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.
Darla Chapman Ripley, EMBA’97Associate, Dave Perry-Miller & Associates Real EstateDarla Chapman Ripley places a lot of
importance on maintaining all networks, regardless of industry or location. A
few years ago when her company expanded its global presence, she also wanted to
expand her skill set and enhance her own knowledge working with global clients.
An advocate for lifelong learning and entrepreneurial pursuits, she enrolled in
the Jindal School’s Executive MBA Program. More than 15 years later, even as her
career path has transitioned from owning a horse-racing business, serving as
the executive publisher of Gallop
Magazine and now to a role in luxury real estate, the skills she acquired
while at the Jindal School continue to translate across industries and remain
Darla with one of her horses.
Tell us a few highlights of your professional career.
Having owned and operated my own horse-racing
and breeding program, Dreamfield Arabian Racehorses, Inc., since 1992, I was
afforded a global network of colleagues and friends who spurred my entrance
into several independent contractor and entrepreneurial opportunities. Although sounding disparate, all the companies
with which I work were established directly or indirectly from my passion for
and experience with horses.
What brought you to UT Dallas?
Owning and managing Dreamfield Arabian
Racehorses, Inc, which was fast becoming known and respected within the global
Arabian horse-racing community at that time, I needed to sharpen my business
and management skill set. At the time, the UT Dallas Executive MBA Program was
in my opinion, the most forward-thinking in the quickly expanding and changing
world of technology. Plus the program was focused on learning from a global
perspective. Both areas I needed, given the nature of my company’s growing
global presence and thus, growing need to effectively communicate globally with
a network of clients, friends and prospects.
What is your favorite UT Dallas memory?
My favorite UT Dallas memory was traveling to Japan
and Shanghai with my classmates from the Comparative Management course. It was
a fantastic learning experience and a great time.
Who was your favorite professor, and/or what was your favorite class and why?
Dr. David Springate taught my favorite classes
in finance and strategy. He was also my favorite professor. As one of the
creators of the Executive MBA Program, his personality, teaching skills,
knowledge base and pure enthusiasm for what he taught and how he taught, were a
delight. He made learning “stick,” but at the same time, fun and empowering. He
truly engaged his students.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
At this time, my free time is sporadic. I’m a
little too busy weaving together the new career threads of opportunities that
have come my way over the past couple of years to resume what I enjoy in free
time. Horseback riding was a favorite, but I have sold my horses as the market
sought them, and entered a new entrepreneurial phase. I was beginning to play
golf, and loved it, but as golfers know all too well, it is a game that demands
practice. So both pastimes are on my soon to-do-again list.
What advice do you have for current students hoping to succeed in the business world?
Keep your network(s) active from every source
as you acquire them. My 25 years in horse racing gave me the amazing
opportunity to become the executive publisher for the North American edition of
GallopMagazine, an international, lifestyle magazine centered on the
feel-good stories of the historic, global sport of horse racing. In June 2014, Gallop’s impressive and growing success, led me to another
opportunity in publishing, as vice president of digital brand marketing for
Core Publishing. A publisher of high-end, in-room city hotel magazines, Core
Publishing, like Gallop, targets the
high net worth travel market. Thus the common thread that brought together my
involvement in publishing was initiated via my horse-industry network.
I also hold a Series 65 investment advisor
representative license affiliated with Oxbow Advisors, a small group of Texas
portfolio managers with $1 billion in assets under management for a national and
international client base. Thanks to Dr. Springate’s ability to help me gain a
foothold in finance, I’ve held securities licenses and worked in financial
services as an independent contractor since graduating from the EMBA program in
1997. Again, many clients hailed from my horse-industry network as well as my
personal network, some going back to high school.
Lastly, to make sure I am walking the talk
here in giving current students advice, let me add, I just received my real
estate agent license. Again, a good friend since high school, whose highly
successful career boasts 30 years in residential real estate, encouraged me to
team with her in her Dallas residential real estate career at Dave Perry-Miller
& Associates. She was looking to add a specialty to her team — my real-life
experience in farm and ranch markets. Again, my horse-industry
experience and network continue to feed opportunity. Bottom line — keep all your networks active.
What makes an effective leader?
Listening and continual practice of
self-evaluation are critical to effective leadership. Have confidence, but
never overestimate what you know. And always strive to know what you do not
know, then find out.