial economics, forecasting, and the economics of education.  He has received grants from the National Science Foundation and from various agencies in the state of Texas. He has worked for the Texas Education Agency to study the Texas school finance formula, and to evaluate both the Texas Educator Excellence Grant program and the Texas District Award for Teacher Excellence program.  Professor Jansen was a Fulbright Scholar in 2008, lecturing and conducting research in Ireland.  He has chaired the doctoral dissertations of over forty students who hold jobs in academia, government and business in the U.S. and throughout the world.  He is a regular participant at academic conferences.  At Texas A&M University Dr. Jansen has served in various administrative posts including Department Head, Director of Graduate Programs, and Director of Undergraduate Programs.  Dr. Jansen has held research or teaching positions at the National University of Ireland-Galway, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Indiana University-Bloomington, North Carolina State University, Korea University, Southwest University of Finance and Economics (China), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Catholic University Leuven, and Maastricht University.  He has published over seventy research papers in professional journals and books, two textbooks, and numerous other writings.

Andrew Rettenmaier
Texas A&M University Private Enterprise Research Center

Andrew J. Rettenmaier is the Executive Associate Director at the Private Enterprise Research Center at Texas A&M University. He received a B.S. in Finance and a Ph.D. in Economics from Texas A&M University. His research focuses on income and wealth inequality, labor economics, health care policy, and elderly entitlement programs. He co-authored The Economics of Medicare Reform, W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2000 and The Diagnosis and Treatment of Medicare, AEI Press 2007. He was an editor of Medicare Reform: Issues and Answers, published in 1999 by the University of Chicago Press. He has been co-principal investigator on several research grants, has published numerous public policy monographs and academic articles. He has published in Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, Southern Economic Journal, and Economic Inquiry, among other economic journals.