On October 13th, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and WTAMU’s Philanthropy and External Relations unit collaborated to host the successful inaugural presentation of the Stan Sigman Leadership and Innovation Series. In honor of the program’s namesake, distinguished WT Alumni, Stan Sigman, who had passed in December 2020, the inaugural event featured former AT&T Vice Chairman, Mr. Ralph De La Vega. Mr. De La Vega, who was a mentee and contemporary of Mr. Sigman’s, addressed the campus on a variety of topics related to the value of education, importance of leadership, and the value of hard work, as key foundational elements that lead to success, both in business and in life. This first session was moderated by Dr. Anne Macy, Edwards Professor of Business, in a “fireside chat” format that was both informal and conversational. The session concluded with Questions and Answers from the audience with a few prominent questions from students.
After a lunch in the Stan and Gerry Sigman Lobby in the WTAMU Department of Agricultural Sciences Complex, the event proceeded with an afternoon session presented a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Jeffry Babb, Stan Sigman Professor of Business, featuring WTAMU President Walter Wendler, Mr. De La Vega, and Johnnie Trotter (Business partner of Stan Sigman’s, and member of the American Quarter Horse Association, Cattle Feeders, and Rodeo Halls of Fame) as panelists. The focus of the panel session was to entreat faculty and students with discourse on the values and principles that guided Stan Sigman’s life and success. These are Authenticity, Integrity, Accountability, Teamwork, Execution, People, Communication, Empathy, Respect, and Vision.
As a final activity of the day, Mr. De La Vega participated as honored guest for an episode of President Wendler’s Reflections on Higher Education Podcast. During the show, President Wendler and Mr. De La Vega discussed his incredible story from emigrating from Cuba to the United States as a child before becoming one of the most powerful leaders in American telecommunications at AT&T.
The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business is very grateful to Mr. De La Vega, Johnnie Trotter, Mark Collins and Paul Roth, President Wendler, Dr. Todd Rasberry, and all others who came together to make this event a success. The Stan Sigman Leadership and Innovation Series will run annually and we will highlight and feature next year’s speaker in a future issue.
For more information about the Stan Sigman Leadership and Innovation Series, contact Dr. Jeffry Babb.