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Naveen Jindal School of Management Alumni Spotlight

From real estate to healthcare management, to information technology and finance, we are proud to shine a spotlight on some of our alumni whose career paths are representative of the many employment options to which a degree from the Naveen Jindal School of Management can lead. With more than 29,000 alumni, the Jindal School is impacting the culture of business in the U.S. and beyond.

The following JSOM graduates agreed to have their information posted. If you are an alumnus and willing to share your information, please contact Caroline Mandel, Assistant Director, Development Communications and Donor Relations

Brad Perkinson, BS’08, MS’09 Founder, CEO and Brewer, FireWheel Brewing Co., LLC This Naveen Jindal School of Management grad took the opportunity of getting laid off to pursue a dream of starting what is now known as FireWheel Brewery in Rowlett. Offerings include red, wheat and pale ales along with seasonal specialties. “We are just a few guys from Dallas trying to partake in the beer revolution that is sweeping the state of Texas,” Perkinson says of his company. FireWheel brews are available in stores and in eateries around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Aficionados also may visit the brew house for tastings.
Perkinson's outdoor activities include fishing.
What are your proudest achievements in your professional career?
Starting my own business and watching it grow has been the highlight of my life. Being my own boss and making my own rules has always been a dream of mine. Now we are in the process of getting an investor to take this company from small start-up to big-time business and I couldn’t have done it without my UT Dallas education.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
The University’s intellectual foundation appealed to me, as I was looking at a physics/math degree. I didn’t end up pursuing that route, as I found the finance degree plan, but the focus on academics (instead of football) was very important to me. Also, having on-campus apartments was a huge plus. It was close to home, but not too close, so location was a big factor as well.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
I have so many favorite memories. Being the intramural champion of the cardboard boat regatta was a pretty good one. I was selected as a Student Ambassador, which gave me the opportunity to participate in several once-in-a-lifetime events. 
Who was your favorite professor?
Professor Charles Hazzard taught about real things, not just what was in the textbook. He related real-life events and historical business happenings to theory and rolled it up in a way that we could take away a lesson and use it in our future business experiences. Most of his class wasn’t about teaching you anything; he taught you why you needed to learn what you did in all of your other classes and how to, or not to, use what you learned.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy drinking beer and playing sports, mainly table tennis and softball, but any sport really. Also, I really enjoy building things – from furniture to the brewing system I use at my brewery, to custom speaker boxes. I can build it all and I love doing it. Also, my labradoodle, Amber, and I love to go for walks and play fetch. She is also the unofficial brewery mascot.